Okay, I am aware that there is a great divide among our society on whether parents should or should not spank their kids.
I grew up in a home where spanking was a popular form of discipline. Not only in my household but most of my peers got spanked by their parents—friends, neighbors and family. As a result, spanking often gets passed down from generation to generation. Although harsh punishment such as spanking may have instant results, the long-term consequences can be detrimental for your child and your relationship. I’ve chosen not to hit my kids and, in this blog, I share why I have made that decision. Here are 7 reasons not to spank your kids.
It can damage your relationship with your child
I believe that we cannot positively influence our kids if we don’t have a connection with them. Spanking puts an emotional wedge between parent and child. Our kids trust us and our authority. Authority based on fear makes children lose respect for you. It’s hard to respect someone who consistently brings you pain. Besides, I want my kids to come to me if they need to talk about anything, and the chances of that happening are slim if we have a troubled relationship.
While some children are resilient and bounce back without a negative impression, for the others it becomes hard to love the hand that hurts them.
Does not improve beviour
A child who feels right acts right. A child who gets hit feels wrong on the inside, and this will show up in their behavior. We want our kids to know that they are good people, even when they make mistakes. The more they misbehave, the more they get spanked, and the worse they will feel. And it becomes a vicious cycle. Although hitting may have instant results, it does not improve behavior in the long run. My mother spanked and shouted, and my father would engage with us in a composed manner. And to be honest with you, my father’s method was more effective.
Against my values
Physical violence is not aligned with my values. I’m a gentle person naturally, and whenever I did spank my son, I would feel incredibly guilty. Deep down, I didn’t feel right about the way that I chose to discipline my child. Besides, I don’t go around slapping adults when they “misbehave,” so why would I treat my kids differently?
It can quickly get out of control.
The danger with hitting is that it might escalate over time. For example, your hand may become a fist, and a folded magazine becomes a wooden spoon, and something that began as “innocent” escalates to child abuse.
Teaches aggressive behaviour
Children love to mimic people that they love and respect. So if I resort to violence when things don’t go my way, I shouldn’t be surprised when my children do the same. Kids who are spanked learn to handle conflict by either hitting or threatening other kids.
I want a peaceful home
I want my home to remain a safe and peaceful space for my kids. My key role as a parent is to protect my family. How do I fulfill that role if I get physically aggressive with them when they’ve “broken the rules”? I want to be a source of unconditional love and comfort, not pain, tears, and trauma.
There are more effective forms of discipline
Children need discipline, but there’s a vast difference between discipline and physical punishment. Discipline teaches self-control, responsibility and good behavior. As much as spanking has been the disciplinary method of choice in most homes in the past, there are better ways to discipline kids such as taking away privileges. These methods solve behavior problems and help build qualities of character such as responsibility, respect, and self-esteem. These may not be traditional forms of discipline, but they are effective. And I genuinely believe they are worth exploring.
Those are some of the reasons why I choose not to hit my kids. The intention here is not to try to get you to change your parenting style. Instead, I’m sharing my views and experiences with the hope of starting conversations that will help us navigate motherhood with a little more ease. How do you discipline your children? Let me know in the comments below.