Sunday, January 19, 2014

Do you spank your kids?

Now, I don't care for spanking, and I don't agree with it. It's one of those things that I feel doesn't really do anything for children discipline-wise and just makes them scared and hurt and cry. (Spanking causes severe psychological damage and, statistically, kids who are spanked have incredibly ridiculous self-esteem issues, lower IQs, are more prone to grow up to be violent: source) I was spanked growing up by a father with anger problems who got angry over everything and that was already scary enough, but then, sometimes, he would spank me and it didn't teach me that whatever I was getting spanked for was wrong, and I probably already knew it was wrong and whatever I did was an ACCIDENT (but that's besides the point). It just made me cry and get scared and freak out right before it happened. (I used to try to avoid doing anything that might get me in trouble because I didn't want to have to deal with my dad again, and that was quite a bit because of his tendency to flip out over the smallest things. I actually started lying more if I made a mistake or hiding so as to avoid getting yelled at or spanked.)
It might work with some kids but for the most part, I think, it doesn't.
Personally, it did more harm than good in a variety of ways for me.

Not to mention, you're still hitting your kids. I know, not many people want to consider it abuse but it technically is. It's like when some fathers whip their children with a belt to show discipline for their behavior (They probably don't see it as abuse either, but would you?), except it's your hand smacking a childs ass really, really hard. The only difference is the area on the body that's getting the physical abuse and the way it's getting the abuse. And while the whipping may be more severe, it's still a child getting hurt because their parents think hurting them physically is a form of discipline that will teach the kid right from wrong. (For most it just teaches them to be afraid of you and afraid of making mistakes.)

Most kids will make mistakes. Big ones. That does not mean you should hit them or hurt them in any way in order to try to show them that what they did is wrong. Chances are, they already feel bad, especially if it's one of those big mistakes (if they don't, then yes you need to teach them right from wrong, how to treat people, etc, etc, but WITHOUT hitting/hurting them) The outcome will be that they will ultimately think it is wrong to make mistakes (or that they should just start lying to you and keeping things from you) and it's not. People grow and learn by making mistakes. 
Instead, I recommend coming up with a way to discipline your child that has no harmful physical contact, is educational in that it teaches them that what they did was unacceptable and still shows them that they are in trouble without them getting hurt or scared because of you and your actions towards them.

  1. The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Psychological Association oppose striking a child or adolescent for any reason.
  2. 35 developed nations have banned corporal punishment at home.
  3. Children who were physically punished were more likely to endorse hitting as a means of resolving their conflicts with peers and siblings.
  4. As 5-year-olds, the children who had been spanked were more likely than the nonspanked to be defiant, demand immediate satisfaction of their wants and needs, become frustrated easily, have temper tantrums and lash out physically against other people or animals.
  5.  2- to 4-year-olds who were spanked scored 5 points lower on the IQ test than those not spanked. For children ages 5 to 9, the spanked ones scored on average 2.8 points lower than their unspanked counterparts.
  6. Participants who experienced physical punishment were 59 percent more likely to have alcohol dependence, 41 percent more like to have depression and 24 percent more likely to have panic disorder, compared with those who received no physical punishments.

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