Spanking Children

The act of spanking children is to strik children’s bottom with your open hand is known as spanking, and can actually be considered a form of corporal punishment. Spanking includes not only the use of your open hand, but also implementation of things such as belts, sticks, wooden spoons. Sadly, spanking can quickly evolve into abuse, even if the parent does not mean to hurt their child. Aside from abuse, spanking is linked with causing psychological damage, which will affect the child’s future. The American Academy of Pediatrics requests parents not to spank or use any type of physical discipline as there are other, more effective, discipline techniques. Although many parents believe they know what is best for them and their children, physical discipline is not always the most effective tactic.

Interesting Facts about Spanking Children

  • Toddlers aged between two and three are more likely to be spanked than their older or younger siblings.
  • Approximately one third of parents of toddlers believe using corporal punishment is an appropriate means for solving incorrect behavior.
  • The different regions of the United States view spanking differently. While the South and West deem it as favorable, the Northeast and Midwest find it inappropriate.
  • Family habits are often passed down, as evidenced by the fact that almost 50 percent of women who are physically punished during childhood will use the same punishment on their own children.
  • Stereotypically more rambunctious, boys are spanked more often than most girls.

5 Reasons Not to Spank Your Child

1. Self-Esteem Crumbles with Spanking.

A child who is spanked may often wonder if they’re “damaged goods.” True, parents say they love them, but why is someone who loves them hitting them? The process of being hurt by those meant to love and protect you is damaging to a child’s self-esteem, which could eventually ruin his future.

2. Spanking CausesMental Health Symptoms.

The more spanking a child endures, the more likely he is to develop mental health symptoms later. Obviously, the last thing on a parent’s mind when spanking his child is the potential for psychological damage, but the possibility is there. Developing mental health symptoms can be serious, and if giving up spanking can help prevent it, then it’s time to stop using spanking as a discipline method.

3. Physical Discipline Can Cause Mistrust.

Spanking children even once can shake the entire foundation of trust you have created. Any type of physical discipline will make your child question if you truly have his best interest in mind. Fortunately, if you are good at parenting overall, your child will still trust you, but you risk raising your child’s anger towards you when using spanking. The more often a child is spanked, the more likely he is to continue mistrusting you.

4. Spanking Makes Children Believe that Violence Is Always a Solution.

Whether you realize it or not, spanking is a form of violence towards your child. Using this form of violence as a means to an end may cause children to use violence to get what they want not only at home, but also at school. A form of bullying, spanking sends the message that violence helps you get people to do what you want, and may lead children to unwanted situations as they grow older.

5. Fear Hinders Learning.

When you spank your child, he suddenly becomes fearful of you. Fear does not involve higher-order thinking, but is rather reflexive reactions, which sometimes causes a child to lash out at you or attempt to prevent the spanking. Since it is impossible to think rationally while being afraid, your child will not actually learn from the spanking. Instead, he will only remember the fear you made him feel, not the lesson you tried to teach.

To learn more about how spanking will affect children, watch the video below:

What If I Have to Spank My Child for Discipline?

It is possible to spank your child without harming him, and at certain times it may be necessary. In order to ensure your child’s safety when he does receive a spanking, be sure consider the following tips.

  • Only spank the clothed bottom of your child with an open hand.
  • Implements such as paddles, belts, or spoons may qualify for child abuse or corporal punishment charges and should not be used.
  • Never spank your child when you are angry, regardless of what has made you angry.
  • Only spank your child in private, with just you and your child present. Spanking is a form of punishment, not humiliation, and should not be done at the restaurant, store, or in view of the child’s other siblings.

Alternative Discipline Techniques

Sometimes parents spank their child because it feels like nothing else will work. Instead of still resorting to spanking, try one of the following alternative discipline techniques for at least 21 days (the average time it takes to make or break a habit).

Discipline Techniques

How to Make It Work

Offer Praise

Always let children know what they have done right. If they use their words to express their anger instead of their fists, be sure to praise them so they know to do so again in the future.

Ignore Misbehavior

Simply pretend you can’t hear them, even if their behavior gets worse. If you stand your ground, the behavior will eventually stop once they realize it isn’t working.

Give Him a Time-Out

Time-outs should only be a minute per year old (so a two-year-old gets a two minutes’ time-out). Set a timer, and when it goes off, calmly discuss the wrong behavior and provide solutions for better behavior in the future.

Make Clear the Consequences

For every negative behavior, there should be a known and reasonable consequence. For example, if a four-year-old spills his juice on the floor, he must clean it up before getting a new cup.