If you thought hitting your children was a good way to enforce discipline, think again. Here are 5 more reasons you should spare the rod.
Can be dangerous
Many parents never learned in their own childhood that there are positive ways of relating to children. When punishment does not accomplish the desired goals, and if the parent is unaware of alternative methods, punishment can escalate to more frequent beatings, which could be dangerous, physically or mentally, for the child.
Anger keeps festering
Anger and frustration are not easily expressed by a
child, and keep festering within. One day your child will be old enough
and strong enough to display his rage, and such rage is often directed
towards parents who hit their children regularly and focus excessively on discipline. Punishment
may appear to produce "good behavior" in the early years, but always at
a high price, paid by parents and by society as a whole. An angry
teenager who has been subject to regular beatings at home may grow up
into an insensitive adult, who doesn't think twice before beating up
someone else. Such behaviour only increases violence in a society.
May lead to sexually deviant behaviour
Spanking on the buttocks, an erogenous zone in childhood,
can create in the child's mind an association between pain and sexual
pleasure, and lead to difficulties in adulthood. "Spanking wanted" ads
in alternative newspapers attest to the sad consequences of this
confusion of pain and pleasure. If a child receives little parental
attention except when being punished, this will further merge the
concepts of pain and pleasure in the child's mind. A child in this
situation will have little self-esteem, believing he deserves nothing
Even relatively moderate spanking can be physically dangerous.
Blows to the lower end of the spinal column send shock waves along the
length of the spine, and may injure the child. The prevalence of lower back pain among adults in our society may well have its origins in childhood punishment. Some children
have become paralyzed through nerve damage from spanking, and some have
died after mild paddlings, due to undiagnosed medical complications.
Gives the message that might is right
Physical punishment gives the dangerous
and unfair message that "might makes right", that it is permissible to
hurt someone else, provided they are smaller and less powerful than you
are. The child then concludes that it is permissible to mistreat
younger or smaller children.
When he becomes an adult, he can feel little compassion for those less
fortunate than he is, and fears those who are more powerful. This will
hinder the establishment of meaningful relationships so essential to an
emotionally fulfilling life.
Discourages awareness of alternate disciplinary models
Because children learn through parental modeling, physical punishment
gives the message that hitting is an appropriate way to express
feelings and to solve problems. If a child does not observe a parent
solving problems in a creative and humane way, it can be difficult for
him to learn to do this himself. For this reason, unskilled parenting often continues into the next generation.
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- The Indiaparenting Team