By Kendra Nenia (Child Development and Family Center Teacher)
Before delving into this heavy topic I want to say, parenting is hard. Period. It can be a difficult, exhausting and an unappreciative job! It is normal to feel frustrated, angry, upset and sometimes alone as we work through tough parenting decisions. Know that the teachers here do understand all of those parenting related feelings. That’s why I am writing about and presenting this information, to give you alternatives and acknowledge what you do as parents, on a daily basis, isn’t always easy.
In this article I will define and clarify what spanking is; address five reasons not to use spanking; I will share alternatives to spanking, and lastly share tips and pointers to help you during those stressful times.
What is spanking? It is a form of corporal punishment. It includes whoopin’, slapping, grabbing, popping, smacking… handling your child roughly in any way is a form of corporal punishment. FYI - If you hit your child with any object (belt, brush, fly swatter, wooden spoon) it falls under the U.S. definition of abuse. Corporal punishment is the use of physical force with the intention to cause a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or the control of the child’s behavior. Which leads me to an interesting fact; in the U.S. we are not allowed to perform corporal punishment on any inmate in our correctional system. It is illegal to do so. But, corporal punishment against a child is overlooked time after time. It is socially sanctioned.
So, why should you not spank your child? Here are five points I pulled from a recent seminar I attended at a CAEYC conference presented by Michele Knox Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toledo, College of Medicine, and Margarita Hernandez, Program Coordinator for Pillars‐Safe From the Start called “I was spanked and I turned out okay.”
If this article is all about not spanking then we as parents need rational alternatives to spanking, as well as ways to deal with what can be frustrating moments during our parenting journey. So here are some tips, ideas and suggestions. Hopefully you can each find something that works and apply to other parenting strategies!
(article source: EzineArticles.com)
Spanking is only a temporary solution to ongoing problems. Spanking usually leaves a child wondering, "what should I do differently so I don’t get hit again?". Seldom are spankings followed by instruction on what the child needs to do or stop doing. It generally is nothing more than a release of the parent’s frustration directed toward the child. It teaches a child to comply because of fear rather than a sense of what is right or wrong. It teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to solve their problems. Children who are spanked often have a greater risk of low self‐esteem, aggression, lying, cheating, depression and bullying. Spanking sets the example that it is okay to hit when a person is upset or angry.
Below are ten alternatives to spanking that you might find helpful.