Why is it we seem to keep the harmful habits of the previous generation while discarding the good ones? Research has shown, science has found, experts agree, that spanking a child does more harm than good in the long term, and yet many of us haven’t gotten that message.
We hold onto spanking method of “disciplining” children, even when it has been proven harmful, while we discard family traditions like eating dinner together. Does this seem regressive to anyone else? We are a nation of parents always connected to our smartphones, constantly updating our Facebook status, or sharing pictures on Instagram, but do we still read to our children at bedtime? Do we still eat at least one meal a day with them? Do we listen to our children and ask them questions, or do we plop them down in front of the television with an iPad and a Happy Meal?
Some of the things we have done differently than our parents are a good thing – we no longer allow our children to use public restrooms by themselves, and we secure our littles into safety seats in the car, and buckle their tiny helmets before letting them get on their bicycles, and we know better than to smoke around our littles, but what progress have we made in terms of spending time with our children? And where is the growth in terms of how we discipline?
Seems like some of the things we are holding onto are as antiquated as putting a toddler on the floorboard of a moving vehicle, while we are letting go of the things that should be held a little closer. Maybe we should put down the phone. Pick up a book. Talk. Listen. And just be more present for our kids. Who’s with me?
Editor, Ask Lala
Laura Fogarty writes “Ask Lala” for the Stop Abuse Campaign. She is a mother, an advocate and the author of two children’s abuse prevention books: I’M THE BOSS OF ME! and WE ARE JUST ALIKE!