I’ll keep this short and sweet, I promise. Just a few more words on spanking and who knows, maybe by the end of it, you might even agree with me. Spanking our children puts them at greater risk for aggressive behaviors, delinquency, depression, feelings of alienation, future violent tendencies, and lower professional and economic achievement than their non-spanked peers. When we spank our children, it might work, for the moment, but what doesn’t work about spanking is long term success. Spanking puts an end to the undesirable behavior, but only in the here and now. By spanking our children, we put them at higher risk for a host of psychological, physical and societal issues. There is simply no justification for using a hand, belt, or paddle on children. Spanking is not a discipline technique; it’s violence. It’s an uneducated, antiquated, small minded method for controlling children rather than guiding and leading them.
Spanking sets up a loop of bad behavior. Corporal punishment instills fear rather than understanding. Even if children stop the undesirable behavior when spanked, that doesn’t mean they get why they shouldn’t have been doing said behavior in the first place. What’s more, spanking sets a bad example, teaching children that aggressive behavior is a solution to problems. Spanking teaches our children that love and violence are inextricably connected, and makes discipline more difficult as the child outgrows it. Whether you actually agree with me, and the research, and the experts or not, something we can all agree on is that no one wants to make the art of parenting more difficult.
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!