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To many parents, spanking has been a form of child disciplining for decades.
To other parents, spanking is a violent lesson on how to solve problems and it is an easy way out.
Does spanking really solve anything?
Many nations such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Israel, Germany and Austria, have outlawed spanking a child.
The reasoning is that hitting children teaches them to become hitters themselves. This in turn can teach them to become violent as a way to solve problems. Spanking can also distract from other methods of dealing with problems, such as discussion and reasoning, and can interrupt the bond between parent and child.
Do you believe that spanking children is okay to do?
I don't believe spanking does anything except shock the child - and even then it's only a shock if it is a very rare occurence. Parents who spank frequently are proving to themselves and their child that they are struggling with daily parenting and parenting techniques. They should examine their stress level, the way they deal with anger, and educate themselves on other reward-and-punishment possibilites. Parents who spank also teach their children that it is OK to hit someone.
Honestly all spanking does is teaches the kid that if they act in a certain way a pain will be inflected on them.. spanking.
They aren't getting the reason why it is wrong what they did or the real meaning behind why they shouldn't do it. They are just preventing themselves from acting a certain way (if spanking is effective to your child) due to the desire not to real pain, not because they know its wrong.
Hmmm. I believe there is research that spanking is an ineffective form of discipline, and why use a technique that doesn't work? There are better ways to work with a child that do not include violence and diminish trust.
I don't know about outlawing spanking for families though.
There is a point when kids don't understand anything else. When you have a 2-year-old, a swat on the butt is an excellent way to reinforce that the word "no" has a negative meaning.
The great thing is, if you do that when they are 2, talking will work when they are 5. If your child doesn't respect you and obey before they are 3, you have a rough road ahead.
Most people use spanking so ineffectively that they are wasting their time. It should never be coupled with anger, and in my opinion, it is pointless to spank:
1) over the age of 5
2) more than 10 seconds after or 10 feet away from the offending behavior
3) more than one swat
It's just giving a clear negative reinforcement as a way to train toddlers. After that point, you're just using it to displace your anger/frustration. And like I said, if you use it effectively when they are 2, discipline is so much easier when they are 5, 6, 10, etc. Discipline has to grow with the child. And spanking is one of those things that is not clear cut. You can't just say, "it is wrong" or "it is right" because how, when, and why it is carried out makes all the difference.
Sometimes when I watch SuperNanny and they spend 45 minutes trying to get a 3-year-old to sit in a time-out chair for 3 minutes, I just want to bang my head on the wall. That kid does not understand what's going on & is not sorry. Oy.
OH- and it's only teaching your kids that it is okay to hit if you spank when you are angry. That's teaching your kids that it is okay to bully others when you're frustrated. That's a totally different thing. Speaking as a parent who gets constant compliments on her kids' behavior... and also as an adult who was physically & verbally abused as a child --> the spankings I got were not nearly as bad as the yelling was.
I know people who think spanking is the ultimate evil, then speak to their children in very hurtful ways and yell a lot. They don't realize how much damage they are doing. Spanking would be less harmful than the mental abuse they're putting their kids through.
I was always anti-spanking. I used to want to choke the women that slap their screaming babies in Wal-Mart. Not to condone spanking, but after I had a child, I understood how much pateince and time it takes to teach a child "good" behavior. The women that I've seen smacking around their babies are usually single, lower income, working moms who don't have time to sweet talk, reason with and give time outs to their child. The environment that those kids are in, they have to learn what to do and not to do quickly, for their own good and safety. I'm a sahm with some family support. I can follow my kid around the house all day explaining why she can't do things and saying no. Not everyone has that luxury. The more a parent has on their plate, the less time they have for disciplining. I see why some parents feel like they have to use physical discipline to get a point across. I don't intend to spank my daughter, but on her "mean" days, I'm sure fighting back the urge!
I find it interesting that I have had responses, both here and on my blog, that are pro spanking. My kids are a bit older now but, when they were small, spanking was not that popular. To be honest, I never spanked my kids. And, yes, I was challenged having a boy with ADD. In retrospect, I'm glad that I never spanked him. However, that was my choice. He turned out okay too.
Thanks for your responses.
I believe it OK to spank my child. With my daughter (she's 21 years old now), all you had to do was give her the 'look' and she was shook. My four year old? The wooden spoon does wonders. NO ONE else in the house spanks though. They are AGAINST it but, since I'm the main caregiver, they RESPECT my judgement and know that I am NOT abusing my child.
I believe in it per se because it was done to me I guess. I don't know I'm on the fence a lot with it. I have an 8 yr old that I have a rough time with and it does no good anymore for her to be spanked. I have a 3 yr old son who I spank and sometimes does good. So I think it depends on who is being spanked also if it works either. I don't know I may be sounding wishy washy on the subject too. I don't want to do it but I do because yes I've lost my patience so much with my 8 yr old that I feel it's the only thing I can do to get her attention.
I think spanking is okay if it is a method of last resort. You can't spank a child for every little infraction and expect it to be effective. My daughter is challenging. When I have gone through all of the other steps - request, request more firmly, demand, time out, go to room - and the behavior doesn't stop, a swat on the butt gets her attention and the behavior stops. I certainly don't advocate beating children, but I don't think and occaisional swat does any damage..