Prevent Child Distress: Stop Spanking
Childhood memories with a stain of cruel moments of a child’s agony of punishing him through continuously hitting a thick wood or stick on his buttocks is a misery that will never be erased. A memory of a child that has been trying to escape or hide with fear and pain reflected through his eyes. A moment of suddenly wishing that there is someone who will help you overcome the situation. A feeling in moments that will make you abhor reminiscing your childhood days. Parents, is that what you want to put into your child’s memory? A memory full of sadness, fear and hatred? Think twice. Childhood memories should be one of the happiest and cherished moments children should have. Spanking or hitting them into their buttocks as punishment while guiding them to grow is a bad idea. It is not the best way to teach and discipline children that are still learning to grow.
A feeling of overflowing happiness in a family because of love, patience and trust could turn into fear and hatred in just a blink of an eye because of spanking children as punishment. It makes them lose their trust and feel fear towards their parents. Because of these, they are slowly making a barrier to protect themselves that weakens their relationship to their family. Anger is also slowly formed. John Holt stated that a punished child becomes preoccupied with feeling of anger and fantasies of revenge. He is thinking on how to make them also feel being defenseless and weak. Spanking is indirectly saying that bigger ones have the right to show their anger and hit someone who are smaller than them. Psychologists say that children who are spanked are more likely to have antisocial behavior and become violent later in life. Dr. Peter Newell said that anger and frustration which cannot be safely expressed by a child become stored inside. The anger can come as a shock to parents where the child now feels strong to express his anger. Researcher Elizabeth Gershoff from the University of Texas notes one study that indicate 49% of prison inmates were physically punished by their fathers and 44% said that they were physically abused. Dr. Murray Strauss stated that spanking teaches children to use aggression and violence to solve their problem. Experts also said that it results to mental health such as depression. And from a own experience, a child who was in the state of depression feels alone and thinks that the only way to escape the hell he was in is to commit suicide.
Spanking breaks a good relationship to parents. It only teaches them to lie because they are afraid to be caught even because of a small mistake that they have done because they immediately think that they will be punished. However, spanking is a good way to make a child immediately obey his parents. Their intention is to discipline the child and make him do the right thing. But continuous spanking to children is dangerous. Experts say that the blows to the lower end of spinal column send shock waves along the length of the spine and may injure the child.
Parents should stop spanking their children as punishment. It is emotionally and physically dangerous. Besides children are not learning the real lesson of their mistake to improve their behavior. What they only understand is they need to behave the way their parents want or else they will be spanked. Talking to children nicely and clearly explaining the right and wrong and the consequences is a better way. Help them understand the situation instead of spanking to release your anger. When you’re angry, excuse yourself for a while and make yourself calm down. As what experts say, parents should be the role model to their children. They should behave as what they wish their kids to behave. Children are still learning to grow and they might imitate the behaviors and actions they have observed on their parents.