Please Don't Spank!
Did you know that in some countries it is illegal to spank? In the US it is common to spank
children, but you better watch out because you might be getting a visit from Child Protective Services!
Nowadays, Kids are even reporting their own parents! Maybe you don't think you are "abusing" your child especially
if you never "left a mark" but, the most damaging "marks" do not necessarily scar the child's body, but his
or her psyche. The damage might not be apparent at first, but it may sit there like a ticking time bomb. It
can affect their self esteem and their personal relationships for the rest of their lives when thier unnatural confusion between love and pain causes them to seek out abusive partners. Research shows they are
likely to grow up to be parents who spank, despite the damaging effects it has had upon themselves, because they don't know any differently, and because spanking is so common that they don't realize it is wrong to begin with.
Psychiatrists & child experts have recently come to acknowledge the damaging effects of spanking,
and have begun recommending against physical punishment. The most ironic discovery they
have made is that spanking as a form of discipline just doesn't work! I have spoken to dozens of people who
were spanked as children and they tell me the same exact thing over and over... "Yes, I remember being spanked, but I don't remember for what.". The "lessons" were lost. Many of these same people also stated
that their spankings actually made them feel rebellious! Our jails are filled with criminals who were
spanked as children. Okay, so maybe your child won't end up in jail, but don't be surprised to see him
hitting his little sister, or becoming the playground bully, believing that "might makes right". By spanking
your child you are sending the message that it is acceptable to overpower someone smaller than yourself. Did
you ever notice that bullies never pick on people bigger than themselves? Well, not unless they are in a
gang picking on an individual, but once again their is an unfair advantage by outnumbering the victim. At the very least, a spanked
child is more likely to becomes an adult who is uncompassionate towards the less fortunate and one
who fears others who are more powerful than himself.
Parents set an example for their children by their actions. Spanking teaches that hitting is an acceptable
way to express feelings and resolve problems. The most ludicrous thing I've ever seen is the mother who spanks her child for hitting his sibling! Now, did that actually make any sense? Did it resolve anything? So what is the alternative to spanking? Instinctive, gentle parenting. Parenting the way it was meant to be since time beyond beginning.
Instinctive parenting grows out of the natural bond between parent and child. Corporal punishment only serves to sever this bond. A child with a strong bond to the parent is a child who is eager to please his parents. Both enjoy a relationship of respect and cooperation. Punishment might seem to be effective
now, but if the child is only reacting due to the fear of parental repercussions, he is likely to rebel as he
gets older and finds the opportunity.
Too often it is forgotten that children and babies are people too. Why would you treat a child is such a disrespectful way as you would never treat another adult? The following is the most effective example I've
ever heard, that points out how inane and unacceptable spanking is. Just replace the word "child" with
the word "wife" in any scenario you can think of which involves spanking. If someone hit their wife for
spilling the milk, or breaking a dish or whatever action that might typically result in the spanking of a
child, you'd certainly think him a brute, a monster. You'd want to get that woman removed from that situation as
soon as possible. Everyone agrees that spousal abuse of that sort is unacceptable so why is it tolerated, even condoned, when the victim is a child? Would you ever dream of telling your grown son to hit his wife?
Then why would you tell him that his child needs a "swat on the bottom"?
What happens when the spanking doesn't work? It can lead to more frustration on the part of the parents,
who find it more and more difficult to control their anger and spanking escalates into beating. It is virtually impossible to be angry enough to be brought the point of spanking, yet be calm enough to control
the intensity of your swats. If you claim that you "never hit in anger" and wait until later to deliver the "punishment", then the "punishment" will be less effective because too much time has gone by in the child's mind for the action to be associated with the "punishment". Additionally, if enough time has gone by for you to "cool off" then you've also had enough time to come up with some ideas to deal with the situation in a nonphysical, non-threatening, non-coersive manner.
It isn't just the parents who become overwhelmed emotionally. Over time, the child who is physically
punished has learned to repress his own feelings of anger and frustration until at last it cannot be
contained. Our newspapers are filled with stories of such adolescents who, once the boiling point has
been reached, strike out murderously against their parents or devastate the community in a deadly
assault upon their schoolmates.
The spanking cycle often perpetuates itself down the generations until at last, someone finally wakes up and says "I'm not going to do that to my children". They realize that what they experienced at the hands
of their parents didn't feel right, because it wasn't right. That's frequently when alternative methods are researched and the cycle is finally broken. Gentle disciplining steps in and once again we come back to
rely upon our instincts as we start practicing Instinctive, Attachment Parenting. Parenting the way it was
meant to be since time beyond beginning.
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