Folk wisdom gives parents plenty of reasons to rain blows on their wayward kids. Not “sparing the rod” is often seen as a better alternative to nonviolent methods of instilling discipline in children.
As a result, many parents would rather spank their kids than have a talk with them that would set them straight and have the same if not a better impact on their behavior.
While providing discipline is definitely important, some parents resort to physical abuse for other reasons. For instance, there are parents who beat their children to make them submissive and demonstrate their physical dominance over them.
A common excuse for this violent behavior is that the same techniques were used on them by their parents, and so they should work on their children. Many such parents believe that they turned out okay, and the same should be expected of their children once they undergo the same process of correction.
Ironically, these parents know plenty about health to get infuriated by the sight of a pregnant woman smoking and drinking, which their parents did without a care in the world. In any case, science says it’s time for parents to change tact as far as juvenile discipline goes; and that it’s time to give up spanking altogether.
Like many other outdated ideas such as women not being allowed to vote, spanking kids was never a good idea, and there should be no eagerness or pride in passing this behavior to the next generations. As a matter of fact, Psychology Today insists that spanking children is very emotionally damaging.
The problem with spanking kids is that the negative impact it has on them goes well past their childhood. This should hardly be surprising considering that many children receive beatings with little explanation as to what behavioral flaws they need to change.
Consequently, all they become is fearful of their parents, with no information on how to change their behavior. So, in many circumstances, the children end up with emotional problems that plague them well into their adulthood.
Such children also tend to be more aggressive and violent as adults, not only to their own kids but to other people as well.
Therefore, parents who use spanking as a way to retaliate against their children or vent their pent-up emotions are helping create a generation that will be more susceptible to violence and emotional issues.
As a matter of fact, any form of violence against children, however justifiable it might seem, is generally a bad idea. There are numerous ways to instill discipline in children without putting them through emotionally damaging experiences that make them violent adults.
So, what does this mean?
Those parents who often reach for the rod to hit their children whenever they are angry or frustrated at them, regardless of whether they have done something wrong, need to change.
Parents need to show better emotional maturity and control by handling discipline issues with understanding and without violence. That is the only way they can raise adults who try to get to the root of problems instead of having unhealthy emotional outbursts that manifest themselves through violence and aggression.