Spanking is not acceptable to quote Penelope Leach “hurting a child on purpose is hurting a child on purpose, whether it’s a little bit occasionally or a lot, quite often.” There are many disadvantages to spanking children. Physical punishment inflicts emotional damage and scars on both parent and child. It teaches children that it is okay to resolve situations with physical violence, which in some cases is why they are being spanked in the first place. Parents simply cannot teach their child not to hit by spanking.
Spanking may actually stop the behavior parents are using it to stop however, the method in which it works is much less effective than other means of parenting. Hitting the child makes them fear you which may be somewhat effective in stopping certain behaviors, though the child will most often find other times when the parent is not a threat or not around to continue the behaviors. Spanking causes the child to fear the punishment not to understand that what they are doing is wrong.
Many parents spank simply because they are at a loss as to what other methods to try. For parenting young children watch ABC’s Supernanny. Jo Frost’s techniques are really incredible. They are all non-violent and seem to work very effectively if done right. If you prefer not to watch television, there are her two books Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children and the second Ask Supernanny: What Every Parent Wants to Know. As long as you follow each of her steps they seem to produce great results. Her show tends to deal with younger children though occasionally she shows steps for older children as well.
Spanking causes low self-esteem, lack of parent-child communication, self-deprecating behaviors, and most importantly lack of trust. These are some of the very things parents try hard not to have happen. A parent would like their child to trust them, be confident, tell them when important things happen, and never let anyone else put them down let alone doing it themselves.
Parents don’t want to hurt their children mostly they just feel out of options or don’t realize the affects of their behavior. “It was done to me and I’m okay,” while this is true in the sense that the parent lived, when each parent thinks about their own self-esteem and trust issues they may, in fact, realize they are not totally okay after being spanked either. In any case, stop the cycle of spanking. Try some new methods. What can it hurt? Get informed about the dangers of spanking children, either by reading or there are TV shows, movies, and self-help DVD’s out there.