Spanking is a controversial subject today. Some people advocate the spanking of children as a legitimate means of parental discipline. Others try to equate spanking with hitting or child abuse. They say that if you spank a child, you teach the child violence and the child will end up hitting others.
We used spanking with our children when they were younger as a means of discipline, along with other disciplinary tools (reprimand; loss of privilege; time-out; etc.) Even at a young age, they were able to understand the difference between spanking and hitting. And now that they are older, I am happy to report they do not exhibit any violent tendencies.
I believe spanking has a place in parental discipline, but we should have some guidelines to follow. Here are some principles that I encourage parents to observe when spanking a child.
Principles to observe when spanking:
- Do not use spanking as your only means of discipline. It is best to reserve spanking for open defiance or disrespect from a child.
- Never spank in anger.
- Explain to your child what you are doing beforehand.
– Tell your child that you are going to spank him or her.
– Tell them why you are spanking them.
– Tell them where you will spank them and how many times.
- Be sure to affirm your child afterwards.
– Affirm them verbally (tell them you love them).
– Affirm them physically (hug and/or hold them).
– Make positive eye contact (for reassurance).
Here is a chart I have given to parents in the past to help them understand the difference between spanking and hitting/or abuse. Spanking is different from hitting in the act, manner, intent, attitude and results.
Spanking vs. Hitting or Abuse
|Act||One or two swats to the buttocks or hand||Striking repeatedly (or kicking,
|Uncontrolled; reacting to
|Intent||To correct wrong behavior||To vent anger or frustration|
|Attitude||Love and concern||Anger and malice|
|Results||Behavioral correction||Emotional and/or physical injury|
How about you? What are your thoughts on spanking and the discipline of children? Feel free to share in the comments.
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