Spare the Rod and Respect Your Child (Why Spanking Is Wrong)

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I’m shopping in the supermarket and a woman isn’t watching where she’s going, she runs into the back of my leg, hurting me and doesn’t say she’s sorry. I’m upset that she was unaware I was right in front of her and she didn’t apologize, so I slap her.

I am in a parking lot just about to pull into a parking space. Another woman quickly darts in front of me and zips into my parking space. I know she’s seen me, but she’s indifferent to the fact that she rudely cut in front of me. I find another parking space and catch up to the parking space thief. I walk up to her and smack her.

These two examples are a bit unbelievable. I would never spank or slap another adult under any circumstance. The other adult could call the police and have me arrested or perhaps hit me back causing injury. So why is it okay for parents to spank their children? I’ve witnessed parents slap their children for slapping a sibling. What does that teach a child? Slapping is wrong so I’m going to slap you? Why is it many adults think that children are personal property, miniature people who don’t deserve the same respect as any adult? To get respect you must give respect. Too many adults are oblivious to that.

The concept of spanking and corporal punishment in the home and elsewhere is highly supported by Conservative Christians quick to refer to the bible as the ultimate authority in terms of child rearing and punishment. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is often a favorite phrase Conservative Christians quote when justifying corporal punishment.

Spanking teaches a child to be more aggressive and violent. Studies have shown that children who are spanked often are more likely to have drug and alcohol problems later in life. Spanking often leads to a higher rate of family violence and child abuse. Why wouldn’t it stand to reason that a child who is taught that it is okay to hit when someone exhibits unpleasant behavior imitate the same way of thinking?

Spanking is an “in the moment” solution to an immediate issue. Parents often need a “time out” just as children often do. It is never a good idea for a parent to spank when feeling out of control. There are more effective disciplinary measures to take when correcting poor behavior. Time out and reasoning is often underrated and can be much better alternatives to spanking.

It is still perfectly legal to spank your children so long as no marks or bruises are left on a child. That’s ridiculous. It’s shameful, degrading and incredibly embarrassing for a child to be spanked, particularly in public. This leaves no visible marks, but psychological marks can last a lifetime.

***This post (and all others, including those not published here) can be read on my new blogging site, http://www.mylovesleftovers.com. Thanks for checking it out!

**Just a little footnote: Dr. Phil recently aired an episode on spanking after my blog was published and I thought I’d share what he had to say on the subject. Commentator “Lacywing”, you might want to take notes:

http://drphil.com/shows/show/1095

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8 thoughts on “Spare the Rod and Respect Your Child (Why Spanking Is Wrong)

  1. I disagree to what you are saying to an extent. Yes I spank my child. BUT!!! as a last resort. He has his other punishments first. Time outs in his room. TV turned off. Favorite toy taken away. But if his behavior continues he gets a spanking. It doesn’t hurt him. He still wears a diaper. It hurts his feeling. And as you say it creates psychological marks. But what about locking him in his room for a time out. (I don’t do that. He sits on his bed with no toys) I believe that sometimes corporal punishment works. My son was bad at biting and thought it was funny. I bit him back ONCE and he never did it again. A child doesn’t understand that hitting and biting is wrong. So if all it takes is one good swat on the hand or a one bite and they stop it that I believe it works.

  2. I absolutely disagree with your methods – spanking a child who is still in diapers means the child is still quite young and biting a child in order to teach him not to bite is certainly one of the most bizarre punishments I’ve ever heard of. Also, I would never advocate putting a child in a locked room.
    However, I still believe your opinion is important and you deserve a right to express it. Thank you for taking the time to do so.

  3. umm….and lovesleftovers…how many children do you have anyway???
    And where do you get your information from?

    “Spanking teaches a child to be more aggressive and violent. Studies have shown that children who are spanked often are more likely to have drug and alcohol problems later in life. Spanking often leads to a higher rate of family violence and child abuse. Why wouldn’t it stand to reason that a child who is taught that it is okay to hit when someone exhibits unpleasant behavior imitate the same way of thinking?”

    First of all, I can see where child abuse can lead to that but not spanking. I have 4 children, I don’t spank out of anger, nor do I derive pleasure from correcting them in this way. In NO WAY are my children VIOLENT, ill behaved, or delinquents. My eldest children are 13 and 15. Both are A-B students, BOTH have a normal childhood, BOTH are well behaved EVEN when I’m away (with other adults watching). So, tell me…..if I let my children do as they pleased with only a time out, (Which I’ve tried with no results) how can they expect what punishments await them in the real world if they get out of line with the law? Oh, and by the way….I was a spanked child as well, with a belt and often with a switch….I’m not an alcoholic, a drug addict, violent, or in and out of trouble with the law. I have the utmost respect for leaders and authority. I thank my parents for spanking me, if it wasn’t for their guidance, I would have been a dropout, a drug addict, an alcoholic, in jail, or DEAD. So, not all parents spank their children out of hate or disrespect. I do it because I love my children.

  4. Lacywing: Ummm, I have three children. Ages 18, 19 and 21. My 21 year old has a genius IQ and all three go to private universities where they do quite well, thank you very much. None have ever been in trouble with the law. While in High School, all three were either honor or high honor students.
    I also thought, that since this is my blog and therefore my opinions, I didn’t have to include a bibliography citing where I received the information included in my post. However, I assure you these statements are credible and were included in nationwide studies. I also find it quite interesting that you say spanking prepares children for the “real world” if they get in trouble with the law. Are you saying that criminals receive beatings? Last I knew, criminals receive jail time, not spankings. What in the world makes you think that hitting a child would teach them anything besides that if they don’t like or approve of something someone does it’s okay to hit them????? I also find it quite interesting that your comment has an aggressive, antagonistic tone. Perhaps I’ve hit a nerve? And, perhaps you should write your very own post extolling the benefits of hitting your children.

    • Okay so my son likes to open the back door and go play outside without letting anyone know. Now i have told him time and time again not to do that because it is dangerous. He still dose it. I took away his toys and other things as a punishment, and he continues to do what i hove told him not to do. So what do you think should be my next move if it is shameful and degrading to spank my child.

  5. lovesleftovers – I agree with you wholeheartedly!!! I am a 56 year old grandmother and yes, spanking certainly ruined my childhood and taints my adulthood. From the first time, my parents lost me. I was a quiet, well behaved child and I must have been born with the idea that no one should hit me ! So when they did … they lost my respect, my love, my trust. I felt betrayed, that my world crashed around me. I learned they didn’t love me – and telling me after spanking me that ‘Its over and we love you’ didn’t hold water for me. I couldn’t ever believe it as they just demonstrated that they didn’t! I learned they adults could and would do and get away with anything. And I live … with the ‘not feeling good enough’ and the fear even today.

    As far as I am concerned there is NO good reason to hit a child ever. It’s not kind. It teaches nothing – the child merely learns to fear the spanking – and not right from wrong. Discipline means to teach – and one should do that gently and with kindness. I didn’t spank my children because I loved them and was not prepared to risk the pain I have been through, and they too are now great and gentle adults.

    I believe that spanking a child is highly disrespectful! I believe that children should have the same, if not more protection than adults or animals – and if I can’t hit my husband when he forgets the bin, or my animal, then I shouldn’t be allowed to hit a defenceless child!

    I find the excuses for spanking to be appalling too, ‘oh he was going to touch the hot stove’ – um… a toddler isn’t tall enough to reach the hob, and my stove isn’t hot enough to burn. And if it is – why not put your toddler in a play pen … or high chair?? “oh he ran in the road” – What about toddler reins? What about helping him out of the car on the ‘safe’ side ?? What about making sure the garden gate is locked and the fence high enough! “She was poking the electrical sockets…” Really?? What happened to securing your home against a toddler – and putting in those plastic socket covers !! Why is it that parents are not prepared to do this for their little ones ?

    If you are near enough to spank the diaper of a toddler – you are near enough to remove them and to distract them. You are near enough to get down and say “NO!” and look at them sternly in the eye.

  6. Pingback: Spare The Rod And Respect Your Child | Lovesleftovers

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