Is spanking children an effective way of disciplining them? Why or why not?
Absolutely not! If you call spanking by its real name, it's hitting. I always tell folks who ask the same question about spanking.. Does your supervisor or boss at work hit aka spank you when you make a mistake, or you disagree, don't get along or don't do the job right? Nope, would not be acceptable on any level, but someone society has accepted that even though its not ok for an adult to hit another adult, it is however ok for an adult to hit a child.
Hitting is not and effective or acceptable way to discipline a child.
No, No, No. Spanking is considered a punishment. Both positive and negative reinforcement have been found to be the best methods for affecting behavioral changes. Plus, spanking teaches the child violence, and that pain may equal love.
Try any of the following:
Positive reinforcement: praise, validation, attention, appreciation -catch them doing something 'good.'
Negative reinforcement: taking away loved activities or toys/electronics.
I do not think that spanking is a good way to discipline because it is to easy to let your own anger and frustration enter into it. To put spanking another way - you would be saying to the child, I am going to cause you physical pain to get you to behave in a certain way. We are adults, they are children so why can't we use our brains and our maturity to figure out how to get a child to behave without hitting.
We raised two kids without spanking and they are lovely, productive adults. There are so many ways to discipline a child without hurting them, but it does take more time and patience then just hauling off and whacking them.
I also think of how the child feels. Children have no control in their lives. We rule everything for them. To hit a child as punishment can be terrifying for a child and make them feel out of control and trapped. I just don't like the idea at all.
(I can see the little red disapprovals arrow fly now!) People tend to vote things down if they disagree rather than if it is a part of the discussion as asked in the question.
First you must ask yourself what you are teaching your child when you hit him or her. That answer answers your question. When you spank, you teach your child that violence is a good way to solve a problem. You teach your child that you choose to hit rather than to think of a better way to handle a situation. If that's what you want to teach your child, go ahead and spank. But, if you want to raise a child who uses his/her head to solve problems rather than his/her fist, spanking is a very bad idea. There are more effective solutions for sure. Time out is good. Taking away privileges like screen time is good. Sternly telling him that he has disappointed you and made a bad choice with his behavior is good. Lots of good choices for you and one bad one. You make the choice.
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