Despite studies that show the negative effects of spanking on children, far too many parents still resort to this form of discipline.
Corporal punishment is an ineffective way to teach children to be responsible, confident and trustworthy.
Many studies show that spanking undermines the parent-child relationship and results in resentment, lying, blaming, avoiding responsibility and hurting self or others.
People who were spanked regularly have lower self-esteem, more depression, lower earning potential and are more likely to use violence to solve their problems.
If you are a parent who spanks daily, weekly or even monthly, you most likely do it out of frustration, exhaustion, anger, or perhaps because you haven’t considered the long-term consequences of spanking.
Maybe you don’t remember how much you disliked it.
If you knew that what you were doing was damaging your relationship with your child, that it was going to become less and less effective over time, and that it would lead to rebelliousness and resentment, you would probably reconsider.
It’s hard to stop spanking when you don’t know what to do instead.
The first step is to decide to stop. Make a resolution to learn: read positive parenting books, talk with parents you admire, attend programs through your school or church, and check in your area for parenting workshops and classes.
To stop spanking, the first step is to remain in control of your own emotions when a discipline situation arises.
Just taking three deep breaths can help calm your mind.
From that place of calm, you can describe the feelings you see in your child, redirect behavior, offer choices and empathy while maintaining firm limits.
Gently restrain your child if necessary, and when the child is calm, return to the suggestions above.
Without the fear of being spanked, children can accept responsibility and make amends.
Moving from spanking to a more positive approach to parenting takes time and involves baby steps, but the payoff in a positive, close relationship with your children can last a lifetime.
Your children are worth it, and so are you.