by: Lesley Iwinski
Do you remember riding on your mother or father’s lap in the front seat of the car? Your parents and other grown-ups not wearing a seat belt? How about riding your bicycle without a helmet?
Now we know that seat belts and helmets save lives and reduce injuries.
Do you remember being spanked? For previous generations, this was an accepted way of controlling children’s behavior. No one considered corporal punishment unusual or dangerous. We didn’t know better.
Now we know that if young children are spanked:
– Twice per month or more, they will show significantly more aggression
– Once per month over a period of three years, they will have decreased brain development in the prefrontal cortex that has been linked to depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health disorders
– Many will have a decrease in cognitive ability and IQ
– They are more likely to have language problems and a decreased vocabulary.
Plus, spanking can disrupt the nurturing attachment to parents that children need for healthy growth.
No parent would knowingly subject their child to a known toxin. Most parents do their best to be sure their children are safe, well-fed, loved and supported.
Yet without realizing it, over half of parents in the U.S. unwittingly expose their children to spanking without realizing the negative consequences.
When parents learn about ways to teach children that don’t involve punishment, they feel empowered, more confident and better about themselves.
Building a strong connection with a child and using positive discipline tools are far more effective in the long term.
This approach works especially well if your goal is to raise a child to be a kind, responsible, honest and self-motivated individual who will contribute to the world.
Positive Discipline Tools include:
– Firm boundaries enforced with kindness and empathy.
– Teaching problem-solving skills.
– Making agreements and engaging children in the process.
– Use of natural and logical consequences when needed.
Challenge yourself to learn more about positive discipline. Commit to stop spanking. Get support.
Discover other tools that are practical, rewarding and that you can feel good about using. Now that you know better, your child will benefit – and so will you!
Dr. Lesley Iwinski is the mother of three grown children, a family physician and Executive Director of The Parent and Family Enrichment Center, Inc. and owner of Growing Peaceful Families, LLC.
She offers classes, workshops and seminars. Info: (859) 333-3053 or www.enrichingfamilies.org.