Spanking Kids
Is it abuse?

Spanking kids is a very controversial subject. Some call it abuse, while some just say it is necessary to spank children in order for them to turn out well.

If you practice Attachment Parenting you most likely are not using physical punishments as discipline for your children.

Read this article to add up some valuable information to your data bank, so you can provide and educate other parents, who still think that 'popping', 'smacking', 'slapping', 'pinching' "won't heart a bit" and will help raise children well.

What do kids feel

when they get spanked?

Yes. They feel pain. But this is the least they worry about. There is so much more to that...

How would you feel if your boss would hurt you physically when you make a mistake on the data entry or when you say you don’t want to clean up your office? You would feel angry, humiliated, helpless and many more bad feelings would surround you.

So why are children different? Why do society think children don't feel the same feelings as grown ups do? They are humans too, after all.

Child's feelings during and after spanking:

  • Shame
  • Fear
  • Humiliation
  • Helplessness
  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Feel of revenge
  • Low-self esteem

Children love their parents. But when they are spanked they feel that their trust is betrayed and they feel overpowered.

“I must be very bad, if parents have to hit me”. Constant spanking decreases child’s self-esteem and free spirit.

All those feelings that kids have while and after spanking don’t just disappear from their heads. They hold-on to those mad memories which later affect their life.

“When my mother was beating me up,  I often used to fall on the ground. There, I would look at the rocks and I wished to be one. Because they don’t feel pain.”

“While I was hit by my parents the one thought I always had, was: “How can a person love and hit a child at the same time.”

“If he says he loves me, I will not believe him again. I don’t trust him. He lies. Otherwise, why is he hitting me now?”

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 The Harm of Spanking Kids
Backed up by science

There is enough research to prove that spanking kids is very harmful and no parent should do it. 

Spanking kids

You might say: “Well, I was spanked and I grew up totally fine”. You are lucky. Because others were spanked and physically abused as children and now they are not that fine.

Is it worth taking risk and thinking your child might be one of those lucky ones too?

1.  According to study, physical punishment is linked with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders.

"The odds of a child being more aggressive at age 5 increased by 50% if he had been spanked more than twice in the month before the study began".

2.  The other study proves that frequent use or even minor use of corporal punishments (such as spanking, hitting, slapping) at the age of 3, is associated with a child being more aggressive at age 5.

3.  20 years of Canadian research claims that spanking can slow down developmental growth and can cause life long developmental difficulties in children and lower their IQ.

Physical punishments can affect child’s brain’s grey matter, which is the connecting tissue between brain cells. Grey matters influences intelligence and learning abilities such as speech, sensory, emotions, memory and muscular control.

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How to Avoid Hitting Children?
Follow these tips

Before you ever consider spanking kids, consider going through these steps first. I guarantee you will have less need and urge to spank your child.

1.  Be Calm.

I know it is hard to stay cool when your toddler has just ‘planted’ and watered some “flowers” over your new white carpet using real dirt and rice as seeds. (Yes, this is a true story).

Get out of action scene before it makes you even more mad, count to 10, take a shower, go for a walk, call your BFF and have a laugh about it.

2.  Be Firm.

Get down to his eye level and use firm voice tone. Tell him short instructions: "We plant flowers outside. We do not put dirt on the carpet".

3. Give choices

If a child still insists on 'planting flowers" on the carpet let him feel important by making a decision. Gim him a choise. "Would you like to plant some flowers or some tomatoes outside? Later we can water them with a real hose". 

When the emotions calm down you could:

  • explain and show him how beautifully flowers bloom when they are planted outside. 
  • start a planting project.

4. Teach logic consequences.

These are brilliant, because they take all the bad credit and parent is not a bad guy anymore.

Did your child break the new tablet you have just got him because he thought the cover was “too lame”? Well don’t spank or hit your child for that.

Instead, use calm and firm voice to explain that there are simply no funds for the 2nd tablet to buy, so he will need to earn money for it by getting a job (if he is old enough) or by doing some extra chores in the house for the amount of the tablet. This will teach your child responsibility and that every bad action has its consequences.

5. Teach natural consequences.

Now these are fun as long as you find a balance between your creativity and common sense.

My daughter was in love with her pink, sparkly shoes. While she only used to wear them during dress-up play, she always demanded to wear them during hikes. The nice way of explaining that these shoes are not a “proper footwear” never worked.

So I let her wear the shoes. She came back with a bleeding spot on her feet. That was it. Now she always asks me before she wears any kind of shoes if they are “proper footwear”.

For more great and effective ideas on how to avoid spanking kids read:

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Spanking Kids simply doesn't work.
So don't even bother

Many parents misunderstand the spanking effect. They think if kids behave better right after the physical punishment, that means it works. Yes, it does, for a moment. But in a long run, not only it will not work, child will still not listen to you, but also it will have bad consequences.

"Hitting children is disrespectful and dangerous.                              

Children deserve at least the same protection from violence that we as adults take for granted for ourselves.

European Network of Ombudsmen for Children, 1998

Spanking kids will temporally stop the bad behavior. But just because the child was scared. Not because he really understood and learnt how to deal with that particular situation. That's why next time he will try to hide what he has done much better so he won't get in trouble.

The whole purpose of discipline is to teach children how to control their behavior in an acceptable way. So, kids who are spanked - not only they don't learn how to control their actions on their own, but also they learn to solve problems through violence, anger, lie. 

Keep in mind, that a child who is spanked a lot, will think that it's ok to be hit and hurt.

In fact, many parents regret hitting their children. They wished they would have found some alternatives to hurting their own children.

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The MAP of "non-spanking" countries

33 countries around the world has banned children spanking. Study this map to see which countries don't tolerate physical punishments on children. 

Spanking Children

Majority of the countries (21) who made spanking kids illegal are in Europe.

193 countries signed to enforce the law in the future, except United States and Somalia.

30 US states banned spanking or other forms of physical punishment in schools, but the other 20 (mostly Southern and Western states) - didn't.

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