I don’t know about you, but I was brought up on a lot of emotional and physical punishment. I hated it and as a result, rebelled, hunkered down and became a contrarian.
It has taken me years to get over it. I have learned the hard way that being a contrarian is not a success formula. It took me until my mid-twenties to realize this and to become conscious of the consequences to myself, my loved ones and literally anyone who tried to tell me what to do.
Five decades of research by experts at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan have shown us that spanking children have the same negative effects as abuse. It is my opinion that it is not similar to abuse, it is abuse.
Let me explain. When a child doesn’t do what we want, most people tend to feel annoyed, then frustrated, then outright angry. We don’t like feeling this way and out of frustration we want to force compliance, NOW! It is this emotional state that leads us to physical violence. We threaten. We spank. Hit. Cause physical pain in order to punish and ensure immediate and future compliance.
What this does is transfer the feelings of hostility from the parent to the child. We may get short term compliance, however, were does the hostility get discharged? How do they process these emotions?
Typically the child becomes more belligerent overtly to your face, or worse covertly behind your back.
Dishing out approval and disapproval when our wishes are not acted on in the way we want causes the child to manipulate the parent for approval by covering up their feelings and putting on a mask. The parent may think they have succeeded, however, the more a child wears masks for approval and acceptance with their parents, the more anti-social and disconnected they become from society and their peers.
Long term, this is disastrous.
The alternative to spanking is to take the time to include the child. To explain to them the pros and cons of their actions and allow them to make their own choices, once they have been fully informed. Then allowing the child to make a few mistakes and learn from them. This may take more time, however, it is worth it! Both parent and child form a new bond based on mutual respect and feeling included.
Parents who were spanked, tend to raise their own children via spanking.
© Andrew John Harrison. All rights reserved.