Spanking, a form of corporal punishment, can be a very controversial topic with many parents. Spanking is a form of physical force that is typically meant to immediately stop a child’s inappropriate behavior and a way for parents to release frustration with what their child is doing. Some parents say that it is a way to “get a child’s attention” or “teach them a lesson.” In the grand scheme of things, it does in fact get the child’s attention and does teach them a lesson. However, they get the child’s attention momentarily and the lesson is not necessarily what a parent truly wants to teach their child. Essentially, “Mom and Dad are upset with me, so Mom and Dad hit me.” Therefore, such behavior from parents models inappropriate behavior for their child and teaches them that when one gets upset, that it is alright or appropriate to hit the person to make them stop doing what they are doing.
Spanking also teaches your child to be scared of you, as parents. We want our child to run to us, not run from us!! Spanking, which is considered physical force, is another type of “hazard” in building connections with your child, that makes a child want to avoid, escape or altogether get even with you.
There are many non-physical and non-violent strategies to use in lieu of physical force to change your child’s behavior for the good. Building connections, reinforcing appropriate behavior, refocusing or redirecting inappropriate behavior to more appropriate behavior are just a few strategies to positively motivate your child to do great things!
Ari Brown, MD also provides an informative video entitled “How to Discipline Without Spanking” addressing some of the proactive and positive strategies that can be used, in lieu of physical force or hazardous tactics.
Raising a child is not an easy job but can be made easier by using more proactive and positive parenting strategies! I cover these positive parenting strategies and more, when conducting the Positively Motivating Others- Parent training.