Juan F. Villalpando
September 25, 2014
Discipline by spanking your children is not Abuse!!!
In an ideal world, spanking would never be necessary. However, on rare occasions it may be necessary to smack your child's bottom. I do not intend to either promote or discourage spanking, but rather to give parents correct instruction on using non-abusive spanking in discipline. Spanking is a much-debated topic. Most child psychologists do not recommend spanking as a discipline method for children. However, other psychologists and many parents will tell you that a spanking given with fairness, love and care is an effective discipline technique. A child’s parent’s best make the decision as to the usefulness of spanking. It is gravely unfortunate that, there are many children who are abused under the guise of spanking, and this essay is an attempt to inform parents in a way that would prevent abuse.
Never spank any place other than the child's clothed bottom and only with your open hand. Spanking should generally be carried out in private. The aim of the punishment is to teach the child that they have done wrong, not to humiliate him/her. Many people believe that while privacy is important, if in a public place, you should not hesitate to take your child to an area where diners or shoppers will not be bothered and carry out the promised discipline. Privacy is secondary to setting clear rules and your child's understanding that discipline will be sure (and swift). Further, if you are disciplining in loving and fair manner, you should not be concerned about onlookers and what they might think. This is your child, your responsibility and a swat on the bottom, not a public debate. Give your children clear boundaries. Knowing exactly what they can and cannot do is the foundation of happy and successful children that are honest and respectful of their parents, other adults and themselves. Learn which behaviors deserve a spanking. This really can be boiled down to one thing, open disobedience. You must be fair with children. Spilling things, toddler tantrums, nose-picking, bed-wetting, arguing, even lying and stealing are normal childhood behaviors that, while they may require action on the part of the parent to help a child mature, they are not spanking offenses. You must let toddlers, children, teens and young adults make mistakes and have normal childhood behavior that is age appropriate without making them miserable about it. Any spanking should be meant to get their attention and establish your authority. Never spank them hard enough that they are going to feel it later. Always spank the child only on the child’s clothed bottom and only with your open hand. Cool off first. If you are angry, do not attempt to give your child a spanking. Tell them you need to think about this for a while and let yourself cool off and then re-evaluate the situation. Do not hit your child with implements or objects. Using belts, switches, spoons, paddles or worse on your child will never build the kind of respect and love that a properly administered spanking will. Only use your open hand on the child's clothed bottom. Know when to enforce discipline with spanking. Once children are old enough to understand "no," they are old enough for a spanking. This could occur as early as approximately 18 months, but varies by child. Be mindful that the force and amount of spanks should be reduced (i.e. a quick pat on the bottom) for very small children but the framework should be similar. If properly used, once a child has reached the age of 6 or 7, spanking will hopefully never be necessary again. On the other hand, if you have never spanked and a child is already 9 or 10, it is probably too late to begin once the patterns of parenting have been so firmly established. Do not spank too frequently. Again, spanking should be reserved only due to open disobedience, and not used whenever one feels annoyed. If you do it all the time, it will...
Cited: Brodie, Kay L., and Barbara Hoffert. "The Case Against Spanking: How To Discipline Your Child Without Hitting/Lots Of Love And A Spanking!: A Common Sense Discipline Plan For Children From Birth To Age Twelve--That Works." Library Journal 122.9 (1997): 95. Literary Reference Center. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Menard, Lauren A. "Should Discipline Hurt? Shifting American Spanking Beliefs And Implications For School Corporal Punishment Policies." Online Submission (2012): ERIC. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.
Ramsburg, Dawn, and Urbana, IL. ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education. The Debate Over Spanking. ERIC Digest. n.p.: 1997. ERIC. Web.
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