It used to be that many parents believed in the adage “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” I honestly believe in this still – to a certain extent. I believe that maintaining discipline is an important thing. However, where do we draw the line between maintaining discipline and harsh parenting?
I was led to thinking about this topic when I read a news article published in The Canadian Press today. It talked about how punitive parenting can cause aggressive behavior in children:
And the analysis showed that punitive parenting was linked to negative results – 21 per cent of youth aged 12 to 15 who said their parents frequently yelled or threatened to hit them reported often being aggressive. And 26 per cent of youth who felt their parents rejected them reported they were often aggressive.
I can see the rationale behind the results of the study but it was not made clear as to what punitive parenting is exactly. If I spank my child when he does something wrong – after several talks – does this qualify as punitive parenting? Does punitive parenting equate to not spanking your child at all?
I am no expert in child behavior and parenting – at least not in the “scientific” way. I do, however, base my principles on experience and in my experience, discipline can be enforced with a little spanking now and then. But I see this as a last resort. More so, I also see the importance of balancing this with positive reinforcement – rewarding my child when he deserves it.
How do you discipline your child? What do you think about “punitive parenting”?