To spank or not to spank- that is the proverbial question that needs to be answered by each and every parent confronted with the need to discipline a child. Many have used the bible verse “Spare the rod and spoil the child” to support their approval of spanking. Others see the greater harm of inflicting pain as a way of obtaining obedience from a child. So where should parents go?
For a start,parents generally want the best for their children. Yes, even the spanking ones. Many do it in the belief that it is for the good of their children. There is no question that children need to be disciplined. However, there is likewise a need to consider the long term effects of whatever disciplinary action is chosen especially if it involves physically hurting a child.
The pro-spanking group sees the advantage of gaining instant reaction from children when they are spanked. They say that the punishment can directly be related by the child to his or her “bad deed” because of the successive occurrence of misbehavior and punishment. The resulting pain that comes right after misbehaving is said to remind the child not to do it again.
The anti-spanking group is quick to retort that spanking causes far more disadvantages than advantages. Spanking usually goes beyond physical pain for most children. There are records that would show that a single case of spanking can erase a hundred cases of loving care in a child’s memory. Pain tends to make the negative memory more vivid even in a generally happy and peaceful family environment.
When a child is spanked or hit in any way, the child feels devalued. Hitting a child also teaches him or her that matters can be decided upon by physical force especially when it involves a weaker opponent. In the case of parent and child, the latter assumes the weaker position . The danger lies in sending signals that would say that they can do the same once they become parents themselves thus perpetuating a cycle.
The Vicious Cycle
Spanking or hitting a child is a form of violence usually done at home. It breeds contempt, fear, and many other things, but certainly not respect. If there is one thing that should convince a parent to stop the practice of spanking or hitting a child, it should be the thought that these very children will be doing it to their own children or even younger siblings. Children look up to their parents and they are impressionable enough to think that spanking and hitting others is acceptable because their own parents did it. Such is the tragedy of the vicious cycle of spanking and hitting.