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Does Spanking Send The Wrong Message?

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While many adults would argue that hitting people is wrong, spanking children continues to be used as an acceptable form of discipline. Many parents think spanking will teach children not to do things that are forbidden, stop them quickly when they are being irritating, and encourage them to do what they should. So what do children learn from being spanked? The hitting itself doesn’t teach them anything. How contradictory is it for you to say that your child cannot hit or hurt anyone else—but that you can hurt him whenever you think it's appropriate? Will your toddler pick up a moral lesson here?

Spanking may be ineffective because it does not teach an alternative behavior.

It is safe to say that spanking clearly sends the wrong message to children. Why wouldn’t it? Spanking communicates that hitting is an acceptable way to solve problems. If we want our children to behave, adults should be able to do the same when it comes to punishment. If a child always connects bad behavior with violence, the real lesson trying to be taught gets lost for the fear of the consequences. It is hard for a child to understand that they are getting hurt, to prevent them from getting hurt from something else. For example, perhaps your child has made a mess with his or her toys, and receives a spanking as a result. The child doesn’t completely understand why it is important to clean up after he or she is done playing. The reason for the spanking gets lost in the way the child was disciplined, and is more likely to repeat the behavior in the future.

Hitting also promotes anger- in children and in parents. Parents often tend to react more harshly and spank harder while they are caught in an angry moment. Parents who give themselves time to calm do...

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...important that we teach our children a system of values, and the difference between right and wrong. Where do we draw the line when it comes to disciplining our children? Spanking isn't necessarily something a parent consciously chooses. Most often, it happens when parents lose their cool, gets worked up, or feels desperate. Spanking is commonly used as a last resort of discipline. This is a controversial and emotional issue that has been debated about for years. There are other positive ways that a child can be taught without using violence as the answer. A parent’s main goal should be to help our children to become responsible, loving, self-disciplined adults, with whatever means necessary. This can be done without the use of violence. Spanking is not so much a question about right or wrong, but more about if it is an effective or ineffective form of discipline.
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