Some of us may have the unfortunate experience of getting spanked when we were young. While we didn’t enjoyed that back then, it did prevent us do certain things that our parents didn’t want us to. Is this the correct way of parenting? Let’s us explore and read further.
What happens when you spank your child?
Emotions can sometimes cloud our judgement and result in us losing control. We may unintentionally spank, push or shake our child in the heat of the moment to get the point across. When that happens, we may not notice that the amount of strength that was exerted was much more than we could control, resulting in physical damage to our young and physically small child. Worse is if our child falls or bangs into a hard object or surface, that could amplify the damage. Minor physical wounds will heal in the matter of days, major ones in months but mental health complications result from this trauma may not be obvious on the surface, resulting in long term strains in you and your child’s relationship.
At that very moment, your child stops that disapproving act(playing with fire or dashing across the road) but he stops it not because he understood the reasons why, but simply because he was afraid or shocked. Without the understanding or guidance, your child may take similar actions in similar circumstances or simply act this out again as an rebellious act. Your child may also be getting the wrong lessons from this situation, such as i) it’s ok to use physical force to stop someone from doing something, ii) if I do something like this, I shouldn’t do it in front of my parents, iii) my parents are unreasonable, regardless of how I feel or what I want to do, they don’t want to listen and forces me to do it anyway.
Your child is innocent
While he’s growing up, right or wrong is still a learning process for him. What may be obvious for us isn’t for him, simply because he has not experienced it before or understand the circumstances that will result in that action. He is young, curious and learning about everything.
What then should I do?
Instead of resorting to physical acts, you can discipline your child by using a stern and firm voice to catch your child’s attention. Make sure that your child fully stops what he’s not allowed to do, know that you are serious, then soften to explain why you did it. Let him know the reasons why and what may happen if he does those actions. Play out those scenarios for him, let him imagine the next steps and results. Once he listened and understood what your intentions are, ask him to promise not to do those actions, and also explain to you in his own words why he shouldn’t do that again.