To Spank or Not to Spank?

Little Girl With Curly Red Hair Crying

We’ve all been there before. You’ve told your kid to stop doing what they’re doing in every language except Cantonese. Your voice sounds like a hyena and you’re about to get laryngitis. He or she has pushed your buttons so much, the blood pressure cuff would explode off your arm at this point. You’ve struck out at time out. So what do you do? Do you let your hand do the talking with a spanking? Before you do, think about this. A new study has backed up what we’ve heard before: that spanking is not the answer when it comes to disciplining your kid.  It may temporarily stop the behavior you haven’t been able to put an end to for the past hour, but in the long run it actually harms kids. This study, out of Canada, says kids who get spanked are more anti-social and can have some developmental problems too.

Some parents don’t like to hear things like this because they don’t want to be told how to deal with their kids. But I think they should start listening. I really don’t think spanking solves anything. It seems to only the scare the kid, and not in a good way.  I have found that taking things away as a form of a punishment has a much greater effect. I hold my daughter’s Abby Cadabby doll hostage when she does something bad.  There isn’t any spell that will set Abby free except for good behavior! I have to say 9 times out of 10 this works and no one gets hurt. Well, maybe Abby!

Just like they say marijuana is a gateway drug, I think the same can be said for spanking. If you spank your kid repeatedly, who’s to say you won’t let your anger get the best of you, and then you’ll do something even worse next time? Although kids can do some really annoying things, they are just kids, especially when they may be too young to understand what they’re really doing. There are enough things outside the home that are messing kids up these days, so there’s no need to add trouble inside the home. Home is supposed to be a safe place, not a place where they have to fear a heavy hand.

How do you punish your kids? Does spanking work for you? Does it make your kids behave better or worse?