Spare the Child, Ditch the Rod

by : Mark Brandenburg Ma, Cpcc

This philosophy's been around a long time.

In fact, a study done by Zero to Three, a
nonprofit child-development group, found that 61
percent of the adults who responded condone
spanking as a regular form of punishment. The
percentage of parents who actually use spanking is
believed to be much higher.

And when my five year old son's behavior went
beyond annoying a few days ago, I felt inclined to
join the majority and swat him to "teach him a

Most parents reach this point with their kids. We
feel as though we can't take any more of what our
kids are dishing out. It usually happens when
we're tired, stressed, and overdone.

So what are our choices when we reach this point?

Spanking certainly can take care of things quickly
and can temporarily change your kids behavior. But
there are many reasons to question the practice of
spanking your kids. Here’s five of them:

1. Do you really want your kids to be afraid of you?

Kids will sometimes obey more readily when they're
afraid of you. Is this what you really want? What
happens when they're six feet two and two hundred
pounds? Effective parenting is based on love and
respect, not fear.

2. Spanking shows your kids that you lack self-control

The huge majority of spanking incidents come when
a parent is angry. What is quite clear to your
child is this: when my Dad or Mom gets angry, they
hit me. And when the same child hits his sister
when he gets angry, do you demand that he shows
better self-control?

Something’s wrong with this picture. We
teach our kids best through our own actions.

3. You may breed resentment and anger in your kids

Kids who are spanked usually don't learn a great
deal about "correcting" their misbehavior. They
don't usually sit up in their rooms and say,
"Gosh, I can really see after getting spanked that
I was wrong. I'll do better now." They do think
about how angry their Dad or Mom is, and they can
develop a good deal of resentment for their

4. Spanking shows your kids that "might makes right"

Adults make mistakes in their lives too, right?
Can we use our imaginations and feel what it would
be like for someone four times our size to pick us
up and swat us on the butt? What would we learn
from that? Would we feel any injustice? You can
bet that your kids are feeling some.

5. Spanking isn't effective in the long run

Parents who are asked why they spank will report
that they use it to "teach their kids a lesson,"
or so they won't misbehave again. Many kids who
are spanked will go underground with their
misbehavior and become more cunning to avoid being
caught. (Wouldn't you?) If you're spanking your
kids fairly often, doesn't this show that it's not
working very well?

I don't believe that kids who are spanked
occasionally are ruined for life. Nor do I believe
that spanking is necessary to discipline a child.
There are countless examples of disciplined and
responsible young people who were never spanked by
their parents.

Parents who don't spank their kids use time outs,
re-directing, or distracting with their kids. They can
pick their kids up and let them cool down, or
simply leave the area themselves so they don't
do something they'd regret later.

While these methods aren't always perfect, they
help to form the foundation of a certain kind of
household: One in which violence is not "taught"
as a means to better behavior.

After allArticle Submission, we live in a world that's filled with

Can't we provide a place for our kids where there
isn't any?