Spanking Kids Because They Are Too Young To Communicate Effectively Is Pretty Terrible
I love my kids, but I have no illusions about their behavior. The terrible twos are in full swing and right now the most difficult behavioral issues I’m facing are my kids spitting out their food and climbing on top of the dining room table. I’ve tried staying calm, ignoring the behavior, yelling, whispering, and putting both them and myself in time out– all with limited success.
I’ll continue to try every discipline technique for toddlers I can think of save spanking, because spanking young children is wrong. When you spank a child who is too young to understand why you’re hitting them, you’re not disciplining, you’re venting your own frustrations and confusing your child.
I know there are parents who make the decision to spank children who are too young to have a good grasp on language, but I’m not one of them. When I was scouring the internet for advice I came across this post on Babble by Joanna Mazewski, called When It Comes to Spanking, I (Mostly) Agree with the Pope. In her piece, Mazewski says that she is against beating children, but she agrees with the Pope’s recent comments in support of corporal punishment. Mazewski says she used to spank, but as her children have gotten older and have started to understand consequences for their actions, her parenting style has evolved. While she no longer spanks her elementary school-aged children, but she fully supports parents that spank younger kids. From Babble.com:
Enforcing rules as a parent is a tough job, but as much as we all hate doing it, it has to be done. If the maturity is lacking, than by all means, moms and dads do what you need to do to keep your youngins’ in line.
I couldn’t disagree more. I don’t understand having empathy for parents with small kids who spank under the guise that it’s the only way to make small children understand. Spanking your child to get them to stop doing something isn’t the only way to get them to behave, it’s just the fastest and easiest.
If you don’t want to spank a misbehaving child, you can stop the behavior, explain to them in simple terms why what they are doing is wrong, and redirect them. The problem is it make take twenty times of this routine before they finally stop doing the bad thing, and even then you can’t be sure they’ve stopped because they finally understand, or because they simply got bored and decided to do something else. It’s frustrating for sure, but it doesn’t make spanking the better alternative.
Spanking a child because they are too young to understand when you tell them to stop is illogical because if they are too young to understand what you’re saying, then they are also too young to understand why they are being hit. They will learn to stop doing whatever they are doing when they see you raise a hand to strike them, but what they are learning is how to avoid pain, they aren’t learning why you want them to stop doing what they are doing. And if the behavior you’re trying to correct is in an way violent, like biting or hitting, hitting your child will only confuse them more.
Spanking a young child isn’t for their own good. Unless you’re comforting a child who just received a vaccination, causing physical pain to a child is never in their best interest.
(image: Monkey Business Images/shutterstock.com)