I was spanked often as a young child, but as a parent, I refuse to spank my kids. The funny thing is that getting spanked as a child didn’t necessarily turn me off of spanking forever — in fact, the opposite is true. I automatically assumed that I would spank my kids because my parents spanked me. This is an assumption that I believe many parents make, until they take the time to question their parenting choices.
After some soul-searching as a new parent, I realized that spanking is not and will never be for me or my children. With even a small amount of research, it becomes clear that spanking is detrimental and unnecessary.
I am not always a fan of Dr. Sears, but I agree with him unequivocally when he states that hitting models hitting. “There is a classic story about the mother who believed in spanking as a necessary part of discipline until one day she observed her three-year-old daughter hitting her one-year-old son. When confronted, her daughter said, ‘I’m just playing mommy.’ This mother never spanked another child.”
This may seem like a basic example, but the effects and uses of spanking can quickly snowball into a more serious problem. One blog in particular describes a parent’s extreme use of spanking with methods like “spanking a baby to sleep.”
The parent referenced in the blog discusses how his young daughter interacts with her own baby doll, “What was interesting is the role she assumed with her baby. In her imagination the baby started crying after being given a command. She scolded her baby, turned her over and spanked her. She then spoke comforting, reassuring words and praised her baby for being good.”
I find this passage very, very disturbing. I’m not a supporter of spanking, but I understand that for many parents, it may happen at one time or another. However, I think there is a serious problem when a child starts mimicking this physical behavior, by hitting a sibling or spanking their own baby doll in private.
Whenever the topic of spanking comes up, parents who spank are quick to rise to the defense. I totally understand that no parent wants to feel attacked for their personal decisions. All I am saying is this: Watch your kids closely for these subtle effects of spanking. A child acting out by hitting is only following your example.
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