When I woke up this morning I did what I do every morning: I walked to the stereo and turned on the radio to listen to my favorite morning show: Jim and Margery. On Thursdays they have a segment called "DAD CHAT" with Hank Morse, a local Dad and radio host with two teen daughters.
Today's topic was based on a recent article published in The Boston Globe titled: Spanking may worsen children’s aggression: what works instead?. The article presents facts based on a new study by the Canadian Medical Journal that suggests it's counter-productive and actually leads kids to hit, kick, or bite even more. It goes on to state that physical abuse isn't the only culprit but that forms of punishment such as belittling, humiliating or embarrassing a child can be just as harmful in terms of damaging a child's psyche. You might want to read child psychology books to better understand child development and how to properly discipline your child without resorting to physical violence.
When listening to caller after caller call in and say "Oh CMON! I got hit as a kid and look at me I'm fine!" or "I have to hit my kids! Time out doesn't work and I don't hurt them!" my blood began to boil. Are we cave men? It's 2012 people -- physical and emotional abuse to ANYONE let alone your children is not okay. One female caller called in proudly stated "I'm Portuguese! It's not abuse - it's tradition!". I may have to take my portuguese flag down off my porch in fear of being associated with people like that. One caller said "He's two. He doesn't understand talking! What am I supposed to do when he runs into the street! I have to show him it's wrong" .......... Um. Wait what? So you're TWO YEAR OLD runs into the street so you have to hit him? Sierra has tried to run into the street too. I stop her and explain that it's dangerous and how a car can hurt you. When she did it again I did the same. Know what? She now reaches for my hand when we go near the street and doesn't run into the street. Bruise free!
Now do I think everyone who spanks their kid is a horrible person or parent? No. I personally think it's wrong but people are brought up certain ways and it's hard to break "traditions" as the Portuguese woman clearly stated. I was never hit as a child and in turn will never hit my children. In addition I fully understand spanking and truly hitting are two different things (sort of)... both are abusive and both are unacceptable. I think it's ignorant, abusive and teaches all the wrong lessons to a child. Hurting someone to prove a point or teach a lesson is not something I want my daughter to think is okay. It's a scientific fact that punishing your child physically has detrimental long term effects on them. Just don't do it.
Check your states laws on child abuse and neglect here: http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/can
The Boston Globe Article: Spanking may worsen children’s aggression: what works instead?
10 Reasons Not To Hit Your Kids: http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/tenreasons.html
Positive Discipline A to Z:: I've personally read this and think it's great - Anyone who wants my copy feel free to email me your address and I will send it to you! http://www.amazon.com/Positive-Discipline-Revised-Expanded-2nd/dp/0761514708