There are few days when the hectic work routine leaves us parents exhausted and frustrated. And when your kid starts to misbehave, you take your anger out by hitting him. What happens after that?
You end up feeling guilty and question your parenting skills. Is this the right way to teach my child? What kind of impact would the spanking have on my little one’s behavior? Am I a good mother? Relax!
I understand being a parent is not easy, and children sometimes test our patience. So, if you’re concerned about your behavior and don’t know how to react under such circumstances, then you’ve landed on the right page. I’ll explain why sparking isn’t a way out and alternatives to discipline your child.
Spanking a child or punishing him has been part of our society for so long. For some parents, the idea of spanking their kids is despicable. In contrast, other parents believe that spanking their children is the only way to discipline them and has made it a part of raising children. But no matter how often you hit your kids, you will always feel guilty after that. Also, spanking the kids is a much-debated topic where different pediatricians have different opinions. So let’s have a closer look at the overall concept of spanking children.
I feel guilty after spanking my child
Undoubtedly, it is challenging to control your anger when your little one is acting up and not listening to you. Even a parent against hitting can lose their calm and end up striking the child in these situations.
Also, when you don’t know how else to discipline your child, spanking seems like the only solution. However, after your action, your kid may correct his behavior, but it will undoubtedly leave you feeling guilty. Seeing your baby cry from the pain you’ve caused can be heartbreaking for you.
But if you’re a parent who has once lost their patience and spanked your child to address the behavior right away, then there is nothing to feel guilty about. As parents, we always have our child’s best interests in mind. So spanking or no spanking, you are a good parent. Besides, spanking once isn’t going to harm your little one, but long-term spanking is likely to cause long-term effects.
Reasons why parents hit their Kids
No other way out
One of the most common reasons parents choose to spank their children is because they believe “nothing else seems to work.” The constant misbehaving of your child can put you in a spot where you might feel like spanking is the only option left because other than this, you don’t know how else to handle the matter.
Out of anger
Sometimes, parents’ frustration becomes the reason for the spanking. After a tiring day, seeing your kid spilling water on the floor is enough to trigger you, and you might end up spanking your little one without thinking even for a second.
Part of their upbringing
Your upbringing plays a most important role when it comes to using disciplinary strategies. If you grew up in a house where you have to do what you are told or else you would get punished. It means if I screamed, talk backed, or broke any of the household items, I would get smacked on my butt.
Experts view on spanking
Just like us parents, different professionals also have different views about spanking children.
- In 2012, the American Academy of Paediatrics brought to parent’s attention that spanking leaves a negative on a child’s mental health and is a reason for several issues.
- Canadian Researchers analyzed the data of the 2004-2005 epidemiology survey. They found that harsh physical harassment increased the risk of a child developing anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and drug and alcohol abuse.
- According to Murray Straus, spanking may be helpful in the short run, but in the later ages, the children are more likely to act out. In fact, in his 1995 study, it was found that the more the children are spanked, the more likely they are to fight, steal, and engage in other antisocial habits.
- On the other hand, the 2017 report of the American College of pediatrician stated that spanking is harmful is a misled information. According to the report, spanking by parents can be effective if used properly.
Problems caused by spanking
We have all heard the saying; children do what they see. Since children love to imitate, especially their parents, don’t you think they will think it’s okay to hit someone?
Older people can hurt younger people, or stronger people can hit weaker ones. It is the kind of mindset your child will develop and will probably carry this mode of interaction into his other relationship, such as siblings, friends, etc.
More importantly, your little one will grow one day and have kids of his own, and the discipline technique you used on them will most likely become a part of their parenting technique as well.
Devalues the parent
Fear is not something you would want to come between you and your child’s relationship. But spanking may make your child look at you with fear in his eyes rather than trust and respect.
Moreover, when parents develop a spanking mindset, they have no other alternative strategy to divert their behavior. As a result of which, as the child misbehaves more, spanking also becomes frequent.
Devalues the child
Spanking may also make your child suffer from low self-esteem, trust, and mental health issues. Children make up their self-image based on how others perceive them; for example, a star in a school or kind words by a teacher will motivate them to work even harder.
But spanking may make him think that “I’m bad and no one loves me.” It can put a big stain on his personality, and he may begin to feel that he cannot do better.
The problem with spanking is that it can turn into something dangerous quite quickly. Most children continue to misbehave even after getting spanked, and most parents continue to spank to correct their behavior.
So the chances are that your hand will turn into a fist, the folded newspaper will turn into a stick, and your simple, innocent act will turn into child abuse.
Trigger bad memories
No matter if you grow up in a loving house but a being spanked can block out all those colorful memories. Being locked in a room and getting spanked by a belt is not something your kid should remember whenever he thinks about his childhood.
And as a parent, it is your duty to fill your little munchkin’s mind with hundreds, in fact, even thousands of happy and pleasant scenes.
Alternative ways to discipline your kids
Create clear code of behavior
Discuss with your child the correct code of behavior and also what will be the possible consequences if he didn’t follow them. Don’t let him get away with bad behavior but also let him choose his punishment.
For example, if he messes up the room again, you wouldn’t cook his favorite meal.
Another great technique is to take away the things your kid enjoys the most. Give him three strikes and tell him that if he repeats this behavior, he won’t get to watch TV, or you would take away his favorite toy.
This strategy is again a much controversial one. But a simple idea behind this disciplinary action is to give your kid quite time for him to realize what he did.
For whatever time you kid sit silently, it is a chance for him to collect his emotions and calm down.
Reward positive behavior
One of the greatest strategies is to set up a reward system. Whenever your kid does something good, make sure to give him something he loves. This will show him that he is being observed and his actions are appreciated.
This will encourage him to continue this behavior; he will also develop a sense of pride in his actions.
How do I forgive myself after hitting my child?
No parent likes to see their kid in pain. But it’s natural to get furious with your child sometimes. So if, out of anger, you spanked your child to address the issue, then think that it is for their benefit. And make a promise to yourself that you won’t hit him next time, no matter how worse the situation gets.
How do you discipline a kid without hitting or yelling?
There are plenty of good disciplinary strategies you can use instead of hitting. Tell your kid all the possible consequences that he will face if he doesn’t behave appropriately. Tell him you would take away his toy or not play his favorite movie on the TV. Also, create positive incentives and let him know that he will be rewarded as soon as he gets something right.
How do you discipline a kid who won’t listen?
If your child is not listening to you and ignoring your requests constantly, then time-out would be the best strategy. The idea is simple, remove him from an enjoyable place and put him into a quiet place where he could calm down and get under control.
What does the Bible say about spanking?
Few of the Bible’s words may sound like pro-spanking. But according to the Hebrew dictionary, the term rod used in the verses has much meaning. For example, a rod is used to guide the wandering sheep. Parents who think that God commands them to hit their kids need to look at the Bible’s verses again and understand the true meaning of rod.
It’s okay to play the tough love card but try not to raise your hand because you can lose the great essence of your relationship with your child. Being a mother, I can understand how helpless you must feel when your kid is acting up. I even raised my hand on my little one but immediately felt guilty after that.
The guilt was enough to make me realize that this disciplinary action is not for me. And I decided to address the issues with other techniques. So when you feel guilty after raising your hand, keep in mind that this can cause a rift in your beautiful relationship, which you may not be able to remove all your life.