Children are often unruly, it’s completely common. In fact, you’ll find that nine out of ten children are up to some sort of mischief in public. The one missing in the count is hiding somewhere planning a prank—haha.
Parents get exhausted chasing their kinds and brainstorming all kinds of ideas to get their child to understand. Sometimes resorting to bribes it may include chocolates, playground trips, and even cash!
Naturally, at the end of the line, they spank their children. There are various sayings that often encourage spanking. In fact, there are sayings that predict a bleak future for your child without proper discipline.
“Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. Punish them with the rod and save them from death.” Proverbs 23:13-14
Still, the question remains—is it ok to spank your child? Or can proper discipline be achieved without the use of a stick?
The University of Texas Medical Branch surveyed nearly 800 adults and found an answer to this dilemma.
The study claims that children who are punished by spanking are more likely to become violent and sometimes abusive towards their partners later on in life.
While “spanking” is not the only aspect of the study, it does reveal something most of us never thought before. It shows that if a child learns that physical violence is the only solution to a conflict, there is a good chance where they will carry the tendency later on in their lives.
Researchers in the study found a strong connection between corporal punishment and dating violence. Out of the 758 19-and-20-year-olds that were asked how often they had been struck, slapped, or spanked, nearly 68% claimed to have experienced physical punishment as youngsters and around 19% admitted to violence towards their lovers.
The study’s lead author, Jeff Temple, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch notes “Regardless of whether someone experienced child abuse or not, spanking alone was predictive of dating violence.”
In an interview with CNN, he talked about the differences between punishment and abuse.
By his definition, a child being hit by a belt, leaving noticeable bruises or requiring to go to a doctor or a hospital is considered abuse. “Kids who said they had experienced corporal punishment were more likely to have recently committed dating violence.”
The results were similar regardless of a subject’s age, sex, ethnicity, parental education, and experience with childhood abuse.
Physical punishments do more harm than good.
In the event of dating violence, factors such as mental health and substance abuse come into play. But children subjected to physical abuse must also be considered as a factor.
It is forbidden to hit children in several countries such as France, Sweden, and Scotland. In the United Kingdom, there are strict guidelines for corporal punishment. Reasonable punishment does not include wounding, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm or child cruelty.
Child abuse is fairly common in the world, especially in the third-world countries. In the U.S, there are over 3 million reports of child abuse involving 6 million children. Although it is legal to hit a child in all 50 states, the form of punishment allowed varies widely.
Many parents believe that physical punishment serves as a good lesson for the kids. However, in reality, it does more harm than good. Parents should make sure that their child behaves, but getting frustrated and resorting to violence can do no good. With the burdens of parenthood, it might be difficult but there are other forms of disciplinary actions such as withholding privileges or calling time-outs should be strongly considered.
According to National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) spokesperson, “We would encourage parents to use alternative methods to teach their children the difference between right and wrong, with a positive parenting approach such as setting clear and consistent boundaries.”
The proverb “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is really pretty ancient. Now such acts are punishable by law.
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