Some parents see spanking as something they would never do; others feel it's a good form of discipline. I do believe in disciplining a child, but I do not believe in spanking, which is why I want to shine light on today. It's SpankOut Day, which started in 1998 to end corporal punishment of children and give them more rights. We don't spank adults when they throw a tantrum, do we?
It's encouraged that all parents and caregivers refrain from hitting children today and instead practice a more peaceful form of discipline. They, and I, believe you can raise good kids without hitting.
There are no positive, long term effects that come from spanking. In fact, kids who were spanked often grow up to be more aggressive than kids who were not.
Spanking a child doesn't always work. It could just lead to more spanking and more frustration by the parents. The cycle of anger and hurt can stop. And it can stop today. If parents who do spank could take one day and eliminate it from their discipline strategy, maybe it can open them up to some positive ways of dealing with a child who needs to be reprimanded. And maybe, just maybe those ways would have better results. Happier kids. Happier parents. Happier family. Better lives.
There are calmer ways to dealing with a child who is acting out -- The Attached Family shares a great proactive approach -- making sure you have a happy home, being a good listener, teaching your child to be calm and understand their emotions. We should also limit over-stimulation. They also suggest ways to react to different behaviors. Showing empathy, setting rules, and staying calm are all parts of their strategy. We should avoid arguing with our kids and teach them how to handle "no" as well as ways that they can express their anger. Teaching them these skills could also help them if they ever are bullied, and also help prevent them from bullying others.
Positive Parents offers great spanking alternatives, which includes "time-in" time, which means removing your child from situation and sitting with her quietly until she is calm. They also suggest problem solving with your child -- involving them and talking to them about why their behavior is wrong and better ways to cope in different situations.
The resources are out there. Just one day. I think it's worth it for everyone to try.
What do you think of SpankOut Day? If you spank your kids, will you stop for today?
Image via leah.jones/Flickr