There is now lots of evidence to make us aware as ‘Parents’ that smacking or any other form of physical punishment towards children is damaging.
As a teacher I can always pick out the children that are ‘smacked’ at home. These children are the ones that generally ‘smack’ others or are aggressive (verbally and physically) . They have emotional outburst (anger or severe crying). They can be very secretive around adults and when adults are out of view they can act out with other children.
They are harder to ‘defuse’, this means that when they ‘explode’ or hit they seem to not be able to reach a calmer state unless they have some physical outlet. Some children become reliant on that physical ‘hit’ to be able to calm themselves down. That physical pain becomes their focus not the emotion. As you can probably start to see these are not the sort of behaviours you want your child to exhibit. A smack is only an immediate stop to a behaviour but the lasting affect it has far out ways any immediate ‘fix’.
This is what the experts say:
It has been found that children who were spanked are more aggressive then the ones that are not. They are sometimes explained as tightly coiled springs. The effects are that it leads to loss of self-confidence and low self-esteem. It increases cortisol levels in the brain which can have a damaging affect on brain development (I will post a study on high levels of cortisol and brain development). It effects the way they handle their emotions. You are teaching your child to use physical control to stop a situation. I have heard many parents say “You deserved that, you asked for that”, what worries me about these statements is that I have also heard abusive partners say this to the abused.
Oh YES we were all smacked as kids and we all turned out fine!!! But did we?? Could we have learnt better ways of managing situations? Could we have become more emotionally intelligent about how things effect us? Would we have been calmer or less of a push over? Just because it was the way we were brought up doesn’t mean that it was the ‘best’ way. And now we now better!!
Have I smacked my children??? Yes I have!! And everytime I have I realised it was not something that can ever be done ‘calmly’. As I do it I hear myself say “Now that’s because you hurt your sister”? (WHAT, that totally doesn’t make sense). If I believe that I am the best teacher for my child I have just taught them that I can hit but your sister can’t. Tell me how that makes sense????
So I ask us to all understand that we aren’t going to be perfect but we are going to try and understand the damage that ‘smacking and physical punishment’ does to our children. It is ‘personality’ changing. Discipline provides appropriate expectations and consequences for the child, it teaches self-control and how to behave, smacking does none of this!!!
I send this with LOVE and no judgement, just to inform…
Please share if you would like to see a world where smacking is seen for what it really is. Pointless and damaging.