There are varied responses and motivations given by parents for smacking their children as part of what it termed “discipline.” Here are the most common.
God told me to
There are different religious verses and texts apparently designed to enable a healthy dose of battery within the home for the purposes of raising a child who will stick closely to the moral and ethical principles of that religion when they grow up. Rods, sticks and other objects are encouraged and permitted. Only these verses are often taken out of context and have little application for kids today. In a multicultural society where children are encouraged to weigh up the religion of their families this excuse for smacking can be adopted as the main reason kids reject the religion of their parents.
My parents klapped me and I’m fine
Different generations try to narrow the generation gap by insisting that the way they were raised is good enough for their children. Being smacked with a belt was the norm for many when they were young and they haven’t seen it necessary to explore any other avenues of discipline. This form of violence can leave lifelong scars, physically and emotionally, however, despite what some parents believe, especially when not all children are being beaten into adulthood and the smacked child knows this.
Because life is tough
So you are having a rough time as an adult? You’re going through a frustrating time at work, or your marriage is falling apart? Maybe you’re broke and worried about debts and your child has just broken the vacuum cleaner. These are all awful excuses for smacking a child. If you are taking out your own emotional battles on a child, then you are the one who needs to learn some discipline of the self-control sort, not your child.
Maybe you attempt a more conversational form of discipline until you are really angry or you’ve had too much to drink. Lashing out with violence in those moments is not effective. It undermines the other aspects of your discipline style and, ultimately, your whole relationship with your child.
Anti-prison/rehab prevention techniques
You may think that unless you beat the sense into your kid, they’ll end up as crack-addled gangsters slipping into the prison system. The trouble is, violence is not a cure for negative behaviour in children. In fact, it can create an atmosphere in which the child is more likely to be violent.
How to really “beat” a child
So how can you avoid smacking a child if you want to raise young men and women who have a decent, normal approach to life? Believe it or not, it is possible to reason with children, even from a young age. Slow down those conversations and listen to your kid. Don’t resort to smacking as the first and only option but explore other non-physical approaches to discipline. Children may be difficult (even seemingly impossible sometimes) but there are other options rather than hoping that if you smack them with the rod they’ll snap out of their behaviour.
Do you prefer physical discipline? If so, why?