Is the ‘No Spanking’ generation doomed?


Kids of today are being raised very differently compared to ones brought up in the older days. Parents hardly ever give their kids a good spanking, no matter how naughty the child behaves. This is partly due to the changes that have taken place with the law, namely, the Children’s Act, which has strict rules to corporal punishment. Parents are rather encouraged to discipline their kids using alternate methods to spanking, but are these alternate methods effective?

We come across so many incidents taking place in schools were teachers are being disrespected by pupils, it evens happens in the home were parents are becoming more tolerant of disrespectful children. Growing up prior to the new millennium you would be too scared to disrespect a teacher or your parents because you knew you would get a sore backside the next day, but kids of today don’t walk around with that fear.

Attorney Stef Grobelaar from SG law firm explains that it is not illegal to spank a child; however, parents need to apply ‘common sense’ when exercising spanking as an option. Leaving bruises or marks on your child can be deemed as abuse and can land you in serious legal trouble, but a smack on a toddler’s bottom with an open hand is not so serious. So the law still allows parents to apply a certain level of corporal punishment.

Perhaps one of the reasons the law has become so strict on protecting children is sometimes parents can take corporal punishment too far. I know of a father who belts his 16-year-old son when he does something wrong. I mean how hard do you have to belt a 16-year-old for it to be effective?

Clinical psychologist, Wendy Hay, explains that any spanking which leaves a mark says little about the child’s behaviour and a lot about the parent. Parents should not turn to spanking their children in order to release their own frustrations.

It is also possible in this day and age with so many parents working full time discipline becomes another time consuming task. Parents may turn to spanking instead of talking to their kids about their behaviour and this leaves the child confused, or some parents choose to ignore the ill behaviour of the child hoping it would go away.

As parents it is our duty to raise our children according to the values we believe in so they grow up to become responsible and respectful adults. Spanking a child who persistently does something wrong is a form of discipline aimed at steering your child in the right direction, provided it does not border abuse. Older children of course should not be spanked and should be disciplined according to what is age appropriate but we should never give up on teaching them right from wrong.

Do you think children who are spanked are more respectful and disciplined compared to those who are not?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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