Punishment and discipline are not the same! They may seem alike but the effects are so different.
We know raising kids can be a selfless and thankless job. All the more when we try to discipline them because we come out looking like the bad guy. We end up screaming a lot of things in the heat of the moment and sometimes; we get physical because we’re frustrated. But some parents rely on spanking as their default for discipline. And we know it shouldn’t always be that way. That’s why we’re here to help you make sense of why some parents think it works:
“But my parents did this to me and I turned out fine!“
Some of us parents fall back to spanking because that’s what our parents did to us. If it worked for them, why won’t it work for us? Because we realize we didn’t like it ourselves! As we grow older, we realize that spanking doesn’t work and would have preferred an explanation for what we did wrong. So, for our kids, maybe we can break the cycle by instead talking to our kids so that they’ll learn to trust and talk to us if they made a mistake. Spanking often creates an environment at home where kids will learn to lie and hide their mistakes because they don’t want to get hit.
“But we still love them! It’s tough love!”
We know the world is a harsh place and we’re not saying tough love is a bad thing. But tough love doesn’t mean hitting your kids. The guilt will slowly set in after we hit them because we then ask ourselves, “What kind of parent hits their child to teach them? What does my hitting them teach them?” We eventually realize that our hitting them just teaches our kids that hitting things or people is the best solution to a problem, making them more aggressive as they grow up.
“It’s the best way I know how.”
Perhaps it is for now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a better way. Being a parent is a journey of learning and processing. As parents, we’re responsible for raising compassionate, strong, and kind human beings. Spanking doesn’t reflect that because it shows that we’d rather punch it out rather than understand and solve a problem. We show we don’t take the time to listen or learn about another person’s story. We simply show, “Might is right.” Kids will then learn to resort to more physical means to prove their point rather than trying to talk things out.
A child learns from a parent and vice versa
Sadly, there’s no handbook to being a perfect parent with a chapter on discipline. But what you can do is take your experiences as a child and learn from them. Learn from the mistakes of your parents who spanked you because you know what happens after. And if you know it won’t help your kids at all then, we know you’ll definitely learn and find a better way to discipline your kids.