In a previous post, Tired of Being Exhausted, I touched upon the topic of hitting children (see excerpt to follow). In an effort to advocate for children’s rights, I felt this topic deserved a post of its own.
“If you made a mistake at work, what would you do if you were reprimanded with a spanking by your boss? If he or she took you into their office, bent you over their lap, and spanked the crap out of you? Yes, the sicko’s are probably drooling over this thought — but for the purposes of this blog please disregard any thoughts of your boss being incredibly hot, or any desire some of you might have to be spanked.
Would this be acceptable behavior? Or would you have your boss arrested for assault?”
The answer seems pretty clear. So why would anyone think it’s OK for parents to hit their kids? What makes it acceptable to hit a child? I don’t understand, nor do I see any advantages to hitting when there are plenty of other things you can do to teach a child a lesson — other than their taking away their dignity, and yours.
We can reason with them, give them a time out, take away TV, a favorite toy, etc.
Reasoning seems to be the most productive avenue to take (both for the short and long term). It teaches without threatening. But it doesn’t always work, and kids need to know there are consequences if they continue to act out.
But hitting? What does that accomplish, other than stopping the unwanted behavior? Does it address the root of the problem? The child’s frustration, disappointment, fatigue or whatever it might be?
Kids are going to make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll do something bad intentionally, sometimes because they just don’t know any better. But raising children to live in fear of violence & punishment simply creates adults who live in fear. Is that the kind of adult you want to create? One that never fulfills their potential because they’re too afraid of making a mistake and getting punished?
When a child is hit, what have they learned? To refrain from doing something because they’ll be hurt by mom or dad if they do. Wouldn’t you prefer your kids stop doing something because you’ve TAUGHT THEM that it’s wrong? Isn’t it better to help them attain a solid moral base instead of striking them like an animal?
In the effort to stop a behavior for the short term, what long-term damage is being done?
The Hit List
Hitting = violence
Hitting = instilling fear instead of understanding and love
Hitting = creation of resentment
Hitting = disrespecting
Hitting = hurting
Hitting = teaching children to cope through violence, instead of compromise and communication
Hitting = part of a power struggle, it’s all about control
Hitting ≠ teaching (at least not in a positive way)
Hitting ≠ tough love; it is an easy way out for a parent
Hitting ≠ caring
In this battle for control, the child is seeking it and the parent is looking to maintain it. It’s a fine line that is difficult to walk. But at the end of the day how we treat our children is instrumental in who they become as adults. Do you want to create an adult that is successful and strong… or subservient?
The bottom line is that hitting children is wrong. Period.
And remember, you are not alone…