There are some serious long-term effects of beating children as a form of discipline. Not only is it physical abuse, but it can cause aggressive behavior in young children and affect brain development.
Disciplining your child is one of the most challenging tasks beyond the first few months of motherhood. Children will undoubtedly become more demanding as they get older, testing the bounds of your patience.
The number of outbursts grows. Parents may try to reason with their child at first, but more often than not, disciplining devolves into beatings and the use of force as they frantically strive to control their child.
I know that back in the day, the use of physical punishment on a child was considered an effective way to discipline bad behavior.
But, dear parents, did you know that there are certain negative consequences of physical abuse as a form of discipline that may have a long-term influence on your child? And don’t forget that there are things more important than discipline too.
Here are some science based facts and recent research about this form of punishment and the effects of corporal punishment on the parent-child relationship and the cognitive development in younger children.
The Case Against Spanking
Many parents aren’t getting the word that spanking and other forms of physical discipline can cause substantial harm to children, according to a growing body of evidence.
Sandra Graham-Bermann, PhD, a psychology professor and principal investigator for the University of Michigan’s Child Violence and Trauma Laboratory, says, “It’s a very controversial area even though the research is extremely telling and very clear and consistent about the negative effects on children.” “When people get frustrated, they smack their children. Perhaps they are oblivious to the fact that there are other options.”
Physical punishment, such as spanking, beating, and other methods of inflicting pain, has been linked to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical harm, and mental health problems in children, according to numerous research. Despite the fact that public approval of corporal punishment has waned since the 1960s, surveys reveal that two-thirds of Americans still support parents slapping their children.
However, according to Alan Kazdin, PhD, a Yale University psychology professor and head of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, spanking does not work. “You can’t punish out these habits that you don’t want,” says Kazdin, who was president of the American Psychological Association in 2008. “The data shows that corporal punishment is unnecessary. We are not abandoning a successful strategy. We’re suggesting that this is a terrible idea that won’t work.”
Why Do Parents Beat Children
Most of the time, parents are forced to use the rod out of desperation. They may have tried every other technique to get their child to comprehend until the only option left was to use force. It quickly becomes a habit for parents to smack and hit when the child’s behavior isn’t going their way which is child abuse.
Based on how ‘successful’ it was the last time, parents may simply choose the easy way out without attempting any other techniques or positive discipline Some parents may spank their children out of fear or wrath – it may have been their reaction in response to the child doing something wrong.
Effects Of Beating Children
Beating Breeds Beating
Children watch and mimic the behavior of others around them, and these acts will undoubtedly be picked up by him at an early level.
Spanking teaches the child that it is acceptable to hit smaller people if done for a good reason. If you choose to punish your child by using the rod, you are giving him permission to beat others around him. This kind of child aggression can lead to anger issues when your child becomes an adult.
See also: How I Discipline Ungrateful Children
Children’s Self Image Damaged
The harshest consequences are caused by emotional pain rather than physical pain. Your child will most likely acquire a self-image of a loser and may develop a lack of self-esteem if faced with physical aggression. He develops the notion that he is a bad child, and it sticks with him like a scar for a long time.
A Parent Loses Worth
Hard spanking a kid may appear to be a kind of punishment. You may feel fulfilled in the short term, but it will undoubtedly make you feel worse in the long run when you reach the limits of your patience.
Your child will undoubtedly be frightened of you, but you will notice the bad repercussions when he becomes distant from you and experiences worse behavioral problems.
The Effects Last A Long Time
Spanking from infancy, according to University of Missouri experts, can have a detrimental influence on a children’s temperament and behavior.
The study found that the more children’s are spanked, the more likely they are to resist their parents. It was also discovered that it has an effect on a children’s mental health and creates cognitive problems.
It Is Simply Not Effective
Using the rod on your children will not benefit them in any way, and you may end up frightening them for life. Harsh punishment has absolutely no developmental advantages and is not effective discipline!
Learn about the importance of communication in parenting. Check out the video on our app!
Anger Becomes Dominant
Not only are the parents impacted by their own wrath, but they also instil anger in their children with the use of corporal punishment. This indicates that your child is more prone to experience emotional problems as he gets older. When you beat someone, the issues don’t go away; in fact, they get worse.
Parents Lose Control
Beating your child could begin as a mild punishment to discourage specific behaviors.
However, there is a fine line between discipline and abuse that may easily get muddled with time.
For example, if the child repeats a behavior or error, you may decide to beat him harder until he ‘learns’ to behave better. As a result, use of physical force could be detrimental to both you and the children.
According to a poll, children who were subjected to physical punishment and harsh discipline as children were more likely to display antisocial, and even egocentric behavior as adults.
Weight Issues Emmerge
Dr. Dhananjay Gambhire, a consultant psychiatrist and sexologist, concurs that childhood maltreatment might lead to adult obesity. “Obesity as a result of overeating and sedentary lifestyle are features of poor coping; both are utilised as escape tactics for undesirable situations,” he says.
Both of these symptoms point to poor self-esteem and sadness, which leads to a lack of confidence. The person’s weight worsens once again, and he or she becomes increasingly withdrawn.” Negative childhood experiences include long-term repercussions such as despair, sadness, and substance misuse.
A children’s memories of being spanked might mar otherwise happy childhood memories which is another one of those negative effects of spanking. Traumatic situations are more likely to be remembered than good ones.
One of the parents’ aims is to fill their children’s memory banks with hundreds, if not thousands, of joyful scenes. It’s remarkable how negative recollections of spanking can cloud happy memories.
Alternative Methods To Discipline Children Without Beating
Having limits in our relationships with our children is essential for healthy parenting success. Having and enforcing boundaries enables us to stay patient and calm because we feel respected and that our relationship requirements are being addressed.
When you are frustrated, irritable, or angry as a result of a repeated behavior or scenario, it is time to set a new boundary.
Do you dread dinnertime because your child insists on sitting on your lap and preventing you from eating? If this is the case, make it a rule that everyone sits in their own chair for meals. After supper, you can cuddle.
Do you feel irritated when your child wants you to play with dolls first thing in the morning when your eyes aren’t even open?
Make it a rule that you must sit and sip coffee for 10 minutes before you may play. Will your child object? Probably. They will, however, begin to realize that you have wanted as well.
If your personal needs are fulfilled, you will be a better parent, and your child will witness a beautiful example of how to advocate for their own needs in a relationship.
Do you recall having a replacement teacher when you were a kid? Did anyone pay attention to them? Most likely not. Children require a relationship with an adult in order for that adult to listen to them. This is a good thing since you don’t want your child to listen to any random stranger who tells them what to do.
However, when your child feels linked to you, they are more inclined to listen to you. That is the issue with punishment. It distances you from your child, weakening your bond and making it less likely that your child will do what you ask.
If your child is having a difficult time with his or her behavior, try to schedule some additional one-on-one time to bond. This does not have to be a long period of time, but it must be regular and concentrated. Even 15 minutes a day of phone-free time with your child may strengthen your bond more than before.
The tone conveys a lot about positive parenting. You could be strong and hold your children to high standards while being caring.
Determine which rules are essential to you, express them clearly to your kid, and be consistent in enforcing those rules. Being a positive parent does not imply allowing your child to trample on you. It does imply attempting to keep a calm, caring tone when reminding (ego state) your child of the rules.
“You’re six years old; don’t act like a baby!”
“Your room is filthy; go clean it up.”
Have you said those words? All of these words have a humiliating impact on children’s, making them feel awful about themselves. This has a natural negative influence on a children’s self-esteem, but it is also ineffective since it confirms a children’s identity as someone who acts in a specific manner.
If your child is often informed that they are acting like a baby, they will internalize this and behave even worse. If you refer to them as a bully, they will perceive themselves as one and behave accordingly. Try not to embarrass your child by commenting on his or her behavior and letting them know when it is improper.
Use Natural Consequences
Punishing your child makes you the adversary, and it is frequently difficult to understand if the penalty is unconnected to the offence. Instead of punishing them, let the natural consequences of their behavior to play out.
For example, if you urge your child to put on their rain boots and they refuse, their feet will naturally get wet outside. If you reply with a time out when they say, “no!” to rain boots, they will be considerably more inclined to agree the next time it’s time to put them on.
Use Logical Consequences
While natural consequences are preferable since they do not pit you against your child, they are not always available in a handy, short-term form.
For example, it could be vital to you that your child stores all of their Legos every day so that you do not tread on them (ouch!).
If Legos are not put away every day, the long-term inevitable result will be that some of them will go lost. This might take weeks or months, and your feet may not be able to withstand it.
In this scenario, attempt to conceive of a connected conclusion that makes sense and carry it out calmly. As a result, if you trip on a Lego, you may decide to store it in the living room rather than in your children’s Lego bin.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Did your child remember to put his or her shoes away on their own? Did they assist their sister while she was having difficulty with her homework? Inform them that you have taken notice!
It’s simple to criticize poor behavior, but when your child does something lovely, simply grin to yourself. Make it a point to give them more attention for good behavior than for negative.
This does not necessitate a costly reward scheme; simply inform them of what you observed. As an example, say, “I observed you putting your shoes away on your own. That demonstrates true accountability!” Alternatively, “I observed you assisting your sister. You genuinely care about others.”
This type of praise, in addition to letting them know you saw, helps your child retain a good self-identity that they will want to live up to.
Children imitate what we do. We must be courteous to them if we expect them to be respectful to others.
Say “please” to your child if you want them to say it.
If you want them to wait till you’re available instead of interrupting you, wait until they reach a point in their game where they can’t do anything else before asking them to do something.
Be nice and gentle with them if you want them to be kind and gentle with their siblings.
It might be difficult to put into practice in our hectic lives, but children absorb everything around them, including how we treat them.
It might often appear like our children are misbehaving in order to make our life more difficult. Why can’t they just obey the rules at the park and everyone have a good time?
However, there is always a reason for disobedience, whether it is as basic as a hungry or weary child or as complex as academic challenges.
It will be much simpler to develop empathy for your child and respond with compassion if you understand the cause for the misbehaving. If you can’t figure out why simply know there is one. If your child is acting out because they love you and want to please you, there is a reason.
The objective of positive parentingis to develop and nurture your bond with your kid while simultaneously developing a person who will do good in the world.
Time-out communicates that we are unable to cope with our children’s behavior, that we do not want to face the part of them that is loud, angry, and dirty. It separates you.
Spending time with your child, or being present with them, draws you closer together. It understands that no matter what their behavior is that day, all children need to feel loved and accepted by their parents.
Time-in isn’t always a pleasant experience. It is not all hugs and rainbow painting.
Because you’re holding the line on a boundary, it may appear that your child is sobbing or throwing a tantrum next to you. It may appear that you are discussing the significance of the safety measures you have in place as well as why you had to leave the park early.
Time-in does not imply that everyone is constantly cheerful and joyful, but it does imply that everyone feels loved, and that your child understands that you will always be there for them and can take anything they throw at you.
Free Resource For You
I’ve created a free pdf just for you! If you are struggling with gentle parenting with your kids this PDF will help you find one that will work for your family.
This free pdf can show you:
- The pillars of gentle parenting
- Example conversations you can have with kids
- Example consequences you can use
- Family activity ideas for connection
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