“Spare the rod, spoil the child,” is a very old fashioned phrase used that gives parents a free pass on physically hitting their children instead of properly managing their own emotions to the point of being able to effectively discipline their children.
Sadly, even in today’s society, some parents still hit, spank or even beat their children in order to show dominance and make them submit and behave.
The majority of people that use this form of abuse on their children use the excuse that it worked for their parents so they do it to theirs. Back in those days, people also abided by Jim crow laws, smoking and drinking while pregnant, and repressed women to the point where they could not purchase a car without the company of a man.
Yes, parents of old beat their kids, but many done so without ever teaching them any sort of lesson. Beating a child just serves as an emotional and retaliatory release for the parent. This is not acceptable today and we must do better by our children and society as a whole.
The facts state that beating and hitting children can be detrimentally damaging to them and can turn them into violent, aggressive individuals who can become people with emotional issues.
In a study conducted by The University of Texas Medical Branch, out of 800 adults they found most of the adults who had been hit by their parents as children, behave violently in relationships.
“Regardless of whether someone experienced child abuse or not, spanking alone was predictive of dating violence,” the study’s lead author Psychiatry Professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch Jeff Temple said.
The study found that hitting your children teaches them that physical violence is the only way to solve a conflict, a lesson they may carry with them throughout life.
“Parents are physically bigger and stronger than children. They also know more than children and, because their brains are fully developed, they are capable of greater self-control,” Dr. Denise Cummins wrote in a piece for Psychology Today.
“When a parent tries to get children to behave better by hitting them, that parent is telling them that hitting people who are smaller and weaker than you is an acceptable way of getting what you want from them. Why should it surprise that parent when their children beat up smaller children at school, or grow up to be wife beaters?”
Also, studies have found that beating or spanking a child turns them into resentful adults who are angry and carry psychological and emotional issues through their life.
“A large meta-analysis of studies on the effects of punishment found that the more physical punishment children receive, the more defiant they are toward parents and authorities, the poorer their relationships with parents, the more likely they are to report hitting a dating partner or spouse,” Cummins writes. “They are also more likely to suffer mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse problems, and less likely to empathize with others or internalize norms of moral behavior.”
My advice to parents is to get a grip with your emotions when dealing with children. Stop being lazy and learn to respect those little individuals you decided to bring into this world by giving them proper discipline.
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