Posted on April 30, 2017
Did you know that every professional organization in the U.S. and Canada that is concerned with education and child development has taken a public stance against the practice of spanking?
Much, much later, deep into his grandparent years, my dad decided that he had been guilty of what he called "child abuse." Based on his reading, he decided that spanking and whipping was child abuse, so he was guilty of child abuse. He sincerely apologized to my siblings and me. Of course we accepted the apology. My dad was a good dad, despite his occasional mistakes.
When I was a young parent, I was confused. I knew *for sure* that whipping was wrong, and rather early on in parenthood, I decided that spanking on the bottom was wrong, but I sometimes hit my children's hands with my own hand. But part of me realized that hitting any part of my kids was...just wrong. No matter what. And, like my dad before me, my thoughts on this topic have changed. I am now certain rather than confused: corporal punishment is not good parenting. I too have apologized to my kids.
Now we have more than just our "guts" and our philosophies to go by. Scientific studies have weighed in, and the evidence tells us that spanking and other forms of corporal punishment are not effective for long-term goals of self-discipline and for good parent-child relationships.
Here is just one source - there are many to be found.
If you were spanked or whipped or hit as a child (as I was), that doesn't mean that you are damaged goods, and it doesn't excuse you hitting others or any other bad behavior. All parents make mistakes, and we have to take responsibility for our own actions no matter what. Today is a day to raise consciousness about the studies that show us that spanking should be a thing of the past. Today is a day to forgive our parents and ourselves, perhaps, but also to say, "When you know better, you do better."
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