There are varied schools of thoughts on spanking as a form of punishment. Some advocate it as acceptable and necessary, especially in situations where young children may not comprehend verbal explanations as effectively as physical discipline. Others strongly oppose it as barbaric and dangerous to a child’s emotional development.
Although spanking is the most common and overused form of punishment, its disadvantages outweighs the advantages. The benefit of punishment by spanking is short lived because children being children, they would continue to do the same thing that they were spanked for in the first place.
Spanking puts a stop to unruly behavior only temporarily. It could put fear into a child but it could also teach your child that it is okay to hit others or that it is possible to use brute force to get what he wants. He could also presume that it is okay for big or strong people to hit little or weaker people and view spanking as a solution to a problem. Consequently, your child could exhibit aggression and violent behavior in his interaction with siblings, friends and later on with his spouse and kids.
Children ape parents and look at them as role models. Spanking your child could project your image as disrespectful and unfair, thereby, influencing his behavior with others. Usually, parents unconsciously, bring up their children similar to the way they were brought up. If you were spanked as a child, chances are that you would continue that with your child.
However, I think, spanking could be effective if properly applied in selective situations and not as a means to scare your child or vent your anger. It could teach your child that he would not get away with wrongdoing. He would learn that bad behavior would have bad consequences and loving your child before and after his act would ease his conscience of any kind of shame or guilt and allow him to start afresh.
If you discipline your child from the beginning, he would become receptive to your instructions and it would not be necessary to spank him. Depriving your child of his privileges, isolating him in his room or changing your way of handling him are very effective alternatives to spanking. ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’ used to be a popular maxim in the olden days. However, a good balance between these two styles of parenting could develop your child into sensitive, happy and caring individual.