Saturday, June 26, 2010
Over dinner last night some friends and I had a short discussion on corporal punishment. It was a short conversation because this is a sensitive subject, especially because I love my friends and we don't share the same opinions on this topic.
Here's the scoop on the subject: As a parent, I see something very wrong with hitting a child in order to express your disagreement with something they have done or said. I am hitting you because you hit Johnny and you shouldn't do that. I am hitting you because you are whining/ throwing a fit (you fill in the blank) and this is not a good time or place. Hitting a child simply does not teach them long term discipline, respect or empathy for others. See this article on Gentle Discipline for some alternative ideas to teach discipline that avoid corporal punishment.
Read this article on Undermining General Beliefs about Corporal Punishment. This was linked from the API (Attachment Parenting International) Blog and it reflects my thoughts exactly.
And to address the whole spare the rod spoil the child nonsense that is often used as an excuse to hit your children... shepherds didn't use the rod to beat their sheep - and children are certainly more valuable than sheep. I am by no means an expert on the bible but what I do know is that Jesus preached gentleness, love, and understanding.
With all this being said, I have realized over the past year of parenting our little Muffin that sometimes the rules/ ideas that we think will be best just don't end up working for us. I truly cannot think of a scenario where I would feel like Yes, this is a good reason to hit my child. Hitting her will really teach her a lesson.
In parenting, I've learned never say never. I guess that means I can say with 99.9% certainty that I will never use corporal punishment.
What are your thoughts on the subject?