Nonviolent Parenting: 10 Reasons to Avoid Corporal Punishment

Okay, I need to talk about something that really pisses me off.

“I got spanked and I turned out just fine.”

People who say this, in defense of old school parenting advice, usually prove my point, cluelessly. They hold a tight little view of the world. They stay unaware of their deeper emotions. They resent people who seem to have an easier life. They never address the humiliation or fear that was caused by their own punishment as children. So, they must defend the practices of their parents or risk feeling all the devastation they actually experienced so long ago.

We know more than ever before about how children develop and what they need. If you follow my blog, you probably have more mindful parenting methods than to hit or slap or shove. You probably already know how damaging it is to a child’s sense of self to be humiliated and made to feel pain by you.

At any rate, I hope you’ll keep this list handy to give to friends or family who may not yet understand the dynamics of child abuse or child corporal punishment (CP).

Good Reasons to Avoid CP

  1. Your child won’t learn to be afraid of you. (So, you won’t have to sense their dread when you enter a room or come home from work.) This protects the parent-child relationship.
  2. They won’t learn their body can or should be made to feel pain by someone who is also supposed to love them. (This pays off in their later selection of a mate who does not try to dominate them with physical bullying.)
  3. They can learn to solve problems in other ways besides aggression. (…..Such as, talking it through, mutual understanding, etc.)
  4. They can learn to trust you and be close to you without tension or hypervigilance. (This will come in handy someday when you are old and they need to care for you.)
  5. They will learn creative discipline from you – and pass this along to their children. (And you will watch the next generation evolve into more loving, more creative beings.)
  6. They are less likely to be depressed or anxious as adults.
  7. They will have greater cognitive freedom and flexibility.
  8. They won’t have to associate pain with love. (Have you ever wondered where sadomasochism comes from?)
  9. Their sexuality will be protected. (Remember, the buttocks are an erogenous zone. Remember, corporal punishment can be a form of sexual abuse, whether or not the child’s clothing is removed.)
  10. They will get to see you, their parent, struggling with your own frustration, demonstrating the sometimes difficult process of expressing it verbally, and arriving at more productive ways to set limits. They will get to see you as a real human person – accessible to them, imperfect, yet loving and aware of the impact you have on them.

Pretty good deal, huh? I think so too. It doesn’t work anyway.

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