Disciplining your child is one of the most difficult things to do after the initial days of parenthood. As children grow up, they are sure to become more demanding and test the limits of your patience. The number of tantrums increases. Initially, parents try reasoning with the child, but more often, disciplining deteriorates into beating and use of force as you desperately try to discipline your child in any way you can!
Why do parents opt to beat children?
In most cases, parents are forced to take the rod out of desperation. They might have tried all other methods to make their child understand, unsuccessfully, until the only thing that remains is to use force. Soon, it becomes a habit of the parents to spank their child as soon as he/she does something wrong. Based on how ’successful’ it was the last time, they might simply opt for the easy way out without trying any other methods of disciplining the children. Some parents might also spank their children out of anger or fear – it might have become their reflex to the child doing something wrong.
Let us take a deeper look at the 10 negative effects of beating children and the alternatives to beating.
1. Beating breeds beating:
Children observe and model the behavior based on those around them, and these actions are sure to be picked up by him at an early stage. Spanking gives the child an idea that it is okay to hit stronger or smaller people if it is done due to a reason. If you choose to discipline your child by taking the rod on him, you are automatically giving him the license to hit those around him.
2. Negatively affects the self-image of children:
More than the physical, it is an emotional hurt that causes worst effects. Your child will most likely develop a self-image in the years he grows up, and if you hit your child when he does something wrong, he might end up losing all respect for himself. He gets the idea that he is a ‘bad’ boy, and it stays with him like a scar for a very long time.
3. Devalues a parent:
Spanking a child gives might look like beating works. You might feel satisfied for the moment but it will surely make you feel worse in the long run. Your child is sure to be afraid of you, and it develops into detachment as he grows up.
4. It stays with children for a long time:
According to researchers at the University of Missouri, spanking during infancy can have a negative impact on a child’s temperament and behavior. The study confirmed that the more children are spanked, more are the chances of them defying their parents. It was also found that it impacts a child’s mental health and causes cognitive difficulties.
5. Beating does not work:
No good can come out of using the rod on your children, and you may end up scaring them for life. Spanking does not have any benefits in terms of development whatsoever!
6. Anger becomes a primary behavior:
Not only are the parents affected by all the anger they feel, but they also sow the seeds of anger in their children. This means that your child is more likely to have emotional issues as he grows up. With hitting, the problems do not simply stop in fact they increase.
7. Parents get out of control while beating:
Beating your child may start as a light punishment to curb certain behavior. However, there is a very thin line between discipline and abuse which can easily get blurred after some time. For example, if the child repeats a behavior or mistake again, you might choose to hit harder until you think he ‘learns’ to behave better. Therefore, beating children can turn out to be something worse for both you and the children.
8. Develops low self-esteem in children:
In a survey, it was found that children who were subjected to corporal punishment as they grew up were more likely to exhibit antisocial, and even egocentric behavior in their adulthood.
9. Weight problems in children:
Dr. Dhananjay Gambhire, Consultant psychiatrist and sexologist agrees that abuse may trigger obesity in adulthood. According to him, “Obesity as a result of overeating and sedentary lifestyle are characteristics of faulty coping, both of them are used as escape mechanisms for unwanted situations. Both of them indicate low-self esteem and depression, which leads to low confidence. The obesity again aggravates and the person becomes increasingly withdrawn,” Negative childhood experiences have long term consequences in form of hopelessness, depression and drug abuse.
10. Beating brings back bad memories:
A child’s memories of being spanked can scar otherwise joyful scenes of growing up. People are more likely to recall traumatic events than pleasant ones. One of the goals of parents is to fill their children’s memory bank with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pleasant scenes. It is amazing how the unpleasant memories of spankings can block out those positive memories.
Alternative discipline methods of beating children:
In case you are wondering how else is it possible to discipline a child if not for a good spanking, then here are seven alternative disciplinary methods that you can adapt to raise balanced and well-behaved children.
1. Expressing disapproval:
The simplest and most effective way of changing a child’s behavior is to let her know that you disapprove it. State your objections clearly, and give reasons. When your child observes your disappointment or disapproval, she may shape up. Your child needs your approval. Disapproval works when it is stated clearly-once. Do not nag, rub it in, carry on, or hold disapproval as a grudge. Your disapproval needs to be expressed with conviction and passion, but without fury. Do not be wimpy or bossy.
2. Having a little discussion:
When something goes wrong, the first and best response of all is usually to sit down and talk about it. Often, open communication is all that is needed to change behavior or to make sure that certain misbehavior does not happen again. Use your discussions to point out natural consequences that might occur from the misbehavior. Kids sometimes need help seeing the chain of events, and understanding why they happen.
When you face mild, irritating misbehavior, from your child, sometimes the best response is to ignore it. Ignoring misbehavior requires:
a. Making an active decision to ignore it.
b. Paying attention silently while you are actively ignoring it.
c. Developing a poker face, a relaxed body, and straight, and an unimpressed.
Certainly, never ignore anything dangerous or harmful to the child. As a parent, you should know what to ignore and when to ignore.
Kids often try out annoying behavior patterns, and, the more attention they get, the worse the patterns get. Ignoring is gentle, and it works. It is based on the premise that, for your child, negative attention (getting a rise out of you) will give him more satisfaction than getting no attention.
4. Separation and Replacement:
Are kids squabbling over an object? Take it away. If you separate a child from an object, make sure you replace the activity with something productive.
a. Separation and replacement should never be done with glee
b. Only separate a child from an object when the object is related to his/her misbehavior.
Your kid starts acting out, and the first thing you do is warn her. In many cases, it means the end of misbehavior! Warnings are not the same as threats. Threats are threatening; warnings simply put the child on alert that the behavior needs to stop, now, or there will be consequences. The best warnings clearly state the limit and related consequence. Warnings only work if your child believes that you will follow through. The parents who are the most successful with warnings are the ones who are not afraid to follow through on each and every warning. Be consistent – it provides security for your child and ensures that you will be listened to.