A disturbing event
I was recently sat outside Can Cubs, enjoying the fresh air (it’s not often so ‘fresh’ in Shanghai, so thought I’d make the most of it)!, when my motion of thought was interrupted by a mother in her early 30s smacking the bottom of her daughter repeatedly. I wasn’t sure on what the little girl did, but I was thinking what ever it could of been surely didn’t deserve that rollocking. The little girl was clearly upset and in distress. Indeed, violence should never been used as a form of punishment no matter what the ‘wrong doing’ a child may have done. Unfortunately there are still many children subjected to violence and abuse from family members. Perhaps their reason is that ‘this is how I was punished, so therefore this is how I will punish my children’. I myself was subjected to violence as a child for my ‘wrong doings’, as many other adults will testify too. As I am a parent now, I couldn’t fathom hurting my own child. Is this a difference in personality, a control of emotion, patience or knowledge? Or perhaps it’s all four…
It’s been well documented that when children receive violence as a punishment (e.g. smacking), they will often use this as a solution to their own problems. After all, by a child’s logic, my parents use it, so it surely must be the correct method to punish or solve a problem. You could say that this is one of the 'minor' negative effects from a long list of more serious effects it has on a child’s short term and eventual adult life. There is a good reason why it is illegal to hit children in over thirty countries worldwide.
So you may be asking what are the consequences violence/smacking will have on my child?
Here is the conclusive list:
- turns them into angry, resentful adults with psychological and emotional problems
- they are more defiant towards parents and authorities
- the poorer their relationships with parents
- the more likely they are to report hitting a dating partner or spouse
- they are also more likely to suffer mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse problems
- less likely to empathise with others or internalise norms of moral behaviour
What a parent should be doing
A plethora of research over the years have supported the above, and yet you still see this behaviour in society. Here are the top 7 solutions to discipline a child without using violence:
- expressing disapproval
- having a little discussion
- separation and replacement
- time-outs (also known as “thinking time”)
It’s worth understanding the emotional well-being of your child, as it may be a determining factor in not using smacking as a solution. Find below a slideshow I made which sums up a child’s emotional well-being quite tidily.
For further reading into this topic click here.