Should You Spank Your Child?

By pintswaquinas February 28, 2023

To spank, or not to spank. That is a question parents often agonize over and decide based on how they were raised.

We’re not going to give an absolute “yes” or “no” because spanking involves a ton of contingencies. We will offer some reasons for thinking twice before doing it.

It’s easier for spanking to go wrong than right.
Children should be taught that actions have consequences. But any consequences you dole out should be motivated by a genuine desire to help children develop good character.

Oftentimes parents use spanking as an outlet for their anger, anxiety, or fear. There’s a better path. Be aware of your child’s emotional state. If they’re not in a place to hear you correct them, follow instructions, or apologize to a sibling, spanking probably won’t help.

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Consider the alternatives.
All children are different, so no single method of discipline works with everyone in every scenario. But talking to a child in a way that meets them where they are in the moment goes a long way. So does removing them from the scene for a cool-down period.

Model the behaviors you want to see.
Your children watch everything you do and will eventually copy many of your behaviors. You may be undermining yourself if you tell your child not to hit their brother and then proceed to spank them. Don’t assume the child will consider the difference between a sibling relationship and a parent-child relationship. Model the behavior you want to see, including asking for forgiveness.

Let the motive dictate the response.
Children have different motives for behaving badly. In the heat of your anger, it can be easy to assume that your child is misbehaving simply to make you mad.

But many things can cause a child to misbehave, including hunger and tiredness. They just may need a cuddle to feel better.

The key to all of this is letting love inform your act of discipline. Pray to God for guidance so that His fatherly love — which corrects us when we go astray — can be reflected in you as a parent.


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