Our job as a parent is to bring up our child to be a good person. There are numerous traits that fall under the category of good, such as, respectful, kind, generous, moral, productive, responsible and many more. Ideally, we want our children to possess all of the good traits. We want them to make a difference in the world, and to make us proud. Parenting is the hardest job on the planet. Every child is different, every parent unique and parenting styles are infinite. There’s one thing that is that same in every single instance and that is that every child begins life as a blank slate. Everyone is a product of their upbringing. Although a child’s influences can come from anyone that they have a relationship with, the parents or guardians play the key role in shaping the character of their little one.
The ultimate method to instilling these qualities in your child is to possess them yourself. A child learns more by example than by being told. If you are a kind person, your child will learn to be kind. Conversely, if you are irresponsible, your child picks up on that too. Following that, if you hit your child when he has angered, upset, or disappointed you, he is learning to lash out and use physical force to solve his problems. This shows up as a fight in the schoolyard, or smacking a sibling. Later in life it can manifest as bar room brawls, road rage, domestic abuse or worse.
Ironically, parents who spank are doing so to teach the child good behaviors and it almost always has the opposite effect. When a child is spanked he feels a myriad of emotions; fear, self loathing, hurt feelings and shame to name a few. Ask yourself if those are really the emotions you want your child to be feeling. Emotional health is just as important as physical health, maybe more so. These undesirable emotions bring on more bad behavior which result in more spankings, more hurt feelings, more acting out, more spanking….you get the idea. Using corporal punishment to bring up a happy, healthy, well-adjusted child to adulthood is a counterproductive at best, damaging at worst.
When a child is misbehaving, there is a reason. Find the reason and help your child fix the problem. Punishing a child for trying to find his way, his voice, his words, is hurtful and ineffective.
A guide to a child’s emotions
- Attitude – Something didn’t work out as planned
- Sad – I’m feeling a loss of some kind
- Anger – I want to control something I can’t
- Scared – There’s something about this I don’t understand
- Embarrassed – I can see I didn’t meet the expectation
Remember to get on eye level with your child when you want to help them through a situation or get a point across. Hold their hands to get their attention and don’t speak until you get it. Keep your voice soft and gentle. Nurture your child and she will blossom.