Spanking children is a great American tradition. As a largely Christian nation we have embraced with zeal the doctrine of “spare the rod and spoil the child.”
Although our intentions have been noble, wisdom would have us remember that the same men who penned these words also advocated genital mutilation, beheadings, slavery and the stoning to death of women and disobedient children.
Today, we have access to scientific research in psychology and child development that confirms a better vision for child rearing. Attachment Parenting is a parenting style based on modeling and non-violence that encourages us to treat our children as we would like to be treated and to do no harm to these little ones. It is about developing a secure relationship with our children.
In our home, discipline means discipleship. We treat our children with the same dignity and respect with which we wish to be treated.
We model the behavior we wish our children to emulate. Children are mirrors of their parents. They mimic what they see and hear.
If you want polite children you must be polite to them. If you want respectful children you must treat them with respect.
When our children’s behavior becomes a concern, we do not punish them. We stop and assess what behaviors we have been modeling for them. When we correct our behavior, they correct theirs.
According to Dr. Bill Sears, the more physical punishment a child receives, the more aggressive he becomes. Our relationship with our children is not based on control, dominance or fear, but upon mutual respect and trust.
Spanking generates fear, which has been proven to inhibit learning. When we tell our children we love them, and then hurt them, we send a very confusing message that abuse is somehow love.
For more information on parenting go to www.askdrsears.com.