Unfortunately, the number listed above is not my current salary. It’s an alarming statistic, tallying the number of students spanked or paddled by teachers during the 2006-2007 school year — according to the Department of Education.
Did you know that in 21 states corporal punishment is legal in public schools? In other words, it is LEGAL for a teacher, principal, or guidance counselor to spank someone’s child if they misbehave in school.
Here’s my question: would it be wrong if your coworker were treated this way? How about your wife or husband? What if you were given a spanking when you missed a deadline? Would that be OK? If your answer is no, then why in the world is it considered “OK” to do to a child? Quite simply, IT’S NOT.
Research has proven that there are many negative side effects associated with spanking, swatting & paddling. As a mater of fact, it has the capacity to cause long-term brain damage! This is true whether it occurs in school, or in the home. No matter how you slice it, it’s bad news for kids. More on the research I’m speaking of in a moment.
First I’d like to explore some common beliefs about hitting children.
Zig Ziglar, in his fantastic book, See You at the Top, wrote the following about spanking and discipline:
“I am certain that many civil libertarians will scream it’s archaic to lay your hands on kids. Psychologists generally agree that when a child understands he is going to be held responsible for his deeds, he is far more likely to be concerned with those deeds…”
“…Psychologist James Dobson strongly feels it is most destructive to permit a child to go through life without the loving assurance expressed in discipline. Discipline assures the child he is worthwhile and that you love him enough to discipline him for conduct which is not in his own best interest.”
I whole-heartedly agree that children, like adults, need to be held responsible for their actions. It’s true that we can not let them act and speak however they want, like wild animals.
What I do not agree with is the use of physical force as discipline.
(this is one of very few issues Zig and I are in disagreement on.)
“Discipline,” is not a one-dimensional word. As a matter of fact, if we utilize positive forms of discipline (punishment/consequences), we instill discipline (self control & determination) in our children — as well as virtue, morality, manners and responsibility and self respect.
Our children do not need to learn fear and repression, they need to learn integrity and positive expression.
We don’t want to beat them down, we want to build them up — all the while making sure they have a solid foundation to build their own future on.
“A parent’s role fulfills a sacred trust: one intended to safely help grow the heart, mind, brain and body of a vulnerable human being. No matter what you think, or what your own parents did that made you ‘turn out alright,’ hitting children violates that sacred trust.
Modern brain imaging studies clearly show that hitting children disrupts and disorganizes the developing structures of the body and brain. The home that used to be a safe refuge, no longer is. The people who used to be the ones a child could turn to for safety, no longer are. With nowhere safe to go, and no one available to turn to for soothing and help in regulating emotional distress, the world becomes an overwhelming, confusing, unmanageable place.”
In An Interview With Mark Brady, Part 3, Mark had this to say:
“Research suggests that parents who hit children were themselves hit by their parents. From their perspective, they were hit and ‘they turned out all right.’ My response to this assertion is: ‘Compared to what?’ How might you have turned out had your fear circuits not been intermittently triggered in ways that make the world look like a dangerous and difficult place?”
In Part 3 of this series I’ll touch upon how religion plays into the discipline paradigm. I’ll also share more of Mark Brady’s findings, as well as some healthy discipline alternatives.
Until then, don’t hit!
And remember, you are not alone…
Never Hit a Child
Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit (Part 1)
Equal Rights for Kids: Let Your Kids Decide
Why Spanking Children is a Bad Idea, by Mark Brady