My parents only spanked us while we were in diapers. Which makes me wonder what we were doing at such a young age that was deserving of a spanking? Everyone has their own ideas about corporal punishment, and I respect those ideas. Personally, though, I do not spank my son. I slapped his hand once and I thought I was going to die from the guilt. I felt horrible.
The reason I do not spank, though, is it does not fit into my parenting philosophy. Perhaps my philosophy would be different if my kid wasn't so good, but I do not think that is the case. I believe in letting him make his own choices then learning the consequences of those decisions. He didn't want to wear pajamas to bed the other night, so he learned that it is not comfortable to sleep in jeans. He picks out what clothes he wants to wear. If he doesn't want to get up in the morning, I step outside the door and he realizes that he doesn't want to be left alone. It works for us. It cuts down on arguing, fighting, and temper tantrums. Of course, if safety is involved, I stand firm. But I think because I stand firm on select issues, not a ton of them, he respects them more. I pick my battles, as they say.
It works for us.
My sister sent me this article that talks about a study that links spanking to aggressive behavior.
Now researchers at Tulane University provide the strongest evidence yet against the use of spanking: of the nearly 2,500 youngsters in the study, those who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were more likely to be aggressive by age 5. The research supports earlier work on the pitfalls of corporal punishment, including a study by Duke University researchers that revealed that infants who were spanked at 12 months scored lower on cognitive tests at age 3.And because I like good experimental design:
The researchers accounted for factors such as acts of neglect by the mother, violence or aggression between the parents, maternal stress and depression, the mother's use of alcohol and drugs, and even whether the mother considered abortion while pregnant with the child.
Each of these factors contributed to children's aggressive behavior at age 5, but they could not explain all of the violent tendencies at that age. Further, the positive connection between spanking and aggression remained strong, even after these factors had been accounted for.The article goes onto explain that spanking doesn't allow the child to fully understand why he was spanked, just fear of being spanked again. And the main reason that I do not spank, they say that spanking makes the child see that aggressive behavior is a solution to problems. Can we scold a kid who hits another kid if he has been hit his whole life?