Is Physical Discipline (Spanking) Illegal?
Physical discipline is not exactly illegal as long as it is not abuse. However, that is the problem with physical discipline or spanking and that is when does it become abuse? Too many parents have gone too far when they were angry and spanked their child too long or too hard. Because of this it is important to discipline children in other ways that are not physical. That way abuse is never an issue and problems can be resolved in other ways.
There are some countries where physical discipline is illegal and some states in the United States where it might become illegal. Although this was once the most popular way to discipline a child it no longer is. That is because research shows spanking is not the most effective discipline tool not to mention that it is too easy to take spanking too far.
If you are wondering about physical discipline and whether or not it is the best method for punishing your child then you should think about the risks. The risks are that you will teach your child through spankings that it is ok to resolve problems by hitting. In fact, consider the message you are sending your child if you spank him because he hit his little brother? Why is it ok for you to hit and not your child? The saying that actions speak louder than words is very true here and when you spank your child you are sending the wrong message. Because of this you may be enforcing behavior that you want to eliminate.
Another risk is that you will cross the line and physically abuse your child. Children can really anger their parents sometimes and if the parent picks up a belt to spank the child it can be easy to go overboard. Dont let this happen to you or your child. Instead, think of more constructive ways to discipline.
Timeouts are a great discipline tool for children who are under 10 years of age. There is no risk of physical abuse and the child has time to think about his behavior and what he did wrong.
Another great way to discipline kids is to take away their privileges. When kids lose their favorite privileges they soon realize that poor behavior results in them losing their favorite things for a period of time. Many times the prospect of doing something wrong when weighed against losing Playstation for a week, for example, is enough to get kids to behave properly.
Parents must determine what is right for their children and how they discipline is just another important decision of parenthood. However, before you begin spanking your children consider what message you are sending and what you are trying to accomplish through discipline to begin with. You just might realize other methods of discipline will work better.