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The Great Parenting Debate: To Spank or Not to Spank





One of the hardest jobs in the world is being a parent. Raising a child is not a 9-to-5 position where you get paid vacations and let go of all work responsibilities as soon as the clock strikes a certain hour. Parenting is a 24/7 occupation, where you cannot take off sick or let your guard down. After all, you are raising and molding the next generation of you.

Which brings us to one of the most difficult questions we have to face in our ongoing parenting career…

Should we spank our children?

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Photo credit: The Unbounded Spirit

There are two sides to every coin, and even a mountain of research and scientific studies backing each side.

On the side of the pro-spankers, we have the bible quoting fundamentalists who would prefer to “train up a child in the way he should go, so when he is grown, he will not depart from it.” There are also old-school thinkers who believe “sparing the rod will spoil the child.”

Not all pro-spankers are discipline hardliners, and there are parents who did experience this type of discipline at one time or another growing up, and felt the physical punishment helped them to be better, more upright, and well-adjusted individuals as adults. Instead of self-absorbed and self-entitled individuals who expect the world to deliver what they want when they want it.

Like this child, for instance:

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However, a surfeit of discipline can be harmful, as well. As in the case of parents with very short tempers whose first impulse is to hit children at every little mistake, and parents who believe a daily beating is required to instill respect and discipline.

…as well as a whole lot of fear.

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Photo credit: NY Daily News

Anti-spankers on the other hand know that spanking not only harms both child and the parent emotionally, but scars the child for life on issues regarding trust, resentment, low self-esteem, and a loss of security, as well as ruins communication between the child and his parents, and instills a bad example in terms of internal self-control, particularly over temper.

The traumatized child.

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Photo credit: Inhabitots

Anti-spankers believe spanking is child abuse, and only steers the child down a road of aggression and violence, which will ultimately lead to the raising of a potential criminal.

While the pro-spankers and anti-spankers have their valid points to take into consideration, the most important thing every parent should remember is that…


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Photo credit: TingTau

Parenting is not a one-shot-deal of subscribing to a set of do’s and don’t’s, and then applying the same uniform treatment to your child. Parenting is a continual learning process of getting to know your child as he grows and making the crucial decision over which kind of discipline to use, depending on the child’s temperament and capacity to learn.

Most importantly, parenting does not mean subscribing to any particular school of discipline, whether it is one you grew up with, whether it be rewarding good behavior, time-outs, adjusting your expectations for the child, imposing non-physical consequences, or using corporal punishment.

Parenting is listening to what your child is trying to tell you by his actions, then listening to your own instincts…

Yes, parents, we all have those instincts…

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Photo credit: How 2 Become

…then making a compromise between the two from which to base your resulting pro-action (and not reaction).

Yes it takes a lot of work, as well as trial and error. Nobody said it was easy, but it is one of the most rewarding jobs in the whole world.

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