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This is quite a touchy subject for many. Although some of the following statements might offend you, I am still going to keep it as real as possible.

What does it mean to beat your children? And I am not talking about a little spanking or slap on the hand, I’m talking using actual physical force to discipline your children. Let’s say it how it is–physical abuse. If you use a belt, cable, or even just your hand in full force to physically hurt your children, then it is just that. I’m sure that 99 percent, if not all of us, have gone through childhood whoopings. And although you might say, “I turned out just fine,”,I still don’t think that beating your children is a good nor acceptable way of parenting. While yes, they’re your children – it does involve another person getting hurt, therefore I also don’t believe it to be a personal choice. Here’s why I’m against it.

What are we teaching them by beating them?

Discipline: ”The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.” I will not argue about the fact that children need discipline, they do. But how should we properly discipline them? Children learn by imitating us, so if you raise your hand, they’ll come to believe that violence is an acceptable way of dealing with frustration. Yes, they’ll listen after a “good” whooping, but not because they’ve learned what they’ve done wrong, why it’s wrong and what they could do differently next time but rather your kids are listening to you out of fear.

Hitting doesn’t encourage him or her to develop an inner sense of right and wrong. Remember how it made you feel…

Take a second and really think about it. I’m fine now but when I look back on the ‘discipline’ I endured, it definitely had a negative effect on my childhood and early adulthood.

I had to unlearn that using physical force is okay when words just aren’t enough.

No offense to my mother, I love her dearly, but of course it made me feel bad about myself. Those aren’t moments in which you would feel loved. And if that reoccurs, so do the negative feelings. How would you feel if your spouse – male or female – would hit you? “How could he do that to me?” Well, how and why would you do that to your own children? If you love someone, you simply don’t intentionally hurt them.

Healthier ways of discipline

There are many other ways of disciplining a child. For example, time-outs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) you can start time outs by the age of one. Although a time-out isn’t directly a punishment – it does give your child the chance to calm down and get it’s emotions under control. Once your child turns age five or six you can teach them consequences.

Example: if your child plays with a ball in your home and breaks a vase. The consequence now, could be that the child needs to clean the mess himself and perhaps glue the lamp back together. This way your child will learn that actions are followed by consequences.

Teenagers can be a little more challenging to discipline. By setting clear rules and enforcing consistency with those rules and the consequences if they’re broken–as well as being a good role model and being involved in your child’s life–you can do wonders. A lot of parents don’t really understand what their children going through, which can also cause some issues, but try to remember your teen years (while remembering that it’s a new generation).

If they do break the rules, try these strategies: temporarily taking away what they enjoy, for example their video games or tablets. It’s also a good idea to have them write an essay about what they’ve done wrong. Once they see it in writing, it makes them more cautious and aware of their actions.

I believe that it’s a sign of weakness when people use violence to get their point across. If you really feel the need to physically abuse someone then you might need to reevaluate your standpoint and learn how to communicate better. There are many ways to teaching children how to behave–hitting just isn’t the one.

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