It’s not uncommon that kids have bad days and throw temper tantrums, so for parents, it’s about finding the right method for your child when it comes to discipline. Some parents may take away toys, ground them to their rooms, or commonly put them in a time out. But there are parents who decide that spanking their child is an option when it comes to correcting their child’s behaviour. Is this an effective way of disciplining their children?
The Side Effects:
Although it may not seem like a big deal in the moment, spanking your child can have psychological effects later in life. Wendy Tapp-Moore is a Group Coordinator at Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre, and she believes that there are consequences that come from spanking your child.
“It has a lot of impact in terms of their abilities to go to a parent and feel that’s someone they can trust, whereas now the parent who is to be comforting them and making them feel safe, is actually the one that is making them feel fearful… it’s not healthy for the parent-child relationship.”
Moore also adds that it teaches children that it’s okay to hit someone when you’re angry, and that it’s okay to hit someone in general when it’s not okay.
Kaitlyn Fox is a student at King’s University working towards a major in psychology. While she works to getting her major, she explains that they’re being taught that spanking your child, like Moore mentioned, can have negative impacts later on in life.
“I think that it can lead to a lot of mental health issues, such as depression. I think that with not developing attachment the right way you are not able to regulate your emotions correctly, and form positive relationships throughout the rest of your life.”
The Changes Throughout Generations
It wasn’t uncommon for previous generations, especially those who are between the ages of 40 to 80, to experience physical discipline. From getting spanked by their parents hand, a belt or even a ruler, many experienced discipline this way. So what has changed over time? Why is seen by society that spanking your child’s bum isn’t acceptable?
“I think we have done a lot of research to understand much more about what children’s needs are from their parents, understanding child development, understanding the impact some approaches may have.” Wendy Tapp-Moore says. “Hands on is not consistent with what what we know from research.”
But Moore isn’t the only one who agrees with today’s generation being more educated on the generation change. Lourdes Assis, a clinical counsellor, thinks that previous generations were spanked for a specific reason.
“Previous generations before were just trying to follow the social norm that existed at that time. Parents didn’t believe it would scar their children, mentally or physically.”
The Future of Spanking Discipline
Although it’s not against the law, 60 countries around the world have laws against spanking your child, but will Canada follow other countries lead? There are strict rules put in place by the Children’s Aid Society to ensure that proper spanking methods are in place, if parent’s choose to use the spanking method.