Negative Effects of Beating Children

One of the most difficult things to do after the initial days of parenthood is disciplining your child. As he grows up, you will find that the number of tantrums increases – he is sure to become more demanding and test the limits of your patience. What can parents do at that time – they will be forced to discipline their child in any way they can! They might try reasoning with the child initially, but then in most cases, disciplining deteriorates into beating and use of force.

While beating is a tried and tested method which has stood the test of generations, the fact remains that it is not a healthy thing to do, both emotionally and physically. Beating does more harm than good, even though you might reason that you turned out well despite your parents using the rod. In this article, let us take a deeper look at the effects of beating children and the alternatives to beating.

Why Parents Spank Their Kids?

There are a few reasons as to why the situation ends up in parents beating their child. In most cases, the parents are forced to take the rod out of desperation. They might have tried all other methods to try to make their child understand, unsuccessfully, until the only thing that remains is to use force. Soon, it becomes a habit for the parents to spank their child as soon as he does something wrong. Buoyed by how ’successful’ it was the last time, they might simply opt for the easy way out without trying any methods to discipline them calmly. Some parents might also spank their children out of anger or fear – it might have become their reflex to the child doing something wrong.

Adverse Effects of Beating a Child

There are many reasons as to why nothing good can come out of beating a child. A few have been listed here.

1. Hitting Breeds Hitting

If you choose to discipline your child by taking the rod on him, you are automatically giving him the license to hit those around him if he does anything wrong. Children observe and model their behaviour based on those around them, and these actions are sure to be picked up by him at an early stage. Spanking gives the child an idea that it is okay to heat stronger or smaller people if it is done due to a reason.

2. Devalues the Child

The act of spanking a child does not simply hurt him physically – it is the emotional sting of it that causes the worst effects. Your child will most likely develop a self-image in the years he grows up, and if you hit your child when he does something wrong, he might end up losing all respect for himself. He gets the idea that he is a ‘bad’ boy, and it stays with him as an emotional scar for long after.

3. It Devalues the Parent

While you might feel that spanking works looking at the immediate results and feel satisfied with yourself for a moment, you are sure to feel even worse in the long run. Your child is sure to be afraid of you, and it develops into detachment as he grows up.

4. It Can Spiral out of Control

Spanking might start out as some light swatting, but has the potential to develop into something much worse for both of you. If your child repeats the same mistake again, how do you react? By beating him harder until he ‘learns’ the lesson? The lines between disciplining and abuse are sure to blur after some time.

5. It is a Vicious Cycle

Contrary to popular belief, hitting does not improve the behaviour of the child. He merely feels pain and bad about himself at the time, and this leads to a huge loss of self-esteem and confidence. This leads to him doing more mistakes, and more punishment – the cycle only grows bigger.

6. Hitting is not Divine

Many parents cite the words from the Bible – ‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’- as an excuse for them to start beating up their child. This is just misinterpretation that has occurred over generations. The word ‘rod’ has a multitude of interpretations in the Bible itself, so this does not make it okay to beat your child. In any way, you would be better off caring for your child than listening misinterpreted words which have been diluted over millennia.

7. Anger Gets into the Driving Seat

With hitting, the problems do not simply stop at the use of the rod. Not only are the parents affected by all the anger they feel, they also sow the seeds of anger in their children. This means that your child is more likely to have emotional issues as he grows up.

8. It Stays with the Children

No matter how big they grow up to be, they are sure to never forget all the beatings you gave them. This leads to them using similar methods on their children and feeling detached, or even disdain towards his parents.

9. Antisocial and Egocentric Behaviours

In a survey, it was found that children who were subjected to corporal punishment as they grew up were more likely to exhibit antisocial, and even egocentric behaviour in their adulthood.

10. It Simply Does Not Work

Spanking does not have any benefits in terms of development. Period. No good can come out of using the rod on your children, and you may end up scarring them for life.

Alternative Discipline Strategies to Hitting

There are a few ways as to how to discipline your child without hitting:

  • Calm yourself first, instead of taking out your emotions on the child. You need to take some time for yourself if you feel yourself getting the impulse to physically harm your child. You might be under a lot of stress at the moment, but that does not mean that you need to take it out on your child.
  • Make him understand what he did wrong, and help him make it right again. For example, if you find that your child has drawn on the wall in spite of repeated warnings from you, you might feel the urge to teach him a lesson with the rod. However, the better thing to do would be to make him understand the consequences of his action, by making him wash the wall himself.
  • Remember that every discipline strategy should leave your child better off than he was before. This works for children of all ages, right from toddlers to teens with anger management issues.

Spanking is not a good thing to do, even if you ‘grew up fine’ in spite of how your parents disciplined you. There are many other discipline strategies which can actually help the child develop, and gain respect for himself- so why not try those for the good of your child?

Also Read: Creative Ways to Punish a Child