The other night my toddler has accidentally broken his vitamin bottle. It fell off his hands to the concrete floor while he’s carrying it. The content spreads through the floor and a portion of it splashed onto the makeshift short table where I put my laptop.
I then called my wife to help me gather the broken pieces of glass and to wipe the wet parts with a rag. My son just stared at me motionless. He seemed to look very frightened with what happened. I stared back at him and asked: “Why did you break your vitamin son? You should have not been carrying or playing with it in the first place.”
He offered me no answer and this time he bowed his head downward and I could see he’s about to break in tears. I tried to spank him just once in the butt using my right hand and it was a very light one. That very moment he cried out loud.
After cleaning up the mess, I called on my son to come to me. At first, he was hesitant to come near me but later on he stood at my side. I hugged him and said, “I’m sorry son, it’s not your fault, but don’t do it again okay?” He nodded, and I kissed him on the cheek and on his forehead.
When we’re in bed already, I thought about what I have done to my son. I shouldn’t have been hitting him in the butt, even a light one. I should have controlled my emotion. Spanking is not a way to correct his behavior but it may even be a tool to make it worst for him. I don’t want to become my dad, which I would be if I allow myself to be eaten up by my anger.
I grew up to a father who used spanking as a form of discipline. But it’s not just ordinary spanking, as far as I can remember he spanked me and so with my siblings so hard and so brutal, and would use a stick, belt, and even a wire doing it. There are times when I had to ask myself: “Do I deserve to be getting all of these a brutal punishment?” I knew my father had crossed the line for discipline but I was young then and afraid.
If there’s one good thing that spanking ever did to me, it was about being awakened to the reality of the fact that what my father has done to me I should never ever be applying to my own son. Parents should never be using physical discipline to correct their children’s behavior. Spanking, to cite from my own experience, doesn’t work. It would only plant seeds for later violent behavior.
Spanking, no matter how it is being viewed, is an act of violence. It does more harm than good especially in the psychological and the emotional aspects of the child’s person. It causes trauma just like those you can get from being abused.
There are ways in which we could effectively discipline a child without using violence. One of them is isolation, then there’s deprivation. The other one is reparation. There’s even what they call diversion in which a parent should find a way to divert a child’s attention from what’s causing him or her to misbehave.
Parents should never instill fear in their kids just so to coerce them into behaving. Children should be respecting their parents not because they are afraid but because they know that their parents love them and accept them for who they are. Let us stop this old-fashioned discipline that’s terrorizing kids for centuries, from generation to another.