Delaware recently became the first state to ban spanking. The ban comes as the result of a new child abuse law which labels any action that causes pain to a child as child abuse. While some parents have praised Delaware for taking a stand against a harmful act, others are upset that they could end up in jail for simply disciplining their children.
Parents have been spanking children for hundreds of years. Some used wooden paddles or spoons. Others made children choose their own switch from the tree and were spanked with it. Many parents just stuck to their bare hands. Whatever the case, if you were spanked as a child, you knew that if you were spanked you were in trouble. Parents who spank often use it to shock the child into realizing he is in trouble and the experience reiterates the seriousness of the offense.
Those who don’t spank argue it does not teach children as much as providing a punishment that fits the crime. They also contend that spanking is often done out of anger rather than a form of actual punishment and that its effects do not last. Numerous studies have also attempted to show that spanking a child may have long-lasting negative psychological effects and may even lower a child’s IQ.
Ultimately, unless you live in Delaware, the decision whether to spank or not to spank, the decision is up to you as a parent. However, if you decide to spank, you must keep the following in mind:
- Your spanking should never bruise or leave a mark on a child.
- Any spanking should be preceded and followed by an explanation of why the child received the spanking and how spanking can be avoided.
- Spanking should be reserved for serious offenses.
- You should never spank in anger.