“Spare the rod, spoil the child,” is an archaic saying that gives parents a free pass on physically abusing their children instead of properly managing their own emotions enough to effectively discipline their children.
Unfortunately, some parents do beat, spank, or hit their children with their hands or objects in order to make them submit.
Many use the excuse that it worked for their parents so they do it to their children, but your parents also abided by Jim Crow laws, smoke and drank when they were pregnant, and repressed women to the point where they couldn’t buy a car without a man, as Psychology Today points out. and none of that was a good idea.
In fact, many parents beat their kids without even thinking of teaching them any sort of lesson. The act just serves as an emotional and retaliatory release for the parent. We must evolve and do better by our children and society as a whole.
In fact, studies show that hitting your children can turn them into violent, aggressive individuals with emotional problems.
According to CNN, a study by The University of Texas Medical Branch surveyed about 800 adults and found that most of the adults who behave violently in relationships were hit by their parents.
“Regardless of whether someone experienced child abuse or not, spanking alone was predictive of dating violence,” the study’s lead author Psychiatry Professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch Jeff Temple told CNN.
The study found that hitting your children teaches them that physical violence is the only way to solve a conflict, a lesson they may carry with them throughout life.
“Parents are physically bigger and stronger than children. They also know more than children and, because their brains are fully developed, they are capable of greater self-control,” Dr. Denise Cummins wrote in a piece for Psychology Today.
“When a parent tries to get children to behave better by hitting them, that parent is telling them that hitting people who are smaller and weaker than you is an acceptable way of getting what you want from them. Why should it surprise that parent when their children beat up smaller children at school, or grow up to be wife beaters?”
In addition, studies find that hitting or spanking children turns them into angry, resentful adults with psychological and emotional problems.
“A large meta-analysis of studies on the effects of punishment found that the more physical punishment children receive, the more defiant they are toward parents and authorities, the poorer their relationships with parents, the more likely they are to report hitting a dating partner or spouse,” Cummins writes. “They are also more likely to suffer mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse problems, and less likely to empathize with others or internalize norms of moral behavior.”
So, parents, you might want to stop being lazy, get a grip on your emotions, and start learning how to respect the little humans you decided to bring into this world by properly disciplining them.