As a parent, it can be challenging to discipline your children in a way that is both effective and healthy for their overall development.
How we speak to our children affects them so much. They are vulnerable and can’t rationalize the meaning of remarks, especially from the adults in their lives.
Sadly, physical punishment, including spanking, shouting, and beating, is still a common form of discipline in many African households. It is very important for parents to understand the harmful effects of such methods and to consider alternative forms of discipline that promote positive child development.
Here are some reasons why African parents shouldn’t beat, spank, or speak negatively to their children.
Spanking or beating devalues the child
The child’s self-image begins with how he is perceived by others, especially his parents. Even in the most loving homes, spanking sends a confusing message, especially to a child too young to understand the reason for the whack. Parents spend a lot of time building up their baby or child’s sense of being valued, helping the child feel “good.” Then the child breaks a glass, you spank him, and he feels, “I must be bad.”
Even a guilt-relieving hug from a parent after a spanking doesn’t remove the sting. The child is likely to feel the hit, inside and out, long after the hug. Most children in this situation will hug in order to beg for mercy. “If I hug him, Daddy will stop hitting me.” When spanking is repeated over and over, one message is driven home to the child: “You are weak and defenseless.”
Spanking or beating promotes anger in children and parents
Children often consider punishment unfair. They are more likely to rebel against corporal punishment than against other disciplinary techniques.
Children do not think rationally like adults, but they do have an innate sense of fairness, though their standards are not the same as adults. Oftentimes, the sense of unfairness escalates to a feeling of humiliation. When punishment humiliates children, they either rebel or withdraw. While spanking may appear to make the child afraid to repeat the misbehavior, it is more likely to make the child fear the beating.
This impulsive release of anger often becomes addictive, perpetuating a cycle of ineffective discipline.
Hitting bring back bad memories
A child’s memories of being spanked can scar otherwise joyful scenes of growing up. People are more likely to recall traumatic events than pleasant ones.
The harmful effects of physical punishment do not end when the punishment is over. Children who are regularly subjected to physical punishment are at a higher risk for a variety of negative outcomes, including depression, anxiety, and decreased academic achievement.
There are other ways of disciplining a child without getting affected ;
- By giving them advice on correcting their mistakes with examples.
By talking to them about their action
By preaching the word of God and making them read more moral verses in the Bible.
Withdrawing privileges like television, internet, and phone
Giving them more chores
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