Recently, I find myself running into plenty of ‘hitting a child’ debate online. I don’t know why I see this topic so frequently. Maybe I attracted it with my mind to solve an already existing argument inside me. After a good use of both logic and emotion, I find out that there is no logical argument for hitting children.
The only significance of such ‘discipline’ is tradition. It is an act passed on. The supporters of hitting children usually follow predictable false doctrine. “It’s just discipline” .” It keeps a child from going astray”. “It makes a child know right from wrong” . “The Bible says…” Well, i can disprove all of these.
Firstly, do you think it’s ok, to hit a dog with a stick several times? Chances are, that you’ll say no. After all it is common knowledge that you don’t train a dog by hitting it. The dog just knows how to avoid you and mark you as an aggressor, if you do this. This lack of hitting does not make the everyday dog untrainable though.
You train it by instruction and practice. The same goes when you teach them new tricks. What about reprimanding it? The same set of instructions, my friend. Then why will hitting children train them? Studies show that hitting a child only teaches them avoidance. They do not learn how not to do the wrong they beaten for, but a temporary avoidance of that act. Basically, hitting does not work.
Why is a man who hits his wife a bad man? After all, she was disobedient in his eyes. It can be justified in the same manner, that the wife is probably younger than the husband and needs discipline. The man is the head of the home isn’t it? But a man hitting his wife is called domestic violence not good old discipline. You know why this is?
Another lamentation is that kids that aren’t hit will be spoiled. Well, that’s a big lie. For the number of hit kids who do well in life the number is well matched to unhit kids who do great as well. So, you may ask, how then do we discipline children? With sensible, rational and more effective methods.
Taking toys from a child acting out for example. The child learns that they will be deprived from good things in life if they behave in a troublesome manner. He learns a lesson and the toy is returned then. Child always slams the door when angry? Remove the door. Or tell the child to close the door slowly 20 times. These methods are proven to work, than the infamous hitting.
Children are different and while one child will be able to disassociate from the traumas of being hit, another might internalize it. Hitting has been shown to cause anxiety and panic in the future of many children. A child that is naturally introverted can become less sociable and keep to themselves. A child is an human being. And yet pets gets treated better. In many countries, like mine, hitting a child is legal, in fact it’s a ‘necessary’ tradition.
The questions of when hitting turns to abuse comes to mind. When is it ok to hit, how, when, age, etc. Many hitters say a child should not be physically have wounds from it. If the child is hurt then, is it now considered abuse? What age is hitting a child ok, from age 2? 3? Where should the child be hit? How many hits are ok? How many hits are too much? They say it’s bad when you hit from anger and not from ‘love’. How do you know when a parent decides to hit from anger?
In many countries, it’s ok for a teacher to hit a child too. Does the teacher hit from love? or just from mere frustration? What ‘crime’ is worthy of hitting? Failing to respond fast enough? Coming home late? failing a test? Forgetting to wash the dishes?
I remember a mother who beat her child to death for not learning to write fast enough. She went to jail. That was discipline, right? If hitting a dog will not teach it anything but perpetuate animal abuse, why hit a defenseless child? Remember that culture changes. In the past, it was ok for British husbands to beat their wives. There was even a time table for it. But change brought about an end to the support of that abuse. The similarities between such abuse and hitting a child, is that the one with the most power uses it non positively against the weaker.
Some people would justify beatings they had as children and laugh like it was comedy. This is because most times abused people choose not to recognize the pain and mask it with humour. Some give their lives as evidence, overlooking the facts that state the opposite. If you’re doing we though you were beaten as a child, imagine if you had proper discipline instead. You’d be more okay!
It is a thing for some parents to beat their children and hug them afterwards, explaining while they were beat. That’s not good either. One lady recounted how her father applied balm on her after hitting her. That’s not heart warming. It just shows lazy parenting. It’s like an adult throwing a tantrum. It says, I will physically hit you to avoid using my brain to find a suitable punishment. It also encourages abuse. It’s like telling someone that they can beat their spouse and apply balm on the wounds later.
Even those who grow up knowing hitting their spouse was wrong, still carry the scar. Come up with creative punishment that is actually effective. A girl always ran away from home and did this till adulthood. She was beaten as a child, her hair cut off, but that didn’t keep her from continuously running away. A fine example of failed parenting. I’m sure her parents didn’t try to find out why she had the constant urge to leave home. But hey! Hitting children raises decent members of the society!?
Wrong. How many inmates and criminals have you seen? I’m sure more than half of them had a good share of childhood beatings. Still, they became crooks. A child that is naughty will not change from being hit. Another child that has not been hit might be naughty too, if no discipline is enforced. Hitting does nothing for a child that kicking a dog would.
Hitting has some results similar to too strict parenting. You know those parents that claim ownership of their children’s present, past, future, soul, body, spirit, etc. It renders a child with repressive behaviors. Some might appear : rebellious when free or withdrawn and unable to function one their own. But that is another topic.
Now, the Bible is famous for using paradox, illustrations and hyperbole. Thus the spare the rod thing. Also note the culture of the Jews of the time. It is compulsory for orthodox Jews to wear hair covering, but you don’t as a Christian. Also men wore gowns then. But hey, I’m just saying. Don’t be frustrated with the high rates of violence, Marital abuse and unchanged children, if you choose hitting after all.