Two Teaching Stories
From Why Spanking Doesn't Work, By Michael Marshall, Ph.D.
Spanking adveresly affects children's personality in a number of ways.
Self esteem: Children who are struck by their parents are being sent a message that they are of little value. This implicit message is derived when kids see how parents normally behave in regard to those things they highly value such as certain prized possessions. Take an award-winning show car for instance -- one that has twenty coats of polished lacquer and practically shines with the brilliance of a neon light. Woe to any person who dings, scratches, scuffs, or even gets a fingerprint on that kind of finish! Kids can see that we protect from harm anything that we value hgihly. By inference then, if we strike and damage the "finish" on our children, their bodies, then we are sending them a clear message: "I'm not worried about damaging you. Your're not as valuable as my mint condition `57 Chevy.
Alienation from the parent: The best way to get a sense of this feeling of alienation toward a source of punishment is to recall the feeling you had inside the last time you were followed closely by a police cruiser while driving in traffic. If you are like most people, you had a very uncomfortable feelng. When this happens to me, I nervously watch the cruiser in my rear view mirror. The more closely the cruiser follows and the longer it shadows me, the more nervous I get. I ruminate in a panic, "Did I completely stop for that last stopsign? Did I change lanes properly? Was I late on that last red light?...The reason we feel that way toward the police car is because we have been punished by the police in similar situations in the past by being issued a traffic ticket...
Physical punishment increases the feelings of resentment toward the parents....When family members learn non-punishing ways of interacting, they find that they begin to genuinely enjoy each other, and their bonds of love and attachment grow accordingly.