Time to stop eleventh-hour parenting
By Teresa Whitehurst
Excerpt from The Practical Therapist, Teresa Whitehurst, Jain Publishing Company, 1995, pp. 134-35
Imagine your supervisor at work swatted you every time you got out of line. Would you enjoy working there? Would you respect your supervisor, or would you fear and hate that person? What would you learn about "discipline"?
Americans now live in fear of violent people with hair-trigger tempers. It's time we stopped using spanking and other forms of "eleventh-hour parenting" that breed rage and fail to teach self-discipline. Let's start building character in our children with firm rules and consequences instead (see "Kids Need Reasonable Rules and Natural Consequences"). We don't need even one more teenager who's ready to explode upon society by the time he can hold a gun.
- Research clearly shows that spanking damages a child's self-esteem. This should come as no surprise.
- Spanking can cause physical problems. Contrary to ridiculous statements such as, "God made bottoms for beatings", the buttocks were not designed for assault. Buttocks and the bones and nerves supporting them are actually very sensitive, and can be damaged by assaults on that area.
- Spanking is an invasion of a child's private sexual parts. The buttocks are one of the body's erogenous zones, and in many animal species, including humans, the buttocks play a visual and tactile role in sexual arousal. Most parents don't realize that spanking can lead to twisted sexual behaviors, but it can. Ask any psychotherapist how many clients they've seen who crave spanking and/or bondage during sex, and how many of those clients were spanked as children. Though I wouldn't recommend it, browsing through the porno materials at your local magazine stand will quickly illustrate this fixation.
I've noticed that this deviance is particularly strong in people whose parents demanded they "drop their pants" to be spanked. This form of sexualized abuse frequently leads to adult sexual perversions wherein the person must be humiliated in order to achieve orgasm.
- Spanking teaches "might makes right". Studies have shown that children who are spanked are more likely to hit other children when frustrated. A child who's raised with violence will see violence as the solution to his or her problems.
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