Effects of spanking

April 30th is International SpankOut Day. It was started in 1998 to raise awareness of the problems with spanking or smacking children and to provide alternatives. Eileen Hayes, a mother of four and an author of several books on childcare, has a video explaining the problems of smacking children.

In the video, she responds to the question “Should I smack my child when they are naughty?”:

“I am very opposed to smacking and obviously parents will have their own views. I think there are lots of reasons why smacking's just not a useful form of discipline. First of all, the example you're giving your child, children learn so much by example, they copy everything adults do, and if you hit a child then don't be surprised if they go and hit a brother or sister or a friend at the nursery. Also, you don't hit another adult when you want to get your own way, so it's showing a lack of respect to a child if you treat them differently. The fact that they may have annoyed you and you smack them is really not respecting your child. But also, it just doesn't work. Parents say, "Oh, it stops them". Of course it stops them in their tracks at the time, but children don't learn what you want them to do instead. They actually need the patient explanations, the time consuming teaching for them to understand why a behavior is wrong and why you want them to do something else instead.”

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