Anyway, the show was really interesting. We had a wide variety of callers. Some who felt that children needed to be physically punished in order to learn discipline, some who felt that physical punishment was not the answer, and some who were beat as children and felt they turned out fine. It was interesting and challenging for me to hear their stories. Although I acknowledge that people have different opinions for different reasons, I stand firm with what I tried to say on the show. Physical punishment is not the way to teach your child discipline. Talking to a child, explaining things to them (in a developmentally appropriate way), and providing natural consequences is the most effective way to produce behavior change. Physical punishment does not actually get rid of a behavior; it suppresses it. It teaches kids that it is ok to get physical when you are angry. It teaches kids that they are not in control of their own behavior-that someone else needs to control it for them. And real beatings-not a quick spanking, but as some listeners said,beating with an electrical cord or a switch-is dangerous. It leads to all kinds of negative outcomes for children. But most of all-it's scary for children. In the place that they are supposed to feel safe and unconditionally cared for. Additionally, if you use an instrument-a switch, a cord, a belt-to hit your child it's not legal. It is child abuse and anyone who works with your child is legally mandated to report it if it is suspected. It is also illegal to leave a mark on your child.
If you want your child to learn and feel in control over his or her own behavior, talk to them. Teach them the correct way to act. And do it with love because fear and respect are not synonymous. Fear teaches your child that you are scary and that you will not always protect them. It can greatly damage relationships, which nobody wants.
Here is a link to the show: http://www.empowermagazine.com/empowerhour/. It is the October 2nd show. It was my first show, so I was nervous, but I hope that my message got through. Hitting your child is not just dangerous, it is ineffective. I hope that the show helps you explore new avenues for discipline. If you need help, contact a psychologist or another behaviorist. Parenting is overwhelming and determining the best way to parent your unique child can be exhausting. No one is perfect and there is no shame in contacting a professional.
As always, let me know what you thought! Comment below, tweet me @fpschDrSweeney, or contact me directly!