What is and what isn't acceptable in parenting is ever changing. There are things that we probably do that make our parents generation cringe and the opposite is also probably true. But there is one element of parenting that although it is thankfully no longer recommended is still carried out by some. It is the idea that smacking is an acceptable form of discipline and this is want to make an argument against in this post.
My little boy is only just 10 months old, so although he is getting to an age where he is started to test what he can do and is definitely starting to understand the meaning of 'No', we have not run into any major discipline issues yet. This being the case, I am probably not qualified at this point to comment on what a good discipline technique is. I certainly hope that when the time comes, we can approach it in a gentle and positive manner. This is what I will strive for and I will be researching the best ways in which I can do this. Despite this, I know what disciplinary techniques I won't be using.
I am unsure as to the history of smacking, perhaps it comes from a time when children ought to have been seen and not heard. But what I do know is that it has no place in a modern world - a world that is already fraught with violence. I realise that many people will be saying, "I was smacked as a child and I am perfectly fine." Certainly when I was growing up, smacking was still the done thing and something that you saw a lot. And it was frightening. Regardless of whether you have been left unaffected, I have no desire to bring my child up in a world where he can expect to be physically punished for being a child and pushing the boundaries.
However you look at it, smacking is a violent act. It sends out a violent message which is not good for a child's psyche (or even an adults.) If an adult had 'misbehaved' they would not be smacked for it. Why is violent and aggressive behaviour seen as an acceptable form of discipline? In an already violent world, it is important to send out a more positive and tolerant message to the next generation. I have been out and about and seen the way some parents shout at their crying children and sometimes smack. I would cry as well if I was being shouted at like that! The child may have already been crying and having a tantrum before the shouting and smacking occurred, but this is not the way to handle it.
There are far more positive ways to show our children right from wrong. Ways that don't instil fear in an already violent world. As this is what this sort of discipline does, it instils fear and not love. If we want to stand a remote chance of making this world a better place than it currently is, then we need to focus on the ways that we can show our children a more positive and loving side to this planet and it's people. Let's learn to discipline our children from a place of love and positive direction, not from fear and anger. This is a subject that I will be posting about in the future as I set out on the path of positive discipline. I am not in any way perfect and can be snappy the same as anyone. But I hope to show my child by example what can be achieved when we act from a place of positivity, tolerance and patience.