We know there there are many who were spanked as a child who will tell us they turned out “just fine.” While that may have been the case for you, that isn’t the case for all children and you don’t know all of spanking effects on the development of your child. Many children deal with the effects of being spanked long into adulthood and may need counselling to process what happened to them.
At the most basic level just remember that spanking is physical violence against someone else. And when an adult, who they trust, spanks them, the message that many children hear is that it’s ok to be physically violent with someone else. Which we’re sure isn’t a message that parents actually want to teach their child.
Now you many be thinking, “I’ve spanked my child in the past and now I feel guilty for spanking my child. Is there anything I can do?” Yes. Apologize. Talk to your child about how what you did wasn’t appropriate and that you’re sorry and that they hope they will forgive you. Often, just acknowledging that you made a mistake allows you child to better process what happened to them and keeps them from having issues with it long term. Also it’s important for children to understand that parents make mistakes and that when a mistake happens it’s ok and you can work to make it better.
If you’re a parent who spanks on a frequent basis, we recommend that you visit Smarter Parenting for positive discipline techniques using behavior skills. Behavior skills teach you how to remove emotions from problems and situations and help a child understand what is expected of them. Access to all the behavior parenting help on Smarter Parenting is completely free and can be learned in the comfort of your own home.