Most of us have grown with various forms of corporal punishment in an acceptable way. So we tend to use the same way to discipline our kids. We often find parents slapping, beating or spanking children. This is not an unusual scene. It seems to show immediate results and therefore we tend to believe that it is very effective.
After every act of physically punishing their children, parents justify their action by saying that they did it to improve their child’s behavior … for the child’s benefit in the long run. They might find any other fancy explanation for their action.
But the truth is, every act of physical punishment by parent arises out of parents’ frustration in their inability to control the situation any other better way.
What triggers physical punishment
What is the thing that triggers physical punishment by parents to their kids?
Parents’ anger or child’s misbehavior?
Good question? … Catch 22 situation … Isn’t it?
Let's say there are two kids misbehaving together. One kid’s parent gets angry while other kid’s parent doesn’t.
What does this mean?
This means that one parent over estimates that misbehavior and considers it worth being angry while the other doesn’t.
What does that mean?
It means, child’s misbehavior does not trigger parent’s anger. It is how the parent perceive that misbehavior, which triggers anger.
If anger is triggered, physical punishment is most likely to follow.
If there is no anger, the question of physical punishment doesn’t even arise.
So it is our perception of child’s behavior which triggers our anger and physical punishment.
That means if we are angry and physically punish our child, probably we are misbehaving more than our child.
We human beings use physical power only at a point when our mind can not find a non-violent solution.
Anger is a natural emotion of human beings. There is nothing abnormal in being angry. However, management of anger is critical. Anger shuts the mind to all solutions, howsoever simple they might be.
Some people are naturally more violent than others.
Other who are non-violent, are good at understanding the things in a much better way. They remain in their senses for a longer time and manage their violent emotions in a better way.
Manifestation of Power: Might is Right
Physical punishment by parents to their kids is nothing but a manifestation of power and not a technique to discipline kids. Why don’t we cause physical punishment to grown up children? Why we use this on kids alone?
Because somewhere deep inside us we know that we can overpower kids. So we tend to overpower them. Might is Right! When we have beaten the kids, our anger get satisfied .. finds an easy way out … satisfies our ego.
But in case of grown up children, we know that they can overpower us, therefore we don’t dare. Might is Right!
Generally parents beat their kids and later feel guilty about it. They hug, kiss, feel sorry and love their kids. Why do we have to feel guilty if spanking is good?
Suppose you are driving your car down the street and your car just touches the car ahead of you. The guy in that car comes to you, drags you out and starts shouting, abusing and thrashing you. That guy is very tall huge bodybuilder. People gather around but none of them becomes to help. The guy beats you and while leaving feels sorry about it because he lost his temper.
How do you feel? … Kids feel the same when we spank, beat or thrash them and later feel sorry.
Finding better ways
If we can manage our anger for a few minutes only, we can assess the situation better. Relaxed mind can find better solutions. May be the child wasn’t at fault. May be you didn’t know the whole story. May be some one else did it. Could be anything … After a while you are a better person. You don’t overreact now. You can perceive the same action in a more rational way and decide your strategy accordingly and use any other better method to discipline the kid.