Thursday, April 30, 2015

A subject near and dear to my heart.

When it comes to the internet, I generally shy away from discussing sensitive issues because most people already have their opinions and beliefs and a heated discussion on Facebook isn’t going to change that.  But there is one subject I will ALWAYS make the time and effort for, and that is child abuse.
      I’m an advocate of peaceful parenting. While I wish everyone knew what those two words meant and practiced it, the sad truth is most of the time when I say peaceful parenting people look at me like I have lost my mind or I’m speaking another language.  Peaceful parenting in a nutshell is the belief that through communication and guidance it is not necessary to resort to bribes, yelling or physical discipline with your children.  If you want a more detailed explanation, Parenting Beyond Punishment is a wonderful resource of information.

      With that being said; I fully believe that yelling or hitting your kid is child abuse. I’ve heard it all. “My parents hit me and I turned out just fine.” “If more kids were hit they wouldn’t act the way they do now.” Those statements infuriate me beyond belief. You are taught your entire life that physical violence is never the answer or solution, yet when it comes to our children, the only beings who are truly dependent on us for their well-being and safety in the developmental years of their life; it is okay to hit them???  I think not.

Research shows that: physical punishment is associated with an increase in delinquency, antisocial behavior, and aggression in children; and physical punishment is associated with a decrease in the quality of the parent-child relationship, mental health, and the child's capacity to internalize socially acceptable behavior. That is just a small example of how physical discipline is detrimental to your child.

      Right now, society is applauding a mother for beating her child on national television for participating in acts of violence. We all know that children emulate the behavior they see, so is it possible that he learned through physical discipline that violence is in fact the answer?  Isn’t that essentially what we are teaching our children when we choose to hit them?  “I don’t like what you did, so I’m going to hit you.” And then we contradict our actions by teaching them that violence isn’t the solution and you can go to jail for hitting people.  How can anyone ignore the blaring hypocrisy in that logic??

I’m aware that there are a lot of people that vastly disagree with me and that’s their choice, but if even one person takes the time to look into peaceful parenting and comes away with a better understanding of why we need to not hit our kids, then it was well worth the time it took to write this.  I could go on and on about my beliefs and the philosophy behind them, but how to parent your child is a very personal choice and I strongly encourage anyone who’s even the slightest bit interested to seek out more information on peaceful parenting.  

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