40 DaysWhat Happens if you Stop Spanking for 40 Days?
Do you celebrate Lent? Do you give up something for forty days in preparation for Easter? Is it something you consider unnecessary or unhealthy? Chocolate? Coffee? Soda? Cursing? Fast food? Do you give up that particular something in the hopes of becoming healthier? Whether we are talking about being physically, spiritually or mentally healthy, the things we “give up” for Lent are intended to make us more receptive, more open, more inspired. Still with me? Great! How about if just for this Lenten season, we give up spanking? Not forever, just for forty days. A cleanse. A fast, if you will, just to test the waters and see where a non-spanking lifestyle could take us. Can you give up spanking just to see if it makes a difference?
What if I told you that spanking our children puts them at greater risk for aggressive behaviors, delinquency, depression, feelings of alienation, future violent tendencies, and lower professional and economic achievement than their non-spanked peers? When we spank our children, it might work in the short term, but it absolutely does not work in the long term and actually puts our children at risk for future problems including a host of psychological, physical and societal issues. And what if I also told you that spanking actually sets our children up for a perpetual loop of bad behavior? Corporal punishment instills fear rather than understanding. Most of us will stop doing something if we are hit for doing it. That doesn’t mean we understand why we shouldn’t do it. Spanking sets a bad example, teaching children that violence is a solution to problems. Spanking teaches our children that love and violence are inextricably connected. Is that really what we are trying to teach them?
What if you could, for just forty days, take a step back? Take a deep breath? Listen and connect? Put some space between your child’s action and your reaction? Just for one day? One week? One Lenten season? What if you could channel that negative energy into something better? Something positive? What if you could approach each opportunity for discipline for just one day with calm, peaceful tactics? Would you? Maybe, just maybe, you will discover a path to peaceful parenting and a positive change in your little world in the process. Who’s with me? GIVE IT UP! It’s only forty days, and at the end, the peaceful changes in your home and the world around you will be well worth the sacrifice