Does spanking really mean love?

Wednesday, 09/03/2022, 10:03 (GMT+7)

It is an undeniable fact that parents always love their children. Many parents, however, tend to express their love for their children in a serious, even a harsh way. There is a saying that goes, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. Does spanking really bring about love, or just negative feelings and long-term consequences to your child?

Today, many parents still stick to the principle of “Spare the rod and spoil the child” when educating their children. They believe that if they are not strict enough, their children will not become good humans. Being strict here means spanking children to force them obey and dare not to do anything against their parents’ wishes. Many parents boast that their children are really scared of them, considering this as a sign of success in educating their children. Not only parents but also other adults in the family such as grandparents, uncles, etc… “educate” children by spanking them. It seems that spanking is a widely accepted method in the child education curriculum of the Vietnamese people.

Instead of spanking, many parents apply other severe corporal punishment methods such as locking children in a dark room or in the toilet, forcing them to kneel down, or putting them in chains. Some also scold, insult or disparage their children with extremely harsh words. They think that everything they do to their children originates from their love as well as their expectation for the children to become good humans. Little do they know that all actions that physically, mentally or psychologically hurt their children are considered as forms of violence.
Sweetness, love or expectation for children to become good humans are just excuses for acts of violence against children. In fact, educating children using violence in any form might cause serious long-term consequences for children:

  • Abused children are likely to experience physical and mental suffering. They may even suffer from psychological trauma for life if the abuse is severe and lasts for a long time.
  • Children who are victims of domestic violence are more likely to become victims of violence and abuse in adulthood because they are taught to obey.
  • Most children who are abused by their parents will have a misconception of the responsibility to educate their offspring in the future because of the view that spanking means love.
  • Violence makes children become hardened to spanking and they feel resentful of their parents all the time.
  • Abused children will become more and more experienced in lying and pretending to be “obedient children”, cheating their parents. Then when the worst happens, their parents are always the last to know.
  • Imposing severe punishment without clear explanations will turn our children into those who are afraid of punishment but not afraid of breaking the law. If they avoid violating the law or dodge it, it is not because they understand the seriousness of their behavior but because they are afraid of punishment.
  • Most dangerous criminals in society are victims of violence and abuse in their families.

A loving parent will never educate his or her child using violence. Spanking is associated with violence and pain. It has never been an expression of love.