Whether or not you should spank your preschooler has been a question for as long as there have been parents and children. In the past spanking or “corporal punishment” was common in schools as well as homes. Lately, with the advent of children’s rights, there has been some controversy regarding spanking and its use as a discipline tool.
Should Spanking be Illegal?
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California recently had a bill presented to the legislature that had it passed would have made spanking a child under three against the law. The bill was rejected, probably not because Californians agree with spanking per se, but because citizens, in general, are not eager to let governmental laws and policies regulate their parenting style.
Differing Points of View on Spanking
Aside from the legal debate, there is still a question of the effectiveness of spanking as a discipline tool and when have you crossed the line between spanking and abuse. It is very difficult to come to a conclusive answer regarding the spanking of preschoolers due to the fact that what constitutes spanking is subjective depending on your personal views. Some parents feel that using objects such as hair brushes, cooking utensils, belts, and switches are perfectly acceptable for spanking. Other parents consider spanking by any other means besides their hand abuse. Still, other parents feel that striking a child for any reason using any form of implementation is unacceptable as a discipline tool.
The Spanking Decision Comes Down to Parental Judgement
There continue to be arguments for and against spanking and both sides offer valid evidence why their position is most relevant. It doesn’t appear that there will be a consensus any time soon regarding spanking and its use to discipline a preschooler. Suffice to say that as a parent you must use your best judgment for your preschooler. No one knows your child as you do. Nobody else can conclusively offer a general decree on what constitutes perfect effective discipline. You know what works in your home, what you are comfortable with and what your child responds to.
Have You Made the Right Decision about Spanking?
What is most important is that your preschooler feels valued and loved. Your preschooler should not fear you as a parent, but respect you as an adult and competent caregiver. They need to feel safe in your presence. Preschoolers look to their parents for reassurance that all is well and that they are important. It is essential that preschoolers enjoy a rich learning environment where they are free to play, experiment and make mistakes that they can learn from. If this sounds like your home, then rest assured you are doing a fantastic job!