A commitment to nonviolence invites us to ponder questions, such as: Is spanking violence? Do children have a fundamental right to the dignity of the individual? What protections do individuals in their formative years need? 1i-love-you-sign-language-clipart-0d1451a974b1602fb8774459632930a0
A majority of parents in the U.S. spank their children. 2 Though many equate the word “discipline” with punishment, the word comes from the Latin disciplina, which means “teaching, learning.” What does the practice of spanking teach? Parents who hit are modeling hitting, showing children that it’s okay to hit others, especially if you’re bigger.

The results of numerous studies show just one upside and numerous downsides to the practice. Spanking usually has the effect of immediate compliance with parental demands. It can also make the child more aggressive with peers, which can continue into adolescence and adulthood, resulting in domestic violence. Other lasting effects include depression, anxiety, and behavioral problems. 3

Nonviolent discipline does not mean zero discipline. Some of the effective methods include communication, guidance, teaching social skills, and positive reinforcement. 

Ideas that can help change a habit of spanking:

1. Convention on Rights of the Child. www.unicef.org/crc/index_30229.html
2. To spank or not to spank? https://extension.tennessee.edu/WebPacket/Pages/WP-2014-09-ResponseToSpanking.aspx
3. The Science of Spanking: What Happens to Spanked Kids When They Grow Up? upworthy.com/the-science-of-spanking-what-happens-to-spanked-kids-when-they-grow-up
4. Parents’ Anger: Turning Down the Heat in Your Home. centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/anger-and-violence/parents-anger-turning-down-the-heat-in-your-home/
5. Grocery Shopping with Young Kids. webmd.com/parenting/features/grocery-shopping-kids
6. Role Playing Scenarios. parentcoachplan.com/role_playing.php
7. A Protocol for Teaching Apology of Action. edutopia.org/pdfs/stw/edutopia-stw-louisville-sel-protocol-for-teaching-apology-of-action.pdf

Other Organizations Working for Children and Nonviolence:


Children and Nonviolence page 10 – print version pdf