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31 Reasons Moms Decide to Stop Spanking Their Kids
Are you feeling on the fence about spanking? Or maybe you’ve already decided it’s not for you? There are a lot of reasons to stop spanking your kids (or to not even start in the first place).
A lot of times the reason parents start to spank is because they believe the Bible tells them to – but we have already discussed how that isn’t true. The Bible is not telling parents they should spank, but that they train their children to do what’s right, and that’s why here at The Moving Mama we are so down with Gentle Parenting.
Besides spanking not being Biblical, here are some more real life reasons why parents have chosen to stop spanking.
#1. Their child became scared of them
Many moms attest to the awful feeling of their child running from them in fear, or the scared look in their eyes, because be they were spanked. Moms feel that this isn’t right and decide to stop spanking.
#2. It didn’t work
After growing up being spanked they realized that it never truly worked on them or their siblings so they figure it won’t work on their own kids.
#3. It would be illegal to do the same to an adult
Some moms have stopped spanking because they felt it was wrong to spank their child if they would be arrested to do the same thing to an adult.
#4. It felt like abuse
If their husband was doing the same thing to them it would be considered abuse and they didn’t want to do that to their children.
#5. The lack of repentance the children felt
Instead of spanking making a child sorry for what they had done they would instead look angry, confused and hurt. Their apologies were empty just to avoid another spanking.
#6. It required the parent to ignore their heart and become cold
It does not feel naturally or right to spank a child so the parent often feels so cold and distant. They begin to feel hard and it doesn’t feel right.
#7. They realized it was always out of anger
Despite many attempts to do it out of love many parents find their anger taking over. Then the spanking is done with anger and frustration.
#8. They don’t want their child to associate love with physical pain
The parent decided that if they spank their child, even out of love not anger, they may be conditioning them that those who love you are allowed to hurt you.
#9. It was too selfish to spank
Some parents come to the conclusion that they’ve only been spanking out of selfishness. They feel annoyed by their child’s behaviour and decide that the child should be punished as a form of justice. The parent realizes the selfishness in this and decides to find another way.
#10. Children become defiant
After being spanked so many times it actually has a reverse effect and the behavioural issues escalate.
#11. They want a better relationship with their children
The parent wants a deep, meaningful relationship with their child that lasts for decades and realizes that spanking is preventing that from happening.
#12. They want their children to learn they can do better
Spanking puts emphasis on the bad thing you did, and instead parents want their child to learn what they should of done and how they can do better.
#13. It didn’t make sense to teach them not to hit by hitting
Spanking didn’t help their message of discipline get across since the children knew hitting wasn’t allowed.
#14. Realizing children are whole people
Some parents land on the backbone of Gentle Parenting which is respect. Once they started to see their child as a whole person worthy of dignity and respect they realize that spanking isn’t right.
#15. They felt bad if they yelled at their spouse and would apologize, so why would it be acceptable to do to the kids
They know that if they did the same thing to their spouse they would feel horrible and apologize, so it doesn’t feel right that their children should have to bear through it.
#16. They had suffered abuse
Many parents were abused as children or in their adult years and they know they would never want their child to feel the same fear and confusion.
#17. They learn that you don’t have to be permissive to not spank
Rather than allowing a child to have no boundaries the parent learns about firm boundaries with Gentle Parenting. Knowing there are other tools out there helps the parent to decide to quit spanking.
#18. Seeing Gentle Parenting working faster
Some parents had to see the positive results of friends or family who used Gentle Parenting to convince them that there was a better way. In many cases they realized once Gentle Parenting is established it works much faster than spanking.
#19. When they started to use Gentle Parenting the reasons for spanking disappeared
By using Gentle Parenting with an emphasis on respect and a strong relationship the behaviours that previously resulted in a spanking slowly disappeared.
#20. They wanted to question the usual “Christian advice” they got
Many parents are always told by other Christians that you have to spank (some parents are even told they will go to hell if they don’t) but they decide to start doing their own research. They read articles like the ones listed here and begin to see that the advice they have been getting isn’t the best.
#21. They learn more about God’s Character
The more you learn about the qualities of God – His loving kindness, forgiveness and gentleness – the harder it becomes to accept that God could want parents to spank their children.
#22. It broke their heart to spank
Some parents don’t spank out of anger but actually with tears. After a long time of breaking their own heart to spank they decide there must be a better way than what they’ve always been told was the “right” and Biblical thing to do.
#23. It wouldn’t be an acceptable punishment as an adult
The parent knows they wouldn’t tolerate being spanked if they made a mistake and feel that their child shouldn’t have to either.
#24. They received counseling for their anger
Some parents start to really address their problem with anger and that’s when they decide they should not spank their children anymore.
#25. They learn about scientific based evidence against spanking
After reading an article like this one the parent realizes the damage they could be doing to their child and decide to stop.
#26. They realize they can reason with their child
The parent decides that they will talk to their child and rationalize with them instead of spanking them.
#27. They learn that many successful adults were not spanked
Some people believe that children grow up to be entitled because they were not spanked as children. When they meet adults who are successful in life and find out they were not spanked it encourages them to try another route of discipline and they stop spanking their kids.
#28. They didn’t want to break their child’s trust
The parent wants to have a strong relationship with their child and wants to build trust to encourage honesty in the future. They feel that spanking is breaking the trust so they decide to stop.
#29. Their children couldn’t stop their behaviour without a spank
Some spanking parents believe that spanking is very effective…until they realize that their child cannot self regulate without a spank. Children who are disciplined with GENTLE PARENTING (and other less authoritarian parenting styles) learn how to control their behaviour on their own. Children who are spanked often rely on the spanking to get them to stop. Parents realize this and decide to stop so their child can control their own behaviour.
#30. Their doctor said not to
In a lot of cases doctor’s aren’t always telling mother’s to do the most gentle thing possible (for example telling mothers to sleep train their infant with the Cry It Out Method). Some mothers decide to stop spanking after their doctor advises them against it.
#31. Their children began hitting each other more and more
Some parents realize that the more they spank their child the more that child starts to hit others. They realize they may be creating a cycle and so they decide to stop spanking their kids for good!
What About You?
So there you go, 31 reasons why moms might decide to stop spanking their kids.
But I want to know about you.
Why did you stop spanking your kids? Or maybe you still do, or maybe you never have? Tell me about your personal experience in the comment section below. And don’t forget to sign up for the FREE Gentle Foundations course to learn more about Gentle Parenting. Once you have stopped spanking your kids you will need some other tools to help you discipline them, and this course will help! Sign up below!
The Moving Mama
Lizzy Mash is an experienced early childhood educator now living in Africa as a missionary working with children and families.
She teaches Christian moms how to take a more respectful and Christ-like approach to motherhood by using Gentle Parenting strategies.
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