No person has a “right” to strike another, no matter how close the relationship. I remember fifty years ago seeing a mother chase her child with a stick, shouting “I brought you into this world and I can put you in the cemetery!” Luckily, the child was faster than his mother. But the idea of a “right” to hit a child is no laughing matter.
Even in the best of circumstances, parenting is super hard work and takes tremendous patience. When we have so many other concerns in life and then we add in a child who is misbehaving, it is tempting to give the child a smack. But let me tell you what the research shows: Spanking does not achieve our parenting goals.
When we talk about discipline, we usually refer to the efforts by parents and teachers to reduce or eliminate annoying or inappropriate child behaviors. Punishment is designed to suppress or reduce behavior and may appear like the perfect match for these goals. The term “discipline” includes the notions of instruction but also of punishment.
Psychologist, George Holden, shares 5 useful analogies from sedimentary rocks for why parents physically punish their children.