The first question to ask yourself is, ‘What is the aim of discipline?
I have heard many people say that discipline is about flogging the child. They believe that once you flog a child, everything goes on well with the child. When it comes to relationships with your children, discipline is one of the biggest issue. As parents, you need to constantly imagine the kind of relationship you want to create with your children when they grow up.
Do you want your children to understand and connect with you as their parent? Or do you want to force it down like an obligation? If you want your child to connect to you freely, then you must make sure your child doesn’t see the connection as an obligation but a desire. If I may ask, what exactly makes a child want to spend time with you aside from obligations?
Today’s conversation springs forth from numerous questions that came in from parents. How do you begin to manage the act of flogging your children? Can you parent without flogging your child and still have a well-behaved child? Every child wants to be loved uniquely. Curiosity also helps you transform your relationship with your child. It is absolutely possible to parent without flogging. Several people have raised their children successfully without flogging. My parents had no reasons to flog me, so I grew up without the usual clogging and yelling.
WHY DO PARENTS HIT THEIR CHILDREN?
1- Childhood Trauma and Experiences: A rocky and violent childhood that you experience while growing up can affect you today as an adult and parent. Beyond just affecting you, it can also affect your health. The traumatic event encompasses anything forms sexual assault to childhood abuse and cancer diagnosis. Childhood abuse is most likely going to affect your adult life because it occurs at a time when your brain is vulnerable. It also occurs at the hands of people who are supposed to be your protectors. Statistics show that people with childhood trauma have challenges with their physical health. Your experience as a child plays a very important role in your adult life. People who experience traumatic events will most likely develop post-traumatic stress disorder or other severe health issues. Most of the trauma and chronic diseases resulted from childhood trauma.
Early childhood trauma is a risk factor for almost everything. Early childhood trauma ranges from depression to psychiatric issues or eating disorders. The effect of all childhood trauma has two factors. The first factor is the behavioural changes that result from trauma. People who are suffering from traumatic memories may try to escape them by participating in risky behaviours. They may try to smoke, use drugs or even overeat for comfort. These risky behaviour are called coping mechanisms. It’s a way of dealing with emotional deregulation.
These habits in turn lead to health problems and challenges. The second factor is the physical effect. This physical effect came as a result of behavioural habits. Health experts opined that there is a direct biological effect that happens when your body undergoes extreme stress. Your body produces more adrenaline and your heart races when you undergo extreme stress. It also causes wear and tear in the body. The stress response has been demonstrated in people who have experienced discrimination throughout their lives. Stress response ages the system faster. People who have experienced trauma may also struggle with getting help. This is one of the worst outcomes of trauma. You avoid anywhere somebody says to you that you need help.
2- Lack of Knowledge: Many times, it’s because you don’t know what to do that’s why you are hitting your child. You don’t need to hit a child, it’s because you have made a decision not to learn. Your brain is actually going to give you what it is that you know. So the brain is constantly going to produce what you have kept inside. If the knowledge you have is only on hitting a child, then you will always hit your child for anything and everything.
3– Lack of Emotional Control: Oftentimes, It’s because you can’t control yourself, not because you don’t know the right thing to do. Emotional control is a skill, it’s not an assumption. You have a lot of work to do and you must stay committed to it.
4- Lack of Parental Skills: Many times, people give birth without preparing for the task ahead. Nobody told them what parenting entails. Why do I hit my child and now feel guilty? This is one of the biggest challenges that we have. If we then say that it’s ok to hit a child, why then do we feel guilty after hitting a child? Have you ever hit a child and you felt guilty?
Here are The Reasons Why You Feel Guilty When You Hit Your Child:
1- You Are Confused: If flogging your child is working then you won’t feel guilty. The number one reason why you feel guilty is that you know that hitting your child does not work. You also need to begin to ask yourself questions. If you are feeling guilty because flogging isn’t working, what exactly is the issue?
2- It Releases What it is That You Felt as a Child: When you hit your child, something in you remembers all that happened in your childhood which makes you distraught. It also brings to bear all that you went through while growing up. You will begin to remember all that you promised to not do which in turn makes you feel guilty. Parenting characteristics are very reflective.
3- It Shows That You Don’t know What To Do: Many parents who hit children do that because they don’t know what else to do. If you know what else you do, you will not hit anybody at all. The moment I get frustrated in my communication with my children, I realize that I have lost what to do. I start to seek a solution. And what to do is not always constant. What to do can vary. There are times where you might have known what to do but all of a sudden you get confused. This is because your child is growing. Parenting is not on assumption but your level of knowledge and information. You only hit your child when frustration sets in. Parents who lack what to do are the ones who are frustrated. What to do in parenting is never constant, it varies. Parenting changes as your children grow. All you need to do is to learn. How do I stop all of this? When it comes to parenting, some things are fundamental.
These fundamental things would include what you need to do as an individual first.
1- Heal from your trauma: Trauma is real. It would make a mess of your journey if you don’t deal with it. If you must parent effectively, you must heal from your trauma.
2- Get Knowledge on what to do: You can’t get it by hanging on tips and hacks. You need to get committed to the process. Your child should feel that they can still come to you even if they have done something wrong. Also, learn emotional control.
3- Join an Accountability system: Healing is not a one-off. Healing needs follow-up. Find an accountability system for your parenting journey. Stop doing this alone.
How do I get results without having to hit my child?
1- Communication: Parents who do not know how to communicate, result in hitting their children. Communicating effectively with your children is possible. All you need to do is to acquire the right knowledge. If you don’t know how to say the right words, you will fight. You can have fight-free parenting. You can also parent with calm and peace. Don’t normalize fight and conflict. To help your communication skills with your child, please heal from your childhood trauma. Most parents constantly fight with their children without knowing that they are the problem. When you speak the right words, you will get the right results that are required.
2- Structured Parenting: The two most important things that you must take into your journey as a parent is nurture and structure. Any parenting void of structure is headed for chaos. It’s not okay for you to constantly fight with your child. Have you really taken responsibility for this journey?
-Flogging doesn’t communicate anything.
-Flogging doesn’t revamp behaviour.
-Flogging doesn’t change anything.
-Flogging strains relationships.
-Flogging teaches your children that violence is acceptable provided you are bigger than the next person.