It is a challenge for parents who were raised with disciplinary measures that included corporal punishment to have a different parenting style for their children. Corporal punishment hurts the baby physically and emotionally.
The consequences of physical punishment to the baby are very negative. If this is applied to children under two years of age, the consequences will be more severe. Physical punishment of a baby is classified as child abuse in the laws of some countries. However, there will be no shortage of fathers and mothers, and even parenting specialists, who will consider that it is beneficial to apply some physical punishment to the baby. They assure that it is the best for him to learn at an early age what he should or should not do.
Is physical punishment abuse?
Without a doubt this is the case, physical punishment is mistreatment. Even if it is a single spanking where all precautions are supposedly taken so as not to hurt the baby. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child establishes that children and adolescents have the right to be protected against any form of corporal punishment.
No matter where the children are: at home, in childcare centers or in educational centers, children should not be subjected to any kind of abuse. This even applies to penal systems where adolescents who have transgressed the laws of their country serve a sentence.
However, although most countries in the world have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, only 45 countries have developed laws that prohibit corporal punishment of children and adolescents. The world is still in debt to minors.
Why are there parents who endorse physical punishment?
Physical punishment is endorsed or considered necessary by those parents who argue that they were raised that way. They assure that this type of violence did not generate trauma or prevent them from being successful adults or achieving the goals they set for themselves. They are even grateful for having that kind of upbringing.
However, one would have to ask them why they dare not question their parents’ parenting style. The ability to mistreat one’s parents exposes anyone to relive or remember the fear that has not been healed. Everything has changed, as well as customs, this type of behavior today is considered deplorable.
Domestic violence is common in many dysfunctional families. Perhaps many parents feel bad about applying physical punishment to their baby or child, but they do not dare to do the necessary work to forget and modify the learning obtained, they repeat the same pattern of violence that they learned while they were children.
What does corporal punishment teach the baby?
A crying baby can be exasperating. The days after delivery are exhausting: sleepless nights, daily care, and meeting all the baby’s needs can lead anyone to become impatient.
But do you really think spanking can stop your baby from crying? A pat on any part of the fragile body of the baby can hardly alleviate the physical or contact needs that the baby demands.
If any form of physical aggression is used, the learning that that baby is being subjected to is negative, much more negative than many parents who were beaten in their childhood, surely, remember and recognize.
The physical punishment of baby teaches:
- That you shouldn’t cry if you feel hungry, thirsty or sleepy. In return you will not receive what you expect, on the contrary you will only be attacked.
- That he must repress his needs , including the affective ones. Since you don’t want to feel the pain of being hit again
- That you have to get used to pain and stress. This situation weakens the baby’s natural motivations to discover the world around him.
- That you should mistrust yourself. Since their natural urges seem to be not good
What harm can physical punishment cause?
The physical punishment of the baby can have serious consequences. The baby’s body is delicate. It can suffer serious physiological and neurological damage. This is in addition to the emotional trauma we have already described.
A spanking may seem mild to an adult, but it is not the same for a baby. A blow to the buttocks can cause trauma to the sciatic nerve. Inflammation of the nerve can affect the baby’s mobility temporarily or permanently. An internal rupture of the blood vessels can be a worse consequence of this behavior.
Slapping your baby’s hands can cause dislocations in the bones, muscles, and tendons. Shaking is also very dangerous as the baby’s neck muscles are not yet ready to support his head. This can affect the vertebrae and lead to brain damage, blindness, and even death of the baby.
What if you wait for the baby to grow up to apply physical punishment?
Physical punishment of the baby does not correct behaviors. Physically assaulted children may comply with the rules out of fear of their parents. However, they do not do it because they have become aware of the importance of the norms, most likely, it is that in which the offending parent is not present, the child transgresses the norm. But the consequences can be even greater. The child learns that violence is the best strategy to:
- Assert your point of view.
- Solve your problems.
- Don’t hold back your frustrations.
- Get what you want.
- Make yourself respected.
- Have authority.
The child learns that violence is justified. If he is in a position of power, he will use violence against someone weaker or defenseless. When we see the alarming news of gender violence or domestic violence, we must ask ourselves if it is what we want for our children.
Conclusions about corporal punishment of the baby
If you want to model insecure, fearful, violent, vindictive adults, resort to physical punishment of your child since he is a baby. If you prefer that your children be children and then happy adults, it is imperative to eliminate violence from the upbringing and education of our children.