When it comes to the topic of spanking, if you ask the older generations, they'll say things such as "it taught me to respect my parents", "it never did me any harm", "it's what kids these days need because they lack discipline".
While those opinions may be valid because most people who were spanked as children know that as acceptable and normal, spanking can actually do more harm than good. Parents who are on the fence about whether or not spanking is okay often find themselves wondering if spanking is always wrong or if sometimes it's justifiable. The simple answer to that is spanking is never justified, and yes, it is always wrong to hit your child.
In terms of spanking children, it is very hard to sway the general opinion on it because it is a widely accepted form of discipline worldwide even today. Using spanking as a disciplinary action, however, is nothing more than instilling fear in your child.
Spanking is a fear tactic that generally works because it hurts and children don't want to be hurt by the people who are caring for them. In saying that, just because it works doesn't mean it's the proper thing to do. Leaving a six-month-old baby to cry themselves to sleep and give up all hope that you're coming back works in getting them to sleep independently, but that doesn't mean it's right.
Spanking your child teaches your child that, in order to get respect and to be heard, you need to hurt others. It also teaches them that hitting is okay when people are frustrating you and not listening.
Although spanking is typically used to reduce undesirable behaviour, Psychology Today reports that it actually ends up increasing a child's aggression. "[Spanking] can lead to aggressive expectations- [children] are ready to aggress first before they are aggressed against," they continue. Raising a child who is always in defence mode and in fear of making a mistake and then getting hit is not a healthy environment for a child to develop properly.
Whether or not you spank your child is completely a personal parenting decision because every parent parents differently. With that being said, studies have proven that spanking is damaging and regardless if it works or if no damage was done to you while being spanked as a child, there is no guarantee you aren't damaging your child.
When it comes to parenting, you will get opinions on every aspect which can make it hard to know what exactly is right and what is wrong. Researching and reading proven studies is your best bet to understand what effects your decisions are having on your children.