Ten Reasons for NOT Hitting Children
- Physical punishment increases the risk of child abuse. It is easy to hit too hard and cause injuries like bruises, broken bones, welts, and nerve damage.
- Physical punishment erodes trust between a parent and a child.
- Physical punishment, when administered regularly, is related to a worsening of behavior rather than an improvement in behavior. It increases antisocial behavior such as lying, stealing, cheating, bullying, assaulting siblings or peers, and lack of remorse for wrongdoing.
- Hitting children transmits a pro-violence attitude. It teaches that it is acceptable to hit persons who are smaller and weaker.
- Fear is not an effective way of teaching appropriate behavior. Fear may lead children to obey only when the person who hits them is nearby.
- Children who are frequently hit often grow up with childhood memories of anger and resentment.
- Children are often hit for behavior which is not "bad" behavior but rather behavior which is related to needs for attention, nutrition, sleep, and exploring.
- Hitting a child for misbehavior means the caretaker loses an important opportunity to teach a more appropriate behavior.
- While hitting a child may stop a misbehavior for the moment, other methods like time out, reasoning, talking, and implementing non-violent consequences work as well or better and do not have the potential for harm that hitting children does.
- Better alternatives exist. Children learn best through teaching, discussing, and observing adults who model responsible, caring and self-disciplined behavior.