A study released today by doctors at UNC-Chapel Hill finds that parents who spank their children with an object -- such as a belt, switch or paddle -- are nine times more likely to abuse their child through more severe means. Also, parents are much more likely to beat, burn or shake their children if they spank frequently, according to the study, which is being published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.So spanking a child with an object will lead the child to simply not care anymore, while the frustration the parent faces as the spanking does not work to correct misbehavior will lead to anger, more frequent spankings, and even child abuse.
"Parents get angry when they're spanking, and it's not working," said Adam Zolotor, lead author of the study and a pediatrician at UNC-CH's Department of Family Health. "If a child gets spanked so often, they just don't care anymore and will misbehave anyway."
Any self-analyzing parent will recognize the anger they feel growing as the child refuses to respond as demanded. Parents who raise hyperactive children are especially prone to this. Many parents are not that self-analytic, so they will find themselves beating the child more frequently and harder to try to get some control.
It's not "beating" the child you say? It's "disciplining" the child? No, not when it is not working and gets more frequent or harder. That's beating the child.
It becomes child abuse. And it does nothing to gain control of the situation. All it does is let the parent express his or her anger at the child. When you are beating a child to relieve your own anger, and doing nothing successful to maintain control of the child or the situation, then you are a child abuser.