WHY SPANKING IS NOT THE BEST OPTION
According to a study by Cape Town-based non-governmental organisation Rapcan, 57% of South African parents interviewed use their hands to spank their children while 33% use other objects, such as belts.
Parents need to learn to deal with their own frustrations without using violence, says Reverend Patrick Godana, government and media liaison officer for Sonke Gender Justice.
The organisation promotes positive discipline methods that develop children’s coping and learning skills without the child learning fear, he says.
He believes hitting a child simply erodes that child’s self-esteem and confidence. “There are no benefits to smacking,” Reverend Godana adds. “There are only regrets and the perpetuation of violent notions. Children must trust their parents, not fear them. Violence begets violence.”
Other arguments against smacking include that it teaches children they don’t deserve respect, that it leads to children becoming indifferent to the pain of others, and that children who are spanked are more susceptible to delinquent behaviour. While the act of smacking a child is abusive, it doesn’t necessarily mean the parent is abusive, Childline’s Joan van Niekerk says.