Most of the time, parent will just repeat history. They were spanked so they spank their own children. So how do we break the cycle? By educating the spankers about the impact of their discipline technique and getting the non-spankers to speak up. Studies have already shown that spanking leads to increased aggression in children (the people they respect most are inflicting physical aggression upon them) and anti-social behavior (trust is being destroyed). So what can we do?
First, I think we need to organize something like "SpankOut Day, USA". This was initiated in 1998 to give widespread attention to the need to end corporal punishment of children and to promote non-violent ways of teaching children appropriate behavior. EPOCH-USA (End Physical Punishment of Children) sponsors SpankOut Day USA on April 30th of each year. All parents, guardians, and caregivers are encouraged to refrain from hitting children on this day, and to seek alternative methods of discipline through programs available in community agencies, churches and schools.
Since 1998, over 1,000 informational events on child discipline have been carried out by organizations on SpankOut Day USA. Thousands of individuals have participated in this observance.
SpankOut Day participants, agencies, churches and schools will be required to teach no hitting/positive discipline to parents and caregivers. Participant evaluations are required.
The Center for Effective Discipline suggests the following activities during the annual SpankOut Day in your community:
- Host a SpankOut Day special event.
- Check out our parenting education and training material. Distribute them to parents and organizations. Use them in your SpankOut events. Some materials are copyright free but authors request that they be given appropriate recognition.
- Check out our SpankOut Day USA support material catalog - posters, tee shirts, parenting brochures, etc.
- Read some suggestions for working with the media, and send them an event announcement if you are planning one.
- Submit a public service announcement or press release to local media. Just look up your community's newspaper, radio or television addresses in the phone book or on the internet.
- Submit a newsletter article to your civic group, school or church.
- Write to legislators about banning corporal punishment in schools.
- Have your mayor, city council or governor sign a proclamation announcing SpankOut Day in your city or state.
- Get your town council to adopt a resolution calling for a Spank-Free town.
- Adopt some new ideas for activities in faith communities.
- Talk to your relatives, friends, neighbors and co-workers about using positive, non-violent ways to teach and discipline children.
- Support other efforts to promote raising good kids without hitting.