The internet is packed with memes about Latino parents that use la chancleta o chancla to beat their children. Although chancla memes can be funny, corporal punishment in children is a serious problem and needs to be abolished from our culture. Hitting, beating, pinching, striking or slapping a child is abuse and is damaging. Here I share 5 reasons why parents need to stop using “la chancla” as a disciplinary resource.
1. It Causes Confusion
Corporal punishment teaches children that violence is acceptable in the name of affection. It tells them that it is okay for an adult to hurt a child. It can influence children to look for approval and affection in the wrong places and in the wrong ways.
2. It Creates A Cycle Of Violence
La chancla as a disciplinary resource can easily escalate to abuse. Research data shows that those that beat their children were also physically punished when they were young. Did you know that there is a direct correlation between physical punishment in childhood and aggressive behavior in the adult years?
3. It Hurts Relationships.
La chancla affects trust and open communication interfering with the special bond between parent and child. Corporal punishment has long term effects in the emotional being of children and parents, too!
4. It Is Ineffective
Some people think that la chancla helped them to behave better, however, this is not exactly right. The decision to behave better is based on fear rather than self-motivation. La chancla as a disciplinary resource doesn’t teach the child self-control and how to resolve conflict.
5. Alters Brain Development
In a 2009 study, researches found out that corporal punishment in childhood alters brain development decreasing the amount of gray matter in some brain regions that have been linked to addiction, depression, and other mental disorders. Heartbreaking!
WHAT CAN A PARENT DO INSTEAD?
Oh, I know that those little rascals can sure drive us crazy, but I have good suggestions that may help you whenever the situation with your child gets challenging.
Breathe. Breathe and calm down.
If #1 doesn’t work (because sometimes it. just. doesn’t. work,) please withdraw from the situation, make sure your kids are safe and come back when you have control of your emotions.
Also it helps to educate yourself so you can understand why your child is doing what he or she is doing. I have learned that there is always a reason. Maybe your child is tired, needs attention or has a basic need that has been neglected.
Learn other techniques that you can do to discipline your children such as time outs, giving them options, natural consequences, etc.
Remember that they are children and they are still trying to figure out boundaries and learn self control.
Get to know your children and build a relationship of trust with them.
Parenting is not easy and requires a lot from us, if you feel that it is too much to handle, please don’t hesitate to seek help. It is not wrong to accept that we need help.
LET’S BREAK LA CHANCLA CYCLE
OUR KIDS DESERVE BETTER.
From the Hispanic Mama Blog
by Linda Lopez-Stone