You Should Never Spank Your Child,Experts Say

It is important to note that spanking is a controversial issue and there are differing views among parents, experts, and societies.

Who are these experts exactly?

The experts consist of licensed pediatricians that form the American Academy of Pediatrics which is a go-to source for all things parent and child related.

The experts consist of licensed pediatricians that form the American Academy of Pediatrics which is a go-to source for all things parent and child related.

Some studies have suggested that spanking can lead to negative outcomes such as aggression, lower self-esteem, mental health problems, and reduced cognitive ability in children. Other studies have shown that spanking does not have these negative effects when used in a limited and controlled way.

According to the AAP, “new evidence suggests that researchers link corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children.” (Source)

The AAP reports that by 2012, more than half (51%) of the pediatricians surveyed responded that they discussed discipline in 75% to 100% of health supervision visits with parents of children ages 0 through 10 years.

The Global Initiative to End all Corporal Punishment of Children provided a comprehensive definition of spanking and corporal punishment:

“The definition of corporal or physical punishment adopted by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its General Comment No. 8 (2006) has the key reference point, ‘any punishment in which physical force issued and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light.’ According to the committee, this mostly involves hitting (“smacking,” “slapping,” or “spanking”) children with the hand or with an implement (a whip, stick, belt, shoe, wooden spoon, or similar), but it can also involve, for example, kicking, shaking, or throwing children; scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair, or boxing ears; forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions; burning, scalding, or forced ingestion (for example, washing a child’s mouth out with soap or forcing them to swallow hot spices). Nonphysical forms of punishment that are cruel and degrading and thus incompatible with the convention include, for example, punishment which belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares, or ridicules the child. In the view of the committee, corporal punishment is invariably degrading.”


You Should Never Spank Your Child,Experts Say
You Should Never Spank Your Child,Experts Say
  • It is important to consider alternative discipline methods that do not involve physical punishment such as positive reinforcement, time-outs, and setting clear boundaries and consequences. Parents should also strive to understand their child’s behavior and needs, communicate effectively, and provide positive role modeling.
  • Ultimately, it is up to each parent to make their own decision about whether or not to use spanking as a disciplinary method. However, it is important to keep in mind the potential risks and benefits and make an informed decision that prioritizes the child’s well-being. It is also important to note that laws and cultural attitudes regarding spanking vary between countries and communities.
  • Research over the last 20 years has demonstrated that spanking increases aggression in young children and is ineffective in changing their undesirable behavior, the AAP says. Studies have also linked spanking to an increased risk of mental health disorders and impaired brain development
  • It’s important to not spank, hit, or slap your child. At this age, kids are unlikely to make a connection between behavior and physical punishment. The message you send when you spank is that it’s OK to hit someone when you’re angry.
  • It is true that many experts in child development and psychology recommend against spanking as a form of discipline. Spanking can have negative effects on a child’s emotional and psychological development, including increased aggression, anxiety, and lower self-esteem. Moreover, spanking does not teach children how to change their behavior or understand why their actions were wrong.
  • Instead of spanking, experts recommend using positive reinforcement, clear and consistent consequences, and open communication with children to teach them appropriate behavior. This may involve praising positive behaviors, redirecting negative behavior, setting clear boundaries, and using timeouts or other non-physical consequences when necessary.
  • It is important for parents to remember that discipline is not the same as punishment and that effective discipline involves teaching and guiding children to make positive choices, rather than simply punishing them for negative behavior.
  • For many parents, the idea of spanking their child is abhorrent. And yet, about a quarter of parents do it—despite a pile of evidence that it’s the wrong approach


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