For most of us getting spankings when we were growing up was simply a normal part of life. You did something wrong, you got a beating … the end. However, according to a new review of 20 years of research spanking your child has long-term, harmful effects on their development. Over the past two decades, research has increasingly found links between such “everyday” types of physical punishment and higher levels of child aggression, according to the review.

According to Joan Durrant, a child clinical psychologist at Family Social Sciences at the University of Manitoba in Canada and co-author of the review:

“I think it’s important for parents to understand that although physical punishment might get a child to do something in the immediate situation, there are many side effects that can develop over the long term. For example, the more often a child sees a parent respond to conflict or frustration with slapping or spanking, the more likely that child will do the same when confronting their own conflicts.”

Although many parents do find other ways to discipline their children, like taking away privileges or putting them in timeout, a recent poll found that 22 percent of parents reported being “very likely” to spank their children. One of the reasons the review cites for parents using spanking as a form of discipline is that spanking is so much a part of our culture that parents can’t visualize raising a child without it. Instead of spanking, psychologists are suggesting that parents try more positive forms of discipline starting as early as 12 months old.

Kimberly Sirl, a clinical psychologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital says:

“Kids have to learn how to cope with frustration, how to share and how to be patient. Parents teach them how to do that. If you want to encourage good behavior, provide them with reward or praise.”

Do you spank your children? What other ways do you teach discipline other than spankings?

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  1. people keep saying this, but i really want to know the context of the spanking first. there is a right and a wrong way to go about most things.

  2. It is logical that children learn from their parents.

    If their parents show them it is ok to use physical force when you are frustrated/angry/something is not going your way and so on, they will learn that it is ok to hit someone physically weaker than themselves when they are frustrated/angry/something is not going their way.

    Would you spank your wife/husband/brother/sister/mother/father/work partner when something is not going right?

    So why think it is ok to spank your child?

    Some people might not believe it, but can talk with children about reason..before something bad happens…and if you need to show them the consequences of their actions, no TV/computer/extra housework is a much better and imprinting possibility than a spanking.

    Spanking is degrading..just imagine how it would be to be spanked as a grown up as discipline measurement ..does anyone think it feels different for children?

    Especially daughters will learn that beeing hit and abused is their fault because their parents did also hurt them physically..and that was ok..because it was their fault, because as kids they were not fast/clever/nice enough and did something wrong, so they deserved to be hit.

    And once grown up they will believe it is their fault when their partner hits them when they burn the food/don´t iron wrinkle free/the house is not clean enough…because if they were better/perfect their partner wouldn´t hit them.

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