Disciplining your child may lead to some serious complications down the line. According to Canadian researchers, adults who remember being hit, slapped, or pushed as kids are more likely to grow up with personality disorders, depression, and anxiety.
Now I’m sure most parents won’t disagree that a three-year-old who is behaving horribly shouldn’t be reprimanded. I know many parents who wouldn’t hesitate to go upside a child’s head if they were acting out, especially in public. I have been scolded on many occasions as a child, both publicly and privately, as my mother did not believe in a “timeout.” (FRUGIVORE absolutely doesn’t condone any form of physical discipline of any kind from an adult to a child)
But when it comes to harsher punishments, such as kids being brutally beaten, researchers say that between two and seven percent of mental disorders are due to severe punishments in childhood.
Of the 35,000 participants surveyed across the country between 2004 and 2005, around six percent of children were punished “beyond spanking ‘sometimes,’ ‘fairly often’ or ‘very often’” according to the Chicago Tribune. “20 percent of people who remembered being physically punished had been depressed, and 43 percent had abused alcohol at some point. That compared to 16 percent of people who weren’t hit or slapped who had been depressed, and 30 percent who drank too much.”
I couldn’t help but think of the rapper DMX, who appeared on VH1’s Couple’s Therapy with his wife Tashera Simmons, suffering from what seemed to be an almost schizophrenic state, often jumping back and forth from a raging mad man one minute, to a crying child who felt deserted the next. In a group confessional he recounted a story of abuse from his childhood when he was beat excessively.
“I used to get a lot of beatings [from] my mother. Her favorite thing was a cord, an extension cord.” DMX recounted. “Well she braided three of them together and would wait until I go to sleep. Then she would climb on my back and just beat me. She used to beat me until she was tired. I think that’s why it’s hard for me to sleep sometimes.”
That form of abuse is something that stays with you for years.
Michele Knox, a psychiatrist at University of Toledo College of Medicine, told Reuters that physical punishment adds repeated and chronic stress throughout one’s life. She offers the “time out” option as an alternative, as well as rewarding good behavior. But I know very few moms who would solely rely on time outs as a method of disciplinary action.
What do you think?