The Case Against Spanking

Little girl standing outside“We were all spanked and we turned out just fine.” You'll hear people say that a lot if you tell them you're not planning on spanking. But there are many, many children out there who were spanked and are not fine. In this article, you'll see why I believe that parents should refrain from spanking, and use what resources we have available to us to learn about alternative discipline.

Recent scientific studies show that spanking can be detrimental to children. According to the Center for Effective Discipline, “A landmark meta-analysis of 88 corporal punishment research studies of over six decades showed that corporal punishment of children was associated with negative outcomes including increased delinquent and antisocial behavior, increased risk of child abuse and spousal abuse, increased risk of child aggression and adult aggression, decreased child mental health and decreased adult mental health” (Gershoff, 2002). Basically, if you hit your children, you are teaching them that hitting is the proper way to get someone else to behave the way you feel they should behave. And, no, not all children exhibit negative behavior because of physical discipline. But how will you know how your child will react in the future? Better safe than sorry.

Other methods of discipline have actually been found to be more effective. Granted, they take a little more effort, but being a parent isn't about taking the easy road. Here are some resources that can help you develop your own method of discipline that will teach your child how to behave properly without using violence: 1-2-3 Magic (book) by Thomas W. Phelan, Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries (book) by Robert J. MacKenzie, The Pocket Parent (book) by Gail Reichlin, The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry website (www.aacap.org), Center for Effective Discipline (CED) website (www.stophitting.com), and Supernanny's (love her!) website (www.supernanny.com).

I'll leave you with this thought I found on CED's website: “The one group that can still be legally hit is children,” says Nadine Block, a retired school psychologist and co-founder of the Center for Effective Discipline. “Children have a right not to be hit and to be safe.”

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The Case Against Spanking

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8 comments

  1. LIZ says:

    i think a little repriment does affect the kid so bad

  2. Dario says:

    So I should let my child run the show huh?!

  3. Marilyn says:

    I was beaten as a child and I know not to spank my little brother or my animals.

  4. Melody says:

    My husband and I have already decided that we are not going to spank our children. I grew up in a home where spanking was used as a form of discipline (only after multiple warnings were given). I wasn’t spanked often, and neither were my siblings. When we were, we knew why. My husband grew up in a home where spankings and other corporal punishments were used ineffectively and abusively, along with degrading verbal abuse. No child should ever be abused. I do not feel like my parents abused me or my siblings, but I feel like not spanking my children is right for my family. I agree that there are much better ways of helping our children learn their duty and encourage good behavior than striking them.

  5. ErinF says:

    Yikes. There is a middle ground between letting your children run amok with no discipline and beating them. Violence begets violence.

  6. duein2013 says:

    bet your children walk all over you then ! i was actually abused as a child and still have the common since not to abuse my children but if my son is in need of a good old fashion whoopen he will get one . you may be embarrassed to even take your child out to eat cause if they are not compleatly in control of what is going on their gonna flip and they know mommy and daddy are to week to do any about it so you have to either leave or give in meaning you are no longer the parent more like their bit#@ pardon my language.

  7. ErinF says:

    I agree that spanking is unnecessary, ineffective and detrimental, and I will never do this to my kids. My sister and I were punished physically, and I believe that this led to us being angry children who fought each other viciously throughout childhood, and contributed to us both being in abusive relationships later due to the normalization of being hit. Our abusive partners were also the products of corporal punishment at home. Spanking teaches kids early that hitting is an appropriate way of dealing with anger at someone else. I believe that we would be a less violent society if violence wasn’t first normalized in the home.

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