The Case Against Spanking
“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.”