A few decades ago, spanking your child was the normal punishment for bad behavior. However, in recent years, most people have decided that that may not be the best way to discipline children. Despite this widespread cultural shift, many parents do still spank their children from time to time.
Although it may seem like a harmless way to teach your kids how to behave, experts believe that it can be detrimental to their mental wellbeing. According to research, spanking children can lead to long-term harm.
The Research Behind It
The study was carried out by the University of Michigan, Texas, and was later shared in the Journal of Home Psychology. This research was carried out on over 160,00 children for 50 years with the intention of finding out what effects spanking had on them. What they found was that it had much more negative effects than previously thought.
Although many parents believe that spanking is an effective way to improve their child’s behavior, this study found that the opposite is true. These children actually tended to display more defiance towards their parents which increased in later years. As Professor Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, one of the authors of the study, put it “Spanking does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do.”
Professor Elizabeth Gershoff, another author of the study said, “We found that spanking was associated with unintended detrimental outcomes and was not associated with more immediate or long-term compliance, which are parents’ intended outcomes when they discipline their children.”
Another interesting thing that this study found, was the effect that spanking had on children’s mental states. Although similar studies had previously focused on abusive behavior towards children, this study focused entirely on spanking alone. Because of that, we can have a clear indication of its real effects.
They found that this act of punishment can cause kids to develop severe behavioral problems. One such problem that can commonly arise is antisocial personality disorder, otherwise known as sociopathy. This, of course, is the last thing that parents want to do to their children.
What You Can Do Instead
There are much more positive ways to encourage better behavior in your children. Experts believe that staying calm is key when dealing with bad behavior. Teach them what it was that they’ve done wrong and how they can improve in the future. Make sure that you’re specific about what it is that they need to do. Along with that, remember to be consistent with which things you punish them for.
Another way to punish them is by taking things away, such as their toys or electronics. As well as that, you can give them a time out if they’re being naughty. One of the most important things that you can do, in addition to all of this, is to say “no” and mean it.
It’s been used for years as a way for parents to discipline their children. However, spanking does more harm than good. In the long run, it will make your child’s behavior so much worse. It can even potentially cause them serious mental issues. Instead of spanking, find more positive ways to punish your child when they’re in trouble.
Share this article with any parents that you know to let them know how damaging spanking can be to their children.