By Nigel Boys
According to Dr. David Safir, a pediatrician in California, spanking your child when they do wrong, can be an effective way of making them realize what they have done and preventing them from doing it again.
Safir went on to say that he received a spanking when he deserved it as a child and it didn’t affect him negatively. He adds that he has five children of his own that he occasionally spanked, and five grandchildren and they have all grown up healthy and strong.
However, according to a new study published in the online journal of Pediatrics, spanking can lead to mental illnesses. The article continues that even a firm squeeze on the arm can have negative consequences and parents should be careful how they distinguish what punishment is needed for the offense committed.
The study further found that 2 to 7% of children who experience spanking, slapping or any other form of physical abuse during their childhood, experience feelings of anxiety or mood disorders and may even lead to them having a problem with substance abuse.
Safir believes that sometimes a firm hand is needed to bring children to their senses and stop them spiraling out of control. He adds that most pediatricians seem to be afraid to give this kind of advice.
However, Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a psychologist from Connecticut, does not believe that Safir is right in his disciplinary conclusions. She adds that people who are not affected by spanking during childhood, or at least claim that they are not, are few and far between.
Greenberg went on to say that if children are not spanked, they tend to turn out better in the long run, in her opinion. She adds that shame can be brought about in children who are spanked and this can lead to a feeling of depression or anxiety.
The Connecticut psychologist also believes that spanking a child can lead to them being violent towards others when they grow up.
Safir, on the other hand, believes that Greenberg is wrong in her analysis of the progression from spanking to hurting others.
The Californian pediatrician adds “If children don’t learn that society has rules of conduct and consequences for bad behavior, they grow up into a culture in which they’re often useless.” He continues “They can’t work, they can’t get a job, and they have no respect for people above them.”