By: Krystle Crossman
Spanking is a controversial issue with most parents. Some feel that when used in the right context it is a good form of discipline. Others refuse to spank their children because they feel that it is a form of physical abuse. There have been studies about the effects of spanking on a child that help parents to make the decision as to whether they are or aren’t going to employ spanking as a disciplinary technique.
In 2010 a study was conducted on spanking and found that children who were spanked regularly as toddlers were more likely to develop aggression at the age of 5 than children who were not spanked. It can also lead to antisocial behavior later in life as well. When a parent strikes a child it can decrease the bond between the parent and the child. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that parents do not strike their children due to the effects on their lives years down the road.
A Harris Poll from last year showed that 67% of parents had spanked their children at one point or another. Also out of the participants of the poll 78% stated that they thought that spanking was an appropriate punishment during certain situations. Many parents end up spanking their children out of frustration when the child gets to the point where they are out of control.
Dr. Tovah Klein states that if you find yourself getting to that point you need to take a step back and calm yourself. Klein works at the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development. He states that you need to set certain boundaries for your children so that their behavior does not get to the point where you feel so frustrated that you feel the need to spank them. Dr. Laura Markham says that most of the time the parents are trying to make themselves feel better as opposed to teaching the child a lesson in discipline. She is the author of a book called Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. She states that before you spank your child think about why you are doing it and what you hope to accomplish with it. While you are answering these questions you may come up with a better punishment solution.