A professor once told me that everyone has an opinion, but not everyone has an argument because arguments are backed by facts and research. So, when I need to defend my “crunchy” ways, I like to have actual research showing that what I am doing, is in fact, best for my child. So, here is what the experts say on corporal punishment (physical punishment such as spanking).
1. The American Medical Association: “… in spite of parents’ goals, spanking fails to promote pro-social development and, instead, is associated with higher rates of aggression toward peers”.
2. The American Academy of Pediatrics: “frequent spanking at age 3 increased the odds of higher levels of aggression at age 5” and “the current findings suggest that even minor forms of CP [corporal punishment], such as spanking, increase risk for increased child aggressive behavior…”.
3. Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect: “parents who experienced frequent corporal punishment during childhood perceived its use as acceptable and frequently spanked their children. These children, in turn, advocated that spanking be used as a disciplinary method and preferred aggressive conflict resolution strategies with peers and siblings. These findings support an additional “side effect of spanking;” when parents use CP it teaches their children that hitting is an acceptable means of dealing with conflict.
4. Journals of Adolescent Health, Pediatrics and Child Development: “Children who have experienced corporal punishment are more likely to be aggressive towards their peers, to approve of the use of violence in peer relationships, to bully and to experience violence from their peers, to use violent methods to resolve conflict and to be aggressive towards their parents.” – endcorporalpunishment.org
5. University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto: “This study demonstrates that corporal punishment does not teach children how to behave or improve their learning,” Prof. Talwar said. “In the short term, it may not have any negative effects; but if relied upon over time it does not support children’s problem-solving skills, or their abilities to inhibit inappropriate behaviour or to learn.”
I could cite many more articles, journals, studies and opinions but we would be here all day. You get the idea, study after study show that physical punishment is not beneficial to your child, it is detrimental. Since when does it makes sense for you to punish your child for hitting, by in turn hitting them?
For better ways to discipline look up “gentle disciplining” or check out this recent blog post on taming tantrums.