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10 Reasons NOT To Spank Your Child

HDFS 301 Researchers have found several reasons as to why parents should not spank their children. Read below to find out what some of those reasons are.

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1. Spanking sets the example that violence solves problems

Spanking your child when angry or frustrated can send the message that violence is an appropriate way to express feelings and solve life problems. Physical punishment, such as spanking, can be seen as a form of bullying, which shows your child that this is an effective measure to get things done your way (Berk, 381).

2. Spanking has negative effects on self-esteem

Spanking your child damages personal judgment of self worth. Especially without an explanation of what they have done wrong, your child may feel confused and guilty, potentially harming their self-esteem, which is critical for future development (Berk, 366).

3. Spanking damages relationship and child’s ability to trust

Spanking can interfere with the bond between child and parent, while hindering the foundation of trust that you have created with your child. Spanking without any explanation may cause your child to question their relationship and ability to trust (Berk, 383).

4. Spanking teaches the child to avoid caregivers

Spanking your child can cause them to avoid getting caught by avoiding the punitive parent. Children who are frequently punished develop a “more conflict-ridden and less supportive parent-child relationship” (Berk, 381).

5. Spanking can be physically dangerous to the child

Spanking your child can be physically dangerous to them. Powerful pressure to the lower end of the spine sends shock waves along the spine, which may injure the child immediately or create long term effects (Naturalchild.org).

6. Spanking emphasizes the difference between the adult and the child

Spanking your child emphasizes the difference between the role of being an adult and being a child by showing that the adults hold all the power. Spanking can cause the child to undermine their capacity for effortful control, which is important for future behavior (Berk, 379).

7. Spanking a child that is too young to understand has no effects

Spanking a child that is too young to cognitively understand punishment will show no changes in the child's behavior. It is better to explain to your child what they have done wrong so they understand not to do it again (Berk, 381).

8. Spanking can increase the likelihood of developing mental health problems

Spanking your child increases the likelihood that they will develop serious mental health problems are such as depression, aggression, antisocial behavior and poor academic performance in childhood (Berk, 381).

9. Spanking does not have long-lasting effects on behavior

Spanking your child will not foster long-term goals. Spanking only promotes immediate compliance, rather than long-lasting effects on behavior (Berk, 381).

10. Spanking is NOT the most effective way to discipline

There are several alternatives to spanking your child in order to discipline them. Some examples include time-outs, withdrawal of privileges, and use of positive reinforcement. To increase the effectiveness of these methods, parents should stay consistent, remain warm and provide explanations as to why the child is being punished (Berk, 382).

Additional resources:

http://www.gundersenhealth.org/ncptc/center-for-effective-discipline/discipline-at-home/fact-fiction

http://www.childtrends.org/?indicators=attitudes-toward-spanking

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/defining/disc-abuse/?hasBeenRedirected=1#discipline

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