Is Spanking Bad for Children and Families?

Last Update on January 24, 2023 : Published on January 24, 2023
Is-Spanking-Bad-for-Children-and-Families

Have you ever been spanked or physically handled by your elders? To be honest, I have been slapped quite a few times and I don’t blame them. Over the years you can see different stages showing different strategies to discipline children.

For many years people used spanking to discipline their children. However, spanking kids was not intended to scare them. The intent has always been to create an aversion toward bad behavior. Spanking used to be more instructive than mere ridiculing the child.

It was only after the 70s that people started viewing spanking children in a negative light. There is no denying the fact that spanking children can have negative consequences on a child’s developing mind.

Today we will talk about spanking children and its effects. Why is spanking bad? Or can spanking kids have a positive effect?

Let’s find out…

Spanking As Discipline: What It Does To The Brain?

What It Does To The Brain

Millennials and onwards might not understand how common spanking children was but people born in the 70s – 80s and before know exactly what we are talking about. Spanking children was a part of disciplining children and was widely advised.

In the earlier days, people looked down upon people who wouldn’t spank their children. They would be accused of being too lenient and that the children who have not been spanked are spoiled. However, according to research, spanking children harms them.

Experts claimed that frequent spanking could harm the brain. It could result in disturbed cognitive development, social-emotional development, and self-regulation. Research also shows that spanking can change their brain response which is similar to those who have been ill-treated or experienced trauma.

The definition of threat changes for children who have been spanked. There have been researches that state that children or adults who have been spanked are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, or similar mental health conditions.

Also read: The 4 Styles Of Parenting And Their Impact On Children

Spanking Punishment: Why Is Spanking Bad?

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) took a strong stand against the age-old disciplinary action of spanking children. In the year 2018, they issued a statement urging parents not to spank their children.

There have been N number of studies that recognized the negative consequences of spanking kids. The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) argued that spanking children does more harm than good you’ve been expecting out of it.

As we discussed earlier, spanking hurts the brain as well. This impact makes them respond destructively to stressful situations, making their life even more difficult. There are studies that show spanking increases aggression in young children. It increases the risk of developing mental health conditions and lowers self-esteem in young children making them vulnerable to mental distress.

Spanking makes your child afraid of you. They stop engaging in certain behaviors only because they don’t want to be thrashed. They fail to understand the consequences of wrong actions and behaviors. Spanking only creates a conflict between the parent and the child.

Also read: How Does Domestic Violence Affect Children’s Mental Health?

Spanking Punishment

Are There Any Positive Effects Of Being Spanked As A Child?

In the olden days, parents used to spank their children to teach them a lesson. However, sometimes children would learn but many a time children only faced more negative effects of spanking than positive ones.

According to research spanking, children do more damage. There are a lot of other punishments that you can use to teach children a lesson. Physically handling your children will have a lot more negative effects, it Increases aggression in children, Increases feelings of shame and guilt, etc.

Moreover, spanking is not effective for a long period. Children might adhere to you initially but over time they will overcome the fear caused by spanking. Spanking also doesn’t teach them to behave appropriately.

However, you can use alternative strategies to discipline your children, such as;

  • Limit privileges
  • Using negative reinforcement
  • Giving them a logical punishment (if they bring mud into the house, they have to clean it)
  • Encourage positive behavior
  • Explaining where and why they are wrong

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about spanking children and its consequences helpful, interesting, and informative. Do share this blog with your friends and family and especially those people who still engage in spanking children.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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