Spanking and scolding have remained a traditional approach to disciplining children even in the 21st century, with 80% of parents still thinking that this form of discipline is completely acceptable and even beneficial for the child.
This perception has led scientists to delve deeper into the effects these forms of ‘punishments’ have on the child’s development, and what they discovered was something every parent should be aware of.
There are people who may say that spanking has not ‘ruined’ their lives in any way, but this doesn’t exclude the possibility that some might not turn out so lucky
So, why is this practice condemned? Here are some reasons:-
1. It’s simply not effective
Alan Kazdin, Ph.D. and Sterling Professor of Psychology and Child Psychiatry at Yale University, explains that the yet undeveloped brain of the child doesn’t possess the punishment/reward mechanism that the mature brain operates with.
With this in mind, the idea that spanking will condition them out of a certain behaviour is an incomplete one. While physical punishment does have a short-term effect, as it is normal that children are scared of being hit, the result doesn’t last in the long run.
Basically, spanking is a horrible thing that doesn’t work.
Also, regardless of how people choose to perceive them- spanking/scolding or any kind of physical punishment won’t correct misbehaviour but will rather cause children to act out more.
2. Negative consequences:-
A study which has looked at 5 decades of research involving over 1,60,000 children has pointed that the psychological impacts of spanking are the same as those of physical abuse.
It was observed that children who are subjected to this kind of discipline were found to exhibit developmental delays, language delays and scolding was associated with socio-adaptive delay, meaning the cognitive functioning is severely affected.
Also, not only does spanking not affect obedience, it contributes to “increased anti-social behaviour, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties.”
3. Perpetuating a cycle of Violence.
Usually, the disciplinary punishment cycle goes down from generation to generation, with adults who were spanked thinking that spanking is normal.
After interviewing over 100 families with children aged 3-7, the researchers concluded that children who are subjected to physical punishment are more likely to exhibit physical violence as a means to resolving conflicts with peers.
Spanking and scolding are forms of physical and emotional violence respectively– regardless of how people choose to perceive them – and that they won’t correct misbehaviour but will rather cause children to act out more.
So, while anecdotal evidence and personal opinion will voice that spanking is necessary and harmless, people should consider that research-based evidence states the opposite.
This article has been compiled by Mary Wright and first appeared in the “Power of Silence”
Please follow and like us: