Thoughts – Spanking can be detrimental for children’s behaviour

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This article really pissed me off. It’s a very misleading title. The summary at the top of the page explains the issue very clearly, and the results after that are pretty well self-explanatory from there. “Physical discipline experienced during infancy can negatively impact temperament and behaviour among children in the fifth grade and into their teenage years, new research indicates.”

The part of this it seems like they are trying to gloss over is the DURING INFANCY part. Who the heck spanks a child during their infancy? What kind of monster thinks it’s okay to use spanking, or other physical disciplinary measures on a 15-25-month-old child? At that point, a child is barely into their toddling years. I’m angry they even got far enough into this study to finish. With all the hellish stories about CPS taking children away from families for totally trumped up reasons, you’re telling me that this huge research group just sat back and watch parents hit INFANTS? They let actual child abuse carry on because they were curious how the kids would turn out?

Is it shocking that children whose parents thought disciplining them as infants carried on being troubled when they were older? They don’t talk about whether the physical discipline continues or not into the children’s later years. I find it hard to imagine that the parents who thought it was okay to physically discipline an infant decided it was less okay when the kids got older.

It really made me mad that the headline for this article states “spanking your children” but then the research is about abusing an infant. Those are VERY different things. I am very doubtful that occasional spanking of an older child is harmful. There are definitely cases of overuse where it can become abuse, but a spanking here and there of a child who is old enough to know why it is happening and was warned that a spanking would be the consequence of their actions is likely fine. Children need to learn that actions have consequences, and they can be both good and bad.

Good luck out there!



Spanking can be detrimental for children’s behavior, even 10 years later

Past research has indicated that physical punishment, such as spanking, has negative consequences on child development. However, most research studies have examined short-term associations — less than one year — between discipline and development. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that physical discipline experienced during infancy can negatively impact temperament and behavior among children in the fifth grade and into their teenage years.

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About the Author

AJ is a single dad to a fantastic little girl. He spent five years in the United States Coast Guard. He has a fascination for people watching and political discourse. He spends what time he isn’t wrapped up with parenting or work curling up with a good book or getting a round or two of gaming in when he can.