This week, the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Canada’s most prestigious medical journal, called on parents, lawmakers and doctors to put an end to the practice of spanking children. The journal called it “an anachronistic excuse for poor parenting from the statute book”.
Using harsh physical punishment to discipline children – including smacking, spanking and shoving – has a strong association with increased risks of mental and personality disorders, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows.
And new Canadian research suggests that spanking may end up causing, rather than preventing, antisocial behaviours. The researchers concluded that physical punishment puts children at risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse and aggressive behaviour later in life.
Here are five articles that suggest ten reasons not to spank.
The Natural Child Project says that, according to Dr. Peter Newell, coordinator of the organization End Punishment of Children (EPOCH), the most important reason not to spank is that “all people have the right to the protection of their physical integrity, and children are people too”.
Ask Dr. Sears says research has shown that spanking may leave scars deeper and more lasting than a fleeting redness of the bottom. Spanking plants seeds for later violent behaviour, it says, and, to top it off, spanking just doesn’t work.
Psych Central says that spanking is never a good idea. It adds that “we now know how to communicate in a way that actually teaches, rather than punishes. Doing something because it’s always been done that way and worked out in the past, is not a good reason for continuing.”
Back to School Family Education says that the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many child development experts, strongly oppose ever striking a child.
And here’s Parenting Works’ own ten reasons why hitting is not a good idea. Parents want to know whether it is ok to beat their children when they behave badly or when they are disobedient or stubborn. The short answer is that it is never ok to hit a child, for any reason.
A single dad with three children weighs in on why they don’t hit their kids. “One of the tenets of how we’re raising our three children is no hitting. Now I’ll be candid, because not hitting them doesn’t mean that sometimes we don’t want to hit them,” says Dave T. on his blog Go Fatherhood.