While a lot of people think that spanking their kids or things of that sort are perfectly fine, they really aren’t. Hitting your kids for any reason can and will affect them in ways you may not realize right off the bat.

Sure, a lot of people have decided against physical punishments for their children in this day and age but still, many people do physically punish their kids when they do something wrong. The numbers are not what they once were as physical punishment was more prominent in the past but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening today. Even I grew up dealing with physical punishment.

Not only does physical punishment not do what you intend for it to do but, it also leaves your kids terrified of you in most cases. Children can behave without being smacked around, that’s something a lot of people need to realize. Sure, it takes patience to work with them in other ways but it’s worth it in the long-run.

Psychology Today wrote as follows on this topic:

Physical punishment is a major public health problem in this country. Approximately 60 percent of adults still approve of physical punishment, despite compelling evidence that it does not work, it makes things worse, and there are effective alternatives.

Physical punishment involves the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience bodily pain or discomfort so as to correct or punish the child’s behavior. This includes spanking, hitting, pinching, paddling, whipping, slapping, and so on.

Spanking is a euphemism for hitting. One is not permitted to hit one’s spouse or a stranger; these actions are considered assault and battery. Why in the world should one be permitted to hit a smaller and even more vulnerable child?

Studies show that children who are hit identify with the aggressor and are more likely to become hitters themselves, i.e., bullies and future abusers of their children and spouses. They tend to learn to use violent behavior as a way to deal with disputes.

If hitting a child is not wrong, then nothing is wrong.

While physical punishment is perfectly legal here in the US, that doesn’t make it okay. It’s honestly quite sad that even in schools here kids get paddled when they act out if their parents agree to it. Do you really want someone you do not know that well punishing your kid physically?

The APA wrote as follows going more in-depth about physical punishment and its effects:

A growing body of research has shown that spanking and other forms of physical discipline can pose serious risks to children, but many parents aren’t hearing the message.

“It’s a very controversial area even though the research is extremely telling and very clear and consistent about the negative effects on children,” says Sandra Graham-Bermann, PhD, a psychology professor and principal investigator for the Child Violence and Trauma Laboratory at the University of Michigan. “People get frustrated and hit their kids. Maybe they don’t see there are other options.”

Many studies have shown that physical punishment — including spanking, hitting and other means of causing pain — can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children. Americans’ acceptance of physical punishment has declined since the 1960s, yet surveys show that two-thirds of Americans still approve of parents spanking their kids.

But spanking doesn’t work, says Alan Kazdin, PhD, a Yale University psychology professor and director of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic. “You cannot punish out these behaviors that you do not want,” says Kazdin, who served as APA president in 2008. “There is no need for corporal punishment based on the research. We are not giving up an effective technique. We are saying this is a horrible thing that does not work.”

The APA also goes on to note that physical punishment overall is being thought of by many as a violation of the children’s human rights. However, that’s a conversation not many people want to have. There have been some countries to ban this kind of thing overall but many seem to be very much against getting rid of physical punishment as a whole.

To learn more on this topic take a look at the video below. If you use physical punishment think things through a bit and reconsider. While you’re the parent and you get to choose how to parent at the end of the day, you could be doing more harm than good without realizing it.

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