Spanking your child can be a touchy subject to talk about. Most adults would say that’s how they were raised and its the normal thing to do. However, pediatricians are saying the opposite according to a new study.
It’s something many parents do but don’t talk about. Professionals are now trying to get the conversation started.
“We spank our kids.”
Father of 3, Paul Christenson, says yes he spanks, but only by certain guidelines.
“Our 5 year old responds a lot differently to spanking than the 3 year old does. The 3 year old doesn’t really understand. He doesn’t really care it doesn’t really change his behavior,” says Christenson.
However he says it does prove effective for his 5 year old.
“He knows that consequence he knows that if he does something, he says hey if you continue this behavior you are going to get a swat. He immediately understands… I don’t want that.”
Professionals however are saying spanking is not the best way to discipline your kids
“Is it truly working? If you are spanking frequently in your house I would probably say it is not working,” says child therapist, Valerie Meyers.
According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, spanking can lead to more aggressive behavior, anxiety, and depression in adulthood. The study consisted of 67,000 pediatricians who say its time to strengthen the stance against spanking.
“So if they would see that spanking is beneficial they would have some correlation there and studies around that and they are not getting that,” says Meyers. “What they are getting is the opposite that its not healthy for children short term or long term as adults.”
Meyers suggest other alternatives instead of spanking like the typical reward and punishment technique.
But most importantly she advises, “Let’s try and give more one on one attention to them at times. These days we have very busy with our lives. That we need to put some of that stuff away and give our child that 10 or 15 minutes of one on one time.”
Paul Christenson says even though spanks he always makes sure his child knows it’s for a reason
“From our hearts as parents, me and my wife we know why we are disciplining this way and we explain that to them. We make sure after a spanking or a swat or whatever they know why it happened,” says Christenson. “They know mom and dad are not angry at them. We know they are loved and valued. We make sure after every time that happens.”
Whether you spank or don’t, experts just want to inform parents about the potential consequences.