A big percent of Americans surveyed in 2012 agreed that sometimes spanking can be a necessary form of discipline for a kid. But they’re not aware of the side effects that spanking can have on the child’s development.

It is not uncommon for parents to hit or spank their kids as a punishment for their bad behavior. Sometimes, spanking can be effective in the short term but research has proved that corporal punishment harms the kid’s physical, mental, and behavioral development.

What are the side effects of spanking your kids?

The universities of Texas at Austin and of Michigan have done research that showed kids who have been spanked in their childhood were more likely to become anti-social later on and had an increased risk of becoming more aggressive, and developing mental and cognitive problems in their adulthood.

More than 160 thousand kids were studied for 50 years, and a large percentage of them showed that spanking not only had a detrimental effect on the kids’ development but it had very small immediate results too.

The study involved adults who were spanked as kids as well. It showed that those adults experienced more mental health problems and were prone to spanking their kids as well.

Kids that are spanked frequently learn that behavior and connect violence to power so they proceed to become more aggressive teens and adults. They are prone to bullying other kids which may even progress for them to become abusive in their relationships as adults too.

What parents can do instead of spanking their kids?

Every research done about spanking children in the last half a century yielded the same results – spanking is not an effective way of punishing your kids it does more harm than it does good. There are many other things that parents can do to punish bad behavior without causing physical and mental damage to the kid.

A good tip is to build a firm set of house rules in the family and reasonable punishments in case those rules get broken. Every member of the family must know the rules and the punishments so kids will be aware of which punishments correspond to breaking which rule.
Rules must be obeyed at all times with no exceptions. If you’re not consistent with rule enforcement and punishments that might also lead to confusion and problematic behavior.

If the kids are younger, ignoring them when they did something bad might be an effective punishment. Sometimes kids might throw attention-seeking tantrums when they’re being ignored but that’s okay as long as they’re not in danger. After they’ve calmed down you can talk quietly with them and tell them that what they did is not appropriate.

Sometimes you might get close to losing your temper and start shouting at your kid. If that happens, try to take some time away to cool off. A couple of minutes is enough to clear your mind and think about how to handle the situation better.

Talking with your child is a very effective way of explaining to them the consequences of their bad behavior and warning them that if they continue misbehaving there will be more severe punishments.

Be the model that you want your kid to be

Kids look up to their parents, so try to behave appropriately in front of them. Tell them what they should do instead of what not to do. Focus more on the positive things of good behavior. Praise them when they did something good and tell them they did a great job.

Being a parent is not easy. There will be times when you feel like you’re losing your temper, but don’t give up, you’re the one that your kids look up to and if you show them good behavior they will follow your steps.

Sources: news.utexas.edu || apa.org || cdc.gov || webmd.com || theheartysoul.com