As my experience and expertise in this field have grown, my opinions and recommendations about corporal punishment have become more and more bold. And it just feels wrong, from a person standpoint.
An adult, with a fully developed brain, who is much bigger and stronger than is intentionally physically hurtingwho has a developing brain not yet capable of rational thinking, to correct a behavior with which the adult is dissatisfied about. If an adult physically harmed another adult, this would warrant an assault charge. We are the grownups.
We are the ones who are older and wiser. With our fully developed brains, we have the ability to manage impulses, think about the consequences of our choices, utilize calming and coping strategies, and make better choices. We need to remember this as we choose parenting approaches with our growing children.
How can we expect them to practice the skills of managing emotions and making thoughtful decisions when we parent out of impulsive anger?
For that reason, I recommend alternative ways to address behavioral challenges. At this point in my career, however, I am clear with the families with whom I work that I discourage any and all forms of corporal punishment for one reason alone: research says that not only is it not effective, but it is actually harmful to children. I believe that the many parents that experience discomfort in providing corporal punishment to their children have known what researchers are now proving: that corporal punishment is wrong for our children.
On May 6,in the journal Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatrics made a statement that parents should not spank, hit or slap their children. In order for the AAP to make a formal statement or recommendation about something, years of research is needed to back up their recommendation.
My afternoon with dr. don, the male-spanking therapist
Hear that again: years of research have proven that parents should not spank, hit or slap their children because of the negative effects it causes in children. Utilizing alternative disciplines fosters connection between a parent and child versus a disconnection, like spanking does.
It also encourages other skills children benefit from learning at younger ages, like considering consequences for our decisions, problem solving, and developing empathy. Absolutely not! I think my parents were wonderful parents, and I believe they parented in ways that represented the time in which they raised me and to the best of their abilities.
They wanted the best for me and my siblings! But we evolve, people! This is why our lifespans have gotten longer!
As research has proven better ways to live, we have adjusted our lifestyles according to those findings. This is why we wear skin and eye protection from the sun, eat our vegetables, wear our seatbelts, take antibiotics to get over infections and strive for overall healthy lifestyles.
All of these things have been proven through years of research and science to be better for our health.
Based on that research, doctors make recommendations, and mostly, we follow them! We are more than just our physical bodies. One system of health impacts another.
*spanking* as a form of therapy? yes, you read that right!
There are so many resources out there that offer different parenting approaches to challenging childhood behaviors. My favorites are pretty much anything by Dr. name and below so we can send the Parenting Assessment straight to your inbox! An article posted in about the research-proven negative effects of harsh parenting: here.
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