A new study released links spanking children to aggressiveness and depression.
I can honestly say my daughter has never been spanked. I have never even considered it. And I don’t think that there will be any time in the future where I will either. She is an easy child to care for and she listens well to other means of correction. Most times she is so eager to please and do well to earn compliments that it’s very rare to even have to discipline her.
But I am not in the camp who think that parents spanking their children should be considered abuse. Different children respond differently to different things. Different parents have different philosophies on how to raise children.
The one thing that strikes me about this study is that the study focuses on children who were spanked when they under 1 year of age. In my opinion, spanking children that young is wrong. They are not old enough to understand the cause and effect of why it is happening in a lot of cases.
In my opinion, if a parent is resorting to having to spank their less than 1 year old then they probably are making a lot of other parenting mistakes. I think therefore it’s hard to say the spanking alone is the cause for the aggression and depression. It may have a link, indeed. But I think in most cases, it’s the whole atmosphere that leads to these symptoms, not just one part of the atmosphere.
A lot of people argue spanking leads to abuse. I can see that in cases where parents use it as a first resort or spank in anger. Using it as a first resort causes the child to get used to it and parents to feel they need to keep escalating it. Spanking in a fit of anger or frustration means spanking when you are angry and possibly in a position to lose control in the heat of the moment.
Both of these scenarios can lead to abuse as well as to making children scared of their parents and making mistakes. Neither of these outcomes are desirable outcomes for our precious children.
Even though I support a parents right to decide how to discipline their child, I would strongly suggest avoiding spanking altogether. There are many other way to discipline your child. Or better yet, reward and praise them when they are doing well so you don’t have to discipline as often.