Parenting isn’t just about feeding, changing diapers, sleepless nights, or giving kids a good education. It is also about teaching them how to behave. And it’s a job that takes patience and time. However, parents often resort to spanking their kids to discipline them. But does spanking really teach a child discipline?
It’s a topic that has been debated for years. Though some would argue that a light smack has oftentimes been useful in disciplining kids and that’s how even they were brought up (and turned out fine), others may assert that it’s rather wrong to smack a kid. However, this new report is sure to shed some light on the topic. The latest report from the American Academy of Pediatrics explains why smacking your children is a bad idea after all.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a policy statement which states that children who are spanked can turn out to be more aggressive and also develop mental health issues, substance abuse, and intimate partner violence (1).
Kids who are spanked or hit by parents won’t learn about responsibility or self-control. Instead, it will increase aggression in them. A study was conducted to find the effects of spanking on children. Children from 20 US cities were analyzed and it was found that parents who spanked their kids or used physical punishment got caught in the negative cycle. By physically punishing your kids, you are teaching them that it’s okay to cause someone pain when you are frustrated. Kids who are spanked especially below 18 months of age can have an impact on their brain and body. It was found that they had greater levels of hormones linked to toxic stress. It may also affect their brain development.
It was found that teens who were constantly spanked had less grey matter in their brains and had lower performance on IQ tests compared to the rest of the group. The grey matter is the area of the brain which deals with self-control. Surely that can’t be any good.
And it’s not just spanking, yelling and using words of abuse to cause emotional pain can cause negative effects in your child. If you are loving and caring to your child, but use harsh words as a way of discipline, you may want to think again. It can cause mental health problems, behavioral issues, and cause depression in teens. Spanking and yelling are not the only way to discipline your child. So why take the risk when there are far better and more effective ways?
Healthy Ways To Discipline Your Child
You can discipline your child in a more positive way by following these healthy discipline strategies.
Set Appropriate Limits: Set clear and appropriate limits for your child to follow. Explain these rules in age-appropriate terms.
Follow Up On The Consequences: Talk to them about the consequences if they misbehave. And make sure you come up with reasonable consequences that you can follow through at any cost.
Appreciate Them When They Are Good: Just like catching them on their bad behavior, it is important to praise then when they are good. Take notice and use positive words when they listen to you or follow the rules.
Listen To Them: Hear them out when they are trying to say something. Don’t be quick to solve the problem when they are talking to you. Listening and understanding are just as important as everything else.
Call A Time-Out: Time-out works well when kids break a rule. Warn your kid about the time-out if they are continuing their bad behavior. Tell them what they did wrong using minimum words while maintaining a calm demeanor and remove them out of the situation. You can also let the kids decide their time-out and tell them to come back when they feel ready and in control.
Be Attentive: Kids crave for their parent’s attention. And sometimes they may act irrationally only to get your attention. Make sure you are not completely ignorant and use attention as an effective tool to reinforce good behavior.
Now that we know what effect smacking can have on our kid and about the far more effective and positive ways to discipline our child, it’s time to let go of our age-old ways of parenting.