Alternatives to Spanking

A pediatrician explains why spanking doesn't work.

Why Spanking Doesn't Work

Any parent might sometimes entertain the thought of a "quick fix" for exasperating behavior, but in the long run it's best for parents to avoid spanking their children.

First of all, spanking doesn't work. It can temporarily stop the unwanted behavior, but the most effective forms of discipline are those that teach children how to control their behavior through internal measures. Spanking may teach your child to be afraid of you when she's done something wrong, but it doesn't teach her the real consequences of her behavior, or even how to control it.

In addition, spanking teaches children that it's all right to hit, and that it's all right to be hit. No parent really wants to convey that message. Striking children doesn't give them the message that violence is undesirable. Instead, it communicates the idea that hitting is a suitable means of solving problems.

Many parents who have hit their child express regret afterward and wish they had tried some other method of discipline. In fact, every form of misbehavior can be an opportunity to teach a child how to live with others or how to get what she wants or needs without resorting to physical measures.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment