Physical Punishment is Not the Answer


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Physical punishment and verbal abuse are never the answer when it comes to raising children. They are not the answer in other parts of our lives, but unfortunately, they are also unavoidable.

Every parent, on multiple occasions, has had their children throw tantrums in public. Handling those situations is never easy. A recent guideline update on corporal punishment published by the American Academy of Pediatrics reiterates that hitting or spanking a child is not a good way to discipline children. Shaming or humiliating the child may leave long-term issues, and no parent wants that for their child. A much better way of handling difficult situations with children are time-outs and/or positive reinforcement. Telling a child that it makes you much happier if they do something the first time you ask may reinforce their good behavior and have long-term benefits for their behavior.

These claims are further reinforced by a study that has been conducted recently. 33 mothers/caregivers were equipped with audio recorders for six evenings. In 15 cases the caregiver resorted to spanking at one time or another. The interesting part is that the children that were spanked misbehaved again, and usually in no more than 10 minutes. This is a small sample size but if correct it is interesting. Additionally, the participants were caregivers that said they yell at their children at least twice a week. It is impossible to say if the rest of the population reacts similarly. Still, punishment is not the key.

One thing is for sure and that is no one child is the same. What works for one does not mean it may work for another. There are too many variables to account for. The time of day, whether the child received enough sleep previously if there is anything else that is bothering it. Sometimes, all a parent can do is just weather the storm.

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