Monday, February 13, 2012

Spanking Linked to Aggression




Go to any parenting forum on the web and ask a simple question on what to do about an issue you have with your child and you are going to get a ton of different ways to deal with it.  One of the ways you are most likely to hear is spank them.  A new study may want you to not follow that advice though.

A paper publish on Feb 7th in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says that there is a link between aggression in children and adults and them being spanked as a form of discipline.  Anyone with any amount of common sense would be able to come to this conclusion, yet it is still a primary form of discipline used in the United States by a lot of parents.  Their theory on I was spanked and I turned out fine may not be as true as they think it is.

As adults if another were to hit us, we would be able to file assault or battery charges on them.  If an adult hits a child, it is called discipline.  Broken down that is all spanking is.  An adult hitting a child for something they did wrong.  There are times when they are hitting their child because said child hit another.  To a small child who mimics their parents this can be confusing.

We know that children are sponges and often they do what they see us doing.  They see us hit their sibling for doing something that we didn't like, so they do the same thing.  Then we punish our children for doing the same thing that we had just done.  We tell them that they shouldn't hit, then we spank them for hitting.  If that isn't one of the biggest oxymorons in the parentingverse I'm not sure what is.

Studies are proving that children who are spanked are more likely to be aggressive towards others.  They learn this aggression literally at the hand of their parents.  Any type of hitting is an aggressive act.  These children are being taught aggression by the thing that most parents think is helping them solve the aggression problem in their children.  Some kids won't outgrow this aggression and carry it into adulthood, starting the cycle all over again when they become parents.

I wasn't spanked as a child, at least that I remember, and I don't spank my children.  I never understood how I could teach my children it wasn't okay to hit, then hit them for doing something wrong.  To me it just makes no sense.  Hopefully soon it will make more sense to other parents and this cycle of abuse will be stopped.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/07/us-spanking-idUSTRE8161R220120207
http://www.cmaj.ca/ 




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