Posted: Jul 2, 2012 1:27 AM
We all have our own parenting styles, ways of praising our children, and ways of punishing them. Some of us mamas of multiple children even change the way we operate depending on the child. One of my kids responds best to timeout while the other gets grounded from his bike when he's bad.
Spanking is a controversial form of punishment that some say cause irreparable damage while others say it has it's place. A new study, which is scheduled to appear in Pediatrics in August, states that individuals who were punished physically as kids were more likely to have lasting mental or emotional problems. This study has found that as many as 7% of mental disorders were related to physical punishment. As reported in WedMD,
"Researchers surveyed more than 34,650 adults about their childhood experiences, including how often they were physically punished by a parent or any adult living in the house. Of these, 5.9% said they were physically punished, but not abused, as kids. Participants were also asked about mood, anxiety, and personality disorders as well alcohol and drug abuse."
They are suggesting exploring alternatives to spanking like timeouts or positive reinforcement by rewarding good behavior. There are many non-physical options for punishment that need to be age appropriate in order to make an impact on your child's behavior. Timeout, for example, is effective for kids of all different ages but a good rule of thumb is one minute of every year of age.
Many parents don't agree with studies like this that reflect the lasting effects of spanking and continue to use this form of punishment as needed. What do you think about spanking your child? If you currently believe in spanking as an effective punishment, does this study make you reconsider?