Disciplining your child is often associated with spanking them. For most parents who grew up in a home where that was the norm, the act of spanking your child is seen as acceptable. An infographic titled: “The Psychology of Spanking” highlights the short-term and long-term effects of spanking a child.
The infographic looked at the education level of those who believe “a child sometimes needs a good spanking.” More than 70% of those surveyed were parents. Among them, 78% did not have a high school diploma. Participants who had a college degree (67%) were less likely to agree.
The Ban On Spanking
Scientists are spreading the word on the issue of spanking children and people are listening. More than 100 countries have a partial ban on spanking, while 53 countries have banned spanking overall. This means 50% of the world population have a partial spanking ban and 40% have a ban against spanking children.
Countries that have decided to ban spanking are well aware of the impact it has over children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, spanking has several potential risks that outweigh the potential benefits. In addition, spanking has been found to be associated with only one desirable behavior: immediate compliance.
It is no secret that spanking someone can cause aggressive behaviors, and this applies to children as well. As noted in the infographic, children who are spanked more than twice a month at age 3 are 49% more likely to be more aggressive at age 5, while children who are spanked less than twice a month at age 3 are 17% more likely to be more aggressive when they reach age 5.
As adults, those who have been spanked as a child develop more health problems. Spanked children have an increased chance to develop the following health issues:
– Cardiovascular disease (28%);
– Arthritis (25%); and
– Obesity (20%).
Tips To Avoid Spanking
There are so many ways to discipline your child that do now involve spanking them. Most (85%) of parents said they would use alternatives to spanking if they believed it would work. Below are tips mentioned in the infographic:
1. Develop a positive, supportive, and loving relationship.
Parents can do this by maintaining a positive emotional tone, paying attention to their child and being consistent in your daily activities.
2. Use positive reinforcement to increase desired behaviors.
Parents can do this by giving their child regular, positive attention or “special time,” listening and helping them use words to express their feelings, and providing their child with the opportunity to make choices.
3. Remove reinforcements or apply punishment to reduce or eliminate undesired behaviors.
Parents can do this by being clear about what is the bad behavior and what the consequences will be, as well as use verbal reprimands sparingly and always direct them towards the bad behavior — not the child’s character.