Moms Columns & Blogs

Spanking is bad for your kids, study shows

By Lisa Cianci

Orlando Sentinel


Another study is out that says spanking is bad for kids and promotes negative - not positive - behavior.


I am anti-spanking, and I have been since before my son was born 16 years ago. I can count on one finger the number of times he has been spanked - and that was when he was a toddler and ran into the street; my husband gave him a swat on the behind.

Parents can claim all they want that spanking is a positive disciplinary tool, and I will never believe it. I have friends who were spanked 30 and 40 years ago, and they are still bitter when they talk about it.

In the University of Michigan study, published in the most recent issue of Developmental Psychology, the spanking dynamic was explored in more than 3,200 white, African American and Hispanic families. The researchers collected data when the children were 1, 3 and 5, including how often they were spanked, how aggressive the children were, and how affectionate the moms were with their kids - regardless of the spanking.

Newsflash: Just because you're not Mommy Dearest the rest of the time doesn't mean that spanking is OK.

"Spanking predicted worse, not better, child behavior over time, regardless of how warm mothers were with their children," said Shawna Lee, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Social Work.

So that's something to think about the next time you want to lay a hand on your child.


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