Were you ever spanked after getting in trouble as a kid? Many parents view this as an appropriate form of discipline to discourage their children from misbehaving again. However, spanking can have some seriously negative consequences in the long term.

The Hidden Truths Of Spanking

When parenting, finding methods of discipline that your kid reacts to can be difficult. This is perhaps why many parents turn to an old-fashioned method of getting their children to recognize their mistakes: spanking. Yet, rather than encouraging them to stop their behaviors, this can have adverse effects on a kid.

In reality, spanking doesn’t produce any effective results, Dr. Robert Sege notes. Most children bounce back from the harsh punishment to continue their behaviors, especially since they don’t learn any sort of autonomy through the punishment. Spanking is also, in fact, a form of violence in and of itself, and can encourage a child to become aggressive in the future. And the mental effects can be lasting.

How Spanking Effects A Child

Children can come to internalize violence acted out against them, even with something as “simple” as spanking. As a result, they can become even more defiant than before they were spanked. In one study performed on spanking in the household, nearly 73% of all children resume their misbehaving after ten minutes of being spanked. So, why do parents do it?

It seems that parents who spank their children frequently are often struggling with mental and emotional issues themselves. Spanking is often an impulsive behavior, and parents who are struggling with depression, substance abuse, and abuse from their spouse/partner can contribute to the use of the consequence. Fortunately, there seems to be a new, gentler wave of parenting that is starting to form.

A New, Gentler Generation

In 2013, a Harris Interactive poll found that households with children under five years of age rarely use corporal punishment, if at all. Hopefully, this shift will continue in the right direction to eradicate spanking from most parent-child relationships in the future. So, what are some better ways to consequence a child other than spanking?

It’s been decided that, for many children, positive reinforcement to promote positive behaviors is much more effective than threatening consequences. However, when they do act out, refraining from violence is necessary. Rather, take away toys, put them in time out, ground them, or withhold other things they’re passionate about. They’ll want to work hard to regain your trust, and, in the process, their privileges!