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Don't hit your kids.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has warned about the danger  and ineffectiveness of physical discipline. This warning arose from a sound foundation  in psychological research that found that physical discipline does not bring better behavior but instead is associated with emotional, behavioral, and academic  problems.

Research finds that hitting kids does not result in more responsibility and self-control, nor does it assist in the development of conscience. Children may behave to avoid punishment when adults are around but do not behave better when on their own. Also, spanking can increase a child's aggression and decrease the quality of the parent-child relationship.

The APA recommends substituting methods for impacting maturation rather than physical discipline. These methods draw on principles of  "respectful communication, collaborative conflict resolution, and parental modeling"(p. 22). For example, a parent might warn of danger, remove privileges, use praise, and sometimes just ignore the misbehavior. Often the parent can teach alternative methods of coping by suggesting more effective problem solving.

The APA was clear that the short-term benefits of physical discipline do not outweigh its potential detriments. This opinion is not based upon opinion but on solid research.

REFERENCE

Glicksman, E. (2019). Physical discipline is harmful and ineffective. Monitor on Psychology, 50 (5), 22-23.

 

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