Parents, check this out: According to the latest research, spanking your kids is a short-term fix, not a long-term solution.
That’s the conclusion of a new report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. It’s based on a review of 80 studies on the long-term effects of physical punishment – including spanking.
When researchers pored over all the evidence, they found that spanking can be very effective at getting your kids to stop whatever bad behavior they’re up to right now. The problem is that down the road, people who were spanked as kids tend to become more aggressive adults - toward their parents, siblings, friends, and even their spouse!
Why would that happen? Joan Durrant is a child psychologist who says that when kids see you resolve conflict with aggression, they tend to think that’s the only way to resolve problems. So, they’ll learn to lash out at other people the same way they were treated growing up! It’s that simple.
And aggression isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. For example: Studies also show a link between the amount a child is spanked, and the likelihood that they’ll experience depression, anxiety, or use drugs and alcohol.
Kids are also more likely to become liars if they’re spanked - especially if they’re desperate to avoid being spanked again. In fact, Durrant says that in all 80 studies she reviewed, none show an upside to physical punishment, only negative consequences!
So what does work? Believe it or not, Durrant says parents who use a simple “time out” for punishment are more effective at building strong bonds with their kids than parents who spank, because as this report shows: Spanking works in the moment, but the consequences of spanking last a lifetime.