What Are Your Thoughts On Spanking Children?

Is Physical Punishment For Toddlers Ever Acceptable ?

Spanking children is one of the most controversial topics in toddler and child discipline.

Is smacking (as it's also known in the UK) - or any physical punishment - a suitable form of behaviour management for toddlers?

The answer is no. It teaches children nothing about how to behave better, and - unless there are any parents out there smaller than their kids - it's just not fair.

Spanking Children; Why Shouldn't I Spank My Toddler?

Here are just a few of the reasons why smacking is a bad idea:

1. It encourages aggression in children. Toddlers especially learn by copying the adults around them. If you spank your child, your child is more likely to hit others themself. Research from 2005 shows that youngsters who are subjected to physical punishment are more likely to become aggressive themselves.

2. This study also showed that these children were more likely to suffer from anxiety than those who were never smacked

3. It teaches kids that aggression is a morally right way to solve problems.

4. Children who are spanked learn not how to behave better, but rather how to avoid getting caught.

There is a flip side to this: in the example of the kid running into the road, being spanked does not teach them about personal safety. It might well teach them to do it when you're not looking. This does not even bear thinking about.

5. It could affect how your child gets on in school. Surprising evidence from the University of New Hampshire indicates that smacked children may do worse in IQ tests - because a parent who avoids spanking relies more on reasoning with their child. This in turn teaches the child reasoning skills - which help in IQ tests, and therefore school.

A 1994 study showed that youngsters who were not physically punished actually behaved better! This was a study at the university of Minnesota. The page is currently down. I will link to it again when live, as it was well worth a read.

Yes, But....

The anti-spanking research seems to focus on regular physical punishment. What about the occasional smack?

Toddlers have limited language, which means that behaviour problems are often the result of frustration. It also means that it's harder to reason with them. This is not their fault.

If you're wondering 'Is it OK to spank?', ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I 100% sure my child knows they are in the wrong?
  • Am I always calm when I think about a smack?
  • Can I be sure that my child won't copy me and start hitting others?

Are there really any parents out there who can truthfully answer 'yes' to these 3 spanking children questions?

Alternatives To Smacking

There are plenty of ways you can stay in control without hurting your child.

How to discipline a toddler has a step-by-step guide to managing your toddler's behaviour and teach them self-discipline and better social skills.

Try it and see that spanking children is really not necessary.

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