Figuring out how to discipline your child and make sure they listen to you can be difficult for parents. Oftentimes, parents turn to corporal punishment techniques, the most popular one being spanking. More and more evidence has been piling up in the argument against corporal punishment, one of the largest ones being its link to children with anger issues. The New York Times recently published an article delving into the evidence behind the connection between children with anger issues and corporal punishment.
Evidence linking corporal punishment and children with anger issues
For years and years and years, pediatricians have advised against corporal punishment as an effective disciplining technique. It often yields quick, temporary results, but are largely harmful and ineffective long-term. Yet parents continue to do it, even when they believe it’s not really working, according to a study of over 2,000 parents. One of the most esteemed child psychiatry organizations, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, even strongly opposes using any form of corporal punishment because of the implications found over years and years of research.
A study published in 2015 uncovered even more evidence concerning children with anger issues and corporal punishment. Researchers found that children who were physically disciplined (spanking, swatting, etc.) showed much more aggressive behaviors, thus leading to a greater likeliness of being spanked even more–this creates a vicious cycle that breeds children with anger issues.
Other studies exemplify further that corporal punishment leads to often negative results. Many have found that corporal punishment is connected to children having lower cognitive outcomes. All of these strengthen the idea that aggressive parenting generally leads to children with anger issues.
Children learn by watching their parents, so it’s only logical to think that if they witness you being aggressive, they’ll believe that’s how they should act. Years of research has confirmed that “Do as I say, not as I do” does not work in the slightest. If your child is yelling and you yell, “Stop yelling!” It’s a contradiction–and your child knows it. Learning to control your behavior as a parent–which, trust me, I know is extremely difficult–goes a long way in affecting your child’s behavior.
Recognizing why your child is having a tantrum, finding the root of the behavior and helping them work through how to either avoid it or constructively deal with it is much more effective than remedying it temporarily. Another one that is often overlooked is recognizing positive behavior. When your child does something right, recognize it, even reward it sometimes. By focusing only on the bad behaviors, you don’t show them what they’re supposed to be doing instead. Positive parenting techniques have shown to be much more effective and long-term than any corporal punishment–so maybe it’s time to look into it.
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