✨Ready to make BIG changes on your parenting journey? Don’t miss the FREE video training: 5-Step No-Yelling Formula. Gets Your Kids To Listen The First Time, Every Time! Learn how to How to avoid blaming, shaming, or causing your kid any pain when you set consequences! Grab your spot in the FREE video training HERE…
There are some serious long-term effects of beating children as a form of discipline. Not only is it physical abuse, but it can cause aggressive behavior in young children and affect brain development.
Disciplining your child is one of the most challenging tasks beyond the first few months of motherhood. Children will undoubtedly become more demanding as they get older, testing the bounds of your patience.
The number of outbursts grows. Parents may try to reason with their child at first, but more often than not, disciplining devolves into beatings and the use of force as they frantically strive to control their child.
I know that back in the day, the use of physical punishment on a child was considered an effective way to discipline bad behavior.
But, dear parents, did you know that there are certain negative consequences of physical abuse as a form of discipline that may have a long-term influence on your child? And don’t forget that there are things more important than discipline too.
Here are some science based facts and recent research about this form of punishment and the effects of corporal punishment on the parent-child relationship and the cognitive development in younger children.
The Case Against Spanking
Many parents aren’t getting the word that spanking and other forms of physical discipline can cause substantial harm to children, according to a growing body of evidence. Here is a great book for parents that talks about about discipline without distress.
Sandra Graham-Bermann, PhD, a psychology professor and principal investigator for the University of Michigan’s Child Violence and Trauma Laboratory, says, “It’s a very controversial area even though the research is extremely telling and very clear and consistent about the negative effects on children.” “When people get frustrated, they smack their children. Perhaps they are oblivious to the fact that there are other options.”
Physical punishment, such as spanking, beating, and other methods of inflicting pain, has been linked to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical harm, and mental health problems in children, according to numerous research. Despite the fact that public approval of corporal punishment has waned since the 1960s, surveys reveal that two-thirds of Americans still support parents slapping their children.
However, according to Alan Kazdin, PhD, a Yale University psychology professor and head of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, spanking does not work. “You can’t punish out these habits that you don’t want,” says Kazdin, who was president of the American Psychological Association in 2008.
See also: The Absolute Worst Problem With Strict Parenting
Here is another great book on the phycological development of kids who are spanked.
Why Do Parents Beat Children
So, you know how some parents beat their children as a form of punishment?
Well, it’s actually not a great idea. Studies have shown that it can seriously mess with a kid’s mental and emotional health, leading to things like fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem.
Now, some parents might use physical punishment because they don’t know any better or haven’t learned alternative methods of discipline.
And, in some cultures, it’s just considered the norm. But there are better ways to discipline your kiddos, like positive reinforcement and time-ins.
If you’re a parent looking for guidance, there are resources out there, like parenting classes (I highly recommend positive parenting solutions), books (these are my favorite books here.), and online forums, that can help you learn how to discipline your child in a healthy way.
So, let’s all agree to put down the belt and try a different approach, shall we?
Effects Of Beating Children
Beating Breeds Beating
Children watch and mimic the behavior of others around them, and these acts will undoubtedly be picked up by him at an early level.
Spanking teaches the child that it is acceptable to hit smaller people if done for a good reason. If you choose to punish your child by using the rod, you are giving him permission to beat others around him. This kind of child aggression can lead to anger issues when your child becomes an adult.
See also: How I Discipline Ungrateful Children
Children’s Self Image Damaged
The harshest consequences are caused by emotional pain rather than physical pain. Your child will most likely acquire a self-image of a loser and may develop a lack of self-esteem if faced with physical aggression. He develops the notion that he is a bad child, and it sticks with him like a scar for a long time.
A Parent Loses Worth
Hard spanking a kid may appear to be a kind of punishment. You may feel fulfilled in the short term, but it will undoubtedly make you feel worse in the long run when you reach the limits of your patience.
Your child will undoubtedly be frightened of you, but you will notice the bad repercussions when he becomes distant from you and experiences worse behavioral problems.
The Effects Last A Long Time
Spanking from infancy, according to University of Missouri experts, can have a detrimental influence on a children’s temperament and behavior.
The study found that the more children’s are spanked, the more likely they are to resist their parents. It was also discovered that it has an effect on a children’s mental health and creates cognitive problems.
It Is Simply Not Effective
Using the rod on your children will not benefit them in any way, and you may end up frightening them for life. Harsh punishment has absolutely no developmental advantages and is not effective discipline!
Learn about the importance of communication in parenting. Check out the video on our app!
Anger Becomes Dominant
Not only are the parents impacted by their own wrath, but they also instil anger in their children with the use of corporal punishment. This indicates that your child is more prone to experience emotional problems as he gets older. When you beat someone, the issues don’t go away; in fact, they get worse.
Parents Lose Control
Beating your child could begin as a mild punishment to discourage specific behaviors.
However, there is a fine line between discipline and abuse that may easily get muddled with time.
For example, if the child repeats a behavior or error, you may decide to beat him harder until he ‘learns’ to behave better. As a result, use of physical force could be detrimental to both you and the children.
According to a poll, children who were subjected to physical punishment and harsh discipline as children were more likely to display antisocial, and even egocentric behavior as adults.
Weight Issues Emmerge
Dr. Dhananjay Gambhire, a consultant psychiatrist and sexologist, concurs that childhood maltreatment might lead to adult obesity. “Obesity as a result of overeating and sedentary lifestyle are features of poor coping; both are utilised as escape tactics for undesirable situations,” he says.
Both of these symptoms point to poor self-esteem and sadness, which leads to a lack of confidence. The person’s weight worsens once again, and he or she becomes increasingly withdrawn.” Negative childhood experiences include long-term repercussions such as despair, sadness, and substance misuse.
A children’s memories of being spanked might mar otherwise happy childhood memories which is another one of those negative effects of spanking. Traumatic situations are more likely to be remembered than good ones.
One of the parents’ aims is to fill their children’s memory banks with hundreds, if not thousands, of joyful scenes. It’s remarkable how negative recollections of spanking can cloud happy memories.
Alternative Methods To Discipline Children Without Beating
So, we just talked about why beating your kids isn’t the best way to discipline them. But what are some alternatives? Well, creating boundaries is a great place to start.
Kids need structure in their lives to feel safe and secure, and boundaries help to provide that structure. For example, you could set rules about things like bedtime, screen time, and chores. When your child crosses a boundary, instead of resorting to physical punishment, you could try explaining why their behavior was not okay and what the consequences will be.
Building a strong connection with your child is key to effective discipline. When your child feels connected to you, they are more likely to listen and respect your authority. You can build connection by spending quality time with your child, showing interest in their hobbies and interests, and listening to them when they talk.
But connection alone isn’t enough. As a parent, you also need to be firm and set clear boundaries for your child. This means setting rules and consequences and sticking to them, even when it’s hard. When your child knows what the rules are and what the consequences will be if they break them, they are more likely to behave appropriately.
However, it’s important to be firm in a loving way. This means showing your child that you care about them and want what’s best for them, even when you are disciplining them. For example, you can explain to them why their behavior was not okay and what they can do to make things right. You can also praise them when they do something well, to show that you recognize and appreciate their efforts.
Shaming is a common disciplinary tool that parents use, but it can actually be quite harmful. Shaming involves making your child feel guilty or embarrassed for their behavior, which can have long-lasting effects on their self-esteem and mental health. It’s important to avoid shaming your child and instead focus on addressing the behavior and finding ways to correct it.
Use Natural Consequences
One alternative to shaming is using natural consequences. Natural consequences are the consequences that occur naturally as a result of your child’s behavior.
For example, if your child refuses to wear a coat outside on a cold day, they will naturally feel cold and uncomfortable. By allowing natural consequences to happen, your child can learn from their mistakes and understand the impact of their behavior.
Of course, there are times when natural consequences may not be appropriate or safe. In those situations, it’s important to find other ways to address your child’s behavior. This could involve setting clear rules and consequences, praising good behavior, or using time-outs to allow your child to calm down and reflect on their actions.
Use Logical Consequences
While natural consequences are preferable since they do not pit you against your child, they are not always available in a handy, short-term form.
For example, it could be vital to you that your child stores all of their Legos every day so that you do not tread on them (ouch!).
If Legos are not put away every day, the long-term inevitable result will be that some of them will go lost. This might take weeks or months, and your feet may not be able to withstand it.
In this scenario, attempt to conceive of a connected conclusion that makes sense and carry it out calmly. As a result, if you trip on a Lego, you may decide to store it in the living room rather than in your children’s Lego bin.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Another great alternative to beating is positive reinforcement. This means praising your child when they do something good, rather than just punishing them when they do something wrong. It can be as simple as telling them they did a great job on a drawing or giving them a high-five when they finish their homework.
Children imitate what we do. We must be courteous to them if we expect them to be respectful to others.
Say “please” to your child if you want them to say it.
If you want them to wait till you’re available instead of interrupting you, wait until they reach a point in their game where they can’t do anything else before asking them to do something.
Be nice and gentle with them if you want them to be kind and gentle with their siblings.
It might be difficult to put into practice in our hectic lives, but children absorb everything around them, including how we treat them.
It might often appear like our children are misbehaving in order to make our life more difficult. Why can’t they just obey the rules at the park and everyone have a good time?
However, there is always a reason for disobedience, whether it is as basic as a hungry or weary child or as complex as academic challenges.
It will be much simpler to develop empathy for your child and respond with compassion if you understand the cause for the misbehaving. If you can’t figure out why simply know there is one. If your child is acting out because they love you and want to please you, there is a reason.
The objective of positive parentingis to develop and nurture your bond with your kid while simultaneously developing a person who will do good in the world.
Time-out communicates that we are unable to cope with our children’s behavior, that we do not want to face the part of them that is loud, angry, and dirty. It separates you.
Spending time with your child, or being present with them, draws you closer together. It understands that no matter what their behavior is that day, all children need to feel loved and accepted by their parents.
Time-in isn’t always a pleasant experience.
Because you’re holding the line on a boundary, it may appear that your child is sobbing or throwing a tantrum next to you. It may appear that you are discussing the significance of the safety measures you have in place as well as why you had to leave the park early.
Time-in does not imply that everyone is constantly cheerful and joyful, but it does imply that everyone feels loved, and that your child understands that you will always be there for them and can take anything they throw at you.
Additional Tools For Parents
Behavior charts like these and stickers are a popular tool that many parents use as an alternative to spanking or other physical forms of punishment. These tools can be effective in reinforcing positive behaviors and encouraging children to make better choices.
A behavior chart is essentially a visual representation of a child’s progress. It can be a simple grid or chart that lists the desired behaviors and tracks whether the child meets those expectations. Stickers like these or other rewards are typically given when the child meets the goals set out in the chart. The idea behind this approach is to help children understand the connection between their behavior and the consequences that follow.
When using behavior charts and stickers, it’s important to establish clear and specific goals for your child. This could be anything from completing homework on time to putting away toys before bedtime. The goals should be achievable and measurable so that your child can see their progress over time.
It’s also important to choose appropriate rewards for your child. Stickers are a common choice, but other rewards could include extra playtime, a special treat, or a fun activity with a parent. The reward should be something that your child finds motivating and enjoyable.
To make behavior charts and stickers work effectively, it’s important to be consistent and follow through on the consequences. If your child meets their goals, reward them as promised. If they do not meet their goals, then they should not receive a reward. Consistency is key in reinforcing positive behavior and encouraging your child to make better choices.
As a mother, it’s natural to want the best for your children and to help guide them towards positive behavior. However, the use of physical punishment, such as the wooden spoon or the dreaded belt, is not the best way to achieve this. In fact, physical punishment can have some of the worst effects on a child’s development, including the potential for emotional and even sexual abuse.
In the heat of the moment, it can be tempting to turn to physical punishment to discipline your child. However, it’s important to take a step back and consider the long-term effects of such punishments on a child’s behavior and cognitive ability.
Research has shown that physical punishment can lead to decreased cognitive skills, lower self-esteem, and even difficulty forming positive relationships in the future.
In the United States, physical punishment is still a form of corporal punishment that is accepted by some, especially in black communities.
However, it’s important to remember that a child’s dignity and the rights of the child should always be protected, regardless of their behavior. In fact, verbal abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse and should also be avoided.
Good news is, there are many positive ways to help guide your children towards good behaviour, and physical punishment should not be one of them.
The experience of pain is not necessary to help kids understand right from wrong, and the negative effects of physical punishment can last a lifetime. Just remember, as a mother, it’s your job to help your child grow and develop in the best way possible, and that starts with promoting positive behavior in the most respectful and acceptable way.
Print This Positive Parenting Guidebook – The 5 Pillars Of Positive Parenting
Listen… parenting with connection and positivity has been seen as permissive and lazy parenting BUT this is totally not the case.
I am a mom of 3 beautiful children and I’ve spent HOURS, DAYS, MONTHS, and YEARS researching this topic and seriously, it is my favorite way to parent.
Way better than what I grew up with – which was A LOT of yelling, spanking and frankly, neglect.
This little guidebook is a golden nugget that you can have for free – and print it out! Put it on the fridge, refer to it often. It’s really a great tool for kids of all ages.
Download Your Free Printout
- Download the guidebook. You’ll get the printable, plus join hundreds parents who receive my weekly parenting tips and ideas! (Sometimes I’ll promote a parenting program, but only the best ones that are in the positive parenting community, I promise.)
- Print. Print out the guidebook!
- Place it where you can see it. There is a lot of great information in this guidebook, even though it’s small. It’s power packed full of great stuff so put it where you can refer to it often.
More Like This
- What Are The Problems With Negative Punishment?
- How To Discipline A Difficult Child
- The Best Ways To Discipline A Strong-Willed Child
- 5 Secrets To Discipline Without Time Out and Counting
- “The Case Against Spanking” by Association for Psychological Science
- “The Effects of Corporal Punishment on Children” by American Academy of Pediatrics
- “The Link Between Spanking and Aggression” by Pediatrics Journal
- “Why Spanking Does Not Work: A Review of Four Decades of Research” by Journal of Family Psychology
- “Physical Punishment and Psychological Maltreatment of Children” by Canadian Medical Association Journal
- “Corporal Punishment and Mental Health: A meta-analytic review” by Clinical Psychology Review
- “The Consequences of Corporal Punishment: How Physical Discipline Relates to Child and Adolescent Development” by Developmental Review.