A new comprehensive study of spanking claims that children who are spanked are more likely to defy their parents, exhibit anti-social behaviors, and experience mental health problems.
Researchers with the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan partnered together to analyze fifty years of spanking studies. The analysis, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, appears to confirm the negative effects of spanking found by previous researchers.
“Spanking makes children’s behavior worse,” lead author Elizabeth T. Gershoff told The Chicago Tribune. “It has the opposite effect than what parents want: It doesn’t make children better-behaved, and it doesn’t teach children right from wrong. It’s not related to immediate compliance, and it doesn’t make children behave better in the future.”
Gershoff, an associate professor of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, worked with Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. The researchers found that across different age groups spanking seems to be an ineffective tool, often associated with increased aggression, troubled behaviors, anxiety, and depression. Children who are spanked are also more likely to spank their own children.
Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor’s study specifically examines the effects of spanking alone. “We took all the data that focuses just on spanking, which we defined as swatting a child on the behind with an open hand,” Gershoff said.
To parents who say they were spanked and turned out fine, Gershoff cautions, “We turned out OK because our parents did other things, like sat us down at the kitchen table and talked to us and gave us reasons why they wanted to see us behave. We turned out OK in spite of spanking, not because of it.”
The Tribune reports that corporal punishment is banned in close to 50 countries, including Germany, Spain, Kenya, Denmark and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The 2013 book The Primordial Violence also examined the issue of spanking, studying four decades of research before concluding that spanking slows cognitive development and increases antisocial and criminal behavior.
Psychiatrist Paul Holinger, founder of Chicago’s Center for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, told The Chicago Tribune that the wide acceptance of spanking children stems from “our history of treating children as property.”
Holinger may be onto something. If the free hearts and minds of the world only awake to government and corporate tyranny we are missing the point of this awakening. To be consistent, compassionate, moral, and just, we ought to encourage more parents to spread the evolutionary idea that children deserve protection. We must remember that we cannot create a world that is free of systemic violence if we continue to raise future generations with an authoritative hand. If the studies are correct, than an abused child is more likely to abuse others and to internalize that abuse into a possible life of anger and crime. If the abused child is arrested they will find themselves a victim of further abuse via the State’s criminal “justice” system. Thus the cycle of abuse, pain, violence, and imprisonment continues.
As more and more people awaken to the philosophy of freedom and evolutionary change from bottom up, we are beginning to challenge all the norms of our world. This includes the way we raise our children. Some of you may have heard the term peaceful parenting. Simply put, peaceful parenting involves removing the violence from your communication and relationship with your children.
According to Peaceful Parent.com, the key principles of the peaceful parenting approach are based on a combination of:
- research findings from attachment science,
- providing a safe environment for children to feel and express strong emotions,
- active listening skills,
- maintaining the heart connection, warmth and open lines of communication,
- facilitating problem-solving and creating agreements,
- using “I” statements for parents to express feelings and requests non-aggressively,
- setting limits with calm clarity while maintaining empathy for any consequent upset,
- parent owns their strong feelings to avoid escalation and to model how to manage emotions, and
- a deeper understanding of the feelings and unmet needs which drive a child’s behaviour
(For more information on Peaceful Parenting Check out EverythingVoluntary.com)
How can we tell the world about the immorality and injustice of State and corporate violence if we turn around and use violence on our loved ones? It’s time to live a consistent principled life. It starts with the way you treat yourself and the way parents choose to raise the next generation of free hearts and minds.
Derrick is available for interviews.
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