" Spanking leads to aggressive behaviour "

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Erin - posted on 04/14/2010

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I read that article a couple of days ago and it makes perfect sense to me. I don't smack. This choice is partly a moral one - what gives me the right to control someone so much smaller by hurting them? - but mostly because I just don't think it works (which the AAP agrees with).



It really is simple logic for a child. If they see their parents lash out physically when angry or unhappy, it is understandable that this then becomes their way of coping with their emotions. I realise not everyone smacks in anger, but the result is the same IMO. I couldn't tell you the number of times I've seen a child be chastised for hitting/biting/pinching/pushing and then punished with a smack. It's really not brain surgery... how can you discipline a child for hitting BY HITTING?? It's ridiculous.



It's not surprising to me that a child who is smacked regularly will develop problems with aggression. They witness a lack of impulse control in their parents, and aren't taught other outlets for their emotions.

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For those of you who think the study is "bullshit" (your words, not mine), where do you think it failed? To what factor do you contribute the increased aggression in the children who were smacked more often? The article explained that other factors usually attributing to aggressive behavior were controlled, so why do you think it manifested?



I thought the study was well performed. A casual link between corporal punishment and aggressive behavior has been established for years, this study simply makes the long known theory more concrete.

For me it is obvious that if you smack your kid when they do something displeasing to you, they are going to smack anyone else who displeases them. How else would they respond? How do you teach them to respond when a playmate doesn't listen to them and do what they say to or play what they want to play?

Amie - posted on 04/14/2010

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To whose children are you referring Sharon?

I don't spank, never have and never will. My children aren't simple minded. They understand logical consequences for their actions. Hence the reason spanking isn't required. Spanking is not a logical consequence for anything. Our baby is redirected, our toddler loses privileges and gets time outs like our son, our oldest loses privileges and gets grounded. The only one who is any issue at the moment is our toddler, she's also at the age where she's testing all the boundaries and wants her independence. There's no reason to spank for that, we've been teaching her how to calmly and effectively communicate. That for every bad behavior there is a consequence. The last time she had a time out was probably 2 weeks ago, I don't remember the last time our oldest two had a consequence instituted. It's the harder road, it takes time and patience. I also know it has worked for all of my children, even the "problem" one. Every family has one. Not every parent is patient enough for this route though.

I will never be a person who is ok with spanking a child, for any reason.

Charlie - posted on 04/16/2010

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I was spanked or smacked as we call it in Australia as a child , I remember well how i felt when i was being smacked , i also remember as a child thinking " i thought my mum loved me why is she hurting me " those are things i DO NOT want for my children , for me to abuse my power as their mother , teacher , carer, and as a much bigger and stronger adult is absolutely unacceptable IMO ,Both my sister and i love our mother BUT if there is one thing she did teach us it was how not to parent and i am thankful that we are able to break the cycle , its one of the many reasons i went into early childhood education , to educate myself on better ways to educate children developmentally , including discipline .



I firmly believe that communication is key to any good relationship , its the longer road to discipline but i believe that children learn from us how to handle people and situations by the way we handle ourselves including our methods of dealing with other people ( our children included ) .



Ive had students at my school who would often act out aggressively towards other students and i found they had very poor communication skills , i found the best way to change that was to let them know i was always here to talk too when they were feeling frustrated , i would learn the signs that those particular children would give off before they acted out , take them to a quiet area and have a chat with them about how they were feeling , i taught them how to communicate properly with the people they were angry/ upset with instead of lashing out , this took time , it was a long process but it was well worth it when i would see them working out their problems in a calm manner , although my heart would break when i would see their parents pick their kids up from school and spank them on the butt when they were informed of an incident at school , even when we discussed what their child had learned from the experience and how they dealt with it maturely followed by an apology , it still wouldn't matter to the parent its was like watching an automatic response.

And sorry Kati but research also suggests that spanking actually lowers the IQ although as always there are exceptions http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200...

Lindsay - posted on 04/16/2010

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I was probably spanked a handful of times as a child. While I don't have any major issues that stemmed from it, that I know of, it wasn't the route a was willing to take with my own children. Josh was spanked as a child, too often for it to be ok, and he was 100% against ever laying a hand in anger on either of the kids. He has some anger issues and even though now he knows what to do to deal with it, he was always in trouble for fighting at school. When he would get in trouble at school, he would get a spanking at home for it. Which in turn, caused him to get angry all over again. It was nothing more than a vicous cycle.

Is it possible to have some spankings and not develop an agressive behavior? I'm sure it is. But it was not a risk either of us were willing to take. When we use a time-out, it gives both us and the child a few minutes to breathe, step away from the situation and not handle it in a screaming match. So once everyone is calm, it gives us the chance to talk about what happened and a better way to handle the situation, even if it is only briefly. We've found that by removing our kids from the situation seems to be very effective for now. So we have no reason to change what's working beautifully.

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?? - posted on 04/16/2010

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The few times I remember getting a spanking... all I remember thinking is "oh man, I KNEW I shouldn't have done that... now I'm in for it."



But when we got spankings, we KNEW it was coming. We were told, thousands of times, we were addressed thousands of times and then we were given the infamous warning... "if you do that again, you're gonna get your butt smacked."



We were given warnings, we were told no, we were put in the corner, we were even put to work.. and if we still did it then we got the "if you do that again, you're gonna get your butt smacked." So we KNEW it was coming. It was NEVER in ANGER that mom spanked us. It was going through with the punishment after countless other ways of her trying to get it through our stubborn determined pushing the boundaries to the limit attitudes.



We weren't spanked often at all, I can honestly only think of 3 times I was spanked and each time, I knew it was coming. I knew I had pushed the limit and after I got spanked, 1 swift swat on the butt that stung enough to know that she was not joking but only lasted a short time - she would explain why, she would explain that our actions have consiquences and as we get older, the consiquences wouldn't be a smack on the butt...



And that 'story' on it's own was enough for us to not do whatever it was we did, again.



I remember thinking momma's gonna send me to jail if I run through the house again. LMAO thinking back now, duh, how silly. But I tell ya those stories scared the crap outta me more than the thought of gettin a smack on the butt.



Regardless........ I wasn't an aggressive person until I was in an aggressive relationship. I didn't hit, bite, kick, hurt my siblings - until I was older and I was in that aggressive relationship and I started acting out.



I don't think the spanking is the reason I turned aggressive, it was the relationship.





That all being said... none of my siblings are / were aggressive either... neither my sister or I are aggressive with our kids. Not saying there won't be a time in the future I might try my parents tactic when my son is older... he wouldn't understand any of it right now anyways, he doesn't understand why he has to share or know why it's not ok to get upset when mommy wants to see the toy he has let alone understand why he would be punished for his behavior. The thought of it is silly to me right now. He's 17.5 months. He understands some things, but he's still learning and that will continue, when the time comes for him to understand more serious punishments, spanking will be the last resort and it would be used in the same fashion that my parents utilized it.



5000 other things - communication being key, distraction, occupying him, putting him to work, time outs, put in the corner, taking toys away, and they all come with warnings. I don't know how my son will learn or learn how to understand by I will try every possible method I can think of before I look into using the implication of spanking as a punishment... I don't think it will come to that, he listens pretty well most of the time so I think we'll do just fine.





As for the study, honestly, I didn't even read it. I don't really care. I think there's a study for everything and they can all have truths and possibilities of real indications of different things....... so I just don't waste my time reading them lol

Charlie - posted on 04/16/2010

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In regards to your last post Dana , it makes sense although most spanker either choose not to see it or just simply dont see it at all that yes if they continue to spank their own children because " i was spanked as a child " they are in fact behaving aggressively towards their own children .

It really annoys me when people say " oh but im not aggressive and i was spanked " and yet they spank their own , make sense ? Spanking in itself is a form of aggression .

There are those that choose to break the cycle and educate themselves on better methods of discipline , unfortunately they are the exception not the rule .

Johnny - posted on 04/15/2010

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Like most studies, this indicates that children who were spanked are STATISTICALLY more likely to act aggressively. It does not mean that all kids who are spanked will act out or hit. I was spanked as a child and I've never been a hitter or at all aggressive. I was very passive. But just because it did not turn out that way for me, or you, or your kids does not discount this study. I've read several articles about it in various publications and it actually appears to be one of the better conducted and controlled studies on a parenting issue that I have ever read about. It is possible that one day I may feel the need to spank my daughter. But this information certainly gives me greater reason to find a different route to successful discipline. There is a growing body of research suggesting that corporal punishment is not the most effective form of discipline and may actually often cause more problems than it solves. It is possible that this may eventually be disproven (as studies often are) but right now I'd like to try to go by the best information available. In addition, to me, it is just logical that physical punishments may teach some children to be aggressive.

[deleted account]

I'm just gonna throw this out there.....



I think people/children that are spanked either become aggressive or passive aggressive.....take ur pick?

Rosie - posted on 04/15/2010

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everybody i know that spanks has bright, behaved kids. my children are spanked on occassion and they are not aggressive, and my oldest is a genius (well almost, lol!), and he got spanked the most. on the other end, i wasn't spanked, i wasn't agressive either. i'm not the smartest person around, but i'm definitely not stupid. my life experiences have led me to believe that studies like this don't quite have the full picture. how can they .be sure that the kid was more aggressive in the first place, therefore needing (i know it's not the right word) to be spanked.

overall i do not believe that spanking is detrimental to a child. i'm starting to find out from my own personal experiences though, that it doesn't work in the long run.

Tah - posted on 04/15/2010

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o..and neither are any of the other children in my family, my neices and nephews are also well mannered, hono roll students for the most part and the older ones are either in or on the way to college and some with partial -full schlorships for academics. So apparently it didn't contribute to any problems in that way either

Tah - posted on 04/15/2010

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i spank and my children aren't aggressive. They are 13, 8, 3...All children aren't the same, sometimes timeouts work, sometimes they are where children figure out what they are gonna do when they get out that corner, and then they do it. my children aren't hitting in school and aren't hitting me. I was watching tv where some teens were beating their moms and some of the moms time out, take things and what have you. If my children ever put there hands on me i will be starting a community called "moms who beat the tar out their kids and are proud of it"...si i wonder what made those children so aggressive. If you haven't had to pop a butt with your children then that's great..but i have. i have also been spanked as a child and i only hit in self defense of bad behind kids in my neighborhood who hit me first because their parents could care less what they were doing. I never thought it was ok to just hit all will nilly and neither do my children from what i can tell. My son was in trouble once for fighting because the little boy who was a known bully wanted to try my son and dumped him out his desk. My son got up and let him know it would never happen again and i will take the blame for that because i told him to defend himself. Each child is different and has different stimulants, some see other children who hit, or see it on t.v, and think it's ok. I am not going to go bak and forth because this has been beat over and over, but as i said, i spank and my children dont hit, not in the house not outside and besides the self defense in school, apparently not in school unless the teachers are planning to surprise me with it.

Sharon - posted on 04/15/2010

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I guess the proof is in the pudding. I don't have any aggression issues with my kids, my oldest being 14 and the youngest is 7.

They get good grades, have lots of friends, play sports etc etc etc, the "all american" kids.

They're in line for college. My oldest is deciding now where he will go and what he will study.

I never had an issue with my kids hitting me or biting me and I wonder why so many other parents seem to have those issues with their kids. Even more curious - why can't they figure out how to stop it?

I don't think everyone needs to spank. I don't think every kid needs to be spanked when they act up. But the study is pure bullshit. They wanted a particular result and golly gee whizz they got it. Go figure.

My kids are proof that the study is a lie.

Jackie - posted on 04/15/2010

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I think it's hypocritical to hit your child then punish them when they turn around and hit someone...talk about double standard. You can't expect them to be able to sort that out. I dont' hit now, never have, and doubt I ever will.

Joanna - posted on 04/14/2010

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I used spanking on my 2 1/2 year old daughter a few times (only if she was repeatedly doing something dangerous and not listening to me). Then suddenly, she started hitting.

It really taught me to rethink my methods. I'm not saying I won't ever spank if the situation calls for it, but ever since I've quit the spanking, my daughter hasn't hit me, and she is calmer when she's upset now that I'M calmer when I get upset.

Erin - posted on 04/14/2010

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I'm not sure what's so hard to understand about the concept that hitting teaches hitting. If a child gets a physical reaction from their parents then that is how they will learn to express themselves. I'm not talking about the extremes of the spectrum, where all children who get the odd smack are raving lunatics or every parent who smacks is a horrid child abuser.

Jessica - posted on 04/14/2010

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lol I said I was devious, not aggressive, and yes, spanking did work, if I got busted for something I sure didn't do that again..didn't mean I didn't push the boundries with something else, it's what kids do.

Kylie - posted on 04/14/2010

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The article makes sense

I was smacked as a kid and remember smacking my friends at school when they upset me. I remember leaving a big red hand print on my cousins leg when we were in year 5.. i didn't even think i just did it and felt so ashamed for a long time. My brother was suspended in year 7 for slapping a kid in the face for teasing him. I remember getting in physical fights with my little sister and smacking the crap out of her when she took my clothes. Now I'm older i see how messed it really was but i was just a kid doing i had learned.

I truly feel hitting teaches hitting because I've lived it.

Sharon - posted on 04/14/2010

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I think its bullshit.

i've spanked my kids. They don't hit one another or me. My oldest is 14 yrs old. His first reaction when he is angry is to go somewhere else and cool down. Usually to ride his bike or sit in his room listening to music.

FYI - simple logic. My children aren't simple minded. are yours?

Amie - posted on 04/14/2010

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I agree with Erin too!

Jessica, The focus of the study was on children. Not on adults. You admit you were a devious child, obviously spankings didn't work for you.. or you would have not have been as devious. The article never said anything about having issues with parents, except as children. The entire focus is on children as a young age, specifically age 5. So whether or not you are aggressive or have a poor relationship (or not) with your parents in the now.. doesn't matter.

Jessica - posted on 04/14/2010

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If this logic were accurate me (especally me, i was a devious child and had my butt spanked a fair share) and alot of my friends should be very aggressive and I should have issues with my parents (whom I adore and greatly respect as parents and friends) ...just saying...

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