Spanking chat from mothers
Gershoff notes that this persistence of spanking is in spite of the fact that there is no clear evidence of positive effects from spanking and ample evidence that it poses a risk of harm to children’s behaviour and development.
She adds that the study results are consistent with a report released recently by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention that called for “public engagement and education campaigns and legislative approaches to reduce corporal punishment”, including spanking, as a means of reducing physical child abuse.
Co-author Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, emphasises: “Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do.” Gershoff and Grogan-Kaylor tested for some long-term effects among adults who were spanked as children.
The more they were spanked, the more likely they were to exhibit antisocial behaviour and to experience mental health problems.
Each Monday, Heather Hopson (Diary of a First Time Mom), Sheree Adams (Smart N Sassy Mom) and I will tackle hot topics submitted by you, the reader, and agree to disagree. Follow us on Twitter (@Dear Mom Diary, @Moms NCharge, @Smart NSassy Mom) & Facebook. Well, I got an occasional smack on the rear or arm, but nothing that made me want to call the police. She understands right and wrong and will scream Bloody Mary if she has to sit on the couch on a time out. My daughter and Dora are BFF’s, so that’s hard for her…LOL. Sheree: Christine, that sounds like a bad joke with no punchline. But, as a mom, now…I believe in the punishment should fit the crime. There’s a BIG difference between discipline and abuse. I hate to see a child hit another child, and then the parent steps in and hits her kid and says we don’t hit. And I hate when folks want to pull out scripture to use against me. My spankings as a child did not turn me into a violent person, far from it.
We’ll take turns hosting the Mamas Mashup on our individual sites and dish about everything from spanking and breastfeeding to co-sleeping and homeschooling. Don’t forget to use this hashtag so that we can actually see and reply to your comments. You can also email your topic ideas to [email protected]: I just read an article recently and the title just sounded ridiculous to me: Spanking your kids could affect your child’s vocabulary down the road. If that’s the case then I should be illiterate right now. I mean seriously, if that were the case, I would be a MUTE. My kids are extremely well behaved (seriously, ask anyone or come babysit if you don’t believe me), so the tail pops are few and far in between. If you spare the rod, can you still discipline your child in other ways? Sheree: Heather, You’re being irrational to prove your point. I think we’re in an age where people coddle their kids a little too much, barely or rarely disciplining them (even when they need to), and then wonder why they’re out of control when they grow up? Is it okay to give your kids an occasional spanking when they get out of control?
The reaction of the girl’s mother to this situation was immediate.
She marched straight up to her daughter, bent over her, and smacked her on her arm while at the same time saying “We don’t hit people”.
There are a number of sad parts to this story but possibly the saddest part is that no other caregiver in the playground seemed confused or affected by this mother’s words or actions.
“We as a society think of spanking and physical abuse as distinct behaviours,” says Gershoff.
“Yet our research shows that spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.” As many as 80 per cent of parents around the world spank their children, according to a 2014 Unicef report.
They were also more likely to support physical punishment for their own children, which highlights one of the key ways that attitudes towards physical punishment are passed from generation to generation.
Both spanking and physical abuse were associated with the same detrimental child outcomes in the same direction and nearly the same strength.