According to researchers from the Michigan and Austin Universities, parents should stop spanking children because the gesture does not change their behavior for the good. It seems that children that are spanked are not growing up to be responsible adults as the myth dictates.
The scientists from the Michigan and Texas Universities analyzed 75 studies that spanned approximately 50 years and involved over 150,000 children. And according to Elizabeth Gershoff, the lead author of the paper, all of the studies pointed to the fact that spanking only generates negative outcomes.
Gershoff discovered that children that are getting spanked by their parents are not altering their behavior for the better. Not immediately after being hit, and definitely not in the long run. In all of the 75 studies that were analyzed, there wasn’t even one instance in which spanking was linked to a positive outcome. The gesture always led to negative results, especially in the long run.
Because children get spanked when they do something bad, they learn that they can get what they want with it. And even though much gentler parenting techniques were marketed over the last twenty years, spanking is still very popular in American households.
Positive reinforcement takes time and patience, spanking is right there, available for the parents who are terribly upset on a ruse their child just made. It seems that roughly 85 percent of children were spanked during their childhood up until high school, meaning that parenting techniques that involve a gentler approach are not that popular in American households.
There are many reasons why parents spank their children. Some do it because they are short tempered and believe that the violent outbursts are the only way in which a child gets disciplined, some were raised with occasional spanks of their own and are just applying the lessons that their own parents taught them, and some are religiously bound to apply severe punishments to disobeying children.
Gershoff also points out the fact that people use the word “spanking” as a euphemism. Spanking sounds much better than hitting, and while most parents dread the idea of actually hitting, beating their children, they agree with the occasional “spank.”
But even if it’s a spank or a full-on blow, the gesture itself has violent origins, and it leads to violent people who will live their life thinking that they are entitled to hit a person that does something bad. Violent behavior is only born out of violent acts, so pediatricians are urging parents to stop spanking children.
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