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Why you shouldn’t spank your child

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Why you shouldn’t spank your child

As a parent, the first response to a child acting up is discipline. Due to generational patterns and behaviors, many of us learned that spanking was the first and foremost form of discipline. According to Robert Sege and Benjamin Siegel (2018), there is a strong correlation between corporal punishment being linked to and negative outcomes for children on a behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional level. As we have learned with increased research, spanking is not advised as a disciplinary technique.

Children imitate the behavior that is modeled for them. Spanking demonstrates aggressive behavior for a child that creates conflict between the parent and child (Morin, 2020). Many parents then wonder what the best disciplinary route for a child would be. Here are a few effective disciplinary strategies:

-Build and work towards creating a positive, open, and supportive relationship with your child to model positive behavior. Parenting and patience are not easy tasks which means you will make mistakes along the way. However, it is important for you to remain cognizant of the situation and if needed give yourself space (Cleveland Clinic, 2018).

-Provide positive reinforcement and encourage positive behaviors. Make sure that your child’s efforts are being acknowledged (Cleveland Clinic, 2018).

-Utilize other methods such as taking away their favorite toys, privileges, or enforcing time outs/ins (Cleveland Clinic, 2018).

“Parenting is hard, especially trying to be patient with little versions of you” -Unknown

Please reach out to your child’s pediatrician if any behavioral concerns arise.


Morin, Amy L. (2020). How to Model the Behavior You Want Your Child to Exhibit. Very Well Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/role-model-the-behavior-you-want-to-see-from-your-kids-1094785

Cleveland Clinic (2018). Pediatricians Say, ‘Don’t Spank Your Kids!’ Here’s Why +What to do Instead. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/pediatricians-say-dont-spank-your-kids-heres-why-what-to-do-instead/

Sege, R., & Siegel, B. (2018). Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/142/6/e20183112

Olivia Espinosa, LCSW

Social Worker

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