Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Pediatricians' group: Spanking is ineffective and harmful to children

Pediatrics Group to Parents: No Spanking, Yelling Pediatricians Just Took a Hard Stance Against Spanking
Samantha Long | 07 November, 2018, 20:17

Children who are spanked by their parents are at risk of "negative behavioural, cognitive, psychosocial and emotional outcomes" similar to those in children who experience physical abuse, the statement says. It also now says that "harsh verbal discipline", including shaming and humiliation, is harmful to a child's developing brain.

Another study showed that the impact of corporal punishment was short lived - within 10 minutes of the punishment, 73% of children repeated the behavior for which they had originally been punished.

The organisation is instead recommending that adults should reinforce appropriate behaviours, set limits, redirect children and set expectations.

In October, the academy published guidelines on how pediatricians and parents can navigate the health concerns for transgender and "gender-diverse" youth as well as how to improve safety for teen drivers.

On Monday, the AAP published a new policy statement saying that parents "should not use corporal punishment (including hitting and spanking), either in anger or as a punishment for or outcome of misbehavior, nor should they use any disciplinary strategy, including verbal abuse, that causes shame or humiliation".

"One of the most important relationships we all have is the relationship between ourselves and our parents, and it makes sense to eliminate or limit fear and violence in that loving relationship", said Dr Robert D Sege, a paediatrician at Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children in Boston, and one of the authors of the statement.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on disciplining children. The group cites a study which found that children who were spanked more than twice a month at age 3 were more aggressive when they were 5.

And in 2013, a Harris Interactive poll found that 70 percent of parents agreed with the statement that "good, hard spanking is sometimes necessary to discipline a child", although that's down from 84 percent of parents in 1986. "We can do better".

She emphasized that preparing children to be successful in day-to-day activities may work better than falling back on corporal punishment. It certainly doesn't teach children self-regulation", Sege told NBC News."Techniques such as time out and other effective forms of punishment, the goal is to teach the child to regulate herself, so that she will have the ability to control and manage her own behavior. "If you have questions about disciplining your children, talk with your pediatrician", it advises. Teenagers in countries with a full corporal punishment ban are less likely to engage in fistfights.

These provisions include: the child is between the ages of two and 12, the person doesn't use an object (like a belt or stick) to apply the force, the child's head isn't hit or slapped, the seriousness of what the child did isn't relevant, and the force is used to help a child learn and isn't used out of anger, according to the Department of Justice. "What you see is a positive correlation between spanking and higher levels of behavior problems".

Parents are also encouraged to use positive reinforcement as another behavior modification tactic.

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