​What Really Happens When You Spank Your Kids

mother with toddler crying on couchIn the ongoing debates over the best parenting strategies, spanking always manages to come up. And moms on both sides of the issue never fail to get super-heated. Research has intervened to give their say this week. For a new study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, researchers analyzed real-time audio recordings of parents interacting with their children and concluded not only that parents are spanking for "trivial misdeeds," but 73 percent of the time, kids end up misbehaving again within 10 minutes. Wow.

That said, if spanking is SO ineffective, it hardly seems like it pays for even its biggest proponent to do it! Really, the findings only serve to echo what opponents of spanking say: It's a bogus, unnecessary way to discipline.

The study also found that parents seem to be ashamed of how often they're doing it. There was a major discrepancy between the times parents self-reported that they spanked their child in previous studies versus the number of times suggested by this study ...

Granted, we're talking about all different parents, situations, timeframes, etc. Lots of variables at play, and it may not be fair to compare old research with new. Still, who would be surprised if parents really are lying about just how many times they're spanking their kids? It's not exactly something anyone wants to own up to doing, let alone doing frequently

So no one wants to own up to spanking, and it fails. Seems like a no-brainer that we should be steering clear of it as a way to discipline. Especially when there are so many other, less controversial and more effective means of getting your point across.

Do you believe spanking is more effective than this study portrays it to be, or do you think it's spot-on?


Image via © Science Photo Library/Corbis

tantrums, discipline, toddler health, behavior