Yelling and Slapping Make Johnny Sleep Poorly

Cynthia Dermody

kids with sleep problemsA three-year study of 4,600 toddlers found that kids who are yelled at or slapped sleep worse than other kids whose mothers use a "warmer" parenting style.

It's not clear from the report, from Australia, how slapping was defined. But the gist I get is that the researchers are not talking about spanking as a deliberate and consistent form of discipline, but rather a more hostile, spur-of-the-moment reaction from a frustrated mom.

Of course, there is no way to know whether aggressive parenting causes sleep problems, or if toddlers who are cranky and overtired cause their parents to be more hostile. "It's always a cause-and-effect argument and you can't really conclude from this which occurs first," said Dr. Harriet Hiscock, the study author.

++Does your child have sleep problems (other than not wanting to go to bed so they can play or watch more TV)? Do you think it's related to your discipline style?

Related groups:

Baby Sleep Issues

CIO Alternatives

Sleep Issues (non cry-it-out)

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