Posted by: webbhouston | September 17, 2009

Early Spankings equal more aggressive children – I will take please state the obvious for $1000 Alex

Yesterday Yahoo posted an article about a recent study that pretty much confirms what many of us have already known.

Early Spankings Make for Aggressive Toddlers

This is not the first time that an article like this comes out. Cnn came out with something similar over 10 years ago.

Spanking Leads to Long Term Bad Behaviour

Let’s dissect the yahoo article a bit. The studies were on children who were 1, 2, and 3 years old and being spanked.   There was more enphasis done on the one year olds who were spanked an average of “2.6 per week”  while for the 2 year olds it was “nearly three”.

Those of you with kids probably know that at one year old children do NOT understand things completely. If you say “no” they do not really get it. They might repeat the word often, I know mine did. They might say it back to you. They might even say it back while laughing and doing exactly what they are not supposed to do!!! But they do NOT fully understand what it means. Them saying it and them playing with it is their form of experimenting with the word and its meanings.  This is how children learn by mimicking and seeing what the boundaries are. They really are like little scientists in that aspect.  So my question is, why are we spanking one year olds? My next question is, why are we spanking one year olds almost 3 times a week? What are they doing that deserves physical punishment?

When I read this article it was (as I mentioned above) of no surprise. If one year olds do not understand “no” and they do not understand that what they are doing is not right… do you think that they will understand why they are being hit? No, they simply cannot. All they learn is that hitting is ok, they do not grasp that they are being hit as punishment… they just know that it is taking place. Since children learn a great deal by imitating they will assume that this is acceptable behaviour and do it to their peers, parents, anyone that is near them. So they will hit, and then as a result of this hitting they will probably get hit again. This turns into a never ending cycle of violence. These children get older with the belief still in their brains that hitting for no reason is ok and will continue to do so even after their parents tell them not to, because quite honestly their parents are setting the example of why this is acceptable. As parents we teach by example, whether we like it or not.

Going back to my original set of questions… so what where these kids doing that was so bad? I wish they would have told us that in the article because I cannot for the life of me understand what a one year old does that requires physical punishment.  This goes back to something that I preach a great deal about.

Forcing unrealistic expectations on children.

I have heard reasons as to why people spank their young children and they range from not wanting to eat, not wanting to sit in a carseat for extended periods of time, and not wanting to go to sleep when the parents want them to. All of these common reasons are things that children should not be really expected to do…. but our society has said that they are.  What needs to change here? The kids or the expectations?  I would like to know why people assume that a one year old should sit still for a one hour dinner at a restaurant, or why a child who cannot yet hold their own bowels should be ok with sitting in a carseat for hours without making a noise.

There are alternatives to disciplining your children that do not involve hitting. The article actually links to an article in the AAP website that suggests alternatives.

But if you still are finding yourself in a situation where it seems like you are having to discipline your young child all of the time then maybe it is time to re-evaluate your own beliefs as to what is “wrong”. Maybe making some changes to your lifestyle that allow your child to explore and have more freedom are in order. Maybe less pressure should be put on them, and in turn you, for the activities in their daily life.

Our daughter is a child who likes to push boundaries, she is very bright and sometimes a tough cookie. My mother told me during lunch two days ago that she would be “raising her differently” because of something that she did during dinner. As a mother who was spanked as a child repeatedly and voilently I must admit that it is almost natural to me to want to spank. It is true that when you grow up thinking that it is ok, it is something that comes easy especially when angry. I also believe that is is not acceptable even in times when the more gentle ways of disciplining are not working.

It isnt easy but the best path never is… and my children are worth it.  Whether it means re-evaluating my own history and what I have thought to be true all of my life… or it means learning mechanisms to control my anger.  There are other ways and now even mainstream news and media agrees with this belief.

Spanking is bad for children. Bad for Parents. Bad for Families.


Kate says “Spanking is bad mmm kkk????”



  1. […] Alma from Always on the Verge […]

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