It’s funny that just recently I had an interesting discussion on spanking. This is one of those subjects I always have a hard time with. I try not to be judgy when it comes to how other people parents their children. I especially feel that way when it comes to discipline, because each child is different and what works for disciplining one child will not work at all with another. This not only varies from family to family but from child to child within the same family.
Spanking has been one form of discipline being used for as long as parenting as existed (I assume). And it remains to be a form that every parent has to choose to use or not to use.
I was spanked, not all the time, only on severe occasions and have to say I don’t think it had any major effects on me. I’m no worse for the wear as they say. But spanking was much more commonplace when my generation was growing up and now research and a number of studies has caused a good majority of parents to lean in the other direction.
In fact a recently released new study from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg found that of 20,000 people who answered “sometimes” when asked if they had ever been pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by your parents or any adult living in your house” while growing up were prone to the following:
- The risk of major depression was 41 percent higher
- The risk of mania was 93 percent higher
- The risk of any mood disorder was 49 percent higher
- The risk of any anxiety disorder was 36 percent higher
- The risk of any alcohol abuse or dependence was 59 percent higher
- The risk of any drug abuse or dependence was 53 percent higher.
Of course the after effects don’t end there; Studies have shown spanking leads to more aggressive children, and even makes children dumber. Close to 30 countries have banned spanking all together. In 1979 The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which covers everything from a child’s right to be free from sexual and economic exploitation, to the right to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.193 nations have signed to enforce the treaty, but not the United States and Somalia. In fact only thirty U.S. states have banned corporal punishment in schools, while 20 — all in the South and West — have not.
What are your thoughts? Is spanking something parents should decide for themselves or is it time we caught up with other civilized nations and ban it all together?