How often have you heard that line? How often have you said it?
I’m not here to tell you how to parent your kids. I’m learning every day just how hard a job it is. But I can’t help thinking to myself, whenever I hear this:
“Yeah, smacking never did us any harm, except turn us into a generation that thinks it’s ok to hit kids.”
I recently read a piece on the ABC that said 69% of Australian parents still smack their children.
The article also linked to research that demonstrates why smacking has a range of health and social consequences and is not an effective form of discipline.
Some of the specific findings include:
- Experience of physical punishments – such as slapping or hitting – in childhood is associated with depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders later in life.
- Experience of physical punishments in childhood is associated with a higher incidence of health conditions in adulthood, including cardiovascular disease, obesity and arthritis.
- Children who are spanked frequently at age three are more likely to be aggressive at age five.
- Physical punishment teaches kids to avoid the ‘bad behaviour’ in front of adults, rather than stop the behaviour completely.
- There is no evidence that physical punishment improves child development and health.
So why do 69% of parents smack their kids?
Maybe because it never did them any harm.