There remains a great divide among parents on whether parents should spank their kids.

According to a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, there are serious consequences to applying physical punishment to kids. Harsh physical punishment was associated with increased odds of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, and several personality disorders in 2% to 7% of those observed.

Lina Acosta Sandaal, an expert in child and adolescent development and infant and early childhood mental health, has this to say about spanking:
The statistics and multiple negative outcomes of children that are disciplined with corporal punishment are well known to those who work with children. Children’s Trends, a research group, found that corporal punishment increases negative outcomes in adolescence like low academic achievement, alcohol and drug use, and antisocial behavior. They also found that the older the age of the child, the greater the negative outcomes. Source:

Here is the list of 8 vital reasons why you should not spank your child.

1. It is too easy for a frustrated parent to cross the line from spanking to abusing. Unfortunately, by the time the smoke clears, many parents have crossed the line from spanking to hitting, shaking, slapping and other forms of child abuse.

2. Spanking makes a child feel helpless and damages self-esteem. It’s hard to feel like you have any control when you are told that if you don’t stop crying, you will be hit again. It makes a child ask, “What is wrong with me?” It’s hard to feel loved or have any self-worth when even your cries for help are demeaned by the person who is supposed to unconditionally love and protect you. It’s a betrayal. Source:

3. Spanking teaches aggressive behavior. Kids who are spanked learn to handle some problems by hitting or threatening to hit. Others find that their parents are too big to get even with, so they take it out on other kids. Source:

4. Spanking usually leads to more misbehavior. The problem with spanking is that it does work … for the immediate misbehavior. Kids will “stop it this instant!” However, they also resent the spanking and seek out conscious or unconscious ways to get even. Source:

5. Spanking can damage your relationship with your child. Spanking puts an emotional wedge between parent and child. Children depend on their parents to care for them. They trust them and their authority. Authority based on fear makes children lose respect for parents. It is hard to respect someone that hurts you. Source:

6. Spanking often leaves the parent feeling guilty. Most parents are aware that spanking is now a controversial parenting method. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out against spanking. But even before this, many parents could sense that something was not right about hurting a child “for his own good,” and feel guilty afterwards. Source:

7. Spanking can increase the likelihood of developing mental health symptoms. According to this study, links have been found from later mental health diagnoses to higher incidents of childhood spanking for disciplinary purposes. I am willing to bet that when spanking your child, your intention wasn’t to create long-term psychological problems. Source:

8. There are many more effective methods of discipline. The bottom line in all of this is that there are better ways to discipline kids in our modern society — methods such as polite requests, “I” messages, firm reminders, logical consequences, active problem-solving … These methods not only solve behavior problems but also help build such qualities of character as responsibility, cooperation, courage, respect and even self-esteem. Source:

Exerpted from: Oh My Parenting