Pediatricians strengthen stance against spanking children

Pediatrician group calls for a ban on spanking

"The good news is, fewer parents support the use of spanking than they did in the past", said Robert D. Sege, a past member of AAP Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and author of the policy statement.

"This is much stronger than the previous advice", he said.

Spanking is harmful to children and should be banned, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday.

The AAP announced today that it will update its 20-year-old "guidance for effective discipline", which stated that "corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects".

A study in the journal Neuroimage found that children who experienced "harsh" spanking had a reduction in gray matter in the brain's prefontal cortex, which deals with planning, personality and impulse control, and also experienced a reduction in performance IQ, which gauges how a child deals with verbal cues, according to the new policy statement.

The Canadian Pediatric Society also strongly discourages parents from spanking their children.

Pediatricians will nearly always recommend discipline that does not include hitting children, or forcing them to eat spices, washing their mouths out with soap or other abusive punishments. "Your average 6-month-old child doesn't have the ability to learn the rules".

For the most part, the AAP recommends time-outs and removal of privileges. "We can do better".

"What's the problem? What are you going to do for week two?"

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"So if they run out in the street, you don't want the natural outcome to be that they get run over by a vehicle", he said, according to CNN.

"So if they run out in the street, you don't want the natural outcome to be that they get run over by a vehicle". Instead, the parent could instruct the child to walk, she said.

"I think it's really confusing because we teach children not to hit, not to hurt others and not to be angry or yell, but then what we're doing in turn is when they do something wrong, we hit them", said early education expert Alise McGregor, who founded Little Newtons Educational Daycare in the Twin Cities. "As a result, children are more likely to grow up feeling secure and positive, knowing how to regulate their own behavior".

He noted that 19 states permit corporal punishment in schools and all 50 states permit corporal punishment in homes.

"Nobody has randomly assigned children to receive different types of parenting or different types of discipline strategies, per se".

"The effects of corporal punishment were transient: within 10 minutes, most children (73 percent) had resumed the same behavior for which they had been punished".

"Positive reinforcement for alternative behaviors is extremely effective", it says. "If it were effective you should see the opposite".

Recent studies have also shown that corporal punishment is associated with increased aggression and makes it more likely that children will be defiant in the future.

The research found, among other things, that, over time, spanking often leads to more aggressive behavior in kids.

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