Why Spanking Is Harmful

Allow your child to be angry. Anger is a normal emotion that should be recognized and respected when it occurs, not controlled or suppressed. Parents who listen responsively when their child displays anger create communication and understanding that will serve the child throughout life. If the first impulse in response to anger is to strike back, Rudert suggests parents learn to remove themselves from the situation long enough to get calm.

Even though spanking seems like a quick fix to a situation gone bad, it can lead to long-term problems that are worse than the behavior the punishment was meant to fix. Research shows that children who have been spanked are more prone to low self-esteem, depression and lower-paying jobs as adults.

"Parents who look for other ways to instill discipline and responsibility can be rewarded with more open, self-confident children and happier, more nurturing families down the road," Rudert says.

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