A recent study shows that people who were spanked as kids grew up to have more emotional issues that than those who weren't. The study in the latest Journal of Pediatrics says physical punishment of children increases their chances of mood, anxiety and personality disorders, and alcohol and drug abuse in adulthood. The survey of nearly 35,000 Americans found that 2-7 percent of mental disorders were connected to physical punishment including spanking.
Cindy Scott, executive director, Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect says, "It's not going to be beneficial to the child, or to the parent, for them to use any kind of physical force. So, we would not recommend people hitting children."
Instead Marcy Safyer, Parenting Institute at Adelphi University in New York, suggests talking, "They [parents] need to pick the child up from whatever it is and remove them. Sit with them until the child calms down, and then say to them, 'Let's talk about why I don't want you to do that.'"
Hitting can cause fear of parents in a child. Talking encourages trust and security. By choosing talking over spanking children tend to come to parents when they are feeling anxious, confused and frightened.
Spanking is illegal in more than 30 countries, but the US is not one of them. However, there are laws that define what crosses the line into abuse.
I was never spanked as a kid. Time outs were a common form of punishment in our house. We also did a lot of talking. "Do you understand what you did wrong?" "How do you think you should've handled that?" My relationship with my parents was always very good. In fact, because of that when I was a teenager I didn't act out much because I didn't want to let them down. I always felt like I could go to my parents about anything that was bothering me. To this day I have an amazing relationship with my parents and I feel like I'm a well adjusted adult. I hope I can be as good a parent to Mia as my parents were to me.