Don't spank: Pediatricians warn parents of long-term harms

Pediatrics Group to Parents: No Spanking, Yelling

Sege, of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, said that this update to the 1998 recommendations relied on numerous studies over the past 2 decades that strengthened the AAP guidance.

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 organisation is instead recommending that adults should reinforce appropriate behaviours, set limits, redirect children and set expectations.

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

In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said that all forms of corporal punishment - including spanking - can lead to an "increased risk of negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children".

The policy statement, which will be presented at the AAP's 2018 National Conference & Exhibition, details that the use of corporal punishment can have a negative effect on the relationship between a parent and a child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on disciplining children.

"If you limit your surveys to people who have a child aged five years and younger in their homes, who are a new generation of parents, majority don't like to spank their children and often don't spank their children", he said. A different study found that within 10 minutes of a spanking, 73 percent of children resumed the behavior for which they'd been punished. "We can do better".

That held even when parents were otherwise warm and loving. "But it's also true that spanking is correlated with an increase in behavior problems over time among children with similar levels of misbehavior relative to nonphysical forms of discipline". "Simply put, parents who manage their children's behavior well may no longer feel the need to use more violent approaches".

"Discipline older children by temporarily removing favorite privileges, such as sports activities or playing with friends. If you have questions about disciplining your children, talk with your pediatrician", it advises.

"One small report suggested that parents who themselves have a history of trauma are more likely to use corporal punishment than other parents".

These provisions include: the child is between the ages of two and 12, the person doesn't use an object (like a belt or stick) to apply the force, the child's head isn't hit or slapped, the seriousness of what the child did isn't relevant, and the force is used to help a child learn and isn't used out of anger, according to the Department of Justice.

The academy's parenting website,, offers tips for disciplining younger and older children, such as using timeouts and establishing a clear relationship between behaviour and consequences. Only 6 percent of the 787 U.S. pediatricians surveyed in 2016 approved of spanking, and only 2.5 percent actually expected it to do any good.

- In a significant move Monday, the nation's leading pediatrics group is taking a stronger stance against spanking.

Maggie Fox is senior writer for NBC News and TODAY, writing top news on health policy, science, medical treatments and disease.

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