Is spanking an effective disciplinary tool?

Robert Brooks, PhD Therapist and Author, shares advice for parents on whether spanking is an effective disciplinary tool for them to use on their children, and the negative effects that it can have on children
Is Spanking An Effective Disciplinary Tool?
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Is spanking an effective disciplinary tool?

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When the topic of spanking comes up, it leads to a lot of different and very emotional feelings. Some parents have said to me what is wrong with spanking. I got spanked and I am okay. And other parents really feel it has no place at all in discipline. I am not concerned if a parent says to me one time I hit my child on the rear end and I know I should not do it. I am concerned when spanking is one of the primary ways that parents are disciplining. And what the research really shows is that we have got to find other ways because spanking in many ways leads kids to be much angrier and they are often going to do the same thing with their kids. And it is also, as I say, not very effective. Some parents are fooled and think it is effective because they will say when I spank my child, he or she stops the behavior. But what happens is that behavior continues behind the parents´back often. And what I try to say to parents is we have to find other ways. We can find natural and logical consequences where you say to your child if you do this, this is going to be taken away. But you don´t hit your child. And when some parents say to me that it hurts me more than it hurts my child, I cannot buy that. It hurts kids. And I have spoken to adults who are still in tears thinking about times they were spanked by their parents and many of them interpreted their parents as being out of control. So I say to parents if you finding you are spanking and yelling a lot, you have got to step back and maybe even get some help about finding more effective disciplinary techniques.

Robert Brooks, PhD Therapist and Author, shares advice for parents on whether spanking is an effective disciplinary tool for them to use on their children, and the negative effects that it can have on children

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Robert Brooks, PhD

Therapist & Author

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships, school climate, and balancing our personal and professional lives. He is the author or co-author of 15 books and has also appeared in several videos pertaining to helping children to become more responsible, self-disciplined, hopeful, and resilient.

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