You may think the jury’s still out on whether it’s okay to spank your kids, but a meta-analysis into discipline research rendered a clear verdict: it’s not.
The review looked at several different studies into spanking, which, together, involved over 160,000 kids. In science terms, 160,000 is a huge dataset, which makes the conclusions of the analysis worth paying attention to.
According to the findings, spanking causes the same damage (albeit to a lesser extent) as child abuse. In other words, although societies differentiate between spanking and other forms of abuse, children—psychologically speaking—do not.
In fact, researchers found that spanking had a hand in 13 out of the 17 detrimental outcomes they tested for. Worse yet, they even found that spanking didn’t actually produce better behaved kids.
The entire article is one disturbing point after another, but we were particularly struck by its revelation that those who were spanked as children were more likely to have mental health issues and antisocial behaviors as adults.
According to a UNICEF report, a whopping 70% of the world’s children are spanked EVERY MONTH. This is definitely a situation where new information might give rise to an urgently needed sea change when it comes to raising children.
Simply put, children should not be spanked.