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Spanking Can Ruin Your Child's Mental Health, According To Psychologist

Spanking Can Ruin Your Child's Mental Health, According To Psychologist

More and more research is shedding light on the long-term harmful impact it can have on children.

Adults who grow up with difficult childhood can have adjustment problems later in life and that is why childhood experiences are an important topic for psychological researchers to focus their study on. Parenting techniques, childhood trauma, and corporal punishment are some of the factors that influence a child's personality to a large extent and new research shows that spanking your child could have great detrimental effects on your child's personality later on in life.

Representational photo (Getty Images) / Photo by Imgorthand

According to a report by WomenWorking, Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the John L. Loeb Department of Psychology revealed: "We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don’t think about spanking as a form of violence."

Spanking kids can result in a lowering of their self-esteem. It may have a humiliating impact on them and that could lead to a lack of self-confidence. Being spanked by parents could make them feel scared and wronged, and it could lead to poor adjustment problems in their adult lives.

Representational Image | Source: Getty Images (Photo by Songsak rohprasit)

 

Clearly, when a child gets spanked, they feel powerless. They cannot do anything about it and this sense of helplessness can permeate in their psyche, making them feel powerless in their adult lives as well. Even more than that, when a parent spanks their kid, they take away the opportunity of teaching them how to cope better. When kids make mistakes, it is the parent's duty to correct them in a manner that sets them up for success, and spanking them does the exact opposite.

Source: Representational Image | Getty Images (Photo by Rafael Ben-Ari)

Furthermore, spanking is a form of violence and if a parent does that to their child, aren't they showing that it is alright to act violently in certain conditions? Aren't the parents sanctioning acts of violence by literally acting violently themselves? Wouldn't a kid grow up believing that it's alright to be violent in certain situations, which it clearly isn't? Wouldn't this mean that the child gets set up to fail as an adult when they fail to see that violence in any context is wrong?

Representational Image (GettyImages-909408422)

As a parent, one should teach their kids coping skills that are productive and help channel their energies towards constructive acts. Talking, discussing, listening, showing empathy, etc. have all been shown to have a considerably better impact on the child's growth and perhaps they should be used consistently than spanking when the kid makes a mistake. 

References:

https://www.womenworking.com/psychologists-reveal-how-spanking-can-harm-a-childs-mental-health/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-science-says-and-doesn-t-about-spanking/