The practice of spanking continues to be an option for parents to discipline and raise their children. However, research and studies have demonstrated a negative correlation of this act to the child’s growth and development. Seeing this, it is then crucial to understand the negative effects of spanking and its potential impact to children in the long run.
One negative impact of spanking to children can be seen in their psychological responses to conflict and behavior. Specifically, studies have shown that children who have had the experience of spanking tend to demonstrate a more aggressive behavior compared to those who have not. Here, The Atlantic (2012) provides that “as children who have been spanked become adults, they are more likely to become aggressive themselves since they have seen adults solving problems aggressively” (p.1). It is a process of child rearing that can have potential side effects in the future.
Connected to the psychological and behavioral development of children, spanking can also cause mental health problems. By subjecting children to aggression to establish fear and control, parents would risk their children developing depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies (The Atlantic, 2012). This may prove to be a challenge because it can impact the life and establishes a bad example of how parenting should be.
Another long term consequence of spanking is that children would develop less close relationships with their parents. Since the objective of spanking is to induce discipline and fear to the child, it would create distance to how children view their parents. This lack of emotional connection creates challenges in the ability of parents to communicate and understand what the child really needs (The Atlantic, 2012). Rather than providing control to children, the prolonged effects of spanking lead to detachment and isolation.
Overall, disciplining children through spanking provides consequences to the child’s growth and development. Through the years, different studies have demonstrated connections of such approach to violence and psychological difficulties in the long run. Learning then to look into other options for disciplining may prove to be an essential strategy to help parents address child-rearing responsibilities.