Spanking is not effective in getting kids to follow rules or change their behavior.

Experts at the University of Texas and University of Michigan agree. Just last month, researchers released a compelling study on spanking, considered to be the most thorough analysis to date.

After combing through 50 years of research involving over 160,000 children, the study found that spanking increases the likelihood of child aggression, anti-social behavior, mental health issues and cognitive problems.

Science supports what we’ve been saying all along: problem solving, effective consequences, and holding kids accountable is more likely to give you the results you want from your children.

Yet, even the most easy-going parent can be tempted to spank their child—kids know exactly how to push your buttons, in hopes of getting what they want.

How can you get your child’s attention and set limits without spanking?

As James Lehman wrote, you can’t punish kids into better behavior.

Physical punishments like spanking don’t teach kids how to solve their problems differently. A more effective strategy is to focus on one or two behaviors you most want your child to change, and be clear and consistent with both your expectations and your consequences.

As you shift your focus away from parenting the “right way” and instead look towards what’s effective, you may find your journey gets a little easier.



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Dr. Gnap

Dr. Gnap is a family practice physician and behavioral medicine specialist in suburban Chicago.  Dr. Gnap developed the Inner Control™ Program in 1970 and has worked with thousands of people to improve and correct medical, emotional, behavioral and learning problems including performance.  He started the Inner Control program because so many patients asked, “what more can be done along with traditional treatment methods?”

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