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Science Confirms Spanking Kids is Ineffective

Posted by Empowering Parents Coaching Team

At Empowering Parents, we don’t focus on parenting the “right way” versus the “wrong way”—we focus on ineffective parenting versus effective parenting.

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.

Related: 5 Parenting Rules That Don’t Work: How to Separate Fact From Fiction

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.

Related: Punishments vs. Consequences: Which Are You Using?

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.


About Empowering Parents Coaching Team

When you need guidance through a specific situation, have questions about your program or just need someone to listen when you’re overwhelmed, our professional 1-on-1 Coaches are waiting to help. Each is highly experienced with our range of learning programs and dedicated to personally motivating and supporting you. Learn more about Empowering Parents 1-on-1 Coaching.

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