Up­dated pol­icy says it can lead to ag­gres­sion, brain changes, sui­ci­dal be­hav­iour in adult­hood

StarMetro Edmonton - - MOVING FORWARD - Lind­sey Tan­ner

The U.S. lead­ing pe­di­a­tri­cians’ group has strength­ened its ad­vice against spank­ing and other phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment be­cause of the po­ten­tial for long-term harm.

In an up­dated pol­icy re­leased Mon­day, the Amer­i­can Academy of Pe­di­atrics says that harm can in­clude ag­gres­sion, brain changes, substance abuse and sui­ci­dal be­hav­iour in adult­hood.

The academy says re­search since its 1998 dis­ci­pline pol­icy led to the up­date. It says spank­ing is fall­ing out of favour among par­ents, es­pe­cially those with young chil­dren. While some par­ents still be­lieve it can lead to short-term im­prove­ments in be­hav­iour, stud­ies show spank­ing is no more ef­fec­tive than non-phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment, in­clud­ing time­outs, set­ting firm lim­its and es­tab­lish­ing un­wanted con­se­quences.

The group also sug­gests putting favourite toys away or re­duc­ing screen time.

“Al­though many chil­dren who were spanked be­come happy, healthy adults, cur­rent While some par­ents still be­lieve spank­ing can lead to short-term im­prove­ments in be­hav­iour, stud­ies show spank­ing is no more ef­fec­tive than non-phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment.

ev­i­dence sug­gests that spank­ing is not nec­es­sary and may re­sult in long-term harm,” the academy ad­vises.

Stud­ies pub­lished in the past two decades have bol­stered ev­i­dence that spank­ing can make young kids more aggressive and de­fi­ant.

Other stud­ies have linked phys­i­cal pun­ish­ment in child­hood with later brain changes in young adults in­clud­ing re­duced grey mat­ter and el­e­vated lev­els of stress hor­mones. Sui­ci­dal be­hav­iour, substance abuse and anger are among other po­ten­tial

long-term con­se­quences of spank­ing, stud­ies have sug­gested.

The academy also warns against harsh ver­bal abuse in­clud­ing sham­ing kids, cit­ing re­search link­ing it with de­pres­sion and be­hav­iour prob­lems in teens. Par­ents can show girls images such as the Fear­less Girl sculp­ture, a girl fac­ing down the Wall Street Bull, to build their self-es­teem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.