Could spanking turn your child into a bully? Recent research shows it might and gives parents another reason to think again before turning to spanking for discipline. Occasional spanking of a 3-year-old child – even just a few times a month – may lead to aggressive behavior, or bullying, at age 5, according to a study published in the May 2010 issue of Pediatrics.
Spanking Promotes Aggressive Behavior
Effective Alternatives to Spanking
Instead of turning to corporal punishment, try some alternatives to spanking:
- Use nonphysical discipline, such as a time out with a firm explanation of what she did wrong.
- Talk about the behavior and not the child. This puts things in terms of what is appropriate or inappropriate rather than how the child is a good or bad kid.
- Try to anticipate bad behavior before it happens, and step in early by talking with or distracting the child. Distraction can work well with younger children.
- Commend her for good behavior to encourage her to be well behaved in the future.
- Although it can be hard, try not to lose your temper. This shows your kids that you can handle yourself when you feel upset, and they can, too.
Spanking is a short-term solution for misbehavior. It can blur a child's understanding of right and wrong, and break her trust and sense of security with her parents and others. Read more about why many experts consider spanking a bad idea.