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Beginnings Guides Blog

Spanking hurts for a life time

Spanking, slapping, shoving are common punishments for children in the
US and Canada. Hitting a child is socially acceptable by many parents as
a form of discipline or to protect children by teaching them to respect
authority.  A large new Canadian study documents that these punishments
are associated with lifelong mental and emotional problems.
ACEs - Adverse Childhood Experiences- are a frequent topic in this space. 
ACEs include experiencing or witnessing physical or sexual violence or abuse.
ACEs are closely linked to a surprisingly long list of physical and mental
problems in adulthood. But that is not what we’re talking about here.
Here’s the main survey question put to over 20,500 adults: “As a child
how often were you ever pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by
your parents or any adult living in your house?"

Never,   Almost never,  Sometimes,   Fairly often,   Very often
If you answered Sometimes or more often, these researchers would say
you experienced harsh physical punishment and you would be among the
6% of study participants whose experience is similar. Those who also
reported ACEs were excluded from the analysis. 
Adults who were punished as children, but not to the point of full-scale
maltreatment, were at increased risk for depression, mood swings,
anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, and personality disorders.
This from Beginnings Parents Guide: 
What do you want to teach?
Teaches self-control
Teaches fear
Teaches your child that hitting is not OK. It hurts
Teaches here that hitting is OK if you are the biggest and strongest
Teaches your child to keep the rules out of respect for herself and other
Teachers her to keep the rules so you will not hit her
Shows your child she is a good person who learns from mistakes and practice 
Teaches her she is bad; she does not learn well; she deserves to be hurt
Teaches your child to think for herself and do the right thing
Teaches her not to think for herself, and to do what keeps her from getting hit
Leaves you and your child feeling OK about yourselves and each other 
Leaves your child in pain, feeling bad about herself and you.

Resource: Parents can talk anonymously with a counselor, 24-7,  free in 150
languages by calling Childhelp USA National Hotline 800-422-4453

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