TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated a policy statement that recommends parents avoid all forms of corporal punishment as a form of behavior control in children. The statement says that spanking, slapping, insulting and shaming should be replaced with positive reinforcement and setting expectations and limits – so called healthy forms of discipline.
This group, made up of more than 60,000 pediatricians, suggests that spanking is minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long term. As a parent, I never wanted to spank my children, but experience with human behavior has taught that there must be consequences when behavior of a child is unacceptable. I don’t have a good feeling about parents trying to coerce through constructive measures with the end being proper behavior of the child.
Now, no one should go around beating a child to the point of injury, ever, and insulting and shaming them will have more impact on self-esteem than creating corrective action, but if a child is acting out physically, a swat to the bottom gets their attention. There is also the experience of the school age years where schools used to deliver corporal punishment when rules were broken. It may just be coincidence, but the erosion of discipline in our schools started about the same time that school administrators we limited in the amount of corporal punishment they could hand out.
Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics knows something but eliminating corporal punishment seems like an open door for ineffective discipline and that is something our country doesn’t need.