In terms of education, each couple of parents adopts the method that suits them. In the face of a capricious child who refuses to obey, some parents will send him to his room, others will deprive him of dessert or his television session, put him in the corner, etc. But sometimes, when none of these methods is successful and the parents are exhausted, they resort to "physical" punishment such as a pat on the hand or spanking.
Moreover, the latter has often created polemic, because of these effects on the psychology and personality of the children who undergo it. Effects to which we shall devote the rest of our article.
What follows is spanking, which consists in giving small slaps on the child's buttocks with an open palm, and which the parents use to make him understand that he has acted badly and discourage him from repeating His stupidity. But even if it retains this "educational" aspect and remains far from abusive physical punishment or abuse, it nevertheless leaves important psychological sequelae which have a great influence on the child ' adulthood.
What does science say about the effects of spanking?
The Journal of Family Psychology recently published a study by a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Texas that analyzed 5 decades of spanking research and included nearly 160,000 children. The researchers came to the conclusion that children who were regularly spanked were the most likely to defy their parents.
They were also more likely to have antisocial or aggressive behavior, cognitive difficulties, and mental health disorders. Moreover, this study showed that spanking was more harmful than beneficial for children and that it was probably the cause of the aggravation of their behavior.
Spanking and physical violence, really distinct?
The authors of the study, Elizabeth Gershoff and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, were able to observe through the results of their analysis that spanking does not lead to obedience and submission to authority, Neither in the short nor the long term. On the contrary, the more a child receives spanking, the more his behavior will be aggravated and the more likely he is to develop a disturbed personality in adulthood. In addition, parents who have been spanked as children will tend to do the same with their children and encourage this practice, creating a vicious circle that is difficult to break.
Worse yet, by comparing spanking with physical violence, researchers concluded that while both practices are seen as distinct from society, they are both associated with negative psychological effects in children, with less severity For spanking.
Spanking, yes or no?
In 2010, the University of North Carolina published the results of a survey of corporal punishment: 80% of pre-school children have already been spanked, and nearly 50% of children between the ages of 8 and 9 years were hit with a palette or other object. In addition, another poll published by NBC News showed that 81% of Americans believe that parents sometimes have to resort to spanking to educate their children.
In fact, attempts to prohibit this practice have all failed, unlike many countries, including 27 in Europe, where corporal punishment has become unlawful for many years. This cohort of countries, including Sweden, Finland and Norway, has recently been joined by France, where 50% of parents start hitting their children before the age of 2 and 85% before 5 years.
A very wise decision, since according to INSERM data, 730 children lose their lives each year in France as a result of acts of maltreatment, as opposed to 3 in Sweden where the prohibition of corporal punishment has entered into force since 1979 .
To conclude, even if a small slap from time to time seems to you harmless or even beneficial to crop your child, you will never know to what extent it may disrupt it and give it the feeling of being rejected or hated by its children. parents.
Moreover, a slap given at a moment of anger might be more violent than you have wanted and will therefore be more painful, both physically and morally. Parents must therefore adopt more effective methods of communication and learn to impose their authority without resorting to physical punishment.