There are some 30 nations around the world that ban spanking children.
The United States apparently could become No. 31.
That’s after the move was recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Spanking and the banning of spanking have been controversial.
A recent study found that nations with full bans on spanking have lower rates of physical fighting among both males and females.
Now the AAP has adopted a resolution that states, “Corporal punishment intended to influence ‘undesirable responses’ may create in the child the impression that he or she is an ‘undesirable person.'”
The statement says: “Corporal punishment – or the use of spanking as a disciplinary tool –increases aggression in young children in the long run and is ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control. In fact, new evidence suggests that it may cause harm to the child by affecting normal brain development. Other methods that teach children right from wrong are safer and more effective.”
The policy statement, titled “Effective Discipline to Raise Health Children,” calls for a ban on all corporal punishment.
It condemns the practice for “the harm associated with verbal punishment, such as shaming or humiliation.”
“The AAP supports educating parents on more effective discipline strategies that teach appropriate behavior and protect the child and others from harm.”
Robert D. Sege, a past member of AAP Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect and author of the policy statement, said the “good news is, fewer parents support the use of spanking than they did in the past.”
“Yet corporal punishment remains legal in many states, despite evidence that it harms kids – not only physically and mentally, but in how they perform at school and how they interact with other children.”
The AAP says corporal punishment “and harsh verbal abuse may cause a child to be fearful in the short term but does not improve behavior over the long term and may cause more aggressive behaviors.”
“In one study, young children who were spanked more than twice a month at age 3 were more aggressive at age 5. Those same children at age 9 still exhibited negative behaviors and lower receptive vocabulary scores.”
The group says: “Research has shown that striking a child, yelling at or shaming them can elevate stress hormones and lead to changes in the brain’s architecture. Harsh verbal abuse is also linked to mental health problems in preteens and adolescents.”