The Harm in Spanking

I’m asking all nannies, parents, sitters and caretakers to please read this blog and pass along!


A new spanking study came out last week.  The study, released in the journal Pediatrics, confirms previously released studies that hitting your child can be detrimental to their mental health.

The study interviewed over 34,000 adults over the age of 20 between the years 2004 and 2005.  The participants were asked, “As a child how often were you ever pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by your parents or any adult living in your house?”

About 6 percent of participants said they experienced these forms of physical punishment sometimes, fairly often, or very often in childhood, without experiencing other forms of maltreatment.  The study stated that other forms of maltreatment might be physical or sexual abuse or emotional neglect.

The researchers found that those who experienced physical punishment were 59 % more likely to have alcohol dependence, 41% more likely to have depression and 24% more likely to have panic disorder, compared to those who received no physical punishments.

Alternative Discipline

There are other ways you can discipline a child without hitting.

1.      Time Outs:  placing a  child in an age appropriate time out (one minute for year of age) is a good way to let them calm down.  When the time out is a brief conversation about what they did wrong and an apology is needed.  If they are not ready to apologize then give them another minute in time out.

2.      Natural Consequences:  If a child leaves a toy outside it might get damaged or stolen.  If they spill their juice they need to clean it up.

3.      Distractions:  Sometimes you can distract a toddler before the crime happens.  If they start throwing a toy suggest you go outside and throw the ball.  If they want to jump on the bed offer playing a game of how far can you jump on the floor.

4.      Reward System:  For some the key to good behavior is positive reinforcement.  Rewarding a child with a point system or stickers for good behavior and choices encourages them to act positively all the time.

What do you think?  Do you have any tips on disciplining a child without spanking?  Please share with us!

TLC For Kids, Inc has been St. Louis’ premiere nanny and babysitting agency  for over 25 years.   TLC For Kids dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutor’s, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at or 314-725-5660.



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