Non-Physical Discipline Methods Work

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Potts

You may have already heard this 100 times, but let's make it 101. Parents' use of physical discipline is directly related to their children's anti-social behavior.

Most recently, in a study at the University of New Hampshire, researchers found once again that the more children are spanked, the more they disobey, lie, bully and destroy.

There are at least a couple of explanations for this. For one, using physically violent forms of discipline does emotionally traumatize children to some degree.

Violence from parents - whom children need to trust unconditionally - is especially traumatic. They tend to act out their anxiety, fear and anger in how they behave at home, in the neighborhood and at school.

Their anti-social behavior also can be explained by simple learning theory. When our children do not do what we want, we get our way through the use of physical threat and violence. We are, then, teaching them that whenever other people do not do what they want, they, too, should use physical threats and violence to get their way.

For whatever reasons, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship between physical discipline and anti-social behavior. …