Monthly Archives: February 2016

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 5 Hitting Is Used for a Variety of Reasons By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!
Part 5 Hitting Is Used for a Variety of Reasons
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.


Research has found that parents are more likely to use physical punishment if:



1. They strongly favor it and believe in its effectiveness.



2. They were themselves physically punished as children.



3. They have a cultural background, namely their religion, their ethnicity, and/or their country of origin, that they perceive approves of the use of physical punishment.



4. They are socially disadvantaged, in that they have low income, low education, or live in a disadvantaged neighborhood.



5. They are experiencing stress (such as that precipitated by financial hardships or marital conflict), mental health symptoms, or diminished emotional well-being.



6. They report being frustrated or aggravated with their children on a regular basis.



7. They are under 30 years of age.



8. The child being punished is a preschooler (2-5 years old).



9. The child’s misbehavior involves hurting someone else or putting themselves in danger. 



Any surprises here?

We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.



HELPFUL RESOURCES

The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.

CCP-EBP-LNBE Handbooks 3Across

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 4 Approval of Hitting is Declining By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!
Part 4 Approval of Hitting is Declining

By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Belief in the utility and even necessity of physical punishment as a method of child rearing has been strong through generations of Americans from at least the early 17th century to the present day.

Now, four hundred years later at the beginning of the 21st century, American approval of physical punishment by parents is showing signs of decline.



In the 1960s, 94 percent of adults were in favor of physical punishment. According to the General Social Surveys (GSS), which asked whether “a good hard spanking is sometimes necessary to discipline a child,” the percentage of those agreeing has declined to be around 66 percent by 2014.

There are regional differences, with the South having the highest percent of agreement and New England the lowest.

Religious differences also exist, with Catholics and Protestants agreeing in the high 60s and low 70 percents. Jewish respondents had the highest percent of disagreement (59 percent) and the lowest agreement that spanking children is sometimes necessary (41 percent).

Child development experts and medical boards including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association almost uniformly oppose the practice. They cite research dating to the 1990s showing that it can lead to aggressive and harmful behaviors in children. 



A Misbehaving Child Is A Discouraged Child
It is clear that although Americans remain more in favor of physical punishment than Europeans, Americans’ approval of physical punishment of children by parents has declined gradually over the last 40 years. At the same time, knowledgeable health authorities are clear in their disapproval.



Do you approve or are you among those who do not?


We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:



The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.
 
The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.
 
NCP Parents Handbook_3895 cropEBP Parents Handbook_3879LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 3 Hitting Children Is Very Common by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!   
Part 3  Hitting Children Is Very Common

by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

Several recent studies reveal that the majority of parents in the United States continue to physically punish their children.

Belt - Rear End spank
 
Nearly two-thirds of parents of very young children (1- and 2-year-olds) reported using physical punishment.

Young Boy - Father SpankMother Spank Young Child



By the time children reach 5th grade, 80 percent have been physically punished.

Little Boy SlapMom Slap Daughter



By high school, 85 percent of adolescents report that they have been physically punished, with 51 percent reporting that they have been hit with a belt or similar object.

spanking33

How about you?
 
Were you hit as a child?
 
Do you hit your kids?

We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.

HELPFUL RESOURCES:



The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.
 
The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.
 
NCP Parents Handbook_3895 cropEBP Parents Handbook_3879LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060
 

We Must Stop Hitting Children! Part 2 Definition of Physical Punishment By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

We Must Stop Hitting Children!
Part 2 Definition of Physical Punishment
By Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

(For those of you who are seeing this series of articles for the first time, Part 1, Children Are People Too, can be found here)

Physical punishment is defined as the use of physical force with the intention of causing the child to experience bodily pain or discomfort so as to correct or punish the child’s behavior.

This definition includes light physical force, such as a slap on a child’s hand or a spank on the behind, as well as heavier physical force, including hitting children with hard objects such as a wooden spoon or paddle. Or using a belt or strap.

Young girl terrified od her father's physical punishment with a belt
Young girl terrified of her father’s physical punishment with a belt



However, physical punishment does not refer only to hitting children as a form of discipline; it also includes other practices that involve purposefully causing children to experience physical discomfort in order to punish them.

Physical punishment thus also includes washing a child’s mouth with soap, making a child kneel on sharp or painful objects (e.g., rice, a floor grate), placing hot sauce on a child’s tongue, forcing a child to stand or sit in painful positions for long periods of time, and compelling a child to engage in excessive exercise or physical exertion. 



In the United States, physical punishment is known by a variety of euphemisms:
spank
smack
slap
pop
beat
paddle
punch
whup/whip
hit

The term physical punishment is often used interchangeably with the terms corporal punishment or physical discipline.

Physical punishment is distinct from protective physical restraint. Whereas physical punishment involves causing the child to experience pain as a form of punishment, protective physical restraint involves the use of physical force to protect the child or others from physical pain or harm.

Examples of protective physical restraint include holding a child to prevent them from running into a busy street, pulling a child’s hand away from a hot stove, or holding a child who has hurt another child to prevent him/her from doing so again.



Have you ever used physical punishment in raising your children or in your work with children? I have felt like doing so on some occasions but have restrained myself.

I once used protective physical restraint on one of my children when that child lost control.

How about you? Have you ever used physical punishment with your children?

Have you ever had to use protective physical restraint with a child?

We encourage and welcome your written comments at the end of this article.

Helpful Resources:

The NEW Confident Parenting is a book that discusses many of the issues surrounding the use of physical punishment and offers an entire program for raising children without ever having to use physical punishment.

The Effective Black Parenting and Los Ninos Bien Educados parenting programs provide similar guidance from cultural perspectives on hitting children.

NCP Parents Handbook_3895 cropEBP Parents Handbook_3879LNBE_PP_PHandbook-English_4060