Monthly Archives: January 2019

Pediatricians More Strongly Oppose Corporal Punishment

In a new policy statement, published in the Journal of Pediatrics the first week of November 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics once again urges parents and other child caring persons against using corporal punishment in disciplining children.  Their policy statement recommends that adults caring for children use “healthy forms of discipline”—such as positive reinforcement of appropriate behavior, setting limits and setting expectations – and not use spanking, hitting, slapping, threatening, insulting, humiliating or shaming.

Their current statement updates their previous guidance that recommended that “parents be encouraged and assisted in developing methods other than spanking in response to undesired behavior.” This is, of course, what numerous other progressive-thinking  organizations like the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC) and the American Psychological Association have been promoting for decades. 

The new policy statement by the pediatricians goes on to further state that in the 20 years from their last statement, “there has been a great deal of additional research, and we’re much stronger in saying that parents should never hit their child and never use verbal insults that would humiliate or shame the child,” said Dr. Robert Sege, first author of the policy statement and a pediatrician at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

“This is much stronger than the previous advice,” he said. The new policy encourages pediatricians to discuss the data about different kinds of discipline with parents so, of course, they make their own decisions in how they choose to raise their children.”

A fuller discussion of their reasons for opposing spanking and other negative approaches can be found at: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/05/health/spanking-children-healthy-discipline-study/index.html . Their fullest recommendations appear in their December 2018 publication, Effective Discipline to Raise Healthy Children which can be found at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/142/6/e20183112

The thinking and research that is behind the position of the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring is available in its series of articles, We Must Stop Hitting Children at: http://12903934.sites.myregisteredsite.com/blog/2016/10/26/learning-why-we-must-stop-hitting-children-just-got-easier/

As would be expected, there is much in common between the Academy’s and CICC’s reasoning and referencing.