Spanking Out, Talking In

spanking-no-sm2501Do you spank?  If so, you are officially in the minority when it comes to disciplining your children.  The latest  C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health finds that while 1 in 5 parents say they use spanking as a form of discipline, most parents prefer a less hands-on strategy. 

In a national poll, more than 1,500 parents were given hypothetical situations and asked to choose from a list of discipline choices. For children aged 2 to 17, a whopping 88 percent of parents chose explaining and reasoning as their number one discipline strategy.  70 percent chose taking away a privilege or something else a child enjoys while 59% preferred time-out or grounding.

Of the 22% who said they were likely to spank their children, regional differences were noted.  The majority of spankers live in the western and southern states while those in the northeast are less likely to use physical punishment as a form of discipline.

Like breastfeeding, co-sleeping and vaccines, the subject of spanking children is a great parental divider.  But with recent research spotlighting the potential detrimental effects of spanking on children, I am heartened to learn that most parents have less violent strategies for helping their children learn right from wrong.

Image:  timsamoff/Flickr

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