the unexpected (and terrible) effect of spanking on children

the unexpected (and terrible) effect of spanking on children
the unexpected (and terrible) effect of spanking on children

A study published in The Lancet on June 28 once again warned of the consequences and risks of educational violence.

Slaps, spankings … in 2021, many parents are still unaware that educational violence has been punishable by law since 2019. A study conducted last May by the Association Française de Pédiatrie Ambulatoire (AFPA), in partnership with the Foundation for Ambulatory Pediatrics, attests to this. childhood. 33% of the parents questioned were unaware that they were liable to 3 years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros for physical and / or psychological violence on their child… 36% did not know what this term includes.

Yet it is essential that this corporal punishment ceases. It is about the health of children and the well-being of children. On June 28, a report published in the medical journal The Lancet once again warned of the consequences of spanking a child. According to their research, this gesture harms the good development of children… but not only. This behavior would also make them more aggressive in the future, especially if spanking is frequent.

“Parents hit their children because they think it will improve their behavior. Unfortunately, … corporal punishment does not improve children’s behavior. On the contrary, they make it worse “Elizabeth T. Gershoff, professor of human development and family science at the University of Austin, Texas, told CNN.

Read also: Violence against children: how to protect them?

Disruptive behavior at school

To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers analyzed 69 studies on the question, carried out in several countries such as Canada, the United States, Switzerland and China. In order to best measure the consequences of spanking, they excluded verbal punishments and the types of “severe” physical punishments that would qualify as child abuse. They found that spanking and other “lighter” (and more frequent) forms of punishment inflicted on children had, over time, led to more problematic external behaviors, such as “Increased aggression, antisocial behavior and disruptive behavior at school”, explains Gershoff. This regardless of their gender or their origin.

According to her, “The more frequent the physical punishments, the more they are likely to suggest a deterioration of the results over time”. Worse, if apart from these punishments, the parent is warm and cuddly, “It does not mitigate the effect of corporal punishment on the increase in behavior problems. “

Educational violence is terrible and moreover also has consequences on the development of children’s brains. Other studies had already shown that children who undergo this kind of punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, stress and even depression.

In 2019, France became the 56th country to abolish educational violence by punishing it by law. Nevertheless, the latest figures show that parents still have progress to make… since according to the Children’s Foundation, 85% of parents questioned admit to still resorting to this type of punishment (whether verbal or physical).

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