I’ve rewritten this post about 7 times now. Everything I’m saying is based on the psychology studies I’ve read and personal experience. So, if you spank your kids… no judgment. I won’t touch your kid, and they dang sure better never touch me. That being said:
Spanking rarely generates significant improvement in behavior. The long-term side effects of the “punishment” being done improperly are aggressive behavior, adverse relationship skills, and general anxiety toward parents.
The best advice I can give with spanking:
1. Stop the practice by age 4.
2. A pre-determined number of “spanks” for VERY specific infractions.
3. Consistency. If you use spanking, you have to be willing to use it in public too.
4. The spanking must be done to the same body part.
5. Never done in anger.
6. DO NOT under any circumstances hug your kid afterward and say, “I love you”. This is exactly what happens to abuse victims when they’re older, and they have no idea it’s not normal.
Nanny Tip: Please remember that whatever you practice in your home, your child will be taking with them into the world. If you didn’t enjoy being spanked — you’re not obligated to perpetuate the cycle.