Why Spanking is Bad Discipline
Most of America's most influential child experts and pediatricians, including Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, Dr. Spock, Dr. William Sears, and Dr. Penelope Leach, are against spanking children of any age. Critics of spanking, like clinical psychologist Michael J. Marshall, Ph.D., author of "Why Spanking Doesn't Work," point to dozens of scientific studies that show that spanking creates more aggressive children, lowers self-esteem, and contributes to anti-social behavior, among many other problems.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, while it does not condemn spanking completely, argues in its guidelines for effective discipline that time outs are more effective than spanking.
According to the AAP, parents who spank are modeling violent behavior and spanking has been linked to more aggressive behavior in preschoolers.
Does all this mean that you will never have the urge to spank your child? Preschoolers are sophisticated enough to know how to push all a parent's buttons and they will give you a dozen (OK, more) opportunities throughout the day to practice patience. When you have the urge to spank your child, put him in a safe place, and put yourself in a time out away from him until you can calm down and deal with the problem reasonably and without violence.