Home Topics Family Is spanking child abuse? [Ask Dr. Drew]
Is spanking child abuse? [Ask Dr. Drew]

Is spanking child abuse? [Ask Dr. Drew]


Ask Dr. Drew

Is spanking child abuse?

Asked by M.T.

Dr. Drew’s Answer

Spanking is an area of active research and hot contention. The fact is most parents spank. Are there better ways to shape a child’s behavior? Definitely. Spanking may stop a behavior in the moment but it tends to escalate problematic behavior later.

At what point does it become harmful or abusive? Striking a child with an object has been shown to change the way their brains develop, making emotional regulation problematic. Spanking repeatedly or with rage or aggression crosses a threshold in to trouble.

Just because you were spanked as a child and your perception is that it was positive for you does not mean that it was good for you in the long run. There are many better parenting strategies than striking a child and you should research other methods of discipline that result in a more positive environment for you and your children.


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