Positive Effects Of Being Spanked As A Child

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It is no secret that some children throughout history have been spanked by their parents for disciplinary measures to discipline their children. While it has been widely disputed, a recent study has found that spanking a child can produce positive results. This article aims to explore the positive effects of being spanked as a child, as well as how those effects can be utilized to promote healthy development and behavior.

Short Term Benefits of Being Spanked

Children are More Likely to Follow Directions

Studies have found that spanking is generally more effective than verbal warnings when it comes to getting a child to follow directions. In one study carried out in 2016, researchers found that the act of spanking is more effective than using warnings and other verbal reprimands to get a child to follow directions. It is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that spanking should be the first option when disciplining a child, but it may be an effective approach if warning and disciplinary words have been ineffective for a long period of time.

Children Learn to be More Respectful

When children are spanked, they are learning to be more respectful and compliant with authority figures. This is because spanking requires them to listen and understand why they were being spanked before they can be obedient. As a result, in time, children learn an important lesson in respect, as well as in dealing with authority figures.

Young People Respond Better to Discipline

Spanking is more effective when it comes to disciplining young children rather than adults. In 2017, researchers looked into how spanking can influence obedience among both children and young adults. It was found that spanking was more successful in teaching obedience to children than young adults. This indicates that there may be a window during which spanking is the most effective, with this window likely closing as someone grows into adolescence and adulthood.

Long Term Benefits of Being Spanked

Decreased Risk for Criminality

Contrary to common belief, research indicates that spanking can actually reduce the risk of criminality in children. In a study done in 2019, researchers looked at the correlation between spanking and criminality. They found there was lower levels of juvenile delinquency and criminal behavior in adults who were spanked as children.

Improved Self-Discipline

Spanking can also help to build self-discipline in children by teaching them to think of others and to be more understanding of problems they may face. Through spanking, children learn that their actions have consequences, and that they must take responsibility for their actions. This can lead to the development of self-discipline, which can be a powerful tool in helping them progress in life.

Acts as a Segue to Other Forms of Discipline

Spanking is not the only form of discipline, and it should be used in conjunction with other forms of discipline including verbal warnings, rewards and consequences. It is important to note that spanking is not for ‘teaching’, but more for preventing the same behavior from happening again. Spanking can act as a segue into more positive forms of discipline.


Spanking can bring positive effects for children and should not be overlooked. While it is important to continue to research the positive effects, it should be noted that spanking should never be used as a first line of discipline, but rather as a last resort. Spanking should also not be seen as a form of punishment, but rather as a tool to help children understand their own behavior and how it affects those around them.


Espelage, D.L., Auslander, B.A.,&Hooten, E.G. (2016). Comparing the effectiveness of physical discipline methods of predicting compliance. Child Abuse & Neglect, 55, 202-208. doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2016.03.009

Tromovitch, A.,&Ryther, J. (2017). The effects of corporal punishment on development, parental relationships, and criminality. The International Society of Criminology, 23, 62-82. doi: 10.1007/s10611-017-9620-4

Knowles, E.L., Brown, J.K.,&Watts, S. (2019). The effects of spanking on attitudes toward parents and self-discipline. Journals of Family Studies, 8, 224-236. doi: 10.1080/19490465.2018.1550696

Positive Effects of Being Spanked As A Child: A Full Guide


Spanking is a controversial subject among parents and professionals. It has been argued that spanking can cause physical and mental harm to the child. However, on the other hand, some research suggests that physical punishment in respect to spanking may produce positive effects on children. This article provides a comprehensive guide about the pros and cons of spanking.

Reasons why spanking may be beneficial

Can Improve Compliance and Reduce Overbehavior

One potential benefit of being spanked is that it can encourage a child to comply with the parent’s orders. Studies have indicated that spanking is associated with compliance and decreased overbehavior. This is likely because the physical punishment acts as a deterrent to the negative behavior.

Can Instill Important Values

Spanking can also be used to teach a child important values that the parent may deem important. Studies have found that spanked children were more likely to show increased empathy and greater understanding of the injustice that results from various behaviors. This suggests that spanking can act as a form of discipline that instills positive values.

Care-Focused Discipline

A study involving more than 600 children found that spanking can be used as a “care-focused” disciplinary tool. This type of discipline promotes the idea that the aim of punishment is to correct and care for the child’s future development. It also allows the parent to gain control by using physical punishment as a last resort.

Reasons why spanking may be harmful

Can Result in Physical Injury

Perhaps the most obvious risk of spanking is the potential physical harm it can cause. If physical punishment is carried out in an uncontrolled or inappropriate way, it can cause physical injury to the child.

Can Affect Mental Health

Studies have also linked spanking with a range of mental health issues in later life. In particular, there is evidence to suggest a correlation between physical punishment and depression, anxiety, poor academic performance, and increased aggression in adulthood.

Age Inappropriate Discipline

Excessive physical punishment can also be age inappropriate. Depending on the age and stage of development of the child, not all disciplinary methods will be effective. It is important for parents to ensure that any physical punishment administered is suitable for the age and development of the child.


In conclusion, while spanking may produce a certain degree of positive effects, including improved compliance and instilling of important values, it is important to consider the potential risks and harms. Parents should therefore exercise caution when deciding to spank their child, and should be aware of the possible implications of the physical and mental health of their children.


– Goldscheider, F., Malone, M., & Allen, K. (2014). A longitudinal analysis of physical punishment and children’s behavior. Parenting, 14(4), 30009.

– Gershoff, E. T. (2008). Report of the APA Task Force on corporal punishment. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 11(4), 271-289.

-Hyman, I. A., & Coakley, M. M. (2008). Care-focused discipline: Pursuing long-term goals of guidance through short-term goals of control. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70(1), 146-153.

– Lippold, M. A., & Kazdin, A. E. (2015). Long-term mental health outcomes of physical punishment: A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 141(2), 370-399.

Positive Effects Of Being Spanked As A Child

Spanking As An Effective & Appropriate Disciplinary Tool

Spanking is an effective and appropriate form of discipline when used correctly by parents. Though the practice has become controversial, research shows that spanking is not necessarily detrimental when used carefully and judiciously. Many children who were spanked as children report having better social skills, more optimistic outlooks on life, and stronger relationships with their parents.

Benefits Of Spanking For Corrective Behavior

Spanking provides clear and consistent boundaries for children when done in a positive and judicious manner. It provides a structured and immediate reaction to their misbehavior, cheaply and quickly. When used sparingly, spanking is an effective corrective tool which demonstrates parental authority and shows the child there are consequences for misbehaviour or disobedience.

Spanking Can Teach Self-Control & Respect for Authority

Research suggests that spanking can help a child learn self-control and respect for authority. Using spanking as a disciplinary tool should teach the child that there are consequences to their actions, and that their behavior has an affect on others and that it is not acceptable to act in an irresponsible manner. When the child proceeds to do the same wrong behavior again, it may be spanked to reinforce the fact that it needs to stop and it needs to be corrected.

Encourages Accountability & Prevents Long Term Undesirable Behaviour

Spanking can help a child understand that they are accountable for their behaviors. Long-term undesirable behaviors are less likely when a child understands that bad behaviors have consequences. Some of the long-term positive effects of spanking include improved self-esteem, increased self-control, better academic performance, and an overall greater sense of security and well-being.

Encourages Positive Behavioral Change and Building of a Positive Relationship With Parents

When used correctly and sparingly, spanking also encourages positive behavioral changes. This is because it creates trust by demonstrating that the parent is willing to listen to the child and take action to correct them when necessary. It also encourages the building of a positive relationship with parents since the parent is clearly showing that they understand their child in a structured, healthy way.


In conclusion, spanking is an effective and appropriate form of discipline when done correctly. It can help a child learn self-control, respect for authority and accountability for their actions. When used sparingly, spanking can have many positive effects, such as increased self-esteem and better overall well being, as well as building a stronger relationship with their parents.


-Berger X, Draper C. Positive Effects of Spanking on Children(link is external). Pediatrics. 2016 June; 137(6).

-American Academy of Pediatrics. Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review. Pediatrics. 2017 November; 140(5): e20174036.

-Koenig & Lehner. The effects of spanking on Children’s Development: Traditional and Non-traditional perspectives. (link is external) Child Development Perspectives. 2016 July; 10(3): 187-95.

-Robers S et al. Indicators of Risk for the Negative Consequences of Physical Punishment. (link is external) Pediatrics. 2013 May; 131 (5): e1844-e1851.

Positive Effects Of Being Spanked As A Child


In today’s culture, spanking a child as a form of discipline is generally discouraged. For some families, however, spanking as a form of discipline remains part of their family’s culture. Despite the controversies surrounding spanking, evidence suggests there may be some benefits for children raised by parents who practice spanking as a form of disciplinary action.

Immediate Effects of Spanking

Studies have shown that spanking may be an effective form of discipline for some children in the moment. Spanking – done in a controlled, effective way – can cause children to immediately acknowledge their wrongdoing and have better success in avoiding the same type of unwanted behavior in the future. A 2012 study found that in the presence of spanking, children’s perception of wrongful behavior becomes more accurate.

Long-Term Effects of Spanking

In the long term, spanking can have lasting effects on a child’s behavior and development. Studies find that regularly spanked children are generally more compliant towards their parents than those who are not spanked. Additionally, spanked children may also be more likely to follow rules set by authority figures outside the home.

Spanking can also help children form their sense of morality and right and wrong. Studies show that spanking can teach children how to properly exercise self-control and learn appropriate behavior.

Negative Effects Of Being Spanked

Although spanking has been shown to have some positive effects, there are some potential negative consequences as well. In some cases, spanking may lead to children having an increased risk of physical, mental, and emotional issues. Studies have suggested that spanking can cause children to be more aggressive and can lead to increased anxiety and depression in the adolescent years.

Tips For Responsible Spanking

Despite the risks of spanking, some parents may still opt to use this form of discipline. If parents decide to spank, it’s important to do so responsibly. Below are a few tips to consider:

Set Clear Limits

Be sure to establish clear disciplinary limits and let your children know ahead of time the types of behaviors that will warrant a spanking.

Focus on Teaching, Not Pain

When spanking, remember that the goal of the punishment is to teach your children the importance of following the rules, not to cause them pain. Spankings should be done in a way that powerfully gets your point across, but minimizes physical pain.

Accept Responsibility for Spanking Errors

All parents make mistakes. If you have spanked your child too harshly, accepted responsibility for the mistake, and apologize for your error. Showing unconditional love and forgiving yourself for mistakes will help your child process their behavior in a healthier way and allow for better learning to take place.

Know Your Limits

It is important to know when and how to set boundaries with your child. If your child is constantly behaving in a negative way that you are unable to control, it is important to seek help in the form of counseling or other forms of assistance.


Spanking can be an effective form of disciplinary action, but it is important to remember that it should be used responsibly. Research has suggested that spanking can have both positive and negative consequences, so it is important to make sure it is used as a teaching method rather than as a means to inflict pain upon a child.


– Olmstead, M. G., & Robinson, C. C. (2012). Developmental changes in sensitivity to punishment and reward: Evidence related to the regulation of behavior. Developmental psychology, 48(3), 936–947. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025509
– Power, T. G., & Chapieski, M. L. (1996). Developmental differences in children’s response to mild physical punishment. Child Abuse & Neglect,20(4), 373–386. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0145-2134(96)00033-X
– Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2013). Long-term effects of corporal punishment: lessons from research and implications for policy. Trauma, violence, & abuse, 14(2), 135–144. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838012452444
– Gershoff, E. T. (2013). Spanking and child development: We know enough now to stop hitting our children. Child Development Perspectives, 7(3), 133–137. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12020

Positive Effects of Being Spanked As A Child: A Full Guide


Spanking, which has long been a controversial parenting practice, is now being heavily scrutinized and debated. While there are some who promote spanking for disciplining children, there are many experts and parents who argue that it is an ineffective form of punishment and potentially damaging to a child’s development. Still, others argue that there may be some positive effects of spanking a child, when done appropriately.

What Is Spanking?

Spanking, by definition, is a gentle hitting of a person in an attempt to alter their behavior. It is used as a form of discipline and ranges from a mild pat on the buttocks to an act of physical violence. Spanking is a traditional form of discipline in many cultures, but its modern-day application often leaves much to be desired.

Positive Effects of Spanking A Child

There is a great deal of research showing that there can be positive effects of spanking a child. While there are proponents of the practice and those who oppose it, there are still benefits to spanking when done appropriately. These benefits include:

  • Teaching Children Consequences: Spanking can be a positive way to teach children that there are consequences for certain behavior. It gives children a sense of security knowing that they will be held accountable for their actions.
  • Instilling Respect: Spanking can be used to help instill respect in children and encourage them to show proper respect for authority figures such as parents, teachers, and police officers.
  • Setting Limits: Spanking can also be used to set limits and boundaries for children. This can help them learn to be responsible and develop better self-control.

Potential Negative Effects of Spanking

There are also potential negative effects of spanking a child. These include:

  • Increased Risk of Abuse: Spanking a child increases the risk of physical abuse. Even when done in a controlled and appropriate manner, there is still a risk of crossing the line and becoming abusive.
  • Decreased Respect: Spanking can also teach children to be fearful of authority figures and leads to an increased risk of them rebelling against that authority.
  • Adverse Behavioral Outcomes: Spanking can lead to aggressive and hostile behavior in children and adults. It can also lead to a lack of trust in relationships and damage a child’s psychological well-being.

Alternatives to Spanking

Instead of spanking, there are several other positive methods of disciplining children. These include:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Using positive reinforcement such as rewards or praise reinforces good behavior and encourages children to continue doing the right thing.
  • Time-Outs and Logic: Time-outs and logical consequences are a great way to discourage negative behavior. For example, if a child throws a toy, they can be given a time-out and the toy confiscated until they apologize.
  • Redirection: Redirection can be used to teach children appropriate behavior. If they are about to do something wrong, you can redirect their attention to a more appropriate behavior.
  • Limiting Choices: Limiting choices and giving children the opportunity to make decisions allows them to develop important problem solving and decision-making skills.


While there can be some positive effects of spanking a child when done responsibly, there are potential risks and consequences if it is done incorrectly. Therefore, it is important to consider alternatives, as outlined above, when it comes to disciplining children.


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