It’s Okay for Parents to Spank

DECEMBER 3, 2007

The American College of Pediatricians carefully reviewed the available research on corporal punishment and concludes, in its position statement on the subject, that disciplinary spanking by parents can be effective when properly used. “It is clear that parents should not solely rely upon disciplinary spanking to accomplish control of their child’s behavior. Evidence suggests that it can be a useful and necessary part of a successful disciplinary plan,” notes the just-released position statement.

When a child defies a parent’s instruction, spanking is one of a few options parents can consider to correct the misbehavior,” says Den Trumbull, MD, FCP, principal author of the statement. “Spanking is most appropriate with children 2 to 6 years old, and when milder types of correction have failed.

To view the complete policy and position statements, as well as the accompanying guidelines, click here.

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