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Dont Spank! Reward Children for Good Behavior!

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8 years ago

The case involving professional football player Adrian Peterson has sparked a lot of conversations on what is appropriate when it comes to disciplining your kids.

Even though corporal punishment is legal in this country, one expert says the physical force may not be the best way to get children to change their behaviors.

Child psychologists advise parents to reward their children for what they are doing right instead of punishing them for what they are doing wrong.

In other words, catching your kids for doing something good instead of when they are making mistakes. Some parents said a little spanking along the way and it is necessary.

Stacy Thornton said raising two children is not always easy and she admits to spanking them as punishment growing up.

"I tried the time out. It doesn't work. It doesn't work with every kid," Thornton said.

Thornton is not alone. Delilah King also believes spanking is okay if it doesn't get extreme.

"Of course we have to discipline with love, even at 2 years old, he knows if it is love or is it abuse," King said.

Pictures of the scars on NFL's Adrian Peterson's 4-year-old son, who authorities say was hit with a thin tree branch, is raising questions about whether corporal punishment is appropriate.

Doctor Michelle Fontenelle-Gilmer is a child psychiatrist. She says studies show that teaching good behaviors becomes more effective when parents reward what kids did right rather than punish them for their mistakes.

"Overall children who had more positive reinforcements, they are able to more internalize what's right and wrong," Dr. Fontenelle-Gilmer said.

She said there can be long term impact on kids from physical punishment, ranging from post traumatic stress to depression.

"You want your child-parent relationship to be one of love and guidance instead of fear," Dr. Fontenelle-Gilmer said.

For Stacy Thornton, she says in her experience spanking may work but it is not always the answer, especially on her teenage daughter.

"Spanking doesn't impact her, while taking the cell phone impacts her a lot more than spanking," Thornton said.

Fontenelle-Gilmer suggests using a sticker chart for small children to monitor their good behaviors.

For older kids they can earn things like more time on their cell phones and computers.


By Patranya Bhoolsuwan, Anchor/Reporter - bio | email