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Do you spank your children? New data may surprise you

Every parent decides how to raise their children based on their own experiences. Certain parenting styles might seem more strict or lenient than others, but most people believe that their chosen methods will help their children grow up to be responsible adults.

One controversy has carried on for decades, however, and it's the question of spanking. While some parents who may have been spanked themselves say it works, other parents might go as far as to classify the punishment as physical abuse. Many people are still unsure where to stand on the issue, but new data could transform the debate.

Specifically, spanking may influence the child's future relationships. According to a recently published study, "people who got spanked as kids had a 29 percent higher risk for perpetrating dating violence." Dating violence is also known as domestic violence, which is a significant criminal offense.

What spanking may communicate

This correlation might make sense to many Pennsylvania residents. One possible reason is that kids could learn that physical punishment is appropriate for someone who disappoints them, even if they love that person.

As young children grow into teens, they usually start dating. During their first few romantic relationships, dating violence could become a serious obstacle to love and affection. Furthermore, future opportunities like jobs and college may be unattainable if a domestic violence charge appears on their background check.

Despite these findings, domestic violence still doesn't have one clear cause. A number of reasons could contribute to this major issue throughout America, but factors like parenting styles could be preventable.

Alternative discipline ideas

With particularly difficult children, parents might conclude that physical pain is the only punishment that the child responds to. In this case, child behavioral specialists may be a possible course of action.

Healthy ways to teach your child include:

  • Time-out zones
  • Restricted use of technology or toys
  • Explain why their behavior was wrong
  • Avoid insulting, embarrassing and screaming at your child
  • Offer positive feedback for good behavior

Encouraging healthy behaviors now can foster better families for the future.

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