Is it ever ok to spank a child?

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Is it ever ok to spank a child?

Is it every okay to spank a child? I would say no. The important thing for parents to realize is that every thing you do toward your child sends a message. And the message that you send when you spank a child is that it is okay to resolve a conflict with physical aggression. The research shows that that is what children learn. And later on in life, they are going to think it is okay to lose their temper and hit someone. It also shows them that you cannot handle your own anger in a rational way, in a way that helps the child learn what is right and wrong. Many parents think that spanking is a very pointed, dramatic way to teach children what is right and wrong. But decades of research have shown it does not work. Again, it just shows them that aggression is a way to solve problems and that you cannot contain your anger and deal with them in a rational way.

Watch Video: Is it ever ok to spank a child? by Carol Dweck, PhD, ...


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Carol Dweck, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Carol S. Dweck, PhD, is a leading researcher in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford. Her research focuses on why students succeed and how to foster their success. More specifically, her work has demonstrated the role of mindsets in success and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine students’ motivation and learning.

She has also held professorships at and Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured to education, business, and sports groups all over the world, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and to the National Academy of Sciences. She recently won the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the highest award in Psychology. 

Her work has been prominently featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, and The London Times, with recent feature stories on her work in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post, and she has appeared on such shows as Today, Good Morning America, NPR’s Morning Edition, and 20/20. Her bestselling book Mindset (published by Random House) has been widely acclaimed and has been translated into 20 languages.

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