On November 4, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement about spanking children. They stated that spanking children is an ineffective method of discipline and harmful for the children. When I first started practice we had a billing system that allowed a small statement about pediatrics to be put on the bill. I did this monthly, and when I said one month that spanking is not for children, I got a huge negative response. The main retort was “spare the rod and spoil the child!” Now the Academy has published this new policy which was picked up as a story by many newspapers, including front page coverage in the Kansas City Star. The study was done and the results were spanking is harmful for children. If you have any questions on this, ask your provider next time you come into the office. The Academy accompanied this policy with a statement about effective discipline to raise healthy children by Dr. Robert Sege, whose abstract I am about to include here:

“Pediatricians are a source of advice for parents and guardians concerning the management of child behavior, including discipline strategies that are used to teach appropriate behavior and protect their children and others from the adverse effects of challenging behavior. Aversive disciplinary strategies including all forms of hitting and yelling at or shaming children are minimally effective in the short term and not affective in the long term. New evidence has linked corporal punishment to an increased risk of negative cognitive, psychosocial and emotional behavior. It is better to develop strategies of discipline for children at different stages of their development. This new statement supports the need for adults to avoid physical punishment and verbal abuse and shaming of children.”

You may find more information at AAP.org.   I hope you have found this information helpful!  Dr. Metzl

Children’s Mercy – Cradle Thru College Care
1004 Carondelet Drive, Suite 310  •  Kansas City, Missouri 64114  •  816-942-KIDS (5437)  •  Fax 816-942-4830