Spanking Makes Aggressive, Depressed Kids? Spanking Linked to Mental Illness, Says Study. ——-What Does It Mean “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?” (1)

“Spanking makes aggressive, depressed kids?” is the latest researched topic posted on Jan.7th from the Shine of Yahoo. The new study has found spanking could harm your kid’s psyche, and a link between spanking and childhood aggression and depression has been found as well. The findings, published in the fall 2012 Journal of Family and Marriage by researchers Andrea Gromoske and Kathryn Maquire-Jack, looked specifically at the fallout from spanking kids under 1-year-old in a sample of 3,870 families across the country. They found it led to three-year-olds who were aggressive–hitting, screaming or having tantrums–and five-year-olds who were depressed or anxious. The study adds more fuel to the fire of the never-ending spanking controversy. Various reports show that up to 90% of parents think a good swat on the behind is okay; one 2010 survey, according to Child Trends Data Bank, found that 75% women (and 64% of men) agreed that kids sometimes need a “good hard spanking.” Still, both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association are against the practice.

Spanking or slapping your children may increase the odds that they will develop mental health issues that plague them in adulthood, a new study also suggests last year. Researchers in Canada found that up to 7 percent of a range of mental health disorders were associated with physical punishment, including spanking, shoving, grabbing or hitting, during childhood. Corporal punishment was associated with increased odds of anxiety and mood disorders, including major depression, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia and social phobia. Several personality disorders and alcohol and drug abuse were also linked to physical punishment, the researchers found.

For the study, published online July 2 in the journal Pediatrics, the researchers used 2004-2005 data on about 34,000 individuals aged 20 or older gathered from the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Participants were questioned face-to-face and asked, on a scale of “never” to “very often,” how often they were ever pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped or hit by their parents or another adult living their home. Those who reported “sometimes” or greater were considered as having experienced harsh physical punishment.

In the books of “Healing the Shame That Binds You” and “The Family”, the author John Bradshaw shares his opinion on physical abuse. He highlights that the physical offender was once a victim who was powerless and who was humiliated. Parents who physically humiliate and abuse their own children were typically abused when they were young. They have never resolved the internalized shame in their own lives. I agree to Bradshaw’s thought on “The victims become the offenders in the future.” From the spiritual point of view, it conforms to the law of “sow and reap.” Romans 2:1, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.”

In the book of Bradshaw, there was a man named Hub, an ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics), and like a lot of ACoAs, he was physcially abused as a child. An estimated two-thirds of ACoAs are victims of physical violence. Bradshaw said that many researchers believe that physical abuse is the most common form of abuse. The poisonous pedagogy teaches that corporal punishment is a useful way to teach children to respect their parents and be obedient. Bradshaw believed that physical violence is the norm in many dysfunctional families. This includes actual physical spankings; having to go get your own weapons of torture such as belts, switches, etc.; punching, slapping and/or slapping in the face; pulling on or yanking on a child; choking, shaking, kicking, pinching; torturing with tickling; threatening with violence or abandonment; threatening with being put in jail or having the police come; witnessing violence done to a parent or sibling. A witness to violence is a victim of violence.

Parents in the world all wish their children to be good, and even outstanding among others, therefore, a lot of time parents are strict enough and forget to let their children feel enjoyable and loved in the families. In contrast, children feel abandoned!  A parent’s expectation might be so high to let the 4-year-old kid to do something beyond his own age and ability that the parent can show off before others. Some kids’ get grade C, their parents would think they’d better get a B. If a kid get a grade A, then the parents might want him (her) to be on the top in class. Sometimes parents just look like tyrants from kids’ views, for the parents are so hard to please.

It’s well known that the anxiety of adults could often result from the family and environment of childhood. Although time passed by, the impact might still be kept in the person’s subconsciousness. A person named William in the book of “The Art of Understanding yourself” written by Cecil G. Osborne, When he was four years old, he had often been spanked because of disobedience. Ultimately, William learned to be obedient to his parents. He would not be against his parents openly, but he kept the rage against his parents in his heart. William knew how to be a “good” child to survive in the family. When William went to the school, he started to bully other kids who were weaker than him, his teachers punished him severely. Later on William attended the middle school, and he began to steal stuffs, but not being found. People around him were often disgusted with his other rebellious behaviors as well. William did not relieve his anxiety until he encountered the healing from the Lord Jesus. Jesus not only healed his heart and mind but also his arthritis and other diseases which bothered him once a while.

I had met a couple of parents in the past who had been suffering from their children’s mental health problems. I understood it was such a big burden for the parents to face the fact that themselves might be the origin of problems who caused their children’s health issues. I felt very sad to say that some parents just chose to discontinue the healing process after knowing the fact. Please don’t get me wrong. It’s not the purpose to convict anybody. Humans are imperfect. We all sinners. Only God has the right to judge. I just think most Neuroses are rooted in the past, and it’s important to get to the root of tremendous anxiety. The basis of it almost certainly lies below the level of conscious memory. The root of anxiety has to be dug out and the person will be healed.

Then how shall the parents discipline their children? The phrase “Spare the rod, spoil the child” comes from Proverbs 13:24 in the Holy Bible. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 23:13-14, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” In the verses of 13 and 14, “die” means spiritual death.  From Romans 5:12-19, we know all children are born with sinful nature. It means that they are not born with any natural “goodness” in them. Their natural self is destructive and unrighteous. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t infinitely valuable and worthy of love. The Lord uses discipline to reveal our sin to us. This is also how parents reveal the truth of our need for a Savior to their children. When a child does not feel the consequence of his sin, he will not understand that sin requires punishment. The Lord Jesus dies for our sins. Through His salvation, our sins will be forgiven.

Some Bible scholars think the word “rod” indicates a thin stick or switch that can be used to give a small amount of physical pain with no lasting physical injury. A child should never be bruised , injured, or cut by a physical correction. Physical discipline is always done in love, never as a vent to the parent’s frustration. Ephesians6:4, it says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” The Holy Bible warns that parents should never abuse the power and authority they have over their children while they are young because it provokes the children to righteous anger.

It’s not easy for being a qualified parent who conforms to the principles of the Holy Bible. A qualified parent has to get much patience, love, and wisdom from the Lord. I’m also the mother of two children, so I know how it is going. Through God’s mercy, love, and help, I have been making my efforts all the time to learn to be a qualified parent,too, however, I know it still has room to grow on my parenting and it is hardly perfect. Perhaps your child has been a grown-up now, but it’s never too late to ask the Lord’s forgiveness for yourself and His healing for your child. The following article, I’ll have more sharing on how to pray for your inner child since you’ve ever got hurt by corporal punishment in the childhood. We’ll also talk about how the image of your father in your personal view influences the relationship between you and the Lord.

Just feel free to e-mail me when you have questions in your process of inner child healing or questions about Christianity. Can’t wait to see you soon next time.

God bless,

Miriam White

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7

About Miriam White

Hi there! My pen name is Miriam White. I've experienced my inner child transformation through God's love, healing and His Word. Do you know Jesus loves you? He helps me and He can help you, too. I wish this site would offer some guide for you whenever you're seeking God's salvation or His power of healing. Expecting you to experience the amazing transformation very soon !
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7 Responses to Spanking Makes Aggressive, Depressed Kids? Spanking Linked to Mental Illness, Says Study. ——-What Does It Mean “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?” (1)

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    • Miriam White says:


      Thank you for your comment and kind words. Hope that you can continue reading the posts and God’s Word will guide you to know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free!


      Miriam White

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