Are you naughty or nice? I’m talking to you, mom and dad!
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, talking about … spanking!
Researchers recently looked at the the connection between parental support and spanking. To do this, they surveyed families about parent-child communication, physical punishment, and emotional or behavioral problems in kids.
No surprise: supportive parents who don't spank had children who always say “please” and “thank you” … and bring mommy her slippers--! Okay, no--but their kids were the least distressed in the study.
Also not surprising: spanking plus unsupportive parenting causes kids distress.
But here's the strangest finding: the most troublesome combo for kids? Positive, supportive parenting plus spanking.
The main problem was not the swat--it was the mixed message. Confusing signals of positive support and spanking caused internal conflict for children and created more stress than a consistent message. Even a consistent negative message.
It's so confusing it makes me just want to raise hamsters. Relaxed hamsters. Very lovingly.