From Our Experts at Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center and Center for Effective Discipline

 

Our faculty respond to the Child Abuse & Neglect article, Spanking and adult mental health impairment: The case for the designation of spanking as an adverse childhood experience. 

The link to the abstract they are responding to was posted on this page and can be found here. https://www.acesconnection.com/...y-spanking-is-an-ace

Lacie Ketelhut, CHES, program coordinator, Center for Effective Discipline 

Most adults don't consider the potential life-long impact of spanking as a form of discipline when responding to a child's difficult behavior, but they should.

A recent study examined the practice of spanking in relation to Adverse Childhood Experiences (commonly referred to as ACEs). Examples of ACEs include abuse, neglect and other household dysfunction, such as parental substance abuse and incarceration. Children who have been exposed to ACEs have a greater risk of developing physical and mental health problems as an adult. The study indicated the long-term impacts of spanking are similar to those associated with physical and emotional abuse.

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Jane Straub, victim assistance specialist, Gundersen National Child Protection Training Center & Jacob Wetterling Resource Center

Parenting or working with children can be rewarding, yet difficult. One of the reasons adults experience difficulties with children is we sometimes forget that children are not mini adults. Children are a work in progress. The brain is still under construction until the mid-twenties. 

During a child's developmental period they are fostering relationships, navigating their environment, and gaining independence. They often push boundaries to find out what the limits are. They may question everything to gain clarity and knowledge. They may be mad, sad, and glad within a five-minute time period.  

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