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We are working on producing a documentary on the negative effects of spanking and what we are learning from the neurosciences on brain development that makes it clear, we should never spank a child.  We want to start a meaningful dialogue about the common cultural practice of spanking.

There is a strong case to show the corporal punishment is a precursor to most physical child abuse (65 - 85% of all physical abuse cases begin with attempts to use CP). We also know that physical abuse is a highly clustered ACE indicator.

A colleague of mine, Asadah Kirkland, who was teaching a group of parents about non-violent discipline said, "Child abuse.  That's easy.  Everyone is against it.  I want to talk about the root of child abuse, spanking.  Now that is much harder, because so many of us are NOT against it."  Check out a short clip where she talks about spanking:

The interesting thing about addressing spanking is, it takes the issue out of the "troubled home" and shows how a societal value system supports hitting children.  Society, in essence, colludes with these troubled, stressed out parents who "cross that fine line."

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Robbyn, This is such an important message. Thank you! It's as if spanking is a "gateway" behavior of the power-and-control mindset that only "teaches" fear. Corporal punishment and verbal insults are bad for anyone to experience but especially so for children. Thank you again for sharing and for your work! 

Thanks Chris.  Part of my incredible interest in the neuro-biological view of childhood trauma is that it helps us understand how limited a "reward and punishment" approach is in helping the brain grow and learn.  I see culture attempting to shift from this paradigm to one of relationship, respect, and empathy.  If we can start with our children, I really believe we will see violence plummet in our culture. 

This is fantastic!  So glad to hear you're working with Dr. Bruce Perry and that you've found your way here!  Do you have a simple to follow guide for alternatives to spanking?  Something that is easy to share and circulate?

Check out my resources page:

This has parenting support.  There is a free book by Joan Durrant, PhD on positive discipline.  She also has some short videos.

The other resource that I love and wish was in every pediatricians office is Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt's "How to Deal with Your Aggressive Toddler."  It is an interactive program, and it is great!  It basically shows you how to deal with your own aggression as a parent.  It is a free online program.  The Drs. who created it had incredible results.  They had pediatricians ask parents to watch this program for 45 minutes prior to their annual wellness visit.  100% of all parents appreciated it, and as I remember something like over 50% said they would consider not spanking! Wow.

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