Opinion | Spanking Does Only Harm
To the Editor:
Re “Spanking Is Ineffective and Harmful to Children, Pediatricians’ Group Says” (news article, nytimes.com, Nov. 5):
Parents have been disciplining their children by spanking for generations, and it might be tempting for some adults who were spanked themselves as children to give short shrift to the recent policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
But there is now considerable scientific evidence about the long-term effects this practice can have on children — cognitively, behaviorally and emotionally — and we hope that the academy’s position will receive wide support.
The policy statement, citing scientific knowledge, is clear that spanking can be harmful to children and is ineffective. Scientific evidence now suggests that spanking can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, and cognitive and academic delays.
The New York Foundling is on the front lines of dealing with the effects of physical abuse and other trauma on children and often works with parents to educate them on appropriate methods of disciplining their children.
Dissemination of this information among doctors by the academy will improve the likelihood that more parents receive this information and counseling.
The writer is president and chief executive of the New York Foundling.
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