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Science Speaks: The Long-Term Negative Effects of Spanking

Science Speaks: The Long-Term Negative Effects of Spanking

There are some who believe that a firm hand is the only way to provide order in a household. The notion that spanking can steer children in the right direction has been passed down from generation to generation. Although the topic is debated strongly among parents and teachers alike, there is a certain level of skepticism that pervades the idea that physical correction results in a child who is polite and obediently adheres to the rules.

The skepticism that drives many to the conclusion that there has to be a better alternative to corporeal punishment is now backed by science.

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Science shows, in fact, that though spanking can end negative behavior in the short term, the long-term effects do more damage and are less effective than alternative options.

science of spanking
    Graphic via Upworthy

    So just what are the effects of spanking? Can they have a long-term impact on how a child grows into an adult?

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    The effects during childhood are varied but definitively negative and often lead right into adulthood. Spanking has been proven to:

    • Decrease brain function. Some studies have linked spanking to increased memory loss and a lower IQ on test results.
    • Lead to higher depression and anxiety rates in adulthood.
    • Increase the likelihood that they, too, will punish their own children in this way.
    • Increase a child’s aggression level now and later down the road.

    Some parents even use corporeal punishment as a fix to poor grades, instead of actively getting involved in their children’s education. This backfires, however, as spanking directly relates to the active role of the parent, as well as their means for discipline.

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    Alternatives to Corporeal Punishment

    When in the moment of necessary discipline, it can be difficult to know how and when you should apply an alternative technique. The following list shows other punishment options that are not physically harmful.

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    • Time-out. A quiet place for your child to sit and calm down is commonly known as a time-out. It gives the child space to regroup his or her thoughts and feelings, and shows that mom or dad will not give positive attention to negative behavior. It’s often recommended that time-out be as long as one minute for each year of the child’s age.
    • Taking away certain privileges. This alternative allows the consequence of the behavior to be felt when a privilege is removed for the decided-upon duration. This would generally be a favorite toy or novelty item.
    • Discussion. For older children, simply having a discussion about why the behavior is not acceptable can do wonders for preventing the same poor behavior from happening in the future. Younger children tend to not benefit from this alternative as their reasoning skills haven’t quite been fully developed.

    Overall, the research is astoundingly positive that spanking and corporeal punishment are of little benefit to the recipient. In fact, using an alternative method for discipline can result in a child who is more likely to follow rules than if spanking alone were used.

    Featured photo credit: Upworthy via upworthy.com

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    Kayla Matthews

    Productivity and self-improvement blogger

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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