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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 May 28, 2020

    How to Overcome Boredom

    How to Overcome Boredom

    Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

    I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

    If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

    What is Boredom?

    We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

    You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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    It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

    If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

    When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

    Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

    If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

    Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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    Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

    In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

    It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

    Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

    Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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    In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

    3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

    1. Get Focused

    Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

    You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
    • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
    • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

    2. Kill Procrastination

    Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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    So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

    Here are some ideas:

    • Do some exercise.
    • Read a book.
    • Learn something new.
    • Call a friend.
    • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
    • Do a spring cleaning.
    • Wash the car.
    • Renovate the house.
    • Re-arrange the furniture.
    • Write your shopping list.
    • Water the plants.
    • Walk the dog.
    • Sort out your mail & email.
    • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

    3. Enjoy Boredom

    If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

    Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

    So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

    More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

    Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

    Reference

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