Spanking children as a punishment seems less common with every decade.
However, some parents still think it’s an acceptable and effective means of discipline (case in point: one Texas school district approved paddling as a form of punishment for the 2017-2018 school year, as long as parents sign off on it).
“The Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik is not one of these parents. The actress and mom recently took to her YouTube channel to address the controversial parenting practice, and says she does “not believe in hitting children as a disciplinary measure.”
Science supports no spanking, says Bialik
Bialik says her stance against corporal punishment in backed by science, and notes that many medical organizations have stated that there is no evidence for hitting as a necessary measure to raise polite and disciplined children.
Indeed, a recent study from the University of Missouri published in the journal Developmental Psychology found that spanking children could adversely affect them up to 10 years later. Bialik says that while spanking kids may prevent them from repeating an unwanted behavior in the short-term, it can also be a traumatizing experience for them in the long-term.
She sympathizes with parents whose patience runs thin when their children are misbehaving but says violence is not the answer. Instead, she argues for a compassionate response.
Watch the whole compelling video below:
Some viewers might assume her stance on spanking means Mayim Bialik is a lenient parent, but she insists that’s not the case, saying she’s one of the “strictest parents she knows.” She explains that her discipline philosophy entails setting boundaries and consistently enforcing them.
She explains that children need to see that when you say you’re going to do something, you do it, in order for them to establish respect and trust in you. For example, if your child is throwing a toy, and you threaten to take it away the next time they do it, you must make good on your threat. Otherwise, your words becoming meaningless to your child.
Social media reaction on spanking remains mixed
People’s reactions on YouTube were mixed, with some praising Bialik for her words
One commenter said:
“I completely agree with you, Mayim. As someone who works in this field, I can tell you that physical discipline is often no more than an adult tantrum. As you were saying, consistency is key. If you say no/ignore whining, stick to it and don’t give in. This mixed in with loads of positive reinforcement will do wonders for the parent-child relationship.”
“100% with you Mayim, so many laws protect strangers, spouses and animals from abuse, but non protect the kids from abuse from their own guardians,” said another YouTube user.
Hitting teaches hitting. That's it.
— Tricia Hill (@TriciaHill7) August 10, 2017
Absolutely not. I learn better from calm speaking in a way that I can understand and my son does too.
— survived _2016 (@survived_2016) August 10, 2017
Then, others firmly disagreed with the actress’ statement. Many of them even citing themselves as examples of how spanking works.
Yup my mom and dad hit me but its for my own need every now and then to mould me into a better character and make me make the right decisions and to be a better version of me
My parents spanked me & my 8 siblings & we all turned out good.
— Melissa Franck (@MelissaFranck4) August 10, 2017
“I don’t care. I will spank my child. It works,” read another.
Someone else pointed out what he felt was a difference between hitting and corporal punishment.
“I don’t think you should ‘hit’ your children but I feel there is a big difference between hitting and corporal punishment.
Where do you stand on this issue?