In general, children tend to find spanking highly stressful and the experience(s) can leave them with a number of deleterious outcomes:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- A tendency to startle easily
- An ongoing dread of bad things happening.
The benefits of discipline for misbehavior that avoids spanking appear to include:
- A reduction in juvenile delinquency
- Less adult violence
- Less masochistic sexual activity
- An increased probability of completing higher education and earning a higher income
- Lower rates of depression and alcohol abuse
There are ways to discipline that reduce the likelihood of these negative outcomes, but they take careful thought and time to implement. Most parents would like their children to be smart and successful. Avoiding spanking and dealing with misbehavior in other more functional and effective ways can help make that more likely to happen. If you want smarter and more successful children, such strategies are worth it.