American Academy of Pediatrics condemns spanking as punishment

RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - After the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement saying spanking harms children. Many parents are left to decide for themselves.

Growing up, you learn boundaries, your parents teach you right from wrong but when children are acting up, what's the best way to react? A new recommendation says spanking is not the answer.

"This most recent study is a confirmation in their opinion that spanking may have the potential to cause harm rather than good," says Dr. Donald Oliver a pediatrician at Black Hills Pediatrics.

Doctors at Black Hills Pediatrics advise parents not to spank children but to use other forms of discipline. Such as time outs, conversations they say just never act out of anger.

Dr. Oliver recommends if you do spank, use an open hand. Don't use objects like spoons, a hairbrush, or anything where you can't feel the power behind that spank. He used this technique with his children and said they came out just fine.

"With an occasional swat with an open hand on their diapered bottom. None of them have had long term aggression or behavior issues," says Dr. Oliver.

Along with corporal punishment, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using harsh verbal abuse. They say this too may cause a child to be fearful in the short term and won't improve behavior.