American Academy of Pediatrics condemns spanking

The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its policy on spanking Nov. 5, warning parents they should not spank their children, according to The New York Times.

Here are three things to know:

1. The American Academy of Pediatrics, representing about 67,000 physicians, recommends pediatricians advise parents against using spanking and nonphysical corrective behavior that humiliates or threatens the child.

"One of the most important relationships we all have is the relationship between ourselves and our parents, and it makes sense to eliminate or limit fear and violence in that loving relationship," said Robert Sege, MD, pediatrician at Tufts Medical center and the Floating Hospital for Children, both based in Boston.

2. The  policy, set to be published in the December issue of Pediatrics, updates one from  20 years ago. But the academy's recent recommendation  is based on recent studies, cited by The New York Times that show corporal punishment is associated with increased aggression. Another study illustrates a link between corporal punishment and reduced gray matter volume in a patient's prefrontal cortex.

3. The academy's parenting website highlights different methods for disciplining younger and older children. It recommend ways to reward positive behavior in combination with timeouts which discourages negative behavior.

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