Children can often misbehave and drive parents crazy. Agitated, the parent may feel tempted to use corporal punishment to discipline the child. However, as of the results of 88 studies indicate, there are unintended consequences when parents attempt to control children through force. In the long-term, children can develop “depression and engage in aggressive behavior in adulthood”.

Rather than risk the many short and long-term side effects that come with spanking, there are many alternative solutions that will help the child choose to behave better. Time-outs, loss of privileges, and verbal reasoning are among several healthier techniques to achieve better behavior. The idea of giving the child established consequences helps the child decide for himself whether the consequence is worth the action. This directly relates to the IMT concepts people having no ability to control or influence another person. Any attempts to control result in serious, but often unseen, consequences.

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Comments (8)

  1. Mohammed Altraiki


    We cannot control anyone, especially children. Moreover, punishment is not the right way to deal with a child. Always, there is a right way to do anything. So By knowing IMT will help any parents to deal with their children. As Dr. Kashiwagi said regarding to children and ow to deal with them. Compare the rich and poor children and you will notice that the rich family not asking their children to share toys or Spanking them. I know we should not compare but this is a fact that Spanking will not work and punishment can be in many different ways.

  2. Han Kim


    I would like to add onto what you are saying. I think the biggest consequence is the passage of misbelief that one can control others. Although parents’ attempt to control their offspring failed the offspring themselves will not realize that controlling others is impossible and try to enforce it on their own children. Therefore, it will cause chain reaction of misunderstanding. Other people might say that children will learn from the abuse and try not to do that to their own children but it is inevitable that their abusive characteristic will be passed down.

  3. Tamir Shargal


    I agree that spanking, or any means of physical punishment, should not be a consequence faced by children from their parents; just because it has been done before, I do not believe that is grounds for a continuation of an extreme practice like spanking, or, as some might call it, abuse.
    Rather than threatening with punishment, seeing the consequences of poor, or improper, actions makes it clearer for a child to see the consequences of their misdoings. Enforcing a consequence, which otherwise would not exist, does not, in my opinion, do anything for a child, or an adult, for that matter. One must see for one’s self, instead of being told by another what to see.

  4. Reply

    This article touches on what we learn in IMT, that control has negative affects when used.
    I wonder though, are the alternatives to spanking, such as time outs, etc., also a method of control and should they be refrained from being used?
    Perhaps we should use the no rules method and guide with leadership rather than control?

  5. Brandon Balsino


    I would have to agree with Tanner in the aspect that no matter what the punishment may be, there is still some form of control. Now I think for most parents though they need this form of control to show the child that there is a separation between them and the parents because there has to be that distinct separation. However, through IMT this respect can be gained through the “no-rules” concept. By establishing that the child has no rules, he or she will learn on their own what is right and wrong, and most likely listen to the parent’s word than if they were just to be spanked. When I was a younger child I was spanked either with a hand or a wooden cooking spoon. As I grew older my parents decided that time-outs were more appropriate and that I was too old to be hit. Then finally as I became a teenager, my parents just stopped punishing me altogether and basically if I did something wrong they would just tell me they were disappointed. I can say that looking back on the three different times, I learned way more lessons and started to behave and make better decisions once I realized I was disappointing my parents. Through my parents, even though they didn’t know it, trusting IMT and not trying to control me they actually did the best thing for me. I matured and listened to them when I realized fully the consequences of my actions.

  6. Tyler Peterson


    I agree with this article in regards to the future unintended consequences of spanking your children but I do not agree with the provided solutions. The article states that better options include time-outs and loss of privileges but these are also serious forms of control which won’t cause physical pain to children but they will cause emotional trauma instead. First of all, if these methods were successful then they should only have to be used once. If a child is repeatedly spanked, sent to time-out, or loses privileges then clearly a more efficient and effective solution is needed. Secondly, when a child is sent to his room or loses privileges that causes them to resent their punisher which will only lead to more frustration and more punishments. Therefore, these types of solutions exhibit as much controversy as spanking and shouldn’t be regarded as useful. I think verbal reasoning is the best approach mentioned in this article because if the child is able to learn why they should behave a certain way and not just do it in fear of punishment, they will begin to rationalize other concepts while also maintaining a healthy relationship with their parents figures.

  7. Mary Margaret Petersen


    This is an interesting article. Shawn is assuming that physical punishment is different than the emotional punishment of time outs or lost privilages. Both result in the same stunt in the child’s growth. The parent is attempting to control their child’s behavior in some manner. IMT and KSM recognize that there is no such thing as influence let alone control. The parent is trying to control their child by attempting to influence their choices through negative reinforcement. Children are going to do what they are going to do. The only thing time outs are going to do os make the children resent the parents. Nothing good can come from any sort of punishment. The children are going to become lulled into a false sense of security and may not be able to grow to their full potential. Or they could even begin to believe that they are capable of way more than they actually are and when they fail could be disastrous. Children need to learn from a young age what they are capable of and KSM provides a good outline. Children will do what they are going to do, the only thing another person can do is live their life in hopes that the child will aspire to be like them and work at it themselves.

  8. Tanner Swanson


    This is an interesting piece, although I do question the difference between spanking and timeouts. Obviously there is a clear difference between physical violence and punishment, but I think they serve the same function, differing only in the magnitude. Both behaviors seem to attempt to exhibit some kind of control, making the false assumption that these punishments will change the child. Yet, it is true that we cannot control others. It would seem best to reason with the child only, to attempt to teach them expectations and build from those expectations. As a counterargument it may seem wise to say that a child cannot reason well, which is true, and that they would continue poor behavior despite discussion, thus requiring intervention. But this presupposes that intervention is necessary, a seemingly right-hand side assumption. A child that does not receive attention for their poor behaviors and is simply given the calm feedback of the parent eventually behaves.

    Overall, I think punishment is an attempt to control by definition, and thus a right-hand side behavior.

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