Study shows spanking has adverse effects, Madison Behavior Therapy offers discipline class

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HUNTSVILLE, AL-  The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties. This is according to analysis of 50 years of research on spanking, done by the University of Texas and University of Michigan.

"We see a lot of families who are struggling with disciplining their child. They come to us when they're at that frustration point: 'I've tried everything and it's not working,'" said Madison Behavior Therapy Owner and Board Certified Behavior Analyst Lindsay Chapman.

If you're having problems disciplining your child using spanking, research shows that's because spanking can actually have adverse effects on children. Chapman says she understands why some parents might be concerned about not spanking their kids.

"A lot of parents think 'if I don't hit my child, they're not going to learn respect.' We're really here to say there are other ways that don't require hitting your child or screaming or getting to that frustration level," said Chapman.

Madison Behavior Therapy is offering a class for parents and kids to learn more effective discipline.

"Why is the child hitting? Why is the child throwing toys? Why is this behavior occurring? Then really address that with the parents, instead of spanking a child when they hit a friend, you know that doesn't really make sense,  'You hit your friend now I'm going to spank you,'" explained Chapman.

In the class, parents can have individual concerns assessed by behavior analysts while their child meets with a therapist to learn new behaviors.