Research continues to show that children who are physically disciplined by their parents, such as being hit or slapped, have more external problems (such as assault) and more disruptive behavior at school. Their academic performance was also much lower than that of children who were not physically disciplined. Even in studies that did not focus on physical punishment, children who acted with problems in school were more likely to excel academically, in general, than their peers.
However, this research raises the proverbial chicken and egg question: Does disruptive classroom behavior hinder the learning process? Or will learning challenges get kids into action? For example, when children act out in school, they are sometimes isolated from other children and expelled from school, which can give them fewer opportunities to learn. Under this scenario, referred to as mental erosion, negative behavior predominates, followed by academic challenges. An alternative idea, called academically incompetent thinking, suggests that if children have difficulty learning, they can become disruptive, perhaps out of frustration.
“We found that children who were physically disciplined by their parents in kindergarten had more problems in the first grade, had slower reading and writing skills from K-8, and finally, lowered overall proficiency. to read and write in the eighth grade. “
Many studies lack data to determine when problems begin, how children’s behavior changes over time, or even if these challenges begin as a result of disciplinary action. home methods. To examine these questions, my colleagues and I conducted a study, focusing on children’s literacy as an important indicator of academic achievement. Literacy is the foundation for acquiring knowledge, especially as children transition from learning to reading to reading to learn.
We analyzed data from several U.S. samples that tracked children from kindergarten through eighth grade. While restraint factors are also involved in child behavior and learning, such as the socioeconomic status and education of parents, we find that children who are physically disciplined regularly by their parents in kindergarten have many problems outside the first grade, a slower rate of learning to read and write from K-8, and finally, lower overall reading and writing skills in the eighth grade compared to children who their parents did not use physical discipline earlier. Our findings support the change in mental erosion and have shown that parental physical discipline approaches are sustainable, can have an impact on children’s behavior and learning.
Why does physical discipline in early childhood lead to problem behavior in children and at least reading writing time? As children transition to a new education system, as they did when they started kindergarten, they can be vulnerable to challenges at home. We know from many studies that in times of stress or change, children need support. When parents are sensitive to their children’s needs, and offer a supportive and predictable caring environment, children will feel comforted, safe, and free of stress.
They are also better able to control how they feel, meaning that when a child is upset, as all children do, they are better able to recover from their bad feelings. However, if children are overwhelmed or disagree, they may feel insecure, and this adds to the stress they experience. If some children feel high levels of stress, they take action. In addition, when children are hit by their parents, it signals to them, albeit unintentionally, that the aggression is a way to control others. Such bitter discipline at home can set children up to have difficulty understanding the interior of school and ultimately, with cognitive skills such as reading.
We also know from our research that launching a positive home environment should start as soon as possible. Early in childhood, when children rely on support, they need a safe and quick response environment. For example, if children are very young and cry, they signal that there is a bad feeling. Caregivers should respond by taking them and trying to figure out what they need. Babies are not harmed by caregivers who respond to their needs.
“Developing a positive home environment needs to start as soon as possible.”
As children get older, they begin to test limits and boundaries. Sometimes they engage in behaviors that harm themselves or others. Parents will learn more authoritative strategies where they set clear boundaries (e.g., saying “it’s not okay to push your sibling”), teach them better ways to suppress their emotions (e.g., use of words, non -physical force), and provide comfort when children are upset. Using multiple discretionary techniques such as hitting the child to “teach them the rules” may work in the short term but may not work later.
Early parenting behavior is important to help them keep children safe, know how to explore safely, and control how they feel so they don’t have to resort to home or school. Promoting better ways for children to manage their behavior can also help them in the learning environment, which can set them up for success.
Header image: CDC. release