Parenting is complex, messy, overwhelming, and often confusing. Every little person comes in to the world with their own unique personality and challenges — and parenting techniques that work for one child may not work for another. To confuse the issue, recommendations on current parenting protocol is constantly changing. Scientific research and evidence-based data is constantly evolving, giving us new insight into what does and doesn't work, as well as what parenting practices need to be revised or eliminated.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released recommendations warning against spanking and corporal punishment as a disciplinary tactic. In late 2018, the group issued a statement with overwhelming consensus for parents: Do not do it. Recent studies have shown that corporal punishment is minimally effective in the short-term and not effective in the long-term. Furthermore, evidence shows a link between corporal punishment and increased negative behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional outcomes for children. A 2009 study showed adults who had repeated exposure to corporal punishment had reduced gray matter volume in an area of the brain that is believed to play a crucial role in social cognition. Those exposed to harsh punishment also had a lower performance I.Q. than that of a control group.

There are many good resources available on ways to peacefully parent strong-willed children. Here are just a few: 

Visit the Center's website for lots of great information on parenting, working with kids and families, and issues unique to Montana.