If you do spank your kids, new research published online in the current issue of the Journal of Family Psychology shows that your kids may not be learning from it.
Parenting experts at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas used real-time audio recordings in 33 family homes over the course of four to six evenings to capture parents' interactions with their kids.
Researchers found that parents often spank their kids for menial offenses (like getting out of a chair or going outside without permission) — and kids on average misbehaved again within 10 minutes of being punished.
The study also revealed that: In 49 percent of the incidents, the parent-in-charge sounded angry prior to hitting or spanking
On average, less than 30 seconds elapsed from the time parents first engaged in "nonviolent" discipline to when they used corporal punishment In 30 of the 41 spankings, kids misbehaved within 10 minutes of the physical punishment
The recordings also caught one mom hitting her child 11 times in a row; the youngest child hit was seven months old.
In a release from the university, researchers said their audio clips show that in most cases of corporal punishment, parents fail to follow the "responsible spanking guidelines" often cited by pro-spanking advocates. That means contrary to the group's recommendations, parents were often angry when they hit their kids, they didn't spank as a last resort, and they spanked for insignificant transgressions, not gross misconduct.