Punishing Kids Might Lead to Complex Behavioral Issues

Punishing Kids Might Lead to Complex Behavioral Issues

According to a new study, punishing kids for their tantrums may lead to anxiety, withdrawal and behavioral issues in future and this effect is more profound when the child is a boy.

Nancy McElwain, a University of Illinois Associate Professor of Human Development believed that children need parents' help to deal with their anger or fearful emotions and punishing them for their anger or frustration might internalize those negative emotions which could lead to more complicated behavioral issues.

McElwain and lead author Jennifer Engle collected the data of 107 children in which mother and fathers were asked about the frequency of negative emotions of their kids. Parents were also asked about their preferable reaction to the child's negative emotions in several hypothetical situations.

After 39 months of recording primary responses, parents were again asked about the current behavioral problems associated with their kids and the complete analysis suggested that parents who chose to punish their kids for their fears and frustrations were more likely to have children who were anxious and withdrawn at the time of the second assessment.

Engle said, “When parents punish their toddlers for becoming angry or scared, children learn to hide their emotions instead of showing them. These children may become increasingly anxious when they have these feelings because they know they'll face negative consequences”.