Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Family Life
Text Size
Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest

Where We Stand: Spanking

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes striking a child for any reason. Spanking is never recommended; infants may be physically harmed by a parent who strikes the child. If a spanking is spontaneous, parents should later explain calmly why they did it, the specific behavior that provoked it, and how angry they felt. They also might apologize to their child for their loss of control. This usually helps the youngster to understand and accept the spanking, and it models for the child how to remediate a wrong.

Whenever a parent strikes a child, it may undermine the relationship of trust that the child needs to thrive. However, infants often frustrate their parents.

Here are a few alternatives:

  1. First, put your baby in the crib or another safe place while you get control of yourself.
  2. Call a friend, relative, or partner to get some support or advice.
  3. If these don't help, reach out to your child's pediatrician for advice.

Additional Information:

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest