Survey: Most Parents Say They Never Spank Their Children

Lillie M. Thomas | December 30, 2015

Yesterday, Intellectual Takeout posted on Dr. Leonard Sax’s belief that there's been a decline in discipline and parental authority in the American family.

Today, we thought we’d post on the results of a recent Pew Research Center survey, which breaks down exactly how parents say they are attempting to discipline their children:

“Parents employ many methods to discipline their children. The most popular is explaining why a child’s behavior is inappropriate: three-quarters say they do this often. About four-in-ten (43%) say they frequently take away privileges, such as time with friends or use of TV or other electronic devices, and a roughly equal share say they give a “timeout” (41% of parents with children younger than 6) as a form of discipline, while about one-in-five (22%) say they often resort to raising their voice or yelling.”

According to the survey, spanking is the least popular form of discipline. Only one-in-six parents admitted to using spanking at least some of the time as a form of discipline, and more than half of parents said that they never use spanking as a form of discipline. Here’s a breakdown of spanking across educational levels and racial groups:

According to Dr. Sax, the lack of parental discipline has led to an epidemic of children so poorly behaved that they must be medicated. If that is true, then many of today's parents may want to rethink their preferred methods of discipline.