American College of Pediatricians: “It’s Okay for Parents to Spank”; Suggests Guidelines December 3, 2007

The American College of Pediatricians (ACP), a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents, has issued a position statement on the use of spanking by parents, just as the Massachusetts legislature takes up a bill to ban that form of parental discipline. Despite scientific evidence suggesting that reasonable corporal punishment by parents is beneficial to children, the United Nations has pushed nations to ban parents from using spanking as a form of discipline.  That interference with parental rights is one of the issues that has caused much consternation over the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. ACP carefully reviewed the available research on corporal punishment and concludes, in its position statement on the subject, that disciplinary spanking by parents can be effective when properly used. “It is clear that parents should not solely rely upon disciplinary spanking to accomplish control of their child’s behavior,” says the just-released position statement. “Evidence suggests that it can be a useful and necessary part of a successful disciplinary plan.” Den Trumbull, MD, FCP, principal author of the statement explained, “When a child defies a parent’s instruction, spanking is one of a few options parents can consider to correct the misbehavior.”  Trumbull added: “Spanking is most appropriate with children 2 to 6 years old, and when milder types of correction have failed.”
See the guidelines HERE 
In addition to its policy statement, ACP has published an extensive review of the scientific literature on the subject of corporal punishment and its use in discipline which is available HERE: