Michigan State University researchers wanted to know, just how often parents or caregivers resort to spanking to discipline kids.
The researchers covertly camped out to study parents and their kids in public places. They found that nearly one in four parents settled disputes with their child by hitting, spanking or some sort of physical contact.
But they found that kids disciplined with positive touch, like hugging or gentle patting were more likely to comply more often than those punished by negative touch. And a surprising twist, men were more likely to engage in positive touch.
Whether you're pro or anti-spanking, the experts at webmd.com have a few tips for encouraging good behavior from kids.
First, be clear about the consequences of bad behavior like "If you choose to hit your sister, you'll lose video game privileges tonight."
Next, be respectful. In other words, behave the way you want your child to behave.
Finally, be consistent. Any technique will fail if you don't follow through by enforcing consequences.