Skip to main content

Behavior, Stress, Breaking harmful patterns

Body paragraph

Scientific evidence shows the harm of spanking, yelling, and shaming. The following resources can help parents as they break generational patterns and heal, strengthen their relationships with their children and learn new ways to raise their children with calm, love and connection.

Note: much better societal support for parents is needed - and research shows it is effective. 

About Spanking and what to do instead:

Spare the Kids 

Stop Spanking 

Beating Black Kids 

Parenting Beyond Punishment 

Corporal punishment bans and physical fighting in adolescents: an ecological study of 88 countries -

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a major policy statement in November 2018. They say: "Research has shown that striking a child, yelling at or shaming them can elevate stress hormones and lead to changes in the brain's architecture."


Prevention / Resilience / Parent-child relationships:

Shanker Self-Reg  Also, see this article by Dr. Stuart Shanker about misbehaviour, stress, reframing: Self-Reg and Reframing

Dr. Bruce D. Perry - in this inspirational one-hour video, Dr. Perry explains 'big picture' societal factors in social and emotional development in infants and young children. He says: "We have slowly been neglecting two of our most powerful biological gifts: the power of relationships and the brain’s malleability in early childhood."

Community Healing Network - CHN's mission: "to mobilize Black people across the African Diaspora to heal from the trauma caused by centuries of anti-Black racism, to free ourselves of toxic stereotypes, and to reclaim our dignity and humanity as people of African ancestry."

Hands Free Mama - inspiration and encouragement to let go of stress and perfectionism so you can focus on the things that really matter.

Little Hearts / Gentle Parenting - great guidance for all parents in the book The Gentle Parent - and for countering messages about spanking and "Christian parenting" see the book Jesus, the Gentle Parent

Hand in Hand - this great nonprofit organization helps parents connect and support each other; their tools can also help with a parent's traumatic stress (see "Using These Tools.." article below). 

Celebrate Calm - Kirk Martin found himself repeating his father's harsh parenting, and realizing that he needed a different way, he found himself helping other families. He and his son Casey have helped hundreds of thousands of parents. 

Raising Teens - from the Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Health Communication, this free report (available online as a pdf download) identifies 5 basics for parents: Love and Connect - Monitor and Observe - Guide and Limit - Model and Consult - Provide and Advocate. 

Parents' Experiences

Thinking About Parenting - People often think of parenting in terms of the effect on the child. But what is the experience of raising a child like for a parent? What factors help or harm? Learn more about the theory developed by Alice van der Pas to help us understand parents' experiences. 

Learning from a Difficult Child - one mom's reflections on her struggles and on what she learned as she loved and lived with her strong-willed, active and impulsive son. And here are her Other Thoughts About Parenting a Difficult Child

Using These Tools to Rewrite a Trauma Story Can Bring Deep and Lasting Healing - by Abigail Wald.  Abigail explains how the tools offered by the organization Hand-in-Hand helped her heal and thrive. 

Raising Teens: parent narratives. Do you ever read parenting advice from experts and wonder how to actually put the recommendations to use in real life? We asked parents to tell us how they have acted on each of the 5 basics for parents identified in the Harvard report.