Chastening—a.k.a.—hitting/switching/whipping/corporal punishment, can weaken the survivor’s immune system according to Dr. Frank Putnam of the National Institute of Mental Health and Dr. Martin Teicher of Harvard Medical School. Putnam conducted studies of 170 girls, 6-15 years old—half had been subjected to ‘corporal punishment,’ half had not—for seven years.
We now know that teenagers often do not make the most responsible, reasoned decisions because this part of their brain is still developing. (Front line PBS) The basic part of the brain that gives teenagers strategies and perhaps warns them of potential consequences isn’t fully on board yet. This research reaffirms the importance of telling our children, in simple language, what is and is not acceptable behavior between siblings.