No Hit Zone
All Children’s National Hospital locations are spaces for health and healing. Acts of violence get in the way of this mission. We know so much more about the harms of spanking/corporal punishment now than we did in the past. Did you know that of all the studies about spanking, none have found spanking to be beneficial? In fact, children who are spanked are more likely to have aggressive behaviors, lower self-esteem, poor parent-child relationships, an increased likelihood of developing mental health disorders, anti-social behavior and impulsivity. Studies show that children who are spanked are even more likely to develop smaller brains and have a lower IQ.
Supporting a Safe Environment for Children and Families
Just like you, we want your child to reach their fullest potential. Children's National supports a violence-free campus and prioritizes safety among staff, patients and visitors.
As a hit-free zone, we will not tolerate:
- An adult hitting a child.
- An adult hitting another adult.
- A child hitting an adult.
- A child hitting another child.
Raising thriving children is not easy, but we are here to help. Our No Hit Zone relates to violence of any kind, including interactions among parents/caretakers, colleagues, families and our employees.
No Hit Zones:
- Discourage the use of physical/corporal punishment of children
- Promote a culture of peace
- Encourage safe and healthy practices in child and adult relationships
- Support healthy alternatives in effective discipline
Effective Discipline and Positive Parenting
Children need rules and structure, and teaching them right from wrong is an important part of parenting. This, however, should be done in a way that builds children up and doesn’t break them down.
Here are some helpful reminders:
- Be consistent. Learning takes repetition, so don’t expect your children to learn the rules all at once.
- Children learn more about how to act from watching you, so model the behavior and actions you want to see in your children.
- Tend to your own mental health including any trauma you’ve experienced.
- Make sure the punishment is fair and age-appropriate for the misbehavior.
- Children can make parents angry, but discipline should not be a parent’s outlet for their anger. Instead, discipline is an opportunity to teach your child.
Resources for Families
These additional resources may be helpful to your and your family:
- What’s the Best Way to Discipline My Child?
- Positive Parenting Tips
- Triple P Positive Parenting Program
If you have questions about the No Hit Zone at Children's National, please email Allison Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., chief of the Child and Adolescent Protection Center.