Americans think that parents are too easy on their children; most still in favor of spanking as a method of discipline. 

The best way to raise a child is something that occupies the thoughts of many parents. While new studies come out every year or so sparking a new 'parenting trend' on how to improve a child's development, it is no wonder that the topic has maintained a high level of interest and scrutiny. 

According to recent YouGov research, a large majority of Americans (81%) think that parents are "too soft" when it comes to raising their kids.  Those with a high school education have the highest level of agreement with 87%, people with some college experience, and those with college degrees agreed at 78% and 80% respectively. Post graduates were slightly less certain about parental leniency. They agreed at 62%, which is more than a 15% drop from the rest of the public.

There has been some controversy as to whether or not spanking is "okay". Recent articles have questioned whether or not it will hurt a child emotionally in the long run. Americans still feel that spanking is a necessary disciplinary measure, but the numbers have gone down in the past thirty years. Compared to a study done by the National Opinion Research Center (University of Chicago) in 1986, the number of people who are "pro-spanking" has gone down 21%, from 84% to 63%. 

Since 1986, the percentage of people who believe that spanking is necessary has gone down by 21%, while those who think spanking is unecessary has gone up by 12%. Though there has been a drop in popularity, the majority of Americans still believe physical punishment is a fundamental practice when it comes to disciplining their children.

Full results can be found here.

Image: Getty.

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