It’s time for parents to abandon the old adage that kids “deserve a good spanking” every once in a while, health experts say. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued a strong statement advising parents not to spank their children, based on a growing pile of studies showing that the disciplinary technique does more harm than good. Research over the last 20 years has demonstrated that spanking increases aggression in young children and is ineffective in changing their undesirable behavior, the AAP says. Studies have also linked spanking to an increased risk of mental health disorders and impaired brain development. The AAP is an influential professional association that represents some 67,000 pediatricians across the country. But this evolution in thinking about parental discipline isn’t just limited to medical professionals – fewer parents raising children today seem to support spanking. In a 2013 poll, about half of parents under the age of 36 reported having spanked their own children. Among all of the older generations, that number was 70 percent or higher.