Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Making kids better students by spanking them as preschoolers (seriously)

Here's another counter-intuitive study where I can't find the original, only some news articles about it. It claims that "kids smacked before age 6 grew up to be more successful, and that there was not enough evidence to say that smacking harms most kids.... But those who were smacked after age 6 were more likely than other kids to have behavioral difficulties, such as getting into fights."

The study author says:
The claims that are made for not spanking children fail to hold up. I think of spanking as a dangerous tool, but then there are times when there is a job big enough for a dangerous tool. You don’t use it for all your jobs.
In other words, sometimes a mom's just gotta whack the kid.

I dunno. I'll grant that people vary, and it may be that speaking to some kids lightly by hand, in a non-violent, non-ranting, non-physically-damaging way might get their attention better than saying mommy doesn't like it when you try to set fire to the cat. But I sure wouldn't trust it as a standard operating policy for parents. For one thing, the parents who would like it best I suspect are the ones who would overdo it. For another, since people vary, and some kids are helped and some hurt by it, how do you know what kind of kid you have?

No, I'm still glad I never hit a kid. If they want to be better students, they'll have to do it by self-flagellating.


  1. The vast majority of professionals agree that child buttock-battering isn’t healthy. A marginal few (mostly religious fundamentalists as those at Calvin) think that child bottom-slapping is good. They use the same selective literalist interpretation of the Bible as was used to justify “witch”-burning, depraved torture methods for those accused of sin and heresy, slavery, racism, wife-beating, oppression of women and a host of other social ills.

  2. Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit www.nospank.net.

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.