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Why We Stopped Spanking (Our Children)
The Atlantic ^ | 12/24/2011 | Megan McArdle

Posted on 12/24/2011 9:20:50 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Spanking has declined precipitously in American society, particularly among the educated.  Darshak Sanghavi explores why:


Several experts with whom I spoke pointed to tougher laws on child abuse (that is, fear of prosecution), greater use of no-spanking day-care centers and nannies by two profession couples, or beliefs that spanking causes long-term psychological harm. But these don't necessarily support the personal experience of many parents. At my medical center, for example, I recently interviewed dozens of pediatricians and subspecialists about their own experience, and many recalled being whipped with belts, slapped in the face, or hit in other ways as children. Yet not a single one hit his or her own children today as a routine method of discipline. None of the above explanations seemed on target to them. Instead, they chose not to spank for an entirely practical reason: They had, they said, learned more effective ways of disciplining children.

That knowledge didn't come from their health-care providers. As with many pediatrics residencies, mine included nothing on the practical aspects of parenting. And studies show that pediatricians spend only a few seconds during checkups talking about how to discipline a child. Instead, modern practices of child discipline are conveyed through books, television shows, and other forms of popular culture that have shifted parenting norms. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we sought out books like How To Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk that followed the path first blazed by Benjamin Spock and T. Berry Brazelton. Mass-marketed child care guides, along with popular shows like ABC's Supernanny (praised even in the august pages of the journal Pediatrics), offered an immersive curriculum on disciplining children without hitting them.


(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: discipline; spanking
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1 posted on 12/24/2011 9:20:54 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Loving discipline including spanking down, abusiveness up.


2 posted on 12/24/2011 9:22:27 AM PST by PapaNew
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To: SeekAndFind

We live in an increasingly feminized society. I’ll just leave it at that.


3 posted on 12/24/2011 9:24:04 AM PST by vbmoneyspender
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To: SeekAndFind

“Reasoning” with children and becoming their “friend” is what bubbleheaded parents do now. Mostly out of guilt because they drop them off at day cares and see little of them.


4 posted on 12/24/2011 9:26:30 AM PST by albie
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To: SeekAndFind

“Reasoning” with children and becoming their “friend” is what bubbleheaded parents do now. Mostly out of guilt because they drop them off at day cares and see little of them.


5 posted on 12/24/2011 9:26:48 AM PST by albie
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To: SeekAndFind

Interesting how we’ve spared the rod and we now have the most narcisistic generation to date. They all require trophies, or someone else’s wealth, and if they don’t get it they will crap on police cars. Has the child been spoiled? As a side note, spanking was not working with our son so we are now using a time-out chair. It works like a charm.


6 posted on 12/24/2011 9:26:48 AM PST by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Golly. I spanked my granddaughter yesterday. The parents don’t object, since I’m the only one she obeys...


7 posted on 12/24/2011 9:28:39 AM PST by Mr Rogers ("they found themselves made strangers in their own country")
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To: SeekAndFind

“Even Benjamin Spock admitted that he was totally wrong before he died!

Spare the rod and spoil the child is still true!


8 posted on 12/24/2011 9:31:28 AM PST by dalereed
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To: goodwithagun
Interesting how we’ve spared the rod and we now have the most narcisistic generation to date. They all require trophies, or someone else’s wealth, and if they don’t get it they will crap on police cars. Has the child been spoiled? As a side note, spanking was not working with our son so we are now using a time-out chair. It works like a charm.

Yep - the Bible says that he who spares the rod, hates his son. It's not a suggestion to beat the tar out of your kids, but it expresses that without meting out discipline to teach right from wrong, you are doing your child a great disservice.

9 posted on 12/24/2011 9:32:53 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: SeekAndFind

By a curious coincidence, T. Berry Brazleton was my wife’s pediatrician for our first child. And we got to know Benjamin Spock later from several encounters in the summer islands of Maine.

Nevertheless, we spanked our children occasionally, when it seemed the thing to do. It can be overdone. But, no question, many or most modern parents fail to discipline their children, and have done so ever since the cultural revolution of the 70s. It is well intentioned, but true love for their welfare requires that they learn discipline when they are younger, and in due course from that, self-dicipline.

But it is hard to expect that they will grow up self-disciplined when their parents and perhaps grandparents are not.


10 posted on 12/24/2011 9:33:34 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: SeekAndFind

There is a difference between corporal punishment and assault, but since Eric Holder’s people are incapable of discerning the difference, zero tolerance must prevail.


11 posted on 12/24/2011 9:34:52 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (FOREIGN AID: A transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries)
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To: SeekAndFind

I spanked all my kids - - once or twice each, at most. If you do it early, after that the threat alone is good enough because they know you will follow through.


12 posted on 12/24/2011 9:37:38 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: SeekAndFind
Spanking has declined precipitously in American society, particularly among the educated brainwashed.
13 posted on 12/24/2011 9:39:08 AM PST by Gil4 (Sometimes it's not low self-esteem - it's just accurate self-assessment.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Social animals “spank” their offspring. They will swat or nip at a little one just enough to get its attention and to make it behave. And with good reason. A little critter that doesn’t pay attention to the mother won’t get its share of the food or might become food for another critter.


14 posted on 12/24/2011 9:40:26 AM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: vbmoneyspender

Yet I’m 54 and was rarely spanked by a male figure. [’cept at school and that was about 50/50]


15 posted on 12/24/2011 9:42:26 AM PST by wolfcreek (Perry to Obama: Adios, MOFO!)
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To: Kirkwood

Exactly!


16 posted on 12/24/2011 9:43:22 AM PST by wolfcreek (Perry to Obama: Adios, MOFO!)
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To: SeekAndFind
Not everyone is clever enough to manipulate their children this way.

Also, there is a huge downside to playing psychological games: Kids often draw exactly the wrong conclusion. A spanking inherently makes them realize they have a choice. Many non-physical punishments may be ambiguous. Withdrawal of a privilege, for example, may often be necessary when no discipline is needed. Time-outs confuse the issue when children need to be still and quiet.

Often manipulation makes them avoid the choice altogether. They do what you want because you steered them in that direction. They don't learn that some choices are inherently wrong.

I have also seen children draw the conclusion that they are inherently flawed in such a way that they are incapable of making a correct choice.

A spanking lets them deal with the world the way it is in a way that even young children can understand: Make good choices or suffer consequences. That not only marks the distinction between right and wrong, but smart and not smart.

17 posted on 12/24/2011 9:45:32 AM PST by hopespringseternal
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To: Mr Rogers
I’m the only one she obeys

Have the parents managed to deduce that the occasional and well timed/earned spanking and this factoid may be somehow related?

18 posted on 12/24/2011 9:46:19 AM PST by katana (Just my opinions)
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To: SeekAndFind
Leave it to the "professionals" (almost all of whom are liberals) to get it wrong.

Any discussion of corporal punishment should include the concept of individualized approach.

Each child is different, and each should be treated differently.

The biggest obstacle to rational analysis is that parents are becoming dumber.(generally)

It is a bad scene when the children are smarter than their parents.

Designer has observed that some kids need it, some don't. Some situations demand it, some call for more of a casual response. There is an age at which spanking is no longer effective. Miss that early training stage, and the opportunity is lost.

19 posted on 12/24/2011 9:46:38 AM PST by Designer (Nit-pickin' and chagrinin')
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To: SeekAndFind

I never had to spank my son, but I gave up even thinking about spanking him when he got big enough to hunt bears with a switch.
His big joke now is “Remember, I’ll choose your nursing home. How would you like to spend out your days at The Frigidaire Arms in a refrigerator box?” Takes after his mother.


20 posted on 12/24/2011 9:47:39 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind
In Need Of an A$$ Whoopin
21 posted on 12/24/2011 9:49:04 AM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: Lancey Howard
I spanked all my kids - - once or twice each, at most. If you do it early, after that the threat alone is good enough because they know you will follow through.

Yep, you got it. It works, and saves a lot of grief later.

22 posted on 12/24/2011 9:49:44 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: SeekAndFind
Erma Browns A$$ Whoopin Academy
23 posted on 12/24/2011 9:50:17 AM PST by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2011)
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To: SeekAndFind

When we’re at a restaurant, my children sit quietly, or join in our conversation, and do not run around the place bothering other people. Other couple’s children run around the place.

When we’re at a store, my children follow us (or occasionally lead to the next aisle). Other couple’s children go where they please and play with toys in the middle of the aisles.

When we’re at the doctor’s office, my children wait patiently for their name to be called. Other children play loudly and annoy the other patients.

When we’re driving some place, my children sit buckled in their seats and either watch out the window or talk quietly with one another. Other children climb all over the car and dance to the music, waiting for the head-on collision that will kill them.

When my kids meet someone for the first time they respond with Yes Mam/Sir and No Mam/Sir.

Right, spanking does absolutely no good for your children as evidenced by 99% of the children I see out and about.


24 posted on 12/24/2011 9:50:26 AM PST by TheZMan (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2794639/posts)
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To: SeekAndFind
Two children, I struck my daughter one time on the bum because she was being obstreperous in a grocery store, she was tired and two and probably hungry. I would handle the situation differently today. Never touched the boy.

Son (antikev on FR) has a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a job, and is as conservative as I am. He has several aviation tickets including glider instructor and was, at one time, the youngest pilot in our city. He talks about getting his Phd. Daughter is in third year Bachelor of Science, Nursing and has a job. She wants to be an MD.

Oh, and they come from a broken home. I left their mother when he was 14 and she was 9. They both came to live with me at 14. I don't know if spanking more would have helped them achieve more. I kind of doubt it.

It's kind of luck of the draw. Some kids you can reason with, some, you can't.

25 posted on 12/24/2011 9:53:01 AM PST by Former Proud Canadian (Obamanomics-We don't need your stinking tar sands oil, or the jobs that go with it.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Spanking and beating are two different concepts. A swat on the tush is sometimes needed to get a child’s attention. I have swatted all three of mine on occasion. That being said, I have NEVER used a belt or other hard object. I also never swatted anywhere other than the butt. I have always believed the phrase, “Never hit a child in the face, God has provided a better place”.


26 posted on 12/24/2011 9:55:58 AM PST by momtothree
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To: blueunicorn6

So long as you’re of sound mind, he can’t choose your nursing home or whether you even go to one.


27 posted on 12/24/2011 10:01:36 AM PST by Olog-hai
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To: SeekAndFind

Dad used to make my brother and I cut our own switches prior to a whuppin’ - this was 50 years ago. He never overdid it, just the fear of the event helped us to behave.
My brother tried putting a comic book down his pants for padding one time, and that didn’t work out so well.


28 posted on 12/24/2011 10:02:15 AM PST by dainbramaged (I lost my mantra around 1969.)
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To: SeekAndFind

We stopped spanking our kids and 25 years later, we have Occupy Wall Street.

Good job America.


29 posted on 12/24/2011 10:06:51 AM PST by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Methinks spanking still goes on, but people just don’t do it in public or admit to it anymore.


30 posted on 12/24/2011 10:07:06 AM PST by rbg81
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"There is a difference between corporal punishment and assault, but since Eric Holder’s people are incapable of discerning the difference, zero tolerance must prevail."

========================================================

No truer words were ever spoken. Most of them beat and whip their children. Not spank them.

31 posted on 12/24/2011 10:08:01 AM PST by Realman30 ("I've already made a donation to Haiti. It's called taxes". . . . El Rushbo.)
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To: SeekAndFind

feminized culture...in another 100 years white men will have testicles the size of green peas and women will just provide eggs

we will go extinct as we know ourselves.

genetic engineering will take over

it will become like troglodytes versus an estrogen dominated brain trust with the wealth

they will need a proxy army...all that we cherish now will seem quaint

how fast we fell after WWII


32 posted on 12/24/2011 10:12:26 AM PST by wardaddy (Michelle, Sarah, Perry now Newt over Mitt.....that is how I've seen it and it's where we are)
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To: SeekAndFind

33 posted on 12/24/2011 10:16:14 AM PST by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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To: SeekAndFind

I don’t spank as much as my parents did, but my parents were also more heavy handed than they needed to be. Corporal punishment in my parents’ home bordered on real brutality.

I swore when I was a child that I’d never do the same to my children, and I haven’t. Personally, I think I found the right balance. My kids respect my wife and I, and are better behaved than average.


34 posted on 12/24/2011 10:17:12 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: SeekAndFind
The rod was wased in my parents' home, is used in our home, and is used in our childrens'/grandchildren's homes.

The more they cry, the longer it is sustained. They learn to cry little and get it over with. "Spare NOT for their crying." Proverbs 19:18.

It is not used for common childhood mistakes; but it is used when there is a rebellious attitute in the child with regard to being taught or corrected.

35 posted on 12/24/2011 10:17:59 AM PST by John Leland 1789
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To: SeekAndFind

Schools have huge discipline problems nowadays. The smart-a** kids know that teachers and principals can’t touch them in any form of punishment, or else they would get sued.

Heck, we’ve all heard the story that years ago, if you got in trouble in school, you were also in trouble at home. Nowadays, some parents are ready to sue if kids get in trouble at school.

Properly used corporal punishment probably helped keep schools in order years ago.


36 posted on 12/24/2011 10:18:01 AM PST by Dilbert San Diego
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To: dalereed
Even Benjamin Spock admitted that he was totally wrong before he died!

My mother was a devotee of Benjamin Spock when I was a kid, but she beat the hell out of us on a regular basis anyway.

37 posted on 12/24/2011 10:19:10 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Hitting older children is wrong. Injuring children because of their behavior is wrong. Life is short; give love more than anger. Diffuse your anger otherwise.

However, judicious spankings between the age of around 2 - 6 are useful for some kids. If the child responds with fear and tears and better behavior to only sharp words, use that. One of my sons was so sensitive to verbal reprimands that he never needed a “potch on the tush.”

And that is what spanking should be. A felt but not acutely painful swat on the diapered or dressed tushie. Or a gentle slap on an offending hand. Just to give a reminder about a behavior that could harm property, another, or himself. Period.

Don’t spank for crabby fatigued attitude. Don’t punish a child for being hungry, tired, or coming down with an illness. Be considerate of your child. It’s not his fault if you wear him out at the mall or feed him too much carbs.

Spare the rod and spoil the child is a horrible attitude. Children who grow up trusting their parents are better people for the rest of us to deal with.


38 posted on 12/24/2011 10:19:24 AM PST by Yaelle (Excuse the mobile device errors please.)
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To: Designer
Miss that early training stage, and the opportunity is lost.

I remember being at my buddy's house once. His wife was holding, I believe their first born (they have 9 now), The baby was maybe 2-3 months old. The baby was enamored with my buddy's wifes hair or jewelry (probably jewelry) and was grabbing and pulling. No damage was being done, but to teach the child "NO", a simple flick of a finger on the hand, was enough negative stimulation, that after a few times the child stopped.

That finger flick was in essencea spanking. It didn't cause "pain", more discomfort. Basically telling the baby, if you do this, an uncomfortable thing happens accompanied by the word "NO".

Over time, the child learns the meaning of NO. As the child gets older and bigger, the negative stimulation gets larger.

My buddy and his wife started disciplining their children almost from birth. Today, they can sit in church, as a family, and if a little one gets a little too squirrely, asimple look from mom or dad brings them in line.

Imagine going to a restaurant with a family with so many kids. Waitresses make comments how good the kids are. They'll bring other waitresses over to see the great acting kids. Managers have bought dessert, because the family is so well behaved.

Their HOUSE is FILLED with happy laughter and happy screeching of a little one playing with a brother or sister. The pitter patter of little and not so little feet is all over.

These are kids who don't live in fear and trembling. These are happy, well adjusted kids, who know that if they get out of line, a spanking might follow. So why get out of line?

I've been there when a child has done something wrong. A strong word from mom or dad follows. If its done again a strong word and warning follow. If the bad behavior still continues, the child is removed from the rest of the children, and dad and child go to a bed room. I've never heard wailing or crying or gnashing of teeth. If a child gets a spanking in there, there is no clue. Dad and child don't come out until the child is composed, and ready to resume being with the rest. Discipline isn't about humiliation, its about just enough negative stimulation to change a behavior.

39 posted on 12/24/2011 10:24:01 AM PST by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: SeekAndFind
When spanking is done effectively, you only need to actually carry it out a few times. After that, the mere threat of a spanking is usually enough to keep the child behaving well. Both my sons got their last spanking well before they were 10 years old. Not only did my wife and I constantly get positive comments about their behavior but even through their teen years, they never gave us much trouble.

There are really only two reasons to spank a child. Lying and disrespectful behavior. My children learned early that they would never be punished for telling the truth and I always lived up to that. If they told the truth, they would never be punished, no matter what it was that they did. Now they might be made to make restitution (such as the time one son smashed our garage window) but because he fessed up to it, there was no punishment. He only had to do chores to earn the money to pay for a new window.

As for disrespectful behavior, we go to a lot of restaurants and we expected our children to be extremely well behaved in any public place. One time at a House of Pancakes, my sons started acting up at the table when they were about 5 and 7 years old. We calmly but firmly removed them from the restaurant and gave them both pretty spankings once we got to the car. Never again did we have any issue in restaurants.

I continue to be amazed and saddened with what many parents put up with in public with their kids. If their kids are this bratty in a public setting, one can only imagine what the home must be like.

Finally, I have had some rather heated arguments with a family member over spanking. She absolutely refuses to have her children spanked, whether by her or her husband and actually believes that parents that spank their children should be prosecuted and made to serve a jail term. Well as her own brood gets older, they become more disrespectful and out-of-control. She constantly has her hands full with them and they not only disobey her but call her unspeakable things right to her face when they don't get their way on something. (Therefore they usually get their way.) I suppose I should feel vindicated but instead, I feel angry towards her for putting more spoiled, self-obsessed brats into this world.

40 posted on 12/24/2011 10:24:46 AM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 41 days away from outliving Marty Feldman)
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To: Kirkwood

We used to get it with the flyswatter. My mom kept it hanging over the washing machine. It didn’t hurt that much but it got your attention. One of my male friends said his mother used to say “Go cut me a stick”. Thats cold. LOL!!!


41 posted on 12/24/2011 10:29:21 AM PST by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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SeekAndFind


The Bible says to spare the rod and spoil the child. Who's going to argue?

HAVE A COOL YULE

CLICK HERE FOR GIFT


42 posted on 12/24/2011 10:32:36 AM PST by I see my hands (The old sod ne'er shall be forgot.)
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To: Yaelle
Though I understand where you're coming from, there are TIMES when a child is crabby, that an attitude adjustment is needed. As a child gets older, they learn that just cause they're crabby or cold or hungry, its no reason to act out. "Spankings" can range from something as simple as a slap on the wrist to repeated swats with a belt, paddle or switch. Spankings aren't just to punish, but to mold behavior.

Spankings aren't an answer to ALL things. And one size spanking doesn't fit all. It takes love and patience and wisdom in disciplining a child.

43 posted on 12/24/2011 10:42:43 AM PST by mountn man (Happiness is not a destination, its a way of life.)
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To: Yaelle

“... hitting older children is wrong”.

I tried to tell my six foot one, 200 hundred pound son that I would put him over my knee.... he laughed! (I was joking, of course). You are absolutely correct about not spanking if you are angry. It should be done when a parent has a calm mind. I NEVER punished them if they were sick, needed a nap, or were hungry. I personally believe spanking, if done on a rare occasion, accomplishes way more than a parent who hits a child all the time.


44 posted on 12/24/2011 10:48:57 AM PST by momtothree
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To: vbmoneyspender

45 posted on 12/24/2011 11:07:48 AM PST by pogo101
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To: Lancey Howard

“I spanked all my kids - - once or twice each, at most. If you do it early, after that the threat alone is good enough because they know you will follow through.”

Exactly! I never have to spank my kids and rarely have to threaten them now. They know I’m dead dog serious and that justice will be sure and swift. Their job is to listen and obey.

I used to feel kind of sorry for people with out-of-control kids. Now I feel contempt. You can choose not to spank, but properly diciplining your kids is an act of love. Not doing so is abuse.

My 6-yead-old just ran up, gave me the biggest hug and told me she loved me. It doesn’t get better than that!


46 posted on 12/24/2011 11:13:11 AM PST by Owl558 ("Those who remember George Satayana are doomed to repeat him")
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To: Yaelle
Spare the rod and spoil the child is a horrible attitude. Children who grow up trusting their parents are better people for the rest of us to deal with.

If ever given the chance... those who are advocates of not spanking will be begging for spanking.

47 posted on 12/24/2011 11:19:34 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: Yaelle
Spare the rod and spoil the child is a horrible attitude. Children who grow up trusting their parents are better people for the rest of us to deal with.

If ever given the chance... those who are advocates of not spanking will be begging for spanking.

48 posted on 12/24/2011 11:19:55 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I believe that spanking builds character,sets behavioral limits,and imparts attention that kids need.It lets them know,hey,mom and dad love you,but there’s some things that will not be tolerated.We spanked our son till he was 6, and he grew up knowing there were certain things expected of him behavior-wise,and some things that were unacceptable.When he was spanked,we always told him why we did it,and let him know if he didn’t repeat the behavior,he would avoid another spanking.It worked.


49 posted on 12/24/2011 11:24:51 AM PST by gimme1ibertee ("Criticism......brings attention to an unhealthy state of things"-Winston Churchill)
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To: mountn man

As a child gets older, they learn that just cause they’re crabby or cold or hungry, its no reason to act out.


But while they are still too young to control crabbiness from physical needs, they should not be punished for it. That is a primitive way of thinking, akin to punishing a baby for crying. At its extreme, that way of thinking leads to child abuse.


50 posted on 12/24/2011 11:35:13 AM PST by Yaelle (Excuse the mobile device errors please.)
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