OK, time to point out a few things. If they have already been pointed out, forgive me. This thread is growing faster than I can keep up with it.
First from the article that started this debacle:
That's the view of discipline and domestic violence expert Murray Straus, a professor of
sociology and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. Straus was scheduled to present the findings from
recent research on spanking on Friday at the International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego.
It appears that some people are not able to separate two completely separate issues. Spanking as in discipline is not abuse. Spanking as in hitting
for retaliation or to mitigate displaced hostility is abuse. The difference is in the motive and the application.
I spanked both of my kids. The last spanking my son got was so severe I actually worried that I may have crossed the line. But it had
done; he had just done something that had the potential to seriously injure his sister. Apparently I didn't cross that line, because today he is
intelligent, compassionate, and an excellent student.
The reason is that even when I was spanking him that hard, I didn't want
to spank him. I wasn't doing it out of anger; I was trying to stop
his present actions and attitudes dead in their tracks. Not to make my life easier, but to make his easier later on. Never once in my life have I ever
hit my children in anger. Never in my life will I do so.
People today seem to have this idea that children are little adults, and all they need is a good talking-to in order to realize their mistakes and
correct them. W_R_O_N_G_!
Children are born without knowing societal expectations and rules, only knowing the same things animals know:
how to eat, how to cry for momma, how to be angry or afraid. The rest is taught. In order to teach a child who does not understand societal rights and
wrongs, one must appeal to what they do understand.
Proper parenting is much much more than simply administering a slap across the lower jaw from time to time, but it sometimes (usually at least once or
twice in every child's life) requires some sort of corporal punishment, at least in my experience. If properly administered, this type of punishment
can (and should, IMHO) be only used as a last resort, to appeal to the more basic instincts of a misbehaving child.
The aim of rearing a child is also more than just getting them to survive until they move out. Parenting is a lifelong commitment. The true measure of
how well one performed at parenting will only be reckoned after one is long dead, based on how well that child has handled life. Did they manage to
make their own way? Were they successful at their chosen career? What did they do to help others along their way? If they had children, how well are
their children doing? All of these things, and more, will come into play in the final tally.
Abuse is a completely different animal. Abuse happens when someone in a family attempts to harm another member of that family. Yes, it can include
beatings, but it can also include sexual misconduct, continual mental conditioning ("You're stupid" is the most harmful thing a parent can say to
their children), or just fear tactics. It does not include discipline, which is there to make a child's life better, not worse.
Abuse is wrong and should be frowned upon by society in the strictest possible form. But it should also never be associated with discipline.
Of those who will state how terrible it was that their parents spanked them, I say back:
"If your parents spanked you out of love, then you apparently have some mental issues. An adult should be capable of seeing past initial
appearances. If your parents spanked you out of anger, then you are not talking about discipline, but abuse. You should, again as an adult, be able to
distinguish between the two. In either case, you appear to be suffering from an inability to understand society, and I recommend a good therapist to
help you work out your issues.
In the meantime, would all you enlightened parents please stop dropping your kids off at the toy store like it was a daycare center for shoppers, and
allowing them to terrorize the neighborhood pets, and please inform their little enlightened selves that bullying in school is against your values.
Their actions outside your kind influence sphere are becoming tiresome.
Secondly, I am hearing a lot of agreement that the study established a link between lower IQs and spankings. I present to you that to make the
statement that spankings cause lower IQs is totally unscientific at this point. There are three possibilities:
- Spanking a child lowers their
- Lower IQ children require more spankings due to their inability to learn to correct their behavior as fast.
- There is another, as yet unnoticed trait that creates both more spankings and lower IQs that is responsible for both.
I personally will go
with the second possibility until more information is presented (hopefully by someone not openly working in domestic violence).