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Thursday, April 27, 2006


You may remember experiencing “corporal punishment” as a student in school. Although Virginia is not one of them, 22 states still allow spanking by public school teachers today.

Spanking in the home is another story, and it has fierce opponents and supporters. On one side, activists propose making it illegal for parents to spank their children. On the other side, an ABC News poll found that 66 percent of respondents approved of spanking.

April 30 is Spank Out Day USA. The library takes no position on the subject, but offers these books as a starting place to explore the topic of disciplining children:

Discipline, the Brazelton Way by T. Berry Brazelton.

Supernanny: How to Get the Best From Your Children by Jo Frost.

The New Strong-Willed Child: Birth Through Adolescence by James Dobson.

Nanny 911: Expert Advice for All Your Parenting Emergencies by Deborah Carroll.

Discipline That Lasts a Lifetime: The Best Gift You Can Give Your Kids by Raymond Guarendi.

Laying Down The Law: The 25 Laws of Parenting to Keep Your Kids on Track, Out of Trouble, and (Pretty Much) Under Control by Ruth Allen Peters.

Do you have strong opinions about spanking? Leave a comment below!


Anonymous said...

I, for one, am a strong supporter of corporal punishment. I know it doesn't work all the time, but to me, the point of disciplining someone is to make them aware that their actions have consequences. Some actions require light or mild consequences; other more severe actions need an equivalently severe reaction. I think that schools should administer corporal punishements, as needed, since children are in or at the school between 6 and 8 hours a day. If children are going to be there for that much time, then schools should have the methods to impress upon those children that "that behavior is not acceptable".

Regarding parents spanking their own children at home: this is a "no-brainer". If parents can't discipline their own children in ways they see fit, then what alternative is being proposed by those who would abolish parental spanking? Here's an idea: for those who want to abolish parental spanking at home, let those advocates be personally responsible and liable for any acts that the child commits which breaks society's laws & mores. I guess then, a future defense attorney won't be able to say, "Well your honor, my client break the law because he was spanked too much as a child".

I'm signing this as "anonymous", because I'd have to re-write the whole log if I stopped now and became a registered blogger.

Devra said...

Please be aware that James Dobson RECOMMENDS spanking. He not only recommends it, he encourages parents to use an "instrument" instead of their hand. "Instruments" that Dobson recommends are "paddles and switces." Dobson GOES AGAINST what the American Academy of Pediatrics and most mainstream parenting experts recommend regarding corporal punishment. I myself am a clinical social worker and author of a parenting book. I recently spoke at Patrick Henry Library, and if any other library or parent group is interested in having me come and discuss spanking, I will be happy to do so.

Anonymous said...

I believe the world will be a better place when fearful, insecure people stop trying to censor everyone else into their particular comfort zone.

If, for any reason, one cannot trust themselves to discipline a child physically--with absolute self-control, love, and respect, then they shouldn't do it. This does not mean that no one else should either.

The same type of thing can be said for drinking alcohol, listening to Rock and Roll music, and dancing--all of which have similar opponents in people who must control others or remain afraid.

Anonymous said...

It's a funny thing about pain inflicted on one... they become inured to it.

Spanking ruins relationships while discipline strengthens them.

Understanding, instruction, guidance, and love are much more powerful forces... but much more difficult to master, eh?

Anonymous said...

Mom and Dad would on occasion spank us- but only until age 7. They believed that, as Catholics, the Church used 7 as the age of reason. If we had to go to confession at that age, we would know right and wrong. After age 7, we got lots of sermons and lectures and discussions, but far fewer spankings

Anonymous said...

Spanking is a cop-out for the more difficult, but rewarding, exercise of trying to understand and love your kids. I was spanked as a kid, and particularly remember the time I was spanked after getting lost on a vacation trip. Did I take from that spanking that my father was scared? No, just that my "reward" for getting lost was physical punishment.