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The typical parent, when whacking a misbehaving child, doesn't pause to wonder: "What does science have to say about the efficacy of corporal punishment?" If they are thinking anything at all, it's: "Here comes justice!" And while the typical parent may not know or care, the science on corporal punishment of kids is pretty clear. Despite the rise of the timeout and other nonphysical forms of punishment, most American parents hit, pinch, shake, or otherwise lay violent hands on their youngsters: 63 percent of parents physically discipline their 1- to 2-year-olds, and 85 percent of adolescents have been physically punished by their parents. Parents cite children's aggression and failure to comply with a request as the most common reasons for hitting them.

--Alan E. Kazdin, "Spare the Rod," Slate.com

OK, maybe ONE comment.



Laura said...

OK, I can't resist commenting.

I find it INCREDIBLE that this guy absolutely refuses to differentiate between loving parents calmly administering spankings as a predetermined consequence for disobedience, and those who, either thoughtlessly or in anger, "hit, pinch, [and] shake" their children!

It's one of the most frustrating parts about being a believer -- I get lumped in with nutso gay-bashing fundamentalists AND those nominally-Christian libertines who respond to Barna polls. This is another classic example: a mean-tempered drunk who smacks his kids around as a protest against his out-of-control life is in the SAME category as a thoughtful, loving parent whose infrequent spankings are delivered with a desire to instruct and shape their children to become upright, moral, considerate adults.

I say it again: AARRRRRGH!!

Jacob said...

I sympathize with your "aarrrrrgh." I would say, "I feel your pain," but there is only one instance in which I've felt comfortable comparing myself to Bill Clinton (and this is not it).

Frankly, the fear of corporal punishment is often what kept me from doing wrong. I saw the pain my sister got and decided (most of the time) that it wasn't for me.

Laura's Dad said...

Somebody please tie this guy down and make him read "Shepherding a Child's Heart."

AARRRRRGH is exactly right! Lord, please deliver us from such unthinking drivvle. (Are there TWO vv's in drivel or just one v in drivle?)


Laura said...


Well, this guy's not a believer, so I wouldn't expect him to have a biblical understanding of discipline, but for heaven's sake. This is just extremely poor rhetoric.

Jacob, that's true. I think it's important for children to learn that disobedience = ouch, lest they have to discover that lesson the hard way as adults!

Laura said...

Oh... and I'm curious. What would possess you to compare yourself with Bill Clinton?

Jacob said...

I was trying contrast a friend to myself to a mutual friend (who hadn't yet met him) and I described myself as being the more charismatic (in terms of personality) than he was and I suddenly thought of a brilliant(?) example: I'm Bill Clinton to my friend's Howard Dean. End of story.