Spanking clearly not best option
By Rick Shefchik, Knight Ridder Newspapers
July 13, 2004
In their infinite, stodgy wisdom, lawmakers in Great Britain voted
last week not to ban spanking.
And while I think I see their point - why create a new class of
criminals by outlawing a child-rearing technique many believe in and
will practice anyway? - I also believe spanking is unnecessary.
One reason not to spank your kids can be discovered if you do a Google
search for Britain and spanking, as I did after the ruling was
announced. Think such a search is going to lead you to international
news organizations, or the official Web site of the British House of
It may, eventually, but only after you've waded through listing after
listing of fetish sites.
It seems that those who get a kick out of spanking like to chat with
fellow spanking enthusiasts. Whether or not you believe in laying your
child across your lap and giving him or her a couple of well-meaning
whacks on the bum when they've misbehaved, these Web sites can't be
seen as a positive outgrowth of parental discipline.
Scientifically put, these people are nut jobs.
Something about the punishment that was inflicted upon them when they
were children has caused them to obsess about it into adulthood. And
while I'm sure they are an incredibly narrow percentage of all the
adults who were spanked as children, they are taking up too much
Internet bandwidth as it is. We don't need more of them.
So how do we phase out spanking without passing laws against it - as
they've done in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Austria, and
other countries (e.g.: Cyprus, Italy, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria,
Germany, Israel, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece,
Netherlands, Portugal, New Zealand, Uruguay and Venezuela -I.G), where
the physical punishment of children is illegal?
The short answer, I suppose, is that we never will eliminate spanking,
no matter what we do. But as civilization evolves, it ought to be
possible to make more parents understand that whacking your kid on the
butt is a last resort which reflects more on your lack of creativity
and energy as a parent than on your child's misbehavior.
Think about it: When you spank your kids, the message they're getting
is, "Dad couldn't think of anything more original or specific to the
situation, so now I'm getting paddled."
I believe kids care more about their parents' approval than they fear
their parents' hand - as long as the hand isn't a fist. (And if it
does become a fist, even the British have laws to punish parents who
physically batter their children.)
I believe kids are more deeply affected by losing a privilege for
misbehavior than they are by a few seconds across the knee.
And if, as a parent, your first resort is to spank, what's your backup
Sometimes it doesn't stop there. Though the overwhelming majority of
parents know when they've gone far enough, some don't. In rare - but
not rare enough - cases, that can turn into genuine abuse.
So while the House of Lords continues to struggle between the
hands-off policy of their European neighbors and their own nation's
tradition of measured corporal punishment, individual parents can
agree on a law for their own home.
And that law should be: no spanking. There are other, better ways.
People who insist that they must have the
option of hurting their children are, in
fact, admitting that they are too
stupid to raise children without brute
force and not fit to be parents. -Ivan Gowch
** Posted from http://www.teranews.com