Spanking Kids and Common Sense/Eperience
I don’t have much time these days to write blogs, but this issue definitely caught my attention. Here is a blog from John Stackhouse on this subject: Now You Can Finally Stop Hitting Your Kids. The title says it all.
It is apparently based on a Canadian study. One article dealing with this study can be found here. Here are a few relevant excerpts:
“We’re really past the point of calling this [spanking] a controversy. That’s a word that’s used and I don’t know why, because in the research there really is no controversy,” she said in an interview…”If we had this level of consistency in findings in any other area of health, we would be acting on it. We’d be pulling out all the stops to work on the issue.”
WOW. Now those are sweeping statements from 20 years of published research.
Personally I have not done any research on this subject and I have not read very much. I will weigh in only as one who has been spanked by his parents [not abused!], and as one who has observed the children of his own generation and those of the new generation (as a coach, youth pastor etc.). [For the record, I am generally skeptical of many of these researches because if you wait long enough a new study will be published to show that the previous study was wrong. It certainly would not be the first and last time when this happened.]
First of all, as one who has been spanked, I would like to personally thank my parents for doing that. Most times, they have done it well and lovingly, and I am quite sure it has done me a lot of good. This is despite Durant, “What people have realized is that physical punishment doesn’t only predict aggression consistently, it also predicts internalizing kinds of difficulties, like depression and substance use…” . Thank God – none of these apply to me. Ask my friends and family! 🙂 [I realize that one case (my case) will not make or break ’20 years of published research’, but I still find it relevant for the discussion].
More importantly, and this is a common sense/look around you type of observation – it seems to me that the present generation is more violent, more depressed, angrier, and less respectful than my generation. Of course the issue is very complex. This generation also watches (and plays with) a lot more violence, listens to angrier tunes etc. [It most likely also depends on the personality of the child, sex, etc.] But I think it would be very difficult to argue with the observation that the present generation [and I think you would agree that this generation was a lot less spanked than the previous ones] seems more angry, more depressed, and a lot less respectful than the previous ones! I also find them a lot less sociable outside their ‘small groups’!
I am speaking as one who has coached [fairly] rich people in a prep school in USA. What surprised me a lot, was how angry and un-cooperative some of the people were (I doubt they were spanked, since they would probably have sued their parents! :)) and the angry music they listened too. Surely these were people who had everything they wanted, they were not poor and disadvantaged.
Where did the anger and antisocial behavior come from? I suppose one can argue that those were the ones who were spanked. After all – I have never been to their house. That can certainly be true, but I doubt it. Personally, I think those were the ones who were not disciplined.
Am I wrong? Am I missing something? What is your opinion/experience?
Here is a useful article on this subject!
P.S. In an unpublished research it has been shown that children who are raised at home in [at least] the first 7 years of childhood are better adjusted, more sociable, more intelligent etc…Watch out for my next article: Now You Can Finally Raise Your Kids Yourself! :):):)