Monday, November 21, 2005

Spanking Your Children -- You May As Well Forcefeed Them Goat Entrails

A new report out shows for about the ninetieth time that spanking children not only doesn't work, it's counterproductive and will make them hate you. I learned this lesson the hard way when I spanked my dolls as a young boy until they rose against me in anger, burning and looting their way through my room. One even shot me with a pea.

Jennifer Lansford, a research scientist from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University spearheaded the survey. She told Reuters Health that "across the six countries studied, children who were physically disciplined more frequently were more aggressive and anxious than were children who were physically disciplined less frequently."

"However, in countries where the use of physical discipline was more common, being physically disciplined more frequently was not related as strongly to aggression and anxiety as it was in countries where physical discipline was less frequently used," she said.

Not surprisingly, in Thailand, a country where peace-promoting Buddhist teachings predominant, moms were least likely to spank their children or use other forms of physical discipline.

In Kenya, on the other hand, where use of physical discipline is common and considered normal for the most part, moms were most likely to spank or engage in similar disciplinary tactics. In a study conducted in Kenya in 2003, 57 percent of grandmothers reported caning, pinching, slapping, tying with a rope, hitting, beating, and kicking as forms of discipline they had used on their grandchildren.

Beyond the half-scientific question of whether it "works," the real issue is whether physical punishment is really the best we can come up with in the 21st century. And the answer has got to be no. Except in Kenya, where they apparently beat children silly, tie them to a chair, pinch them until they cry, cane them in the buttocks and kick them until they promise to be good. Which I haven't seen in action, but I can well imagine what happens when you try that sort of thing on adults.


Blogger stephanie said...

Mmmmmm . . . goat entrails . . arghhhh arghhh

11:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home