To Spank Or Not To Spank?
(All emphases by Always On Watch)
A little email I got today, reproduced below in its entirety:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *I got plenty of spankings when I was a child, up until the age of twelve or so. Technically, what I received was not a spanking but rather what my mother termed "the hickory switch," though our switches came from the huge forsythia bush at the far south-end of the front yard. My father disciplined me only twice, on one occasion when I threw a temper tantrum in the Sears store and on the other occasion when I hit the dog and made her whine out in pain. In short, my father left the discipline to my mother.
The Fairfax County Public Library
Events, Activities & Services E-Letter
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You may remember experiencing "corporal punishment" as a student in school. Although Virginia is not one of them, 22 states still allow spanking by U.S. 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 child discipline options:
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.
Have strong opinions about spanking? Comment here.
I clearly remember waking up in the morning and asking myself, "How far can I go today?" Each time I acted up, my mother tried to reason with me and to avoid the corporal punishment, but to no avail.
What made my behavior truly perverse was that my mother had a serious heart condition, of which I was well aware because of her many trips to the hospital. Often, after had I provoked Mom to switch me, I got worried as to whether or not I had hurt her health and, on those nights, awakened in the wee hours of the morning and sneaked into my parents' bedroom to check on Mom to see if she was still breathing.
Finally, I realized that my mother was going to remain consistent and that I was making a fool of myself, so I stopped agitating. All the torment for both Mom and me abruptly ended, and the decision to behave was a conscious one on my part. Within a few years of my reform, she and I had some good laughs over my bull-headedness. Until the day she died, my mother and I were best friends, and I had a singularly unrebellious adolescence.
Analyze my childhood behavior if you like, but what I'm really interested in is your view on the corporal punishment of youngsters, both at school and at home.