For once and all, spare the rod

November 7, 2018

The American Academy of Pediatrics has hardened its stance against spanking as a form of parental discipline.

In a new policy statement, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, the group updates guidance published in 1998 that recommended “parents be encouraged and assisted in developing methods other than spanking in response to undesired behavior.”

The statement is consistent with other research that shows children subjected to corporal punishment are more likely to display behavior problems later than children who were not spanked.

Here’s a more simple way to put it: Anything that attempts to justify the use of physical force is problematic at the least and encourages violence at its worse.

The fact that violence is prevalent in our society can not be questioned. Does this mean every mass murderer was spanked as a child? Of course not, but the act plants the seed that it’s acceptable, especially when the person administering the punishment is a loved one such as a parent.

So, apply “time out’’ punishments to your children. Make them write “I will not talk back’’ 100 times over. But do away with the misguided perception of “spare the rod, spoil the child.’’

If you don’t spare it, you run the considerable risk of raising an insecure child lacking in confidence or something even worse.

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