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Poll
Question: Should children be spanked?
Absolutely yes! - 35 (18.7%)
In some cases, yes. - 84 (44.9%)
Maybe. - 14 (7.5%)
No, probably not. - 23 (12.3%)
Absolutely not! - 31 (16.6%)
Total Voters: 187

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Author Topic: Spanking - Yea or Nay?  (Read 63785 times) Average Rating: 3
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ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #135 on: September 18, 2009, 12:41:45 PM »

These are not the only alternatives. What about redirection? The child is doing something they ought not be doing. Show them something more acceptable.

That's not punishment.

Quote
What about meeting their needs? The child is crying loudly. Perhaps the child is hungry, or tired.

Again, not a punishment.  Of course parents are supposed to meet their children's needs.

Quote
What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.

So the kid will just get used to being alone in his room.  Not a desirable outcome as far as I'm concerned, and not really a punishment at all. 

What it is is a break for mom & dad.  And to be honest if you're to the point that you need to get away from your kids something is already very wrong.  What did people do before every kid had his own room and it wasn't possible to shut him up just by popping in a Disney video?

Quote
There are many more alternatives to spanking, and none of them involve torture or drugs.

Like I say, I don't really consider any of those punishments.
I think we need to go back to the theory behind parenting. What is punishment? What is the purpose of punishment? I think we need some definitions.

First of all, psychologically speaking, a behaviour is any action, words or attitude in which a child is engaged. There are two types of behaviours: desired behaviour and undesired behaviour. A desired behaviour is any behaviour which is acceptable to the parent; an undesired behaviour is any behaviour which the parent finds unacceptable. It should go without saying that we wish to increase desired behaviours and decrease or eliminate undesired behaviours.

So how do we do this? According to the standard behaviour modification theory, there are two ways: reinforcement and punishment.

A reinforcement is any action which increases a desired behaviour. There are two types: positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is encouraging desired behaviour by giving the child something. It could be tangible, such as a toy or candy, or intangible, such as attention or praise. This type is commonly referred to as "Grandma's Rule": "First you eat your pease, then you can go out and play."

A negative reinforcement is encouraging desired behaviour by the removal of something. Torture is an extreme example of negative reinforcement: "When you tell us the name we want, we'll stop hurting you." Obviously torture is not used with children, but we can use negative reinforcement: Studying, for example, is reinforced by the removal of anxiety about a test.

A punishment is any action which decreases an undesired behaviour. So, yes, spanking can be a punishment if it decreases undesired behaviour--but if it does not, it is not a punishment. For my daughter, simply telling her "no" decreases undesired behaviour--so, for my daughter, the word "no" is a punishment.

So the question of what is or is not a punishment varies according to the child and the family situation. We must not lose sight of our goal. Our goal as parents is not to punish children; it's for the children to do as we want and not to do as we do not want. Whatever is most effective at meeting that goal is what we should be doing. It should be said, too, that children will adapt to one punishment if it is used too often, or especially if it is used exclusively, and therefore it is a good idea to have several available, so that they all remain potent.
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« Reply #136 on: September 25, 2009, 06:55:03 AM »

Hot off the presses - spanking may lead to lower IQ
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090925/sc_livescience/childrenwhogetspankedhaveloweriqs;_ylt=AqFDAqfAExzrudQDPm2Bq_Gs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTM3c2Q5a2djBGFzc2V0A2xpdmVzY2llbmNlLzIwMDkwOTI1L2NoaWxkcmVud2hvZ2V0c3BhbmtlZGhhdmVsb3dlcmlxcwRwb3MDNARzZWMDeW5fbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHNsawNjaGlsZHJlbndob2c-

  Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer
LiveScience.com jeanna Bryner
senior Writer
livescience.com – Thu Sep 24, 9:16 pm ET

Spanking can get kids to behave in a hurry, but new research suggests it can do more harm than good to their noggins. The study, involving hundreds of U.S. children, showed the more a child was spanked the lower his or her IQ compared with others.

"All parents want smart children," said study researcher Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire. "This research shows that avoiding spanking and correcting misbehavior in other ways can help that happen."

One might ask, however, whether children who are spanked tend to come from backgrounds in which education opportunities are less or inherited intelligence lower.

But while the results only show an association between spanking and intelligence, Straus says his methodology and the fact that he took into account other factors that could be at play (such as parents' socioeconomic status) make a good case for a causal link.

"You can't say it proves it, but I think it rules out so many other alternatives; I am convinced that spanking does cause a slowdown in a child's development of mental abilities," Straus told LiveScience.

Intelligence quotients

Straus and his colleague Mallie Paschall of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Maryland studied nationally representative samples of two age groups: 806 children ages 2 to 4, and 704 ages 5 to 9. The researchers tested the kids' IQs initially and then four years later.

Both groups of kids got smarter after four years. But the 2- to 4-year-olds who were spanked scored 5 points lower on the IQ test than those not spanked. For children ages 5 to 9, the spanked ones scored on average 2.8 points lower than their unspanked counterparts.

The results, he said, were statistically significant. And they held even after accounting for parental education, income, cognitive stimulation by parents and other factors that could affect children's mental abilities.

(The rest of the article can be found at the above link location...)
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« Reply #137 on: September 25, 2009, 12:05:14 PM »

Both groups of kids got smarter after four years. But the 2- to 4-year-olds who were spanked scored 5 points lower on the IQ test than those not spanked. For children ages 5 to 9, the spanked ones scored on average 2.8 points lower than their unspanked counterparts.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.  Next week, I'm sure there will be a study extolling the intellectual benefits of spanking.  Besides, what really is 5 points IQ difference.  Really?  I didn't do the study but that does not seem, to me, to be statistically significant.
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« Reply #138 on: September 25, 2009, 12:20:59 PM »

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Are you ridiculing him in Eskimo? Grin
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« Reply #139 on: September 25, 2009, 12:22:46 PM »

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Are you ridiculing him in Eskimo? Grin


laugh laugh laugh

I think it probably has more to do, as the article suggests, with socioeconomic status than it does with any actual link between spanking and IQ.  An earlier study in this thread mentioned that kids from low income families tend to be spanked more and that low income parents are often less educated, which could hinder their children's opportunities to learn as well.  This latest article seems to more proof that correlation is not the same as causation.
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« Reply #140 on: September 25, 2009, 12:32:58 PM »

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Are you ridiculing him in Eskimo? Grin

I wish I knew a few of the native languages up there.  But, alas, no.
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« Reply #141 on: September 25, 2009, 12:35:00 PM »

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Are you ridiculing him in Eskimo? Grin


laugh laugh laugh

I think it probably has more to do, as the article suggests, with socioeconomic status than it does with any actual link between spanking and IQ.  An earlier study in this thread mentioned that kids from low income families tend to be spanked more and that low income parents are often less educated, which could hinder their children's opportunities to learn as well.  This latest article seems to more proof that correlation is not the same as causation.
Yes, the author seems to think that the study is causational. I disagree. After studying her methodology, I believe there are just too many variables to say what caused the lower IQ. We understand that spanking is more prevalent among those of lower socioeconomic status, and furthermore that those of a lower IQ are generally of lower socioeconomic status. It may simply be a coincidence.
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« Reply #142 on: September 25, 2009, 12:58:45 PM »

I'm bothered by the premise of this study. Educated/rich parents can be just as cruel to their children. It seems to say that poor/uneducated people are so unenlightened that they hit their children. That may be true for some, but the majority of people aren't complete idiots. Maybe it depends on the part of the country/world someone is from, but in this region spanking is not considered wrong by most anyone, and I don't see packs of Neanderthals roaming the streets.

When I was a child, my parents had specific things I would be spanked for (lying, disrespect, and disobedience). When they did it, they sat me down and told me what I did wrong and why it was wrong, then I was punished. It was systematic, consistent, and effective I think.

That's different than flying into a rage and beating the child mercilessly, which is clearly wrong, but I support corporal punishment (spanking, teachers hitting fingers with rulers, etc) when it's done in a consistent way, and not to excess or injury.
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« Reply #143 on: September 25, 2009, 01:02:31 PM »

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Are you ridiculing him in Eskimo? Grin

I wish I knew a few of the native languages up there.  But, alas, no.
It was a reference to last week's episode of Big Bang Theory. Who knew "post hoc ergo propter hoc" could be pop culture?
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« Reply #144 on: September 25, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Are you ridiculing him in Eskimo? Grin


laugh laugh laugh

I think it probably has more to do, as the article suggests, with socioeconomic status than it does with any actual link between spanking and IQ.  An earlier study in this thread mentioned that kids from low income families tend to be spanked more and that low income parents are often less educated, which could hinder their children's opportunities to learn as well.  This latest article seems to more proof that correlation is not the same as causation.

Well, the article I posted suggests that they were able to rule out socioeconomic factors.  I'm not sold on it, but since the headline appeared today I had thought it would be useful.
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« Reply #145 on: September 25, 2009, 01:09:28 PM »

I'm bothered by the premise of this study. Educated/rich parents can be just as cruel to their children. It seems to say that poor/uneducated people are so unenlightened that they hit their children. That may be true for some, but the majority of people aren't complete idiots. Maybe it depends on the part of the country/world someone is from, but in this region spanking is not considered wrong by most anyone, and I don't see packs of Neanderthals roaming the streets.
I don't think you understand the premise of this study. We aren't concerned with whether spanking is cruel; that's not a scientific question. Nor are we concerned with why parents spank; that isn't a scientific question either. We are concerned with their educational level, but we aren't going to label anyone a "complete idiot" or a "Neanderthal." We are concerned with the parents' place of origin, but we're not concerned with whether spanking is considered right or wrong.

What we are concerned with in this study is who spanks and with what frequency, and what are the effects of that spanking? Personally, I think the study has some innate flaws, and the researcher seems to be jumping to conclusions (and without the requisite mat, I might add), but it is a scientific study nonetheless. The only purpose of a scientific study is to determine what is happening and to draw possible connections to other related events. Scientific studies do not judge people's character or ethics; in fact, to say so is called projection, and projection is a very unscientific thing to do.
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« Reply #146 on: September 25, 2009, 01:10:12 PM »

Both groups of kids got smarter after four years. But the 2- to 4-year-olds who were spanked scored 5 points lower on the IQ test than those not spanked. For children ages 5 to 9, the spanked ones scored on average 2.8 points lower than their unspanked counterparts.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

In the study's defense, most Psychological studies (like this one) do not claim to prove/disprove causality, only reasonable and significant correlations.

Besides, what really is 5 points IQ difference.  Really?  I didn't do the study but that does not seem, to me, to be statistically significant.

Over a large group?  Yes, it is significant.  Person-by-person?  Not a whole lot.
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« Reply #147 on: September 25, 2009, 01:12:21 PM »

What we are concerned with in this study is who spanks and with what frequency, and what are the effects of that spanking? Personally, I think the study has some innate flaws, and the researcher seems to be jumping to conclusions (and without the requisite mat, I might add), but it is a scientific study nonetheless. The only purpose of a scientific study is to determine what is happening and to draw possible connections to other related events. Scientific studies do not judge people's character or ethics; in fact, to say so is called projection, and projection is a very unscientific thing to do.

Agreed.

Personally, I think the study has some innate flaws,

I'm interested to hear your take.  I'd like to see if your objections are the same as mine.

(and without the requisite mat, I might add)

Nice reference.  Almost got one for my sister last year.
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« Reply #148 on: September 25, 2009, 01:15:05 PM »

Well, the article I posted suggests that they were able to rule out socioeconomic factors.
The researcher seems to think so, but I'm not convinced. Socioeconomic status determines social and educational opportunities; more affluent parents are more likely to have better schools, and their children are more likely to be able to attend social events, even ones of a relatively long distance, while those of low SES are not likely to attend such events. From what I understand, there seems to be an inverse relationship between social aptitude and frequency of misbehaviour, and therefore it stands to reason that children who receive more and appropriate social opportunities are less likely to misbehave, and therefore less likely to receive punishment of any kind, than their counterparts who received fewer such opportunities. I'm not convinced the researcher has accounted for this discrepancy.
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« Reply #149 on: September 25, 2009, 01:24:04 PM »

Well, the article I posted suggests that they were able to rule out socioeconomic factors.
The researcher seems to think so, but I'm not convinced. Socioeconomic status determines social and educational opportunities; more affluent parents are more likely to have better schools, and their children are more likely to be able to attend social events, even ones of a relatively long distance, while those of low SES are not likely to attend such events. From what I understand, there seems to be an inverse relationship between social aptitude and frequency of misbehaviour, and therefore it stands to reason that children who receive more and appropriate social opportunities are less likely to misbehave, and therefore less likely to receive punishment of any kind, than their counterparts who received fewer such opportunities. I'm not convinced the researcher has accounted for this discrepancy.

The way I read it, the researcher meant to stress that they'd made reasonable steps to minimise the effect of socioeconomic status - leaving unsaid the accepted fact that you cannot totally remove such a thing from the equation.
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« Reply #150 on: September 25, 2009, 01:25:19 PM »

Well, the article I posted suggests that they were able to rule out socioeconomic factors.
The researcher seems to think so, but I'm not convinced. Socioeconomic status determines social and educational opportunities; more affluent parents are more likely to have better schools, and their children are more likely to be able to attend social events, even ones of a relatively long distance, while those of low SES are not likely to attend such events. From what I understand, there seems to be an inverse relationship between social aptitude and frequency of misbehaviour, and therefore it stands to reason that children who receive more and appropriate social opportunities are less likely to misbehave, and therefore less likely to receive punishment of any kind, than their counterparts who received fewer such opportunities. I'm not convinced the researcher has accounted for this discrepancy.  

Maybe not "less likely to misbehave" as much as "less likely to misbehave in a manner that would elicit a spanking response" - they're less likely to break things or get into fisticuffs, but they'll still have their own ways of getting into trouble.
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« Reply #151 on: September 25, 2009, 01:30:56 PM »

Well, the article I posted suggests that they were able to rule out socioeconomic factors.
The researcher seems to think so, but I'm not convinced. Socioeconomic status determines social and educational opportunities; more affluent parents are more likely to have better schools, and their children are more likely to be able to attend social events, even ones of a relatively long distance, while those of low SES are not likely to attend such events. From what I understand, there seems to be an inverse relationship between social aptitude and frequency of misbehaviour, and therefore it stands to reason that children who receive more and appropriate social opportunities are less likely to misbehave, and therefore less likely to receive punishment of any kind, than their counterparts who received fewer such opportunities. I'm not convinced the researcher has accounted for this discrepancy.  

Maybe not "less likely to misbehave" as much as "less likely to misbehave in a manner that would elicit a spanking response" - they're less likely to break things or get into fisticuffs, but they'll still have their own ways of getting into trouble.
True. I understand kids will still get themselves into trouble, but I'm defining "misbehaviour" to mean "socially unacceptable behaviour." Children (and adults for that matter) with a high social aptitude are likely to conform to the norms of whatever social setting they are in. Such children do still do things against their authorities' wishes, but usually in contexts in which such behaviour is seen as socially acceptable, such as with a group of friends with little to no supervision.
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« Reply #152 on: September 25, 2009, 01:31:15 PM »

Well, the article I posted suggests that they were able to rule out socioeconomic factors.
The researcher seems to think so, but I'm not convinced. Socioeconomic status determines social and educational opportunities; more affluent parents are more likely to have better schools, and their children are more likely to be able to attend social events, even ones of a relatively long distance, while those of low SES are not likely to attend such events. From what I understand, there seems to be an inverse relationship between social aptitude and frequency of misbehaviour, and therefore it stands to reason that children who receive more and appropriate social opportunities are less likely to misbehave, and therefore less likely to receive punishment of any kind, than their counterparts who received fewer such opportunities. I'm not convinced the researcher has accounted for this discrepancy.  

The way I read it, the researcher meant to stress that they'd made reasonable steps to minimise the effect of socioeconomic status - leaving unsaid the accepted fact that you cannot totally remove such a thing from the equation.

Usually when a Psychological study says that they've factored out socioeconomic status, they're essentially saying 'IQ for poor kids who were spanked was lower than the non-spanked childrens' IQ by the same or a similar amount as IQ for rich kids who were spanked' (i.e. it wasn't a factor - kids who were spanked across socioeconomic strata all exhibited significant {a technical term} differences in IQ when compared to their non-spanked brethren).
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« Reply #153 on: September 25, 2009, 01:43:45 PM »

I'm bothered by the premise of this study. Educated/rich parents can be just as cruel to their children. It seems to say that poor/uneducated people are so unenlightened that they hit their children. That may be true for some, but the majority of people aren't complete idiots. Maybe it depends on the part of the country/world someone is from, but in this region spanking is not considered wrong by most anyone, and I don't see packs of Neanderthals roaming the streets.
I don't think you understand the premise of this study. We aren't concerned with whether spanking is cruel; that's not a scientific question. Nor are we concerned with why parents spank; that isn't a scientific question either. We are concerned with their educational level, but we aren't going to label anyone a "complete idiot" or a "Neanderthal." We are concerned with the parents' place of origin, but we're not concerned with whether spanking is considered right or wrong.

What we are concerned with in this study is who spanks and with what frequency, and what are the effects of that spanking? Personally, I think the study has some innate flaws, and the researcher seems to be jumping to conclusions (and without the requisite mat, I might add), but it is a scientific study nonetheless. The only purpose of a scientific study is to determine what is happening and to draw possible connections to other related events. Scientific studies do not judge people's character or ethics; in fact, to say so is called projection, and projection is a very unscientific thing to do.

I understand. I think I misread the article excerpt. I do wonder how spanking is tied to the child's IQ though, that doesn't make sense to me.
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« Reply #154 on: September 25, 2009, 02:13:15 PM »

Quote
Usually when a Psychological study says that they've factored out socioeconomic status, they're essentially saying 'IQ for poor kids who were spanked was lower than the non-spanked childrens' IQ by the same or a similar amount as IQ for rich kids who were spanked' (i.e. it wasn't a factor - kids who were spanked across socioeconomic strata all exhibited significant {a technical term} differences in IQ when compared to their non-spanked brethren)

Ah, ok, I get it, thanks. I was assuming they meant they were pretty sure they'd compensated adequately for it.

Quote
I understand. I think I misread the article excerpt. I do wonder how spanking is tied to the child's IQ though, that doesn't make sense to me.

Well, I guess it could affect a child's IQ if that child is traumatised and thus less able to learn and develop? But I'm not at all convinced. I think there are better reasons not to spank children, anyhow.
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« Reply #155 on: September 25, 2009, 05:02:22 PM »

Quote
I understand. I think I misread the article excerpt. I do wonder how spanking is tied to the child's IQ though, that doesn't make sense to me.

Well, I guess it could affect a child's IQ if that child is traumatised and thus less able to learn and develop? But I'm not at all convinced. I think there are better reasons not to spank children, anyhow.

Usually the things that hamper IQ developmentally (versus chemically/biologically) do so through reducing challenges in the child's life; the more complex neural networks the kid builds, the more intelligent they can become.  That's one of the reasons why it's great to play orchestral music to children: trying to follow all the different parts is a greater challenge than, say, hearing a band with only a bass, lead guitar, and drums.  That's why many people encourage learning the keyboard/piano: it's not only engaging all fingers and possibly even a foot, but it's managing multiple sounds (up to 10 or 12) at once.

I suppose the developmental problem with spanking would be that it absolutely simplifies the action-punishment loop, not only in complexity but also through taking it to a more basic level of interaction (versus, say,  punishment like time out which engages one a bit more cognitively than a sore rear end).  By simplifying the loop (and including pain in the equation), there is less engagement & desire in learning why something is wrong, only a desire to learn how to get around it (which kids will try and do anyway).

The catch in all this: childhood IQ is not an accurate/reliable predictor of adult IQ (or at least it wasn't the last time I had to study this, which was 5-7 years ago).  Adolescence does such a number on so many systems in the body that it is very possible for a low IQ child to become a high IQ adult or vice versa.  Of course, this also speaks to the importance of good environment during the adolescent years, when intelligence is again very malleable (as it is between ages 2 and 6).
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« Reply #156 on: September 25, 2009, 05:56:12 PM »

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I understand. I think I misread the article excerpt. I do wonder how spanking is tied to the child's IQ though, that doesn't make sense to me.

Well, I guess it could affect a child's IQ if that child is traumatised and thus less able to learn and develop? But I'm not at all convinced. I think there are better reasons not to spank children, anyhow.

Usually the things that hamper IQ developmentally (versus chemically/biologically) do so through reducing challenges in the child's life; the more complex neural networks the kid builds, the more intelligent they can become.  That's one of the reasons why it's great to play orchestral music to children: trying to follow all the different parts is a greater challenge than, say, hearing a band with only a bass, lead guitar, and drums.  That's why many people encourage learning the keyboard/piano: it's not only engaging all fingers and possibly even a foot, but it's managing multiple sounds (up to 10 or 12) at once.

I suppose the developmental problem with spanking would be that it absolutely simplifies the action-punishment loop, not only in complexity but also through taking it to a more basic level of interaction (versus, say,  punishment like time out which engages one a bit more cognitively than a sore rear end).  By simplifying the loop (and including pain in the equation), there is less engagement & desire in learning why something is wrong, only a desire to learn how to get around it (which kids will try and do anyway).

The catch in all this: childhood IQ is not an accurate/reliable predictor of adult IQ (or at least it wasn't the last time I had to study this, which was 5-7 years ago).  Adolescence does such a number on so many systems in the body that it is very possible for a low IQ child to become a high IQ adult or vice versa.  Of course, this also speaks to the importance of good environment during the adolescent years, when intelligence is again very malleable (as it is between ages 2 and 6).

Severe trauma or abuse can cause lowered IQ. As I understand it, it's because (out of the various 'coping mechanisms' that children use), they may compartmentalize or block out what's happening, or they may revert to younger behaviours. Both of these can affect their development. While I think spanking is wrong and harmful, I don't think it would be likely to have the same effect as severe trauma, though.

I would have thought that a child with a low IQ who became an adult with a high IQ is most likely an example of how IQ tests don't always work perfectly. Intelligence is malleable, but IQ tests are not a perfect way of assessing intelligence. But I'm getting off-topic ...
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« Reply #157 on: September 25, 2009, 07:26:14 PM »

Usually when a Psychological study says that they've factored out socioeconomic status, they're essentially saying 'IQ for poor kids who were spanked was lower than the non-spanked childrens' IQ by the same or a similar amount as IQ for rich kids who were spanked' (i.e. it wasn't a factor - kids who were spanked across socioeconomic strata all exhibited significant {a technical term} differences in IQ when compared to their non-spanked brethren).
I see. Yes, if the researcher found this, then SES would not be an issue. The article made it seem as though they simply were not considering it.

I do have a couple of other questions: 1) Why does the spanked group appear to gain on the unspanked group from 5 to 9? If spanking lowers IQ, shouldn't the IQ spread grow?

2) Does the frequency and severity of the spanking affect the drop in IQ? If there is a true causation, we ought to see those who are spanked often and severely with a lower IQ than those who are spanked infrequently and not as severely.
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« Reply #158 on: September 25, 2009, 07:30:09 PM »

2) Does the frequency and severity of the spanking affect the drop in IQ? If there is a true causation, we ought to see those who are spanked often and severely with a lower IQ than those who are spanked infrequently and not as severely.

Questions like these make me wish I had a subscription to one of the online journal sites, or a full library site, where full versions of the research would be visible.  If I remember, I can see if my mom has access.
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« Reply #159 on: September 26, 2009, 06:47:15 AM »

2) Does the frequency and severity of the spanking affect the drop in IQ? If there is a true causation, we ought to see those who are spanked often and severely with a lower IQ than those who are spanked infrequently and not as severely.

Questions like these make me wish I had a subscription to one of the online journal sites, or a full library site, where full versions of the research would be visible.  If I remember, I can see if my mom has access.

I've got access if you know what you want me to look up? Or where? I'm still just learning psychology and haven't got far into it yet.

Btw, I reckon studies like this are hampered by the fact that the researchers can hardly sit around watching child abuse! They must have a cut-off point for when spanking becomes something unacceptable, or they'd have people accusing them of all sorts.
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« Reply #160 on: October 01, 2009, 12:26:43 AM »

As the mother of three boys, I have found that my own self-restraint, willingness to apologize, honesty, consistency, and love have been examples that my sons have chosen for their behavior toward me and others -- as they've gotten older.  That being said, my sons all have dramatically different personalities.  The same method of getting their attention has not worked for all of them all the time.  The older two are cerebral, quiet and reserved.  The youngest came into the world with testosterone and attitude, and a desire to control his environment.  He has been a challenge, and there have been times when a loud voice or  physical contact was a surprise, an attention-getter, and was effective abruptly stopping an action where he may have harmed himself or others. In public, people may think you shout at your child all the time; too bad, at least he didn't run into the parking lot and get hit by that car.  When actions did not meet clearly stated objectives, I would hold onto an earlobe, gently, because my holding the earlobe was adequate: the boy would settle down, slow down, pay attention to what I was saying, and when we agreed on acceptable behavior, was released.  They were in control of how much discomfort they had, they could control their actions, because if they did not, their own actions made them uncomfortable.  I rarely had to use this tactic twice in one day, or even one week, but it was effective.

As for a swat on the backside, that was a tactic that brought out quiet defiance in me as a child, I refused to cry.  I didn't consider it a great tool, and rarely resorted to it, and certainly never when I was frustrated, because it would only demonstrate that I had lost control of the situation.  The only time I remember using it, was when I was driving a two-lane highway in extremely heavy fog one morning.  The youngest, who was three and did not want the humiliation of a car seat (I KID YOU NOT he has always thought of himself as a fully grown man, and at fourteen finally realizes he is not) learned to unbuckle himself, and got out of the middle seat of the van (so positioned to isolate him from his two older brothers), went to the back seat and began punching his brothers.  (Not all children learn this from abuse, some children are wired this way; his brothers have always been gentle.)  I pulled to the side, put him back in the carseat, told him he had to stay in his seat, and drove about fifty feet, and he was out punching them again.  I pulled to the side, cars flying by, and paddled him, told him he was paddled for hurting his brothers, and not obeying me, and not being safe, and put him back in the carseat.  I drove fifty feet and he was out again.  This time, although against state law, I put him in a seatbelt, and drove off without another incident.  My rationale was that i could not continue to endanger the entire family by stopping at the side of the road in heavy fog.  The 'spanking' didn't work.  Addressing the child's issue, although not a winner for law and order, kept him in the seat for the rest of the trip which did not endanger the family, did not continue the abuse of his brothers, did not distract me from driving in terrible weather, and got us to our destination in one piece.

I don't like spanking, but that doesn't mean that physical discomfort is not an effective attention-getter, and behavior modifier.  It doesn't have to be painful, and it can be a learning experience.
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« Reply #161 on: October 01, 2009, 02:15:29 AM »

The only time I remember using it, was when I was driving a two-lane highway in extremely heavy fog one morning.  The youngest, who was three and did not want the humiliation of a car seat (I KID YOU NOT he has always thought of himself as a fully grown man, and at fourteen finally realizes he is not) learned to unbuckle himself, and got out of the middle seat of the van (so positioned to isolate him from his two older brothers), went to the back seat and began punching his brothers.  (Not all children learn this from abuse, some children are wired this way; his brothers have always been gentle.)  I pulled to the side, put him back in the carseat, told him he had to stay in his seat, and drove about fifty feet, and he was out punching them again.  I pulled to the side, cars flying by, and paddled him, told him he was paddled for hurting his brothers, and not obeying me, and not being safe, and put him back in the carseat.  I drove fifty feet and he was out again.  This time, although against state law, I put him in a seatbelt, and drove off without another incident.  My rationale was that i could not continue to endanger the entire family by stopping at the side of the road in heavy fog.  The 'spanking' didn't work.  Addressing the child's issue, although not a winner for law and order, kept him in the seat for the rest of the trip which did not endanger the family, did not continue the abuse of his brothers, did not distract me from driving in terrible weather, and got us to our destination in one piece.

I don't like spanking, but that doesn't mean that physical discomfort is not an effective attention-getter, and behavior modifier.  It doesn't have to be painful, and it can be a learning experience.

I used a harness/backpack on my 4 year old son for the first time and discovered how safe the harness was for both of us.  I am usually against harnesses; however, I do not doubt their effectiveness.  I didn't use the harness when he went for his haircut.  My future ex-wife only told me not to let our son know that the harness was a form of punishment (which it isn't).

I never laid a hand on my son and never will.  My son has yet to figure out how to escape his car seat.  When that day comes, he goes into a booster seat without argument from his mother nor from his grandmother who trains school bus drivers.   Smiley
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« Reply #162 on: October 01, 2009, 07:54:10 PM »

I do look back and laugh about these things.  My youngest brother had a harness.  It saved his life more than once.  It is a shame people who've never had children like ours can be so judgmental. I don't believe in breaking such spirit, but channeling it.  My brother (evangelical-fundamentalist) took the opposite approach, and his oldest son and he have a very strained relationship now.  I took a lot of heat for the way I have raised mine, but they love the God and the Church, no drugs, no sex, no records, and great grades, oldest a senior at UCB. 

I am blessed.
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« Reply #163 on: October 02, 2009, 04:28:32 AM »

Why are harnesses thought of as punishment? We had one with little bells on and as I recall one of my brothers was very fond of the noise they made!
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« Reply #164 on: October 02, 2009, 11:15:36 AM »

Liz,

we were living overseas in 1960-64.  The harness was pale blue leather with bells.  He liked the noise he made, too.  Here in the states, people equate them with dog leases and are horrified that someone would treat their child as they would an animal.  It is a cultural bias.

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« Reply #165 on: October 04, 2009, 04:24:41 PM »

In my limited experience as a father, I have found formal spanking effective but really very very rarely necessary. Thank God.
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« Reply #166 on: October 04, 2009, 10:23:09 PM »

In my limited experience as a father, I have found formal spanking effective but really very very rarely necessary. Thank God.
Really, any method that is used rarely is going to be more effective than one used frequently. Kids gain a resistance to punishments.
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« Reply #167 on: October 05, 2009, 12:56:01 AM »

In my limited experience as a father, I have found formal spanking effective but really very very rarely necessary. Thank God.
Really, any method that is used rarely is going to be more effective than one used frequently. Kids gain a resistance to punishments.

Sharp pains on the backside is a great motivator though.  Wink
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« Reply #168 on: October 11, 2009, 08:58:42 PM »

Quote
What about time out? The child is crying hysterically. Send them to their room until they can calm down enough to properly evaluate their behaviour.

So the kid will just get used to being alone in his room.  Not a desirable outcome as far as I'm concerned, and not really a punishment at all. 

What it is is a break for mom & dad.  And to be honest if you're to the point that you need to get away from your kids something is already very wrong.  What did people do before every kid had his own room and it wasn't possible to shut him up just by popping in a Disney video?

I would have to disagree here. My mother did spank my sister and I occasionally, but more often than not she used a "time-out." To my sister and I, this was worse than a tap on the bottom.

Why?

My parents intentionally did not keep a TV or any toys in our bedrooms. Our bedrooms had clothing and a bed in them. They were functional; *not* play rooms. Toys were kept in the play room.

When we were sent to our rooms (usually for 15 minutes at a shot) it drove us crazy because we were being cut off from everyone else who was having fun. I remember when my sister was 4 or 5 at the time, she was so upset about being sent to her room, she tried throwing her body against the door to break the door down! (Unfortunately at that age she didn't realize that pounding the door INTO the door jam did not help her cause!)

Also, a tap on the bottom, it stung for a minute and you were over it. A time-out (which lead to grounding as we got older) denied us of the most important thing to a child; being able to play with our friends!

While I think spanking works for very young children, as children get older, I think time-outs and grounding are more effective.

Just my two cents.
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« Reply #169 on: October 12, 2009, 12:39:36 AM »

What do you do with kids who don't care about a time-out?  My middle son would just lay on his bed, stare at the ceiling smiling and be perfectly content.  He is also the child who as a toddler didn't care if someone took his toys.  He is the one who didn't want anything for Christmas or his birthday.  It is hard to 'take something away' from a child who doesn't care about it; and conversely, it's tough to use a reward as an incentive when a child doesn't care about anything.  To this day, he has never developed an interest or a passion about or for anything.  Yet, intellectually he is the brightest of the three of my sons.  But, he could care less about turning an assignment in for a grade, or the grades themselves.  I love him, he's the most empathetic and compassionate child you'll ever meet.  He's just not like other kids.  Some times I think, "he'll make a great monastic."  Who knows?
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« Reply #170 on: October 12, 2009, 05:18:05 PM »

What do you do with kids who don't care about a time-out?
Then you find a punishment that works for them. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again, more clearly this time:

Every child is different. There is no one right way to raise a child. The mere fact that someone parents their child the same as you parent yours does not validate your parenting style; conversely, the mere fact that someone parents their child differently from how you parent yours does not invalidate your parenting style. Just find the style that works for you and your children.

There. I hope that clarifies some things.
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« Reply #171 on: October 12, 2009, 06:01:39 PM »

Then you find a punishment that works for them. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again, more clearly this time:

Every child is different. There is no one right way to raise a child. The mere fact that someone parents their child the same as you parent yours does not validate your parenting style; conversely, the mere fact that someone parents their child differently from how you parent yours does not invalidate your parenting style. Just find the style that works for you and your children.

There. I hope that clarifies some things.

Please refrain from introducing logic into the conversation. It ruins all the fun.  j/k Tongue  Grin  Wink  Cheesy
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« Reply #172 on: October 13, 2009, 10:08:15 PM »

I apologize.  My comment must have seemed the dull remarks of a dull mother.  I try to put forth my most positive outlook, but I assure you my concern is heartfelt.  I have not been able to find a way to motivate my son who is very close to not graduating high school in eighteen months.  He is a wonderful, intelligent young man, and my love and concern for him have impacted my already poor health.  I keep hoping that there is one parent out there who has had a child like mine, and found a way to work with them and would be willing to share their experience.  Perhaps there is.  However, it is not you.
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« Reply #173 on: October 13, 2009, 10:16:41 PM »

I apologize.  My comment must have seemed the dull remarks of a dull mother.  I try to put forth my most positive outlook, but I assure you my concern is heartfelt.  I have not been able to find a way to motivate my son who is very close to not graduating high school in eighteen months.  He is a wonderful, intelligent young man, and my love and concern for him have impacted my already poor health.  I keep hoping that there is one parent out there who has had a child like mine, and found a way to work with them and would be willing to share their experience.  Perhaps there is.  However, it is not you.

I don't know if this will help, but I work with a lot of problem youth.  I try to help them see the big picture and walk them through the consequences of their current actions, then I help them see the consequences of alternative, more positive paths.  It doesn't always work, but sometimes someone has led such a chaotic life they can't see clearly past their immediate needs and desires. Rather than being judgmental its easier to say, "if you continue like this, this is the type of job you'll get, this is how much money you'll make, this is the life you'll lead, etc." all in a very matter of fact way. I'll try to find something they really want to do in life like travel Europe, run a business, etc. then I'll show them the steps it takes to accomplish this goal.  With enough patience and gentle reinforcement you can help them onto a new path.

Feel free to send me a message if you like and I'll try to help more.

And I have 6 children by the way.
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« Reply #174 on: October 26, 2009, 05:47:49 AM »

Lovely. Good for you. Since you're so keen on not instilling any undesirable childhood behaviours (you don't want them to become used to 'being alone in their room'; you don't want to get onto 'their level'), why doesn't it bother you that you're teaching your child that a violent retaliation to their misdemenour is rightly best forgotten 'after no more than a couple of minutes'? Would you want your adult daughter or son to feel this way with a violent partner?

If you truly can manage to hit without hurting, good for you. If you can do it with a calm, not angry spirit, even better. But in that case, how is it a punishment? What does it achieve if all you are actually doing is tapping your child's hand?

Either it hurts, and therefore 'works' but has the potential to damage a child. Or, it doesn't hurt, and therefore works purely because of the humiliation-message attached to the action. If the latter, why choose this method of humiliating and not another?

Mainly I think it's humiliating, yes.

Quote
I assume you have never been hit with a wooden paddle if you think that doesn't hurt. A child's skin is very thin and tender, and trust me, I'm an adult and it would hurt me to be hit with a piece of wood!

So let him experience a little pain. 

What's wrong with a little so-called violence in and of itself?  It's a spanking, not the holocaust.
When Jesus went into the temple with a cat o' nine tails and drove out the moneychangers do you suppose that hurt?  I bet it did.

This preoccupation with nonviolence is a modern one.  In my opinion just about every modern idea is a failure, especially with regard to raising children.  My granddad raised several fine children and made liberal use of the strap.  I bet if I used his methods I could duplicate his results.
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« Reply #175 on: October 26, 2009, 08:21:14 AM »

When Jesus went into the temple with a cat o' nine tails and drove out the moneychangers do you suppose that hurt?  I bet it did.
What? Where do get this idea? And what does it have to do with spanking?
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« Reply #176 on: October 26, 2009, 11:35:45 AM »

What's wrong with a little so-called violence in and of itself?  It's a spanking, not the holocaust.
When Jesus went into the temple with a cat o' nine tails and drove out the moneychangers do you suppose that hurt?  I bet it did.

I don't know if you've ever used a whip before, but it is most effective against a crowd when used to "drive out," rather than "strike."  That is, when it's whipped against the ground near people, but not hitting them; the noise and the prospect of pain drive people away more than the pain itself.  My guess is that Jesus would have been assaulted if he had actually struck someone with a whip in the Temple precincts, or at least arrested on the spot.

This preoccupation with nonviolence is a modern one. 

I highly doubt it; maybe you should have written "this preoccupation with nonviolence is a Christian one."

In my opinion just about every modern idea is a failure, especially with regard to raising children.  My granddad raised several fine children and made liberal use of the strap.  I bet if I used his methods I could duplicate his results.

You'll only duplicate his results if presented with the exact same circumstances, which is scientifically and practically impossible since human beings are involved.  Maybe you should have said "approximate his results."

As to actually responding to your statement: maybe you can, maybe you can't.  However, one does have to admit even the smallest degree of hypocrisy present when teaching kids to not hurt or assault loved ones & others, yet using physical violence to correct their behaviors.
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« Reply #177 on: October 26, 2009, 09:22:14 PM »

Lovely. Good for you. Since you're so keen on not instilling any undesirable childhood behaviours (you don't want them to become used to 'being alone in their room'; you don't want to get onto 'their level'), why doesn't it bother you that you're teaching your child that a violent retaliation to their misdemenour is rightly best forgotten 'after no more than a couple of minutes'? Would you want your adult daughter or son to feel this way with a violent partner?

If you truly can manage to hit without hurting, good for you. If you can do it with a calm, not angry spirit, even better. But in that case, how is it a punishment? What does it achieve if all you are actually doing is tapping your child's hand?

Either it hurts, and therefore 'works' but has the potential to damage a child. Or, it doesn't hurt, and therefore works purely because of the humiliation-message attached to the action. If the latter, why choose this method of humiliating and not another?

Mainly I think it's humiliating, yes.

Quote
I assume you have never been hit with a wooden paddle if you think that doesn't hurt. A child's skin is very thin and tender, and trust me, I'm an adult and it would hurt me to be hit with a piece of wood!

So let him experience a little pain.

What's wrong with a little so-called violence in and of itself?  It's a spanking, not the holocaust.
When Jesus went into the temple with a cat o' nine tails and drove out the moneychangers do you suppose that hurt?  I bet it did.

This preoccupation with nonviolence is a modern one.  In my opinion just about every modern idea is a failure, especially with regard to raising children.  My granddad raised several fine children and made liberal use of the strap.  I bet if I used his methods I could duplicate his results.

My argument is that I do not consider this to be a 'little' pain. How can you pick up your child and comfort it when it falls over, or whatever, and cries, if you also hurt it? The preoccupation with nonviolence may be modern (although throughout history a minority of people have argued against corporal punishment of children). But penicillin is also modern; so is our knowledge of mental illness; so is the recognition that smoking is harmful rather than healthy. Modern doesn't necessarily equal bad. As I said in an earlier post, the fact that not all children who have been hit, have been damaged, is not in my view a good enough reason to continue hitting children. To me, this is like saying that not all people who smoke get cancer: true, but why take the risk?
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Clancy Boy
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« Reply #178 on: October 27, 2009, 07:05:17 AM »

Lovely. Good for you. Since you're so keen on not instilling any undesirable childhood behaviours (you don't want them to become used to 'being alone in their room'; you don't want to get onto 'their level'), why doesn't it bother you that you're teaching your child that a violent retaliation to their misdemenour is rightly best forgotten 'after no more than a couple of minutes'? Would you want your adult daughter or son to feel this way with a violent partner?

If you truly can manage to hit without hurting, good for you. If you can do it with a calm, not angry spirit, even better. But in that case, how is it a punishment? What does it achieve if all you are actually doing is tapping your child's hand?

Either it hurts, and therefore 'works' but has the potential to damage a child. Or, it doesn't hurt, and therefore works purely because of the humiliation-message attached to the action. If the latter, why choose this method of humiliating and not another?

Mainly I think it's humiliating, yes.

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I assume you have never been hit with a wooden paddle if you think that doesn't hurt. A child's skin is very thin and tender, and trust me, I'm an adult and it would hurt me to be hit with a piece of wood!

So let him experience a little pain.

What's wrong with a little so-called violence in and of itself?  It's a spanking, not the holocaust.
When Jesus went into the temple with a cat o' nine tails and drove out the moneychangers do you suppose that hurt?  I bet it did.

This preoccupation with nonviolence is a modern one.  In my opinion just about every modern idea is a failure, especially with regard to raising children.  My granddad raised several fine children and made liberal use of the strap.  I bet if I used his methods I could duplicate his results.

My argument is that I do not consider this to be a 'little' pain. How can you pick up your child and comfort it when it falls over, or whatever, and cries, if you also hurt it? The preoccupation with nonviolence may be modern (although throughout history a minority of people have argued against corporal punishment of children). But penicillin is also modern; so is our knowledge of mental illness; so is the recognition that smoking is harmful rather than healthy. Modern doesn't necessarily equal bad. As I said in an earlier post, the fact that not all children who have been hit, have been damaged, is not in my view a good enough reason to continue hitting children. To me, this is like saying that not all people who smoke get cancer: true, but why take the risk?

Of course it's a little pain.  That's why you smack him one the meatiest part where it hurts least.  If you really want to hurt a kid I can think of much better ways.

And no, I don't want to take any risks, especially the risk that the kids might not turn out.

All I know is that kids raised 50 years ago were a lot better behaved than they are today.  They also had far fewer emotional and psychological issues.  Can't say absolutely the way they were disciplined is the reason, but I don't want to take that chance.
I also know that the kids my son associates with (we live in China) are astonishingly well-behaved.  I also know their parents employ corporal punishment.  Again, I can't say that's the reason, but I don't want to take that chance.

And I don't see the relationship between corporal punishment and violent behavior.  It sounds like it makes sense in theory but in practice I have never known this to be the case.  Sure if dad gets drunk and beats on his kids they'll probably turn out violent.  But again my grandfather spanked, and he was the kindest most gentle person I ever knew.

I think people should be more skeptical of ideas that sound good in theory but which do not produce the desired results.  Sometimes truth is counter-intuitive.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 07:09:40 AM by Clancy Boy » Logged
ytterbiumanalyst
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« Reply #179 on: October 27, 2009, 08:04:34 AM »

All I know is that kids raised 50 years ago were a lot better behaved than they are today.  They also had far fewer emotional and psychological issues.  Can't say absolutely the way they were disciplined is the reason, but I don't want to take that chance.
Really? We are talking about the 1950's and '60's, right? The time of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, the time of James Dean, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles? Perhaps you've blocked out the not-so-fond memories, but kids in those days were just as prone to rebellion and reckless actions as they are now. And they did have emotional and psychological issues; we just weren't as good at diagnosing them as we are now.

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I also know that the kids my son associates with (we live in China) are astonishingly well-behaved.  I also know their parents employ corporal punishment.  Again, I can't say that's the reason, but I don't want to take that chance.
I don't see how you can possibly isolate one variable, corporal punishment, in the entirety of a child's life experiences and say that was the one thing that caused them to turn out well. How many other things are your son's friends' parents doing to raise their children that contribute to their children's success? People talk about spanking as though it's the one thing that makes the difference between a paragon of society and an outlaw--such an idea is frankly ridiculous.

As I've said before, any good parent needs a variety of developmentally appropriate practices (and not just punishments, either) in order to raise good children. There is no one right answer. Maybe for your children, spanking is a part of good parenting, and maybe for someone else it's not, but parenting cannot be a set of right answers to which every parent must adhere. When dealing with children, there just aren't any right answers. So do what is best for your children; I'll do what's best for mine; and we'll both encourage all the parents we know to do what's best for their children. But let us not presume to know what that is.
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"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
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