Pink Says It's Okay to Spank Your Kids

Christie Haskell
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Let's pretend I know a parent who beat up on their daughter a bit and eventually kicked her out when she was 15. Would you look to that girl, now a grown-up without any kids of her own, for parenting advice? I'm going to guess you answered NO.

So why is Pink, who was that daughter, suggesting that her parents did a good job raising her, and other parents should mimic hers? She specifically says that the only reason she's still alive is because her father essentially beat her and she deserved it ... and she thinks it's a good idea to "beat the crap out of your kids."

I think the whole spanking thing and how it's gotten all [politically correct] is for the birds.

Um, logic train?

Pink isn't alone, though. Read any spanking post here on The Stir and you'll see people blame parents who don't spank for all the unruly, disrespectful kids out there. However, I don't feel there is actual support for this logic, and there's a lot of reasons why parenting experts don't support spanking.

One of the big reasons is often it continues a cycle of abuse (even if it's not viewed as such by the abused), much like Pink is doing. One of the things victims of abuse often deal with is personal guilt -- being told so much that everything is their fault and they deserve the abuse, again, like Pink. I think we can all agree that if a dad "puts his child through a wall" as she claims her father did, he needs to be in COURT, not applauded and pointed to as a good example of proper parenting.

ChildAbuse.com discusses spanking as something parents do when they've been taught that fear of power figures is the goal to parenting (it's not) and something most parents do not only because they themselves were hit, but because they have very unrealistic expectations of their children.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics, who has shown a history of being overly concerned with being politically correct, has said:

Corporal punishment is of limited effectiveness and has potentially deleterious side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents be encouraged and assisted in the development of methods other than spanking for managing undesired behavior.

They even go on to explain that the more a parent spanks, the less effective it becomes, and the more likely parents are to be more violent:

  • Spanking children <18 months of age increases the chance of physical injury, and the child is unlikely to understand the connection between the behavior and the punishment.
  • Although spanking may result in a reaction of shock by the child and cessation of the undesired behavior, repeated spanking may cause agitated, aggressive behavior in the child that may lead to physical altercation between parent and child.
  • Spanking models aggressive behavior as a solution to conflict and has been associated with increased aggression in preschool and school children.
  • Spanking and threats of spanking lead to altered parent-child relationships, making discipline substantially more difficult when physical punishment is no longer an option, such as with adolescents.
  • Spanking is no more effective as a long-term strategy than other approaches and reliance on spanking as a discipline approach makes other discipline strategies less effective to use. Time-out and positive reinforcement of other behaviors are more difficult to implement and take longer to become effective when spanking has previously been a primary method of discipline.
  • A pattern of spanking may be sustained or increased. Because spanking may provide the parent some relief from anger, the likelihood that the parent will spank the child in the future is increased.

So, if you follow their research-based logic (and that of other countries that have banned the practice entirely), the reason Pink was such a "trouble child" was probably because she was spanked and hit, and that her anger towards her parents and rebellion probably continued the abuse cycle until her father "put her through a wall," which obviously is completely unacceptable.

Maybe you approve of spanking -- tons of people do -- but to suggest that even more extreme physical violence is a good thing, and that people who don't spank have unruly children is just ridiculous -- in fact people who don't spank often report that if they have a terrible day and DO spank, it makes their child's behavior even worse and they have to start over from scratch.

Is there such thing as "good, beneficial hitting"? Some people think so. I don't, and I certainly think Pink should really get into some counseling before she suggests that her father is a positive role model for parenting, and especially before she has her own children.

What do you think of Pink's suggestion that "being put through a wall" is good parenting?

 

Image via Pink's Raise Your Glass music video


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