You've probably heard the news: children disciplined by spanking are happier, better students, more likely to want to go to college, more likely to be charitable, and are generally more successful in life that kids who aren't, according to a new study.
But here's the thing: You have to whack them when they're under 6 years old. If you institute spanking when they're older, they develop behavioral problems.
This explains a lot for me growing up.
My mom's weapon of choice was her favorite wooden spoon. I think I used it last weekend to stir spaghetti sauce when we were over the house for dinner. And you know, all things considered, I think of myself as pretty successful in career, relationship, social status, education ...
I don't remember what age she stopped spanking, but I was still pretty young.
So, it does work!
Seriously, though. I know a lot of parents disagree with spanking. Passionately so. Some view it as a form of child abuse. It's banned in many states, and many countries in Europe.
But I'm sorry. I just can't get riled over it. Spank or don't spank, what's the big deal. So many kids of my generation were spanked, and we didn't think anything of it. And like me, they turned out normal (or as normal as any normal person can be).
I don't spank my kids ... so far there hasn't been a need because they respond pretty well to non-physical forms of punishment, and why hurt my own hand if I don't have to. Not that I haven't been tempted or thought that a good paddle on the butt every once in a while was called for.
All this from a former spanked child who grew up otherwise healthy and happy, and who still loves and shows no resentment whatsoever for my mother. And perhaps the most telling of all, I'm still able to eat spaghetti without flashbacks or panic attacks.
What's your reaction to the news that spanking is actually good for a lot of kids?