Coming to Your Daycare: Permission Slips for Spankings

Jeanne Sager

spankingComing soon to a daycare near you: permission slips to spank your kid! Stop shaking your head; you read that right. A child safety bill up for consideration in the South Carolina legislature would allow parents to write out permission slips for their daycare provider to spank their child. Who knows how long it will take Kendra's Law to get to your state?

At the heart, it's supposed to protect kids from the horrors that befell the proposed law's namesake, a little girl who was beaten by her babysitter, resulting in brain and retinal hemorrhaging. Daycare providers won't be able to smack their charges without a parent's written permission. Excuse me for being dense here, but we really need a law for this?

I'm by no means a spanking advocate, but even the most rabid "spare the rod, you're creating a brat" parents I know will tell you corporal punishment is a personal decision made by a child's parents. If someone else touches their child, they'd be calling in the cops.

I'll grant you they've got compelling arguments. A child who is spanked by Mom and Dad (spanked, not beaten) still gets love and affection from that parent. There is ostensibly a counterbalance to the violence of the act. That's not usually so with daycare providers. Even the most loving sitter is still not a parent who loves you unconditionally.

In the end, it's an argument that smacks of hypocrisy. If we're not OK with someone else hitting our kids, we shouldn't be doing it ourselves. Violence is violence, no matter who doles it out. And parents still account for 70 percent of the child abusers in this country; these people who gave their kids life are not the best judges of when enough is enough.

Which makes parents who would think nothing of signing off on this sort of permission slip even more of an issue. If they're not thinking about the myriad things that could go wrong with someone raising their hand to my child, are they thinking through their own actions? A daycare provider is not a child's parent. They should not have that sort of power, a power that can be so easily misused.

Would you sign off on a permission slip to allow someone else to spank your child?


Image via holisticmonkey/Flickr


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