Rethinking Sparing The Rod - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Rethinking Sparing The Rod

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I already know a lot of people are going to disagree with me but I have never been a big supporter of corporal punishment. Certainly not as a child when I endured a number of whippings for one thing or another. Thing is, I was never a bad kid. In fact, like the majority of children, I was a pretty well behaved boy who occasionally did bad things. And when I did, even then, hitting me never seemed to be an appropriate response. Nor did I think it would produce the desired result. Sure it temporarily stopped me from engaging in the behavior for which I was being punished, but beyond that, I never felt that spanking served any useful, long-term purpose.

Not only did my point of view not change as an adult, but I've become even more entrenched in my belief that spanking is more barbaric than beneficial; that it is not a permanent deterrent to whatever you're trying to stop your child from doing and could very well cause psychological damage that lasts years longer than a sore rear end.

Corporal punishment will not ensure that a child will grow up to become a productive member of society and could very well have the opposite effect by instilling the belief that violence is a legitimate way to get what you want.

And now there may be more evidence that spanking can be harmful to your child's health and well being. A recent study of 34,000 adults suggests that using harsh physical punishment may put them at higher risk of obesity, heart disease and arthritis. Harsh punishment was defined as being hit, slapped, and sometimes being pushed or grabbed. Scientists are quick to say that it is an association, not necessarily a cause of these afflictions. But certainly the study provides another measure of proof that hitting is probably not healthy.

Children need discipline. But I believe there are much more effective and less damaging alternatives to physical force. Sure, finding another form of punishment to deter a specific behavior may require more thought and effort than striking your child, but it could be worth it in the long run.

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