Sunday, February 13, 2005

Smack those kids!

Dobson's group, Focus on the Family, is disputing the findings of yet another study which shows that using corporal punishment has negative outcomes.

Dr. Bill Maier, Vice President and Psychologist in Residence for Focus on the Family, disputed psychologist Elizabeth Gershoff's assertions that spanking can lead to aggression, anti-social behavior and mental health problems in kids. Gershoff's study was published in a recent edition of the American Psychological Association's journal.

Spanking your kids can make them aggressive. It can make them anti-social. It can cause them to suffer higher levels of depression and make them more prone to commit suicide later in life.

What it won't do -- and the evidence on this is crystal clear -- what it won't do is make them better behaved, more respectful, or "more moral" kids. Nor will it make them behave in grocery stores, in case you're wondering.

Look, I'm a parent. Furthermore, I'm a parent that was raised in a family that believed -- boy, did they believe -- in belting kids. I got hit all the time, with everything you can name.

So I can understand the impulse to smack the kid when the kid is being impossible. And I can understand how it seems like "this will teach that kid who's in charge," or "this will show her" or whatever.

But it won't -- or it won't teach what you think it will.

And, frankly? If you go read Dobson's book? Read what he's actually saying, as opposed to what he thinks he's saying?

It's not moral behavior or ethics or good behavior or any of that he wanted to teach his kids: it's the same thing he wanted to teach that dog he walloped with the belt. Submission: that's what he's interested in teaching them.

He was deathly afraid of his nine pound dog. He was deathly afraid of his kids, and the women in his world, and everyone. No one could be allowed to challenge him, and if they did, they had to be beaten into submission at once.

Is that what you want to teach your kids?


Diane said...

James Dobson is human garbage, but he has a huge following. Hitting anyone (except in self defense, of course) is barbaric. Hitting someone much smaller than you is bullying. And when that is your own child, it is outrageous.

I get a lot of people in my practice who were hit when they were kids. I think people are getting more insight. I used to hear quite a bit of the "But I deserved it" stuff, but now I hear how frightened and angry it made them feel.

People who hit animals make me equally angry, but that is a bit different for me because the same person who is outraged by a pet getting hit will sit down and eat a meal of a factory farm animal that was tortured much more than that.

zelda1 said...

Hitting children was a big thing during my childhood, and I think my mama would agree that I wasn't better behaved for it, just better at hidding my infractions. I learned real quick in order to avoid being hit I better come up with a good story. But being hit made me angry; and since I was hit everyday of my life either by my mother or one of my older sibblings, I grew up in a perpetual state of anger. Now those anger issues are treated by drugs, good drugs I might add. So now when I see women hitting their children I go nuts and call the cops and make a scene. Children should never be hit, there is no excuse what-so-ever. I wouldn't surprise me to learn that Dobson's wife wears leather and carries a whip, with his obsession with submission, corporal punishment, and keeping order in your home. Order in your home. My God, if you can't be disorderly in your own home where in the hell can you let your hair down, jump on your bed, or crawl under the table to think.

Anonymous said...

you guys are the reasons kids are such little shits today. I hope you have 10 of them and they drive you nuts. Spanking a kid is good.