So yet another new study has yet another take on the dos and don’ts of parenting. This one says that the more a child is spanked the lower their IQs. (CLICK HERE TO READ IT)
That’s definitely food for thought since of course most parents want smart kids, as evidenced by the boom in Baby Einstein dvds and college prep courses available for kindergarteners.
Thing is, I don’t know too many parents who spank nowadays. At least not on a regular basis. At least they don’t admit it. Know why? Because like naming a sports team “Indians”, spanking is no longer politically correct.
I don’t know exactly WHEN this happened. But unfortunately for me, it didn’t happen soon enough.
Was a time (when I was a kid) that spanking was the punishment of choice.
Parents felt free not only to spank their kids on a regular basis for any infraction, but to do so in front of others – in supermarkets or department stores or in the concession line at a movie theater – without any repercussions. I saw kids get spanked all over the place. And no one said anything about it because it wasn’t considered their business. How one disciplined their child was private matter… even if they chose to do it in a public place. In fact, as kids, we were always careful not to provoke our parents in public knowing full well we’d get clobbered in front of people, which was worse than the spanking itself. The humiliation factor and all.
Now I grew up an Army Brat. My Stepdad was career military. My mom was full-blooded Italian. So discipline in our household alternated between “the belt” and “the wooden spoon”. You can imagine who used what. Neither was pleasant. But we could usually outrun our mom (she insisted on wearing high heels even while cooking). The knick-knacks incurred more damage than we usually did. Of course, when that happened, we got blamed not only for the original infraction but also for the broken vase or lamp or those awful glass grapes that took up space on the coffee table. And then, the punishment duties would be handed over to my Stepdad.
Not only did he mean business when he spanked us, he made sure there was no fabric between the belt and the back of your legs. There were more than a few days that I had to wear longer skirts to school to cover up my “punishment”.
As bad as we had it, I remember one little Asian boy who had been adopted by a childless American couple who lived in our building in Frankfurt, Germany. His parents made him wear a wooden paddle on a strap around his neck, all day, every day. On the paddle were the words, “If I am bad, you may spank me.”
I am not even kidding. All us kids in the hood knew about discipline. We all had dads who had been through boot camp and seemed to feel the need to pass on the joys of that experience to their children. But even we kids thought this went too far. There’s spanking and then there’s the dreaded humiliation. Needless to say, none of us ever used the paddle on the kid. Generally, we felt this kid was being punished enough having these jerks for parents.
Nowadays, that poor kid would have been removed from the home and the parents likely prosecuted.
In fact, nowadays, if you say a cross word to a kid in public Child Protective Services will be on your ass before you can finish saying,”If I have to pull this car over I’ll…”
Okay. Maybe we’ve gone a little far. I mean prosecuting a mom for dragging her kid through a store on a kiddie leash is a little extreme. But like anything, the pendulum usually swings from extreme to extreme before finally settling somewhere in the middle.
So, we’re extreme about protecting our kids. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. After all, it’s nice to know that someone’s watching out for kids. Just because someone is a parent doesn’t make them a “good” parent. And just because someone has had a kid doesn’t mean they have the right to beat the crap out of them. And looking the other way when a parent abuses their child is not okay anymore.
And now, science is proving that spanking is bad. It stunts a kid’s intellectual devlopment. It lowers a kid’s IQ.
All I can say is, if they’d figured this out sooner, I might have found the cure for cancer by now.