Is there a difference between spanking and abuse?
Corredspondence between B.R. and Jordan Riak, January 20, 2006

B.R. writes: There is a difference between Violence and simple spanking. Children need to have a way of knowing in no uncertain terms when they are way out of line. Reasonable spanking is a very effective way of getting that across. Without the potential of a harmless spanking, children get the idea that they can get away with anything. It worries me that your efforts may go too far in taking away a valuable tool of parenting. Your focus should be on those scattered few that take it too far. Then it's not spanking... It's child abuse.

Jordan Riak answers: There is also a difference between shoplifting and armed robbery. Contrasting the milder act with the more egregious one does not render it benign or desirable. And I would hope that people who can easily recognize "reasonable shoplifting" as a contradiction in terms would do the same with "reasonable spanking."

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