By Jordan Riak, April 19, 2007

Dear Sean,

Try to imagine a letter exactly the same as the one you just sent me, but instead of "child" and "children," the writer said "wife" and "wives," and instead of "parent" and "parents," said "husband" and "husbands." And where you say, "3 year old," our imaginary letter says, "30 year old." Not very far back in history, such a letter would have seemed perfectly reasonable to the majority of readers. In some places in the world, it still does. Now, reread your letter making those substitutions, and I think you'll see the point I am trying to make.


----- Original Message -----
From: _____, Sean
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 2:14 PM
Subject: Disagree that spanking is harmful if done right

Spanking, if done right, teaches children boundaries and respect for their parents. It should be performed when the parent is calm and should never be reactionary or with done with excessive force. I also believe, though, that other methods should be tried first and spanking be a last resort. I have a 3 year old and we try time-outs, talking, teaching, encouraging, taking favorite toys away, etc. Sometimes, these donít get her attention. A spanking done properly helps her to understand that there are consequences to her behavior. Iíve seen a number of people who spank in a fashion that I agree with. Their children are generally more respectful and loving than other children I have seen. I donít believe that proper spanking equates to parenting via fear control. If itís done in love and accompanied with calm and loving conversation it teaches respect for others and self-control.

Spanking works fine in my home. I certainly wouldnít want people to tell me that I couldnít spank my children. In effect, thatís taking away my right to parent my child that way I see fit. I certainly wouldnít tell you that you HAVE to spank although I think many parents should. Itís a biblical concept which may not mean anything to you if you donít believe in the bible. Itís also a concept I see in the animal kingdom where parents sometimes have to physically discipline their offspring.

Iíve seen some of the methods out there. I believe they produce an ego-centric child where the child believes that everyone has to accommodate them. I agree that we need to train the heart but the notion that children donít really misbehave is hard for me to buy. I misbehave too from time to time. To say that I just have un-met needs that lead to my improper behavior after all is just an excuse. Just as I need to learn that there is no excuse for my bad behavior, so do children.

Why am I wrong?



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