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Corporal Punishment Debate: Share Your Views.
Lainey_WebMD_Staff posted:
Hello parents,

The debate concerning children and corporal punishment is very heated. WebMD has some interesting articles: "Spanking Leads to Kids' Later Aggression " and "Kids Who Get Spanked May Have Lower IQs "

Some parents feel corporal punishment is a tool to help guide a child in the right direction, other parents feel no child should ever be struck. Schools have a no violence policy and we have laws that consider hitting another person a criminal offense.

What do you tell your child if they are hit in school?

Do you feel children need corporal punishment?
Roy Benaroch, MD responded:
The linked stories are interesting, but for me the main reason I don't recommend spanking is that it usually doesn't work as a tool to teach children better behavior.

A very typical conversation between myself and a parent of a toddler:
Me: "This can be a frustrating time. What are you doing to help manage his behavior?"
Parent: "I sometimes give him a swat."
Me: "Does it work?"
Parent: "Well, no."
Me: "Let's see if we can talk about some other ways you might approach this ..."

I don't judge, and I don't want to make parents feel bad. They're exhausted, embarrassed, and at wit's end, without any confidence in their abilities to tame the monster that can be a toddler. Our job isn't to tell them "what you're doing is wrong," but to teach them the best ways to help their children learn.
seeit2 replied to Roy Benaroch, MD's response:
I don't believe in corporal punishment. We don't use it at home at all.

I showed my DD how to make the sign for "stop" with her hands, and I encourage her to use it while saying "stop" to other kids at school if they hit or do something she does not like. Personally I think using the sign is a nice way for her to move her body (and vent a little aggression) without lashing out at anyone. She also tends to be very shy and quiet so the signing is another way for her to get herself "heard".

Hitting happens between kids, especially 4 yr olds, but I believe in showing them other things they can do with their hands and other ways to show their anger. Showing my own through hitting is counter-productive IMO.
Lainey_WebMD_Staff responded:
Children spend a lot of time in school with others What do you suggest if your child is hit in school?
Indiaguerita responded:
I do spank. I have three children who are very close in age. I have a six year old, an almost five year old and an almost four year old.

I spank all three of them when they've done something wrong and they can understand that they knowingly did something wrong.

I spank on the rear-end and I only spank with my hand, never with "tools."

It has worked for our family. They are all three extremely well-behaved for their ages and are all three extremely respectful children. It may not be right for every family, but spanking is right for ours.

The questions were: What do you tell your child if they are hit in school and Do you feel children need coporal punishment.

If my child has been hit in school (my six year old has been hit and spit on by another child in the class) I tell him that he has the right to defend himself. There is absolutely no excuse for another child spitting on my son. I had a meeting with my son's teacher and let her know that my son will never start a fight, because he has been taught that it's not okay, but that he does have the right to defend himself and we will teach him accordingly.

Yes, children need corporal punishment.

An_222049 replied to Indiaguerita's response:
I agree with Laura. I have 5 kids, 3 still at home. There are times when my kids go 2-3 months without a "swat" on the rear but when they need it, they need it. They (4yrs, 6yrs, my 15yr old has not had a "swat" in a few yrs) never turned in to angry little hitting monsters from it, and yes, it worked.

I also agree that every child has a right to defend themselves. How sad would it be to see some kid pounding on another kid but the other kid just taking it! Not sure I agree with a physical reaction to being spit on, although it should be escalated for sure.

I also was raised this way and I have to admit, when my mother "swatted" my rear, I needed it! Looking back on it, I felt ashamed of myself for behaving that way. I never felt angry at her, just ashamed.
Lainey_WebMD_Staff replied to Indiaguerita's response:
Hi Laura,

If schools had tougher policies on violence would you feel differently?
seeit2 replied to Lainey_WebMD_Staff's response:
Being hit at school at age 4 is completely different from being hit at school at age 10. I teach my child to be non-violent but I can't trust other parents to do the same...if she got hit in Elem school I would not blame her for fighting back. That being said, violence has no place in schools and I think it should be treated harshly and quickly by administration. It's hard enough to get an education in this country.

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