Last week my son was sick so we ended up at our pediatrician’s office. Before we left, the doctor said, “I’ve got something for you” and handed me a medical report. That day, an in-depth report on spanking had been released titled Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs. Ironically, a similar study (by a different group) was released the previous week on CNN Health titled Spanking Detrimental to Children.
I am sharing these reports with you because for years and years I have been an advocate against spanking. But time and time again I have parents say to me, “Oh, it’s not that harmful”, “I was spanked as a child and I came out just fine”, “I don’t know of any alternatives than to spank”, etc…
The reports said the families who spank the most are low-income black families and conservative Christian families. Since I live in the Bible Belt, I can attest to the fact that Christian families commonly spank their kids. I see it every day. You would think that of any one group of people, Christians would be the least likely to hit a child. I searched for “corporal punishment” on Wikipedia and found some intersting statistics: In the majority of Europe, spanking is prohibited in both schools and in the home. In the United States, spaking is banned in schools nationwide except along the Bible Belt (see map on Wikipedia).
I am hoping that parents will take these reports to heart and realize how harmful it is to hit a child. If you line up 1000 child professionals, are you going to find 4 or 5 who say spanking is OK? Of course. But there are also people who swear smoking cigarettes is harmless. If 95% of child psychologists, pediatricians and family counselors say spanking is harmful to children, then why are we arguing with them?