The real child abuse

Perusing facebook, I saw that one of my “friends” threw up another silly article claiming that spanking is child abuse.  There was a study, apparently, that said that between 2% and 7% of children who are spanked grow up to have mental problems.  The article, surprisingly, was offering this evidence to try to persuade parents to eschew this classic and time-honored form of discipline.  That’s right, spanking does not cause mental defects in about 93% – 98% of children who are spanked.  Sounds like a pretty safe form of punishment, actually.

Plus, it’s effective.  You don’t even have to use it, much; the threat alone can often straighten ‘em out.  I have four children, all of whom are (or were) spanked, and if there’s one compliment we get while out and about, its how well-behaved our children are.

No, the real child abuse is, I suspect, practiced by those who scorn spanking: leading one’s child into atheism.  Teaching your child that there is no God, that the universe is ultimately meaningless, and that therefore their lives, and everything they do is ultimately meaningless, is the most insidious form of child abuse possible.  It teaches them to refuse reason and scientific evidence in favor of personal “freedom” (and a warped view of freedom, no less).  It teaches them to live in a way that is unfulfilling for them in this life, and disastrous in the next.  No, if we are to have a law against child abuse, better to make it a crime to teach one’s child to believe the atheist dogma rather than to punish parents for using corporal punishment.

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5 Responses to “The real child abuse”

  1. [...] a post I wrote a few days back, I speculated that those who oppose spanking as “child abuse” probably subscribe to [...]

  2. There are many, many Christians who practice non-violent parenting, i.e. NO hitting, spanking, slapping of any kind.

    Your friend was just touching the tip of the iceberg on the science, and there really isn’t much disagreement in the field. It is clearly damaging from a scientific point of view, not to mention a basic violation of human rights.

    The research is clear, spanking is correlated to a plethora of negative outcomes in the short run (increased aggressive behavior) and in the long term (mental illness, adolescent drug use, adolescent suicide, depression). The list goes on. http://stopspanking.org is an excellent resource for the science. Spanking is on the continuum of violence. A little is bad, more is worse.

    • I am dubious about “science” that seems to have a goal of separating a child from his parents. Spanking is not child abuse. My “friend” is Stephan Molyneux, who I discuss in the post “The Real Child Abuse, Part 2″.

      • I would be dubious about any “science” that supports the goal of damaging the attachment of the child and the parents as well. In fact, the idea makes me cringe. The Science doesn’t support removal of children from parents. It simply shows that spanking is destructive in the short term and the long term in very alarming ways. There is 93 percent agreement in the science which is very unusual.

        The Science doesn’t dictate what we should do, but rather outlines the problem. How do we stop spanking our children? For one, we need to educate and support parents. Some people think we should ban it. That discussion is what the documentary is about.

        We know there needs to be a clear social message that hitting is destructive, much like there is a clear social message that children must wear seat belts in cars and helmets on bikes.

        Would you be willing to go to http://stopspanking.org and tell me what you think?

        I share your concern that teaching children belief systems that make them feel life is meaningless is destructive, and depressing.

  3. These folks in the anti-spanking camp scare the cr*p out of me. How are they going to go into the home to eradicate all corporal punishment eh? Are they going to strip the parents away from their children who do spank? I wonder what kind of abuse seeing their parents carted off by the spanking police would do to the mental psyche of my children.

    I have 3 children. The oldest might have been spanked a half-dozen times between 3 and 5, and it was never required again. The middle child never required spanking and it wouldn’t have worked anyway. The youngest rarely requires it either (still in the 3 to 5 range when they are testing the waters). What this means is the parents are the best measure of how to raise their children….not some do-gooder with some psuedo-science-anti-Christian studies hell bent on destroying a time-honored traditional measure that most “sane” parents would agree there is an effective use and appropriate time and place under the sun to go to such a measure. Yes, there are people who abuse the practice, AND there are those parents who need to use it but don’t and raise little hellions who shows no respect or regard for their elders (they grow up with no appropriate fear of authority or God).
    Its pretty obvious to me when I am out in public the children that needed an occasional spanking but never received it.

    Our philosophy was that spanking was reserved ONLY for the most egregious behavior usually having to do with blatant disregard and disobedience of parents, and if employed appropriately did not need to be employed much.

    The anti-spankers time is better spent examining the child abuse sending their children through the public education system….where bullying, social alienation, and the like are in effect daily.

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