Beat Your Children Well

It’s only by chance that we found the following two stories on the following two websites, but having found them, we think we’ve also found the secret of the universe.

CNN, September 16, 2009:

Spanking detrimental to children, study says

Think a little spanking won’t do much harm to kids? New research says the effects can be long-lasting.

Experts say “popping” kids can do more harm than good. A new study of more than 2,500 toddlers from low-income families found that spanking may have detrimental effects on behavior and mental development.

Fox News, Monday:

Study: Spanked Children May Grow Up to Be Happier, More Successful

Young children spanked by their parents may grow up to be happier and more successful than those who have never been hit, a study has found.

According to the research, children spanked up to the age of 6 were likely as teenagers to perform better at school and were more likely to carry out volunteer work and to want to go to college than their peers who had never been physically disciplined.

If you’d like to play the home game, did you grow up in a family full of CNN anchors, or Fox spokesbots? From your answer, we can determine not only your relative degree of happiness today, but also your blood pressure and psychiatrist fees.


I grew up with Korean Immigrant parents who poohpoohed the whole “let your kids run wild and free” thing so they believed in the tried and true Korean methods of smacking the shit out of your kids when they got “uppity.” I will give them credit for being more “librul” than most other Korean parents.

If spanking is done judiciously and done relative to the “crime” then I don’t see the problem. If I have any serious issues that make me want to take drugs and psychotherapy that would be with my parents attempts at running my life well into adulthood.

i love the codename ‘spanking’ the question is, does your intimidating size and control over me, my trusted protector, allow you, by law, to HIT me? a small child? yes, it does. if you call it spanking, not abuse.
a pet peeve of this beaten-as-a-child commenter. and we know how i turned out.
then there is my daughter, who has never had the experience of being STRUCK by her caretakers, is perfection in mind, and spirit. case closed.

ADD: 24 countries have made ‘spanking’ a criminal offence.
our mainstream media recommends it. ugh.

The coverage of these two “studies” sum up all that drives me batty about the media’s coverage of scientific research. There’s a difference between causality and coincidence. Not to mention the inherent bias in both studies. In the CNN study, they’re looking at a cohort of low-income kids, and the Fox study was conducted by a professor at a conservative Christian college.

@SanFranLefty: I have observed that “corporal punishment” as administered by some low-income groups in public places consists basically of assault, driven by anger and aggression, and likely to teach only the principle that when you are angry, you should hit somebody.

As to spanking as traditionally used by sober parents, well, its like jails, which are very very good at deterring from crime the millions of people who never go there. The fear of a spanking can be a good thing, but if very much actual spanking occurs, the fear goes away and its worthless or worse.


when is fear ever a positive feeling? or a “good thing”

and don’t use the word deterrent in your answer.
we know the statistics on that too.

personally I think it totally depends on the child.
for myself I was spanked both at home and at school. that was back when they had “paddles” which were boards with holes in them to cut down on wind resistance while swinging.

it sucked. but you know what. I believe completely that without that I would very likely be in some prison today. I needed it. I was a problem child with a problem home life. I needed rules.

on other peoples children I have no opinion.

pretty much my experience. as for fear being a good thing, possibly not but boundries are a good thing and some kids do not get them at home.

again this is just MO. not a parent and dont plan to be one.

baked, did you ever catch the season finale?

@Capt Howdy: When I was on my high school swim team, disobedient guys would get a “swat” with a drilled-out racketball paddle on their wet, Speedo-clad behind. It sounded like a rifle shot and was a source of great merriment to the non-swatees. And yes, I thought the coach was straight.

@baked: It’s true. Real deterrence requires mortal terror. That can be applied by simply chaining the kid to a tree or a parked car and telling him or her bears have been reported roaming the neighborhood eating bad children.

a little swat now and then never hurt anyone. and placed quite a few on the right track.
but on wet speedo clad behinds, hmmmm. excuse me. I’ll be right back.


but seriously, we are not talking about small children here. big difference IMO between small children and unruly teenagers.

you joke but honestly I have seen people use psychological discipline that I thought was far worse and more damaging than a whack on the rear.

@Capt Howdy:

NO! i haven’t seen it yet…was off the air for a while. i’ll look for it, then we can discuss…..

@Capt Howdy: My Mom used the “I’m so disappointed” routine with me. I would rather have just gotten a whack on the behind and get it over with. But neither had any effect on my behavior.

sorry to hear about your pet tragedy.

but on the subject of pets, a topic related comment. I believe in negative reinforcement with dogs. people have said for years that I always have the happiest most well adjusted and well mannered dogs they have ever seen.
I think the reason for that is that I not only reward them for good behavior I “punish” them for bad behavior. an example:
I have been dog sitting for a friend over the holidays. the little guest dog has been a joy. no problem at all. but one of my dogs has been acting exactly like a small child might act in a similar situation. (like a new baby).
she was acting out and tearing shit up and generally being a pain in the ass. I read somewhere when I was training my first Husky that you should never ever hit them but sometimes it works to yell at them. sounds weird but you know what it works. after being screamed at a few times she has now decided that its just easier to do what I want her to do. and everyone is happy. including her cause mostly dogs just want to do what you want them to do.

btw, i’m hardly recommending psychological abuse in favor of HITTING, lets not muddy the water.
ya wanna know what works? bribery. you do X and you get to do Y. you didn’t do A so you can’t do B.

I didnt mean to suggest you were. but Im sure you know what I mean. I see it all the time with my family and co workers.
and I have no doubt rewards and denial of them work. it works with dogs.

I think the moral of this story is that you can probably find a study to justify pretty much anything.

@Capt Howdy: Didn’t finish. Phone rang. Anyway, it will only work its magic if you call the neighbors and have them screaming, ‘a fucking bear!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaah!’ and shout out the windows like they’re being shredded.

will Howard primary Obama?

A year into Obama’s presidency, it is no longer inconceivable, if still unlikely, that he could face a challenge within his own party in 2012, especially if Democrats suffer sizable losses next November. (When Howard Dean made a point of trying to scuttle health care reform altogether, was he simply trying to get a better bill, or was he setting himself up as a populist insurgent?)


@Dodgerblue: Speedos and spankings are kind of hawt. The boys’ soccer coach at my H.S. would drag the guys around by their jock straps if they started to mouth off or they weren’t staying in position.
Good times.

@SanFranLefty: Heh. The conservative Christian college that released the pro-spanking study is the archrival school to my own conservative Christian college. But moreover, it’s Calvin College–they’re just being good Calvinists to beat their children! After all, kids are all born into total depravation and original sin, and you have instill the fear of God and parents (in that order) into them.

Oh, and my best job ever? Lifeguarding the college swim team. Not only could each and every one of them swim better than I could, rendering my responsibility moot, but the daydreaming fodder couldn’t be beat….so to speak.

Spanking is banned within the RML family, so I just whack the kid next to Son of RML.

@redmanlaw: How’s it going between Son of RML and GF of Son of RML, the punk cellist? No trouble in paradise yet, I hope?


“Albert Einstein was a genius and Albert Einstein was a civil servant therefore all civil servants are geniuses.”

@redmanlaw: @flippin eck:

I am playing a game called Brutal Legend right now, which is a Heavy-Metal Based strategy RPG starring Jack Black, and I keep thinking of SORML and GOSORML whenever the two leads flirt, which is often.

@flippin eck: Tween relationships have the lifespan of mayflies, about two weeks. They have both moved on. GFs and BFs are like shark’s teeth for them – another one is ready to replace what’s lost.

@SanFranLefty: Good times indeed! That is a mental image (or movie, if you will) that is going to stick with me the rest of the day…

Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled “spanking”,”swatting”,”switching”,”smacking”, “paddling”,or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The vast majority of professionals agree that child buttock-battering isn’t healthy. A marginal few (mostly religious fundamentalists as those at Calvin) think that child bottom-slapping is good. They use the same selective literalist interpretation of the Bible as was used to justify “witch”-burning, depraved torture methods for those accused of sin and heresy, slavery, racism, wife-beating, oppression of women and a host of other social ills.

this makes my reading list

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson

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