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August 25, 2004

NPR Approves of Spanking

It's nice to report good news once in a while-- and on subjects other than technology.

NPR yesterday had an amazing little oral essay by a lady about how she just spanked her 3-year-old boy for the first time. The theme is that spanking is good, to the narrator's surprise! After a hellish time with a boy who wouldn't sit in his carseat, a short spanking resulted in two hours of good humor for all.

It is interesting that so many liberals oppose spanking but favor, instead, various diabolically cruel psychological punishments. Why is that?

Of course, with my own kids I find that spanking is not really a physical punishment. Rather, it is a sign of heavy parental disapproval, so heavy that the crying really is unrelated to the very slight physical pain. I'm not very severe, though I try to be unstoppable, so I usually I will give a count to 5 or thereabouts before I carry out the spanking. By now, 2-year-old Benjamin will usually say, if I say, "I'll spank you if you don't do X before I count to five..." with

"Daddy, don't count!"

and obedience, sometimes grudging, sometimes complete. The very act of counting shows that I truly disapprove, and that's counting enough.

The worst pain is when I really show alarm. Last night, Benjamin tried to be helpful by giving me the hammer I needed to put up the train poster in his bedroom. I barked a sudden warning to put it down (it was heavy metal hammer, that he had to swing around to try to give to me), and he rushed to a corner and buried his head in a pillow for five minutes, despite my reassurances that he hadn't done anything very wrong.

Posted by erasmuse at August 25, 2004 02:40 PM

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