I know – with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach – that there are religious nuts out there who think the Bible tells them to hit their children. For example, according to Focus on the Family, “your child is a sinner with a predisposition to disobedience, which he inherited from you and every other generation all the way back to the first parents in the Garden.” This site goes on to advise “use a wooden spoon or some other appropriately sized paddle” on a child who is leaning over his bed. It goes on to say, “It ought to hurt – an especially difficult goal for mothers to accept” and that you want to be “focused as you firmly spank your child, being very careful to respect his body.”
Are you kidding me? How is striking someone’s ass with a paddle after making them “assume the position” in any way respectful? And the idea that, as the website tries to claim, “Your children will feel a lot more loved, and they'll have the privilege and blessing of being in a home that's at peace” because you hit them makes zero sense.
In my experience, most people are not this extreme. However, though the numbers are in decline, a majority of Americans still believe that it is OK, even beneficial, to give children “a good, hard spanking.”
This flies in the face of advice from institutions including the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which, in turn, base their stances on multiple studies showing the negative effects of spanking.
This seems simple to me: It’s not right to hit anyone. Especially the small and vulnerable.
Isn't that what we want to teach our kids?
That instinct mothers have, to not hurt children? It's there for a reason.