The article “Abuse more likely by parents who spank kids with objects” (8/19, A-4) should have been titled “Abusive people are more likely to abuse their children.” Shame on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for insinuating that spanking is the culprit. Spanking is not the culprit and is still a very effective measure of discipline.
Abusive people punish their children and don’t utilize discipline. Non-abusive people discipline their children and don’t utilize punishment. Spanking has been a form of discipline for generations because it works when properly administered.
Nowhere in the study was the admission that abusive people abuse their children regardless of the method (i.e. spanking, hitting, shaking, burning). And stress, marital unrest, financial instability and the general lack of attention many parents give their children other than spanking, hitting, shaking, beating and burning also were not discussed in this study.
Every child’s bad behavior needs assessment before discipline is administered. Spanking, time-outs, taking away phone and computer privileges, talking, redirecting — all are forms of discipline when properly administered to the appropriate scenario. The key words are “properly administered.” It is every parent’s duty to know the difference and to seek help if they don’t.