Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Let's clear something up real quick: An infographic* about spanking

*it is actually a just Venn Diagram. And a kind of ridiculous one. But remember inforgraphics?!  ::starts humming Barbara Streisand, The Way We Were::
 
Ignorant Claims about Spanking

Miley Cyrus twerking
Dear daughter, let Miley Cyrus be a lesson to you “This is what happens when no responsible adult has ever said the word 'no,' made you change your clothes before leaving the house, or never (sic) spanked your butt for deliberate defiance.” [ed note: ah, double negatives; I do not think that sentence means what you think it means.] There’s also a charming line about duct taping her mouth shut. Gosh, I probably need a better sense of humor, I know, I know. Since hitting your kid and ducting her mouth shut isn't “legally” child abuse if it doesn't leave marks and such. But I just can’t summon the lack of human decency to laugh at stuff like this.

ADHD
Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD “And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France.” Riiiight. Because here in America, all fifty states define “judiciously used spanking" as child abuse? Rest assured, everything else is this article is just as stupid. Basically, it is a piece of crap (or merde, for my French readers). It does begin to point out some interesting differences in American and French approaches to psychiatry and parenting (which I've discussed here and here) that might be worth exploring if the author didn't seem to clearly stigmatize American parenting and ADHD in one, patronizing and poorly supported, fell swoop.

Autism
A psychiatric disorder or a profound lack of discipline in our kids Okay, full disclosure, this guy doesn't explicitly mention spanking or autism (he pretty clearly seems to be implicating pediatric bipolar disorder as well) but his spineless tip-toeing begs someone to call him out. So by all means, let it be me: This article is sick. "A system that no longer lets parents be parents and set the rules in their household that leads to a healthy, happy functional family." THEY WON'T LET US BEAT OUR KIDS, WAH! I mean, is it just me or is he implying that “the man," by regulating child abuse?!, is infringing on parents' and teachers' rights to abuse kids? WTF. Somebody suspend this dude’s medical license, stat. I don’t dispute that there are misguided and under-informed parents out there. I do, however, dispute his definition of an effective one (i.e., an abusive one). He’s obviously never been told that you absolutely can use positive parenting solutions to raise healthy, happy kids.  And if kids have serious medical and/or developmental issues that require more intensive interventions, then medical professionals should respect that. NOT advocate child abuse. Maybe I could introduce this doctor to some highly qualified child behavior interventionists who can dramatically improve the lives and functioning/skill level kids with serious behavior issues without abusing them OR drugging them (because the principles they use can be effectively applied to almost any scenario. Unlike an open hand or a Haldol Rx). He might want to look into that. Or another profession that doesn't involve children. Either way. 

Homosexuality
Before He Hired an Escort, Rekers Tried to Spank the Gay Away. The article would be a lot less depressing if they meant the other kind of spank.

Benghazi
I just threw this in here because if there is one thing I have learned from republicans over the last year it is that Benghazi is always relevant. Even when the topics are mutually exclusive. I'm telling you. Always. Relevant.

Good information on the harms of spanking

Spanking children: A guide for the science-minded
Corporal punishment has been linked with all sorts of behavior problems, including aggression, paranoia, school failure, poor emotional regulation, and low empathy (Larzelere and Kuhn 2005; Johnson et al 2006; Alyahri and Goodman 2008; Chang et al 2003; Gershoff 2002).
American Academy of Pediatrics: Spanking Linked to Mental Illness
The use of physical punishment to discipline children has been linked to a range of mental health problems and is strongly opposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
The Long-Term Effects of Spanking
The study, led by community-health-sciences professor Catherine Taylor, was the first to control for a host of issues affecting the mother, such as depression, alcohol and drug use, spousal abuse and even whether she considered abortion while pregnant with the child. After controlling for all these factors — each of which can contribute to a child's aggression — spanking remained a strong predictor of violent behavior. "The odds of a child being more aggressive at age 5 increased by 50% if he had been spanked more than twice in the month before the study began," says Taylor. The association remained even after her team accounted for varying levels of natural aggression in children, suggesting, she says, that "it's not just that children who are more aggressive are more likely to be spanked." 

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