Should you spank your child?
That’s not for us to answer, but we do encourage parents in our region to read the results of a national study on spanking as a means of disciplining children.
The comprehensive study was released last week by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is published in the May issue of the academy’s journal, Pediatrics.
We learned of the study in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Pohla Smith.
AAP’s latest research concurred with earlier studies that spanking can make young children aggressive years later. In one segment of the research, the study found that spanking a child of 3 more than twice a month was associated with an increased risk for higher levels of aggression at age 5.
“You can’t argue with (parents who believe in spanking)” Lawrence Newman, a psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, told Smith. “The parents say, ‘But it works!’ ”
Their proof, he says, is that it stops kids from misbehaving.
Perhaps, but ... here’s what we also know:
Newspaper stories about child abuse tear at our heartstrings just as much as they do to most of our readers. And often, we read that the abuse was the result of a parent’s discipline gone too far, and that includes spanking that developed into something much more.
We’ve never had a child psychologist or pediatrician on our editorial boards, so we’ve naturally shied away from a stand on the issue of spanking at home or paddling (corporal punishment) in schools, which has been banned in Pennsylvania’s public classrooms since 2005 – although “reasonable force” in still permitted under certain circumstances, according to the state Department of Education.
For a young child, experts today are more likely to suggest that parents use nonviolent punishments such as time-outs.
Those means obviously don’t work as well for teenagers, but neither does physically abusing an individual.
It’s parents’ responsibility to discipline their children appropriately when the need arises, and not pass the job onto others.
Should you spank your child?
Readers' Forum 7-25 | Similarities between Ukraine, pre-war politics
There is a strong parallel between the current situation in the Ukraine and pre-World War II politics.
Play it safe when near, on water | Personal floatation devices can save lives
We can’t begin to imagine the sorrow being felt by a Lancaster County family after their toddler drowned in Raystown Lake.
Give police a helping hand | But don't turn heroism into martyrdom
The tables were turned on an alleged purse snatcher when his getaway was abruptly halted by an alert motorist.
Readers' Forum 7-24 | Do Rothfus, Toomey respect our voices?
When not busy in Washington, meeting with constituents followed by weekly email updates full of photo ops and I-got-your-back propaganda, Pennsylvania lawmakers are wined and dined by special interest groups.
Readers' Forum 7-23 | Thank those who keep us safe
Summer tends to be a pretty big deal around here. It makes sense, given the winter we all lived through this past year.
High marks for new school | Conemaugh Valley built with taxpayers in mind
The Conemaugh Valley School District will offer an open house Aug. 1 at its new $14.3 million elementary school on William Penn Avenue.
We urge taxpayers to stop by and see the building.
After all, they paid for it.
Influence peddling in Pa. | Lawmakers take advantage of free trips
Thank goodness for watchdog groups – those panels that take it upon themselves to protect the public’s interest.
Readers' Forum 7-22 | Some heroes donate blood products, organs
Every day, someone steps up to become a hero. When one thinks of a hero, servicemen and women, or even first responders (fire, police, etc.), come to mind first. But I want to mention another type of hero:
Those who roll up their sleeves to donate blood or platelets, or mark an “x” on their driver’s licenses to become organ donors.
Joe Sestak | Congress may remove safeguards protecting seniors from fraud
A scam artist stops by your 92-year-old neighbor’s home and repeatedly convinces her to give him $200 on each visit for a “can’t lose” investment. Hearing about it, the local police persuade the scammer to end his fraudulent behavior, but then the city council orders the police to stop their interference with “free market” decisions. True?
- Readers' Forum 7/21 | Kids raise money for worthy cause
- More Editorials Headlines
- Readers' Forum 7-25 | Similarities between Ukraine, pre-war politics