Spanking Gets Results: But All the Wrong Kinds

mrdad - spanking - wikicommonsDear Mr. Dad: I was over at a friend’s house and was surprised to see her spanking her 4-year old. I’ve never hit any of my kids and don’t have any plans to do so. But after taking an informal poll of other parents I know, I was surprised to find that I’m actually in the minority. Should I rethink my no-spanking policy?

 A: Please don’t. There’s some debate about whether an actual majority of parents spank their children. For example, one study found that while 62 percent of parents in the South admit to having spanked their children, only 41 percent of parents in the rest of the country have. And according to a recent study done by researchers at Columbia University, 57 percent of moms and 40 percent of dads engaged in spanking when their children were three years old, and 52 percent of moms and 33 percent of dads were still spanking when their kids were five. But let’s not quibble over semantics. The point is that way, way too many parents are hitting their children—and it needs to stop.

I know I’m going to hear from a lot of readers who will swear up and down that spanking works. And they’re right. Spanking definitely gets the child’s attention and will usually get him or her to immediately do what you say. That’s great in the moment, but what about future moments?

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How Bullying Affects the Brain

Carrie Goldman, author of Bullied.
Topic: What every parent, teacher, and kid needs to know about ending the cycle of fear.
Issues: Eye-opening stats on the prevalence of bullying; the harmful effects of bullying on the brain; creating a home environment that produces neither bullies nor victims; why typical school anti-bullying/zero tolerance policies do more harm than good.

End Bullying + Safety vs. Panic + Adolescents and Risk

Carrie Goldman, author of Bullied.
Topic: What every parent, teacher, and kid needs to know about ending the cycle of fear.
Issues: Eye-opening stats on the prevalence of bullying; the harmful effects of bullying on the brain; creating a home environment that produces neither bullies nor victims; why typical school anti-bullying/zero tolerance policies do more harm than good.

Paula Statman, author of Raising Careful, Confident Kids in a Crazy World.Topic: Teaching kids to be safe and strong.
Issues: Striking a healthy balance between safety and panic; turning nice kids into safe kids; why scare tactics don’t work; what parents and kids need to know about sex offenders; much more.

Michael Ungar, author of Too Safe for Their Own Good.
Topic: How risk and responsibility help teens thrive.
Issues: Adolescents are safer now than at any time in history—why are we overly protecting them? How bubble-wrapping kids stunts their healthy growth and puts them at harm; the benefits of experiencing manageable amounts of danger.

When Kids Call the Shots + Rookie Moms


Sean Grover, author of When Kids Call the Shots.
Topic:
How to seize control from your darling bully and enjoy being a parent again.
Issues: Understanding the root causes of your child’s bossy behavior; how your own insecurities and history have shaped your parenting choices; types of parents who are more susceptible to being bullied by their kids; three most common bullying styles that kids use–and strategies you can use to restore your leadership.

Heather Flett, coauthor of The Rookie Mom’s Handbook.
Topic:
Motherhood, fatherhood, the changing landscape of parenthood.
Issues: How motherhood has changed over the last 10 years; the mom blogging community; resources for new moms; the importance of letting the dad do things his way; the role of social media in creating communities of moms.

Bullied Kids Speak Out

Jodee Blanco, editor of Bullied Kids Speak Out.
Topic:
How bullied kids survive–and how you can too.
Issues: Different types of bullying, the problem with “zero tolerance” programs; how children should respond to bullies; the role of parents and teachers in stopping bullying; survival strategies for victims; how bullies can apologize.

Old-School Parenting + Empowering Bullied Kids

Michael Mascolo, author of 8 Keys to Old-School Parenting.
Topic:
Why the “old” ways of parenting might be better than the “new” ways.
Issues: The shift from adult-centered parenting to child-centered parenting and why it’s been a failure; when parental authority became a bad thing; how to value your authority as a parent; cultivating your child’s character; applying discipline instead of punishment; raising self-directed children who are active learners.

Jodee Blanco, editor of Bullied Kids Speak Out.
Topic:
How bullied kids survive–and how you can too.
Issues: Different types of bullying, the problem with “zero tolerance” programs; how children should respond to bullies; the role of parents and teachers in stopping bullying; survival strategies for victims; how bullies can apologize.