The first Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline, June 2-4, hosted by S.M.U. psychology professor George Holden, Ph.D. in Dallas. Attending were activists representing twenty one countries who are dedicated to abolishing all forms of spanking, paddling, slapping, hitting and smacking of children world wide. We discussed studies that show corporal punishment produces no positive outcomes and is associated with increased aggression, as well as behavior and mental health problems. It also fosters lower IQ, poorer academic performance, and increased bullying.
In stark terms that serve as a reminder of what we’re talking about, the bill defines corporal punishment as “the deliberate infliction of physical pain by hitting, paddling, spanking, slapping, or any other physical force used as a means of discipline.”
Let’s be clear to parents who believe the courts just awarded them a freebie: Adults should stop hitting kids, no matter what judges or the spare-the-rod numskulls say. Those of us who were smacked around as children realize our lives would have been better without the welts. Prisons are filled with men and women who were beaten as children.
Americans are making progress. A report last year