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Letters: Spanking and parenting

July 19, 2012

Re "Study fuels spanking debate," Column, July 14

I'm disappointed in Sandy Banks' rationalizations for hitting her children. In fact, there is no evidence-based debate over hitting or spanking children, any more than there's a debate over the link between tobacco use and cancer. Hitting (spanking) children is linked to a wide range of negative outcomes.

Like Banks, I was hit as a child and vowed never to hit my own children. And like Banks, I ended up spanking my daughters. Unlike her, I met with my grown daughters and told them that hitting children is always wrong. I apologized. I suggested that, because they were hit, they risked repeating this with their own children.

Instead of trying to end the cycle of poor parenting choices, Banks' rationalizations perpetuate our own parenting mistakes.

David M. Dozier

Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.

These studies on spanking are not only ambiguous but completely subjective and biased.

The anti-spanking crusade started about 50 years ago; consequently, many more children today than before are infrequently spanked.

How successful has this approach been? We seem to be surrounded by narcissistic, ill-behaved and self-absorbed young people whose language has degraded to such an extent that a declarative sentence cannot be expressed without an expletive.

Many of these youngsters undoubtedly have personality disorders, but one thing seems to be certain: They were never spanked, as spoiled brats rarely are.

Giuseppe Mirelli

Los Angeles

Banks leaves me with the impression that spanking isn't all that bad. She says: "I think there's an important distinction. Hitting, smacking, slapping, shoving, grabbing are not the same thing, to my mind, as a parental smack to the behind."

Think of it this way. If I'm not allowed by law to lay a hand on an adult, why should I be allowed to do the same to a child of any age? It's called assault and battery. It's that simple.

Benny Wasserman

La Palma

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