Posts Tagged ‘Discipline’

Some Kids Are Never Spanked – Do They Turn Out Better?

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Some Kids Are Never Spanked – Do They Turn Out Better?

Po Bronson

For decades, research on spanking was challenged by the lack of a control group to compare against – almost all kids (90+%) had been spanked at least once, at some time in their early lives. New research shows that now up to 25% of kids are never spanked, so it’s a fair question: How are they turning out? Are they turning out better? Surprisingly, they’re not.

In NurtureShock, we described some extensive cross-ethnic and international research on spanking by Drs. Jennifer Lansford and Ken Dodge.

Their data suggested that if a culture views spanking as the normal consequence for bad behavior, kids aren’t damaged by its occasional use.

To explain this shocker, the scholars suggested that in cultures or communities where spanking is common, parents are less agitated when administering spankings. Spanking almost never—when combined with losing your temper—can be worse than spanking frequently.*

But what about the third option: not spanking them at all?

Unfortunately, there’s been little study of this, because children who’ve never been spanked aren’t easy to find. Most kids receive physical discipline at least once in their life. But times are changing, and parents today have numerous alternatives to spanking. The result is that kids are spanked less often overall, and kids who’ve never been spanked are becoming a bigger slice of the pie in long-term population studies.

One of those new population studies underway is called Portraits of American Life. It involves interviews of 2,600 people and their adolescent children every three years for the next 20 years. Dr. Marjorie Gunnoe is working with the first wave of data on the teens. It turns out that almost a quarter of these teens report they were never spanked.

So this is a perfect opportunity to answer a very simple question: are kids who’ve never been spanked any better off, long term?

Gunnoe’s summary is blunt: “I didn’t find that in my data.”

The study asked teens how old they were when their last spanking occurred, and how often they would get spanked as a child. That was cross-referenced against the data on bad outcomes we might fear spanking could lead to years later: antisocial behavior, early sexual activity, physical violence, and depression.

But Gunnoe went further. She also looked at many good outcomes we might want for our teens, such as academic rank, volunteer work, college aspirations, hope for the future, and confidence in their ability to earn a living when they grow up. Studies of corporal punishment almost never look at good outcomes, but Gunnoe wanted to really tease out the differences in these kids.

What she discovered was another shocker: those who’d been spanked just when they were young—ages 2 to 6—were doing a little better as teenagers than those who’d never been spanked. On almost every measure.

A separate group of teens had been spanked until they were in elementary school. Their last spanking had been between the ages of 7 and 11. These teens didn’t turn out badly, either.

Compared with the never-spanked, they were slightly worse off on negative outcomes, but a little better off on the good outcomes.

Only the teenagers who were still being spanked clearly showed problems.

Gunnoe is now looking at how parenting styles might explain these patterns—especially the mystery of why the never-spanked are doing worse than expected.

Gunnoe doesn’t know what she’ll find, but my thoughts jump immediately to the work of Dr. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, whom we wrote about in NurtureShock. Schoppe-Sullivan found that children of progressive dads were acting out more in school. This was likely because the fathers were inconsistent disciplinarians; they were emotionally uncertain about when and how to punish, and thus they were reinventing the wheel every time they had to reprimand their child. And there was more conflict in their marriage over how best to parent, and how to divide parenting responsibilities.

I admit to taking a leap here, but if the progressive parents are the ones who never spank (or at least there’s a large overlap), then perhaps the consistency of discipline is more important than the form of discipline. In other words, spanking regularly isn’t the problem; the problem is having no regular form of discipline at all.


* As we wrote in our book, even in cultures were spanking is more common, its use is still very rare (perhaps once or twice in a kid’s entire lifetime), and we aren’t talking about severe beatings of a child, but a swat across the behind. Additionally, the work of Dodge and Lansford (who remain adamantly against corporal punishment) suggests that, in societies that consider spanking unacceptable, parents still spank—but they hit in anger—when they’ve lost control.

Time Out Targeted as Next Taboo of Parenting

Sunday, January 17th, 2010


17 January 2010

Time Out Targeted as Next Taboo of Parenting

Family First NZ says that ‘time out’ is now being labeled as harmful to children based on flawed ideology and without any research to back up the claims, as was the case with the smacking debate.

“Last week, an Australian parenting expert labeled time out as shameful and humiliating, joining other so-called parenting experts who claim that time out creates hurt, anger and defiance in a child ultimately harming them. They also claim that nervous habits can result, and that children should not be told they are naughty,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Once again, these unsubstantiated and ideologically flawed claims and latest fads in parenting by academics simply undermine the confidence of parents to raise their children in a positive and common sense way. Where does it stop? Will it soon be unacceptable to withdraw privileges or ‘ground’ a child – perhaps it will soon be even unacceptable to frown at a child who is misbehaving!”

“Great and law-abiding kiwi parents are being forced to changed their parenting techniques based on flawed and unproven ideology. Yet all these techniques have been proven throughout the generations to be beneficial to raising law-abiding and positive members of society.”

“The discipline, training and correction of children, and techniques being used to achieve this, are being demonized with no justification.”

“For example, research earlier this month has shown that light smacking is not harmful and can even be beneficial to children.”

“Parents should be given the freedom and respect to raise their own children in a common sense and non-abusive way rather than being harassed with the latest theories of child rearing from so-called experts,” says Mr McCoskrie.

It’s time the government listened to thorough and balanced research, and to the experience of parents and grandparents on smacking, time out and other issues related to raising responsible and law abiding citizens, rather than the flawed ideology and scaremongering of academics and state agencies who have misdefined positive parenting and child abuse.”


For More Information and Media Interviews, contact Family First:
Bob McCoskrie – National Director  Mob. 027 55 555 42

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Reviewing the Anti-smacking law

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Reformation Testimony

The criminalisation of New Zealand parents who discipline their children biblically: Or who will you obey, God or man?

New Zealand has a new law which makes the corporal punishment of children a crime. This includes smacking them with a wooden spoon or strap. The government has commissioned two reports, both of which claim that parents are unaffected by the new law. But the reporters failed to ask even one parent how he feels about this unwarranted government intrusion into his life. On some occasions the charges brought by the police have been dismissed in court. But the police, the psychologists, the ‘welfare’ agencies and the politicians are quite happy to see parents investigated, prosecuted and punished for using corporal punishment on children. Parents are now intimidated by unruly children who threaten to report their parents to the police if a parent dare touch them. Parental authority has been undermined by this wicked legislation. A government is supposed to reward the good and punish evil (Romans 13:1-7), but in New Zealand rewards the evildoer and punishes the good. Prime Minister Key claims that parents won’t be investigated for giving a ‘light’ smack, but if there is some other connected issue, then the police will investigate. Of course what constitutes a connected issue is left unexplained. The facts are that family members have been investigated for the most trivial acts of discipline which have been redefined as assaults.

For the video response to the latest government spin go here:

Garnet Milne

BIG NEWS Report: Barnardos asks kids about smacking, and lies about the research”… Why? In order to promote their VoteYes Campaign?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Barnardos have been interviewing New Zealand children by phone to see what they think about getting smacked. The question they asked:

Do you think that adults who are taken to court for hitting a child should be let off if they say they were disciplining the child?”

……. The kids had to push 1 if they should be let off 2 if they think they should not be let off, 3 if they don’t know and 4 to hear the question again. Just over half said they should not be let off. Many probably didn’t understand what ” let off” meant- ……..Nor is it clear whether “adults” included strangers.

They interviewed stressed kids who called the What’s Up hotline, a hotline for kids to talk about anything they wish, including abuse. While the kid was waiting to speak to a real person, they were given an automated message with the above question. That’s a little like asking turkeys on the 15 December whether they are looking forward to Christmas. There was only a 10% valid response rate.

Barnardos’ media release [on their ‘research’ – used to promote their Yes Vote Campaign in the Citizen’s Initiated Referendum] says it asked kids about whether adults should be able to claim a legal defence for assault. They lied. They asked if adults should be let off. But if these adults are not parents or caregivers of the smacked kid they never had a legal defence [to be let off], ever. Let off means a case is dropped or they’re discharged without conviction – not merely being found not guilty. The Barnardos release also says:

Importantly, many of the callers suggested that parents should be let off with a warning or community service if they perpetrated low levels of violence against children.

How many? well, just one actually! The report provides all comments provided by the kids – quoting just 10 children, although it does provide some statements that counsellors said the kids had made. But ONLY ONE said parents should be let off with a warning, and NONE said parents should be charged, let alone prosecuted or have community service.

Barnardos should really stop lying to the media.

For more go to :

Thousands to get lessons in parenting

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Why do you think we have these out of control 0-7 year olds?

Thousands to get lessons in parenting

By LANE NICHOLS – The Dominion Post | Friday, 21 November 2008

A Government scheme that sends parents of violent or misbehaving children to parenting courses is to expand to up to 15,000 more families.

Officials estimate that children with severe antisocial behavioural problems each cost society $3 million during their lives through crime and other state spending.

Parents of chronically disruptive children are now being sent on state-run parenting courses in a bid to address their children’s antisocial behaviour – some through court and Probation Service referrals.

The 12 to 20-week group courses, which include homework assignments on how to play with children, teach parenting skills such as rewarding good behaviour, setting boundaries and discipline.

Hundreds of parents have taken part since last year.

Officials intend to expand the scheme to the parents of 15,000 children thought to have chronic behavioural problems, who amount to 5 per cent of the country’s three to eight-year-olds.

Initial research involving about 200 parents suggests the courses – known as the Incredible Years programme – have resulted in vastly improved behaviour for up to 75 per cent of the children whose parents took part.

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft praised the broadening of the “excellent” initiative. He said early intervention was crucial in preventing children from growing into a life of crime.

“So often the battle is won or lost at that age. The longer I am in the Youth Court, the more I realise the problems we get are really formed in the 0-5, 0-7 ages.”

The work is part of a five-year plan targeting severe antisocial behaviour in young children involving education, health, justice and social agencies.

The Education Ministry says an Auckland University study estimated that the lifetime cost to society of a chronic adolescent antisocial male is $3 million.

Officials hope the ministry-led project will help save billions of dollars by preventing an unchecked slide into unemployment, mental health problems, substance abuse, crime and prison.

“If we get in early we can curb aggressive behaviour in children and decrease disobedience before they develop into permanent behaviour patterns,” ministry documents say.

Severe behaviour displayed by children as young as two included tantrums, swearing, yelling, hitting, kicking, talking back and refusing to share toys. Problem children were identified through before-school health checks, teacher and GP referrals, or parents.

Special education deputy secretary Nicholas Pole said the key was intervening early. “It starts with good parenting skills.”

Pastor charged with felony for spanking son

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

Pastor charged with felony for spanking son

Teacher calls social services on father after he paddles child for lying

Posted: October 25, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A Wisconsin pastor has been charged with felony physical abuse of a child after he spanked his 12-year-old son for lying and a teacher notified social services.

Barry W. Barnett Jr., 43, of Poynette, Wis., is free on a $10,000 bond, but he could face up to three years in prison and fines for disciplining his son, the local Portage Daily Register reported.

At the pastor’s hearing, Barnett’s son said his father was right to spank him .

“He gave me a chance to tell him the truth, and I just kept lying to him,” the boy said.

The boy said his father gave him two “swats” that “hurt a little” on his rear end in June. He told authorities both he and his dad cried while he was disciplined.

The 12-year-old said he was warned he might receive a spanking if he continued to act up and that he understands what he did was wrong.

“You should not lie to your parents and you should not go to places (where you are not allowed),” he said.

One of his siblings mentioned the spanking to a teacher, who called social services, according to the report.

A June 7 report from the Divine Savior Healthcare emergency department indicated that the boy had slight bruising on his buttocks, but it said there was no swelling and he was not experiencing pain. The medical paperwork said the boy told physicians he didn’t think he was abused and he loves his father.

The documents show the boy’s doctor does not believe he was abused, and he called the event a “social services fiasco.”

Barnett is a pastor at Lighthouse Family Ministries in Poynette, Wis. A father of nine children, he founded Guardian Christian Academy.

A judge ruled Thursday that the case will head to trial. Now jurors at the Columbia County Courthouse will decide whether the spanking constituted “reasonable discipline” permitted under state law. The pastor’s 21-year-old daughter, Amber, stood outside with a sign that read, “Thank you for spanking me dad” as a showing of support for her father.

District Attorney Jane Kohlwey told the Portage Daily Register the spanking was not reasonable, because it left bruising, though Barnett’s attorney claims photographs only reveal red marks.

“We feel that he went beyond reasonable discipline and that it’s a pattern,” Kohlwey said.

Barnett has been forbidden from spanking any child as part of his bond.

Home discipline still a hot topic

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Home discipline still a hot topic

4:00AM Saturday Oct 25, 2008
By Carroll du Chateau

In a year when the morals and ethics of our political parties seem at an all-time low, voters are focused on policies sidling into our sitting rooms.

Many morally contentious issues are designated conscience votes by political parties, meaning their members do not have to vote along party lines.

The anti-smacking bill proposed by Sue Bradford of the Greens and finally cobbled together by Helen Clark and John Key started out as a conscience issue and ended up as a party vote for Labour, National and the Greens, who voted 100 per cent in favour.

Meanwhile, there was overwhelming opposition to the bill out in the community. Parents do not want the Government telling them how to parent. They say loss of discipline at home contributes to bad behaviour, out-of-control youngsters and, eventually, rising crime.

Many say the Government is sending the wrong message to the young.

“The idea that smacking should be against the law is ridiculous,” says Rodney Hide who, as leader of Act, stands for individual freedom and personal responsibility. “The fact that a small smack on the bottom should be up there with bashing kids with a pipe offends me.”

Mr Hide’s position is echoed by Richard Lewis of the Family Party (a Christian offshoot of last election’s Destiny Party) and Bob McCroskie of Family First. While Mr McCroskie’s organisation is a pressure group rather than a political party, it has signed on as a Third Party and is spending a chunk of its allocated $120,000 to push family values – and undermine this legislation.

Mr McCroskie says the law sends an underlying message that parents aren’t really in charge. “Kids are saying, ‘You can’t tell me what to do!’ We need to establish parenting within the law and parents don’t feel they’ve got it.” He talks about a consistent message (feeding through legislation) that we don’t rate parents.

“We don’t recognise parenting as a career choice. The message is, ‘If you want to be a contributing member of society, get yourself a real job.”‘

He is talking about paid parental leave, 20 hours’ free childcare and all the other measures designed to make it easy for mothers to go back to work.

Mr Lewis insists the old legal defence in smacking cases “never protected anyone from child abuse. I think this bill exposes parents unfairly. There are reports of children turning up to school with innocent scrapes and bruises and being asked, ‘Did your parents do it?”‘

Sue Bradford fervently disagrees. A mother of five, she insists she is a staunch defender of the family. “It’s the ability to beat your children that undermines the family.” She also defends the Parental Notification Bill, which allows teenagers under 16 to have abortions without their parents being aware of them. “My belief is that a woman’s body is her own.” ‘

Less high-profile is the ethical issue around the refusal to pay parents and family caring for disabled children and adults, while professional carers qualify for funding. The practice was challenged in a tribunal hearing brought against the Ministry of Health by the Director of Human Rights Proceedings on grounds of discrimination against parents and families.

While all parties except Labour express concern at the unfairness of the law, only the smaller parties are prepared to change it. United Future would introduce a caregivers’ allowance; the Maori Party would ensure disabled people and whanau could access support; the Progressives favour funding “as fiscal conditions permit”.

Labour, meanwhile, is committed to steering away from the issue, instead pledging to provide $37 million on extra daycare and respite services, family caregiver support, extra funding for home-based support services plus wider criteria for the DPB so low-income couples and sole parents could receive extra support to care for sick or disabled children.

One ethical area where the larger parties are taking a risk is with gangs. Gangs are seen as an integral part of our social fabric and stopping people gathering together breaches ethical boundaries. The proliferation of P has Labour and National talking about cracking down on gangs – again putting them out of step with Christian parties who claim the Government should focus on eliminating drug dealing rather than the gangs themselves.

Another matter bothering Mr Hide is the issue of self-defence “Some things are worse than being charged: A, being a wimp and B, being dead.”

* Since the law came in

Sixteen months after the law change in May last year, eight parents have been prosecuted. One received diversion, one was discharged without conviction and six cases are yet to be resolved.

This, says John Key, supports the view that the law is being well administered by police.

A petition for a referendum on the legislation, which asked the question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” gained 390,000 signatures, 310,000 of which were judged valid. To trigger a referendum, 10 per cent of registered voters (285,000) need to sign it. The referendum will be held next year.


From a link above:

National: Anti-smacking legislation to stay.

Man to face trial over alleged ‘ear flicking’

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

This is what someone said on an email discussion group:

‘So this is what it has come down to – a father charged with assault for flicking his kid’s ear!

Meanwhile no-one is held responsible for the deaths of the Kahui twins.

Is this the sort of country we want New Zealand to be?

Man to face trial over alleged ‘ear flicking’

2:44PM Thursday August 21, 2008

The Christchurch man accused of assaulting his two young sons will face trial.

In January, Jimmy Mason claimed he was harassed by the police when he was spotted publicly disciplining his four-year-old son.

He claims he only flicked the boy’s ear and that witnesses, including a teacher and an off-duty police officer, overreacted.

Mason was then charged with assaulting both his two sons, aged two and four.

A short depositions hearing took place in the Christchurch District Court this morning at which all the evidence was presented in written form. The media was not permitted to access the evidence.

Four witnesses will give evidence in Mason’s trial, for which a date is yet to be set.


Comments from Ruby Harrold-Claesson on Deborah Coddington: Violence so ingrained

Thursday, July 17th, 2008
A lot of what Deborah Coddington has written in her article (see below) is completely irrelevant. Deborah Coddington, Sue Bradford and the other ideologically, politically correct advocates brains are so twisted that they can’t see the difference between violence and discipline. They portray good as evil, but they are the ones spreading evil in our world. They refuse to learn from what is happening in Sweden – the pioneer in “soft child upbringing”. Thomas Michelsen,  would have been alive today – but for the anti-smacking law.

Thomas Michelsen, 15, was clubbed to death by two Hungarian immigrant brothers in a school yard in Bjuv (Skåne) on Sunday November 20, 1994. “I will never forget the ‘kick'” one of the brothers said during the police investigation. After they had killed Thomas, the brothers went and ate at a pizzeria. Cf Youngsters tortured 55-year-old to death. They filmed when disabled man begged for his life. The youngsters went home and ate in between the battering sessions.

The shooting in Rödeby and the Riccardo Campogiani killing – both on October 6, 2007, and most of the other incidents of youth violence would not have taken place – but for the anti-smacking law.

Here’s a refreshing ‘mea culpa’ from one of the people, if not the person, who way back originally inspired what has become ‘Child protection’ hysteria in the UK!:–unleashed-politically-correct-monster.html

‘I launched Childline to protect the most vulnerable – but unleashed a politically correct monster’

By Esther Rantzen

9th July 2008

By the way, have you seen the following articles (both linked to the NCHR’s web site)?

Child protection damages public health
Press Release 21st May 2008

Child protection
By Jean Robinson

Keep up your good work.

All the best

Deborah Coddington: Violence so ingrained

– that’s the real tragedy

5:00AM Sunday July 13, 2008
Deborah Coddington

Why are we aghast at the revelation Tony Veitch beat his partner so badly she reportedly ended up in a wheelchair? This is New Zealand, remember, violence is our answer to everything. Every other morning we wake to news that another child is “fighting for its life” in Starship Hospital and “police are investigating” suspicious injuries. Or worse, another child has died at the hands of his or her “caregivers” (a misnomer, if ever there was one).

Physical and sexual abuse of children is so rife we’ve given up trying to do anything about it.

The Children’s Commissioner, Cindy Kiro, a genuinely well-intentioned woman, spends more time as commissioner of studies and reports than actively campaigning against cruelty to children.

Why not a children’s commissioner visiting every school in the country, giving every child her phone number, telling them to call her if someone so much as threatens to lay a hand on them in anger or lust?

Dream on, Coddington. This is a country where the only petition in recent years to gain enough signatures to repeal a law was one which advocated the smacking of children (to Kiro’s credit, she spoke out against this campaign to bring back Section 59 of the Crimes Act).

We water down the horror of violence within families by calling it “domestic violence”, much like we make pussy cats more acceptable than their spitting, clawing, yowling feral cousins, by defining our pets as domesticated.

Maybe we’re shocked Veitch paid hush money to his former partner – $100,000 we’re told – to “compensate” for her trauma and loss of income. He’s not the first wealthy abuser to pay to keep the public away from his shame, but truth has a nasty habit of coming out.

Sadly, violence is everywhere in this Godless country – the rich and famous are not exempt. Every single night children are cowering in their bedrooms, hiding under the blankets trying to block out the noise of Mum and Dad (if he’s their real dad) yelling at each other, chasing each other around the house, pushing, belting and kicking each other.

These kids don’t get paid hush money, but nonetheless they go to school the next day and pretend nothing happened. They kid themselves their home life is as happy as today’s television equivalent of my era’s Brady Bunch.

Those kids grow up, become criminals, and Sensible Sentencing advocates more violence, demanding incarceration with hard labour. Yeah, like that will make a difference to someone who’s never heard a kind word of praise. As Celia Lashlie wrote in her book Journey to Prison, we imprison criminals as punishment, not for punishment.

What happened after the violent attacks against Asian people in South Auckland? Calls for more violence by some 10,000 members of the Asian community, angry because politicians aren’t lining up anyone who looks like a thug and locking them up if they’re even thinking about being naughty. And because he viewed the New Zealand police force as so ineffectual, Peter Low, leader of this anti-crime organisation, threatened to bring in the Triads, advising Asian people to defend themselves with violence.

Er, excuse me, but aren’t most violent crimes fuelled by methamphetamine addiction, and isn’t 90 per cent of that drug’s importation carried out by Asian gangs?

Low was quickly ridiculed, but unionist Beven Hanlon wasn’t when he called for prison guards to be armed, preferably with taser guns, after an inmate badly injured a guard with a yard broom.

In sport, violence is called biffo; if you’re an All Black you get a growling. In New Zealand, traffic violence is called “I own a bigger car so you can’t change lanes”. What did Sir Edmund Hillary say when he reached the top of Everest? “We knocked the bugger off.”

Last week I was appearing on Willie Jackson’s Eye to Eye programme and another guest, whom I’d never met, greeted me with, “My brother hates you”.

Veitch isn’t the first high-profile New Zealander to beat up his partner, and he won’t be the last. If anything good comes of this tragedy, it’s that New Zealanders face up to the intrinsic violence in our national culture. Goodness me, a pig just flew past my window.