Spanking Bad Kids Shouldn't be a Crime

Barbara Reynolds | 6/27/2012, 3:07 p.m.

Parents need to establish more spiritual and moral authority in our homes just as I believe Pastor Dollar was trying to do. Up to 70 percent of African-American homes are headed by women. It is tough trying to be both nurturer and disciplinarian. We need more men in the home not only to love our children but also to help us discipline them, especially the disorderly males, who often get away with too much because of how many women raise our daughters to be responsible but pamper and over-indulge our sons.

As a single mother who reared a son, I tried everything to keep him in check, ranging from praying, switching, paddling, spanking and threats. When that didn't work I sent him to boarding school until he decided to comply with my rules. Now a college graduate with a career in law enforcement I think I found the proper balance.

My parenting advice, however, is hotly refuted by some doctors, such as board-certified pediatrician and psychiatrist, Dr. Jan Hutchinson. "According to the American Society of Pediatricians it is never OK to strike your child. The only modification I would add is it could be acceptable in self-defense, if a life is being threatened. But this is rare and unusual."

Referring to a major study of 2,500 mothers by Tulane University in April, Hutchinson said, "Not only is spanking children of limited effect, it has long-term negatives. The study showed that children who are spanked twice monthly at age 3 are twice as likely to become destructive, aggressive and mean-spirited by the time they are five. ..."

To spank or not to spank if that is the question, it looks like Pastor Dollar chose the smack- down. If that act has taught his daughter a valuable lesson about honoring her father, who apparently has provided and cared for her all her life, perhaps jail was not too hard a price to pay.