November 29 2007

Massachusetts Wants To Ban Spanking

SpankingThis has been all over the media, so I assume most of you have heard about it by now, but for those who haven’t, a nurse in Massachusetts wants to ban the spanking of children entirely, including in your home.

The theory is that spanking is as much a crime as domestic abuse and it is wrong for parents to have carte blanche to abuse their children. From the ABC News article this quote (and picture) came from:

“I think it’s ironic that domestic violence applies to everyone except the most vulnerable — children,” said Kathleen Wolf, who wrote the bill.

Look, there is a difference between “domestic violence” and swatting your kid’s behind for misbehaving. Sometimes it is the only way to get a kid’s attention, and I know it sure as heck always worked on me as a kid. Sure, there are some parents who take it too far, and those people should be punished, but if you want to swat your kids behind after you have repeatedly told them no about something, then do it.

The general sense is that the bill won’t pass, but it is just insane to me that it ever even got considered. Spanking is as old as humanity for the most part, and while I think it can be taken to excess, I think every parent has the right to make this decision for themselves.

Working in a comic book store for over 15 years, I saw my fair share of rowdy kids, and the parents who always went the “Do you want a time out?” route usually got no where with their kids, and the one’s who gave them a small swat on the butt got their attention. Again, it’s all in degrees, but to give a total ban is just stupid in my opinion.

And if this does pass somehow, what’s next? What part of your private life in your home will the regulate next? Rough housing? Watching wrestling? Where does it stop?

Oh, and by the by, according to the poll on ABC, most folks think this is stupid also.

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