Dear Dr. Drew:
I watched the segment on "Spanking" yesterday (July 24, 2012) and found it one of the more honest and sometime spirited discussions on television. I will get right to the point and state that all your guests were right and it is unfortunately that none of them appeared to see it. There are instances in which a 'spanking' is disciplinary and at other times it is abuse. There are children who will learn without receiving a spanking and others that no amount of spankings will do any good, except for the negatives that you and your other professional colleagues cited based upon years of clinical research. For those parents who spank their children this form of discipline is almost always used as the first resort instead of the last, with very few other options or alternatives. It is usually administered when one is angry, frustrated, irritated, tired, upset and is more punishment than corrective. It is usually accompanied by yelling, screaming or fussing and meted out in a wrathful fury.
Glozell and pastor Michael Pearl talked about the Biblical statement of "spare the rod" but it also says, "Train up a child in the way he/she should go" and this is NOT the same training one does with animals. If the Bible were written today the statements about a child might very well include putting the child on a "time out" as well as "negative reinforcement" (withdrawing privileges). What must be taken into account and you hit the nail right on the head Dr. Drew is when you mentioned about the environment in which the Bible was written came out of a warfare culture and people were disciplined in order to fit within the society that they were a part of. Also, the African-American professor's comments I found to be the 'least' credible because he, like so many others in the Black community and White apologists keep blaming everything on slavery to account for problems within Black families, especially with disciplining Black males. For one thing, slavery hasn't been practice in the U. S. for nearly 235 years and is too remote to be used as an excuse today.
I believe it is true that inflicting physical pain in the form of discipline does affect the chemistry of the brain along with physical/mental development and social skills and a child might start lying as well as terrorize others more vulnerable in the form of bullying, teasing, pranks, fighting or others forms of aggressive behavior including inflicting pain or harming [torturing] animals and insects. A child needs to hear more positives than the negatives such as don’t, can’t, etc, and the data suggests that while growing up the ratio of negatives to positives are astoundingly high [thousands to one]. A parent has to let their child know they are wanted and to feel safe and loved as well as hugged on occasion. Sadly, for many children the only time there is physical touching is when they are grabbed by the hand or arm for doing something wrong or breaking the rules.
As a final point, I found it most amusing at first, then later I was offended at Glozell because she was the most vocal person, rude, impatient, discourteous, disrespectful and the most animated when it comes to raising and disciplining children- that she doesn’t have any herself. My message to her is this: “How can you tell someone else how to raise a child or be a parent if you are not one?” Oh, by the way, I am a parent and know from which I speak [or write in this case].
776 Commerce St. #B-11
Tacoma, WA 98402
July 25, 2012