Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spanking Children and Lower IQs?

According to reports of an extensive study, there are significant residual effects of spanking on children, and chief among them is that children who are spanked have lower IQs. These kinds of reports give me pause.

To begin, I do not believe in spanking children, I have never and would never hit my child, and I feel the act of spanking reflects more on the anger, frustration, and lack of impulse control in parents than it does a parenting tool. However, I challenge any research that it "leads to" or "results in" lower IQs among children.

Perhaps, children who are spanked - or hit - regularly as a disciplinary tool are more likely to come from parents of lower education - and lower IQs. I haven't read the study, but it does not seem to correct for all ranges of socioeconomic and educational - as well as cultural/historical - background of the parents.

My experience has been that spanking is a gut reaction and emotional response of parents. It's not instructional, but punitive. And it more often comes from parents who are less likely to speak to their children in general. Thus, if they don't regularly engage and nurture the behavior of a child, but instead, smack him or her when frustrated, then the child's IQ is going to be negatively affected by the entire parenting experience - or lack thereof.

Spanking is not, in my opinion, parenting. And children who are not parented are going to have lower IQs.


Darren said...

You can certainly tell the difference between a parent who's offering a swat on the butt as a disciplinary tool vs. the parent who's hitting out of their own frustration.

mmazenko said...

Yeah, I don't really see it as a disciplinary tool - even though "I was spanked and I turned out OK." Hitting someone is simply not the correct way to instruct behavior.

Michael Homan said...

Are you sure your a teacher? I am sorry, but I do not agree with your statistics... quote... "According to reports of an extensive study" Who's reports? It's a one-sided report. In some cases discipline done in anger is not good. But unless your a psychologist, and understand how to manipulate the child mentally to correct their behaviour, you will fail, which leads the child to other problems later in life. There is no simple solution that is black and white that will work on all children. And teacher's are not taught psychology. Also, parents would need to be good at psychology as well to get aroubnd physical discipline at home. But if everyone was taught these skills, we would see a lot more mental manipulation among society, not just among our politics, religion, and business in marketing and advertising. From what I am seeing, there are lots of cases where today, and not spanking, has resulted in young adults who have less morals and respect for others. No one is trying to get to the bottom of these issues, they are only capable of seeing within a box our educational system has placed on us. If it were not that way, then we would not be having this conversation. When children are not taught to think for themselves in our educational system, people continually repeat the same bad habits generation after generation. If we were trying to solve pronlems... wouldn't we see all of the scenario's? It is a pity that educators can not think outside of the box. That is why the children are not evolving, nor our people. No one cares about the children, only their paychecks and their benefits.

mmazenko said...

Don't get the "teacher" comment. I went to Catholic school where we got hit, and I taught in Taiwan where they hit kids. Neither place convinced me that hitting is part of teaching.