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.