A study came out this week which to link mental illness with spanking children. Of course such a study really proves very little. But given how closely mental illness seems to be tied to genetics, it raises an interesting and important question: are parents who are mentally ill more likely to spank?
In my opinion, the real problem is that when we say it is okay to spank is we are talking to both the mentally unstable parents as well as the stable. Now, once an unstable person starts hitting another person, what are the odds s/he will stop at two swats over a diaper? As the child of a mentally unstable parent, the odds of this going well for the child are not good.
So how about if we just say, “no hitting your kids.” Stable parents will find other methods of child rearing that will be more effective anyway. Better still, unstable parents will not have an excuse to start hitting.
Problem solved. Next on my agenda: whirled peas.