Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 1, 2013

Spanking spurned by experts, not by locals

TAHLEQUAH — A generation ago, consequences for misbehavior at home or even in public school often involved a belt, a switch or a paddle.

Today, corporal punishment in schools is all but extinct, but many parents still employ spanking to teach toddlers right from wrong.

According to a new study published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, spanking during the first decade of life could have negative repercussions on vocabulary development and instances of aggression.

Researchers conducting the study interviewed 1,933 parents when their children were 3 years old and again when they were 5, asking whether and how often they were spanked. According to the study, more than half the mothers and a third of the fathers participating had spanked their children, with frequency declining at age 5.

Researchers assessed the children at age 9, asking 50 questions to determine aggression and vocabulary. The study revealed that maternal spanking at age 5 is associated with greater aggression and lower vocabulary scores at age 9.

Diane Weston, a local child development specialist who has raised three children, was not surprised by the study’s findings.

“Spanking can be a short-term fix, but certainly isn’t a long-term fix for ongoing behavioral issues,” said Weston. “The problem with spanking is children learn to only do the right thing when a disciplinarian is present.”

Weston’s philosophy is one of self-discipline.

“I believe children should do the right thing because they know it’s the right thing to do, not because they fear physical consequences,” said Weston. “I think spanking teaches kids to be sneaky, that they’ll only do the right thing when an authority figure is present. With younger children, spanking teaches them to problem-solve by hitting.”

Gary Gore, a retired educator and school principal, remembers when corporal punishment was withdrawn from public education.

“I believe it was withdrawn from Tahlequah Public Schools in the early 1990s,” said Gore. “I believe giving swats, if done properly, can be a consequence to a variety of actions. The problem is in this day of zero-tolerance, there’s no gray area. Teachers and administrators have to take the same action, across the board, for a certain behavior, without considering individual circumstances. You also need to make sure parents are involved to make it work.”

Gore said swats were administered as a parental choice before it was withdrawn altogether.

“We sent home a notice to parents about the infraction, offering possible actions, which could be in-house suspension or swats, and have parents choose so they would know what was going to happen.”

You can’t “punish out” the bad behavior

According to the American Psychological Association, many studies have shows that physical punishment can lead to increased aggression, anti-social behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children.

Dr. Alan Kazdin, a Yale University psychology professor and director of Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, said spanking doesn’t work.

“You cannot punish out these behaviors that you do not want,” Kazdin told the APA. “There is no need for corporal punishment based on the research. We are not giving up an effective technique. We are saying this is a horrible thing that does not work.”

Heather Winn, Family and Consumer Sciences educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, believes parents should strive to provide positive guidance during childhood.

“As children grow older and enter kindergarten, recommended guidance techniques are different from earlier years,” said Winn. “Because cognitive skills are changing, children can remember and think about their behaviors in different ways. They begin to see how their behaviors impact others. They can begin to cooperate, share and wait their turn more easily. The goal of positive guidance is to help children develop positive self-concepts and healthy functioning consciences.”

Winn offered the following tips for dealing positively with misbehavior:

• Redirect the child.

• Remove the child from the activity.

• Emphasize the positive areas of the child’s interactions.

• Set limits.

• Talk privately about the behaviors and why they cannot be allowed.

Text Only
Local News
  • CN, UKB battle over trust land application

    Two Tahlequah-based tribes presented oral arguments Friday in a protracted fight over a land-in-trust application.

    Over the course of five hours, attorneys for the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and the Department of the Interior made their cases before Northern District Judge Gregory Frizzell in a hearing that was originally scheduled for February.

     

    July 25, 2014

  • ts-NSU-Main-1-a.jpg No NSU pool, for now

    NSU experiencing delays in fitness center construction

    Earlier this month, Northeastern State University announced it is experiencing delays in the renovation of its fitness center and pool.
    The facility was officially shuttered Sept. 17, 2012, and at the time, the projected completion date for renovation was this fall.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • jn-Suspect-1.jpg Officials: Images of suspects may help nab church burglars

    Cherokee County investigators hope surveillance footage captured around the Crescent Valley Baptist Church in Woodall helps lead to the suspects accused of breaking into the complex and setting fire to one building this week.
    According to Undersheriff Jason Chennault, cameras captured footage of two suspects on bicycles early Tuesday morning, July 22.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw-movie-night.jpg Local library hosts family movie night

    Nova Foreman and her two daughters were about to leave the Tahlequah Public Library Thursday, when they saw the Family Movie Night flyer.
    The three decided to stay and enjoy a movie they had not yet seen at the free, theater-like event.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Keys.jpg Grant to fund stepped-up Keys PE program

    Kair Ridenhour’s new office is filled with pedometers.
    Ridenhour officially started his new position as assistant elementary principal at Keys Public Schools on July 1.
    But his other role at the school – that of physical education project coordinator – prompted the influx of pedometers.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn cvbc fire.jpg Church catches fire after burglaries

    Authorities are looking for the person accused of breaking into the Crescent Valley Baptist Church two times this week and likely causing a fire that damaged the youth building early Wednesday morning.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • svw Humane photo.tif More volunteers needed to house strays, help with spay-and-neuter

    Furry friends may seem like the perfect addition to round out a family.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marijuana, seeds lead to four arrests

    Four people were arrested on marijuana related charges early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop on South Muskogee Avenue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Sex offender found living in tent at river

    Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators arrested a convicted sex offender this week when they discovered he has been living in a tent along the river.

    July 24, 2014

  • ts-NSU-MAIN.jpg Fledgling RiverHawks arrive

    Over 200 incoming freshmen took part in orientation class at Northeastern State University

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Stocks