Monday, June 18, 2012

Boston Globe: Thinking About... Dads?

On Father's day, the Boston Globe prints an article, on mobile, the leading article, about.....
Moms and spanking? Examine the link. Community/moms? And this is published on Father's day?
And the lead sentence suggests the author has been asking only MEN why they spank their children. Why do men spank.... in the community/mom's section? On Father's day? Then he aludes to the fact that if you do spank, someone can get your name and call social services and then the parent could lose their children to gestapo-style state workers who will label you a violent savage and steal your children. THAT PART IS TRUE. And should've been followed up on, but alas, was not. As for spanking, if you don't give your kids at least a few light taps (and most likely ONLY a few) to get their attention when they are deliberately ignoring you as a moody 3 and 4 year-old, then you're going to be brandishing fists with them at the age of 13 - that is from my grandfather, age 90, 1 of 10 children, father of 3 and grandfather to 6. He has successfully forecasted such events in my extended family for going on 4 decades.

Exclusive Magazine Preview

What if spanking works?

Studies show that most parents don’t want to hit their kids — and that some 90 percent do it anyway. Why even the most modern moms and dads can’t stop asking themselves the most controversial question in parenting.

(Henrik Sorensen/getty images)
By James H. Burnett III June 17, 2012

IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG for me to realize that asking a man why he spanks his children is like asking him when he stopped beating his wife.

I’d been trying to interview parents about spanking for weeks when I finally got the name of one mother who, as a friend we shared put it, had more opinions on the matter than Jimmy Durante had jokes. I gave the woman a call one day and began to explain what I was working on — that’s when she slammed down the phone.
A few moments later, she called back to apologize. “I’m at work — that is not a conversation to have around other people,” she hoarsely whispered. “I know you say a mutual friend told you to call me. But for all I know, you could be Social Services or something.” She insisted that I not call her again.
Things continued more or less like that with more than a dozen other people — uncomfortable silences, hang-ups, an astounding number of variations on “Thanks, but no, thanks” — until I reached Kevin Cargill, a 35-year-old real estate professional in Boston.
“I can’t lie, my wife and I do spank our daughters, and I’m not ashamed of it,” Cargill tells me with a nervous chuckle. He says spanking has sometimes been the only way to get through to his girls, who are now 12 and 13. “But at the same time, I can’t say that around everyone. It’s a serious thing, man. And there are people out there who’ll think you’re a beast if you admit to spanking.”
Countless debates at the edges of playgrounds may roil over how much screen time is too much and the right age to stop breast-feeding, but there’s no more radioactive topic in parenting today than corporal punishment. This despite the fact that it was almost universally accepted just a generation ago. These days, a mother in a mall parking lot who merely raises a hand above her youngster’s backside — the disciplinary equivalent of a poker player’s bluff — is sure to generate dirty looks and tsk-tsking from complete strangers. And if she dares follow through on the threat, she stands to lose friends and the respect of her colleagues and may even find herself the target of a state investigation.
Spanking your kids isn’t illegal in Massachusetts, or anywhere else in the United States, but that mother’s worry that I was an investigator was no idle concern. This was a lesson Don Cobble, former pastor of a Woburn church, learned the hard way.
In 1997, Cobble was investigated by the Massachusetts Department of Social Services over allegations that his discipline of his 9-year-old son had veered into abuse — a fine line made finer by the fact that Cobble used the strap of his leather belt. Two years later, the state’s highest court cleared Cobble’s name, but the damage to his reputation was long done. “Ours was not a huge community, so news spreads and friends quickly became former friends,” he says. “I guess what bothered me most was how many people turned on me, as though I was less than human after they found out.”Continued...

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