As parents, we either respect or reject the way we were raised. My parents were fairly authoritarian and followed the advice of Dr. Dobson, whose book The Strong Willed Child was a bestseller in the '80s. They believed in the adage "spare the rod and spoil the child;" and in our household, the rod was a wooden spoon or a yardstick. But we three daughters rarely needed such correction. When we were disciplined in this way, my parents always prefaced it with an explanation of what we did wrong and a reminder that they loved us.
As an adult now, however, I can't recall more than one or two reasons why I was spanked. Instead, what I remember is the boiling anger and resentment it stirred up in me. I certainly don't recall deciding to change my behavior as a result, only trying to avoid getting caught. Psychology backs this up, showing that punishment motivates a child to avoid future punishment but it does not effectively change behavior by itself.Read More