Research tells us that spanking reduces the child's misbehavior, but only temporarily, and spanking does not suppress misbehavior in the long run ["A Good Parent's Dilemma: Is It Bad to Spank?" June 23-30].
Children learn not to listen to parents but to run away from them. Then what happens when parents fail to learn other nonviolent strategies of discipline or become frustrated? Escalation of anger and abuse. There are many more effective nonviolent alternatives and numerous parenting classes to teach new parents nonviolent discipline strategies. But in our violent society, we prefer to think of punishing misbehavior rather than teaching our children good behavior. We forget that in parenting, the most important function of a consequence is to teach the child.
Radka Toscova, Ph.D.
"Good Parents, Bad Results" was right on target. Along with parents, the article might also have cited schools that issue report cards and publish honor rolls and think that classroom competition is a motivator. And let's not forget the Parent-Teacher organizations that sell those incredible bumper stickers that say: My child is an honor student at (name the school).
John F. Stohrer
Concord , N.H.