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Pat McMahon

Giving the idea of spanking a, well, spanking

Last week, the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States officially denounced spanking as a means of disciplining children.

Delegates to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church passed a resolution that calls for an end to the practice of corporal punishment in homes, schools and childcare facilities.

I’m not a Presbyterian, but I agree with them.

The only regret I have is raising two boys and a girl is that, on a couple of occasions, out of frustration and a lack of personal control, I swatted their bottoms and as I look back now, I’m embarrassed to admit that, at that moment, I was a bully.

I was bigger than they were, I was more experienced and I should have been smarter. So, in order to prove my superiority, I struck them.

They weren’t physically hurt, but what did they learn? That violence is sometimes excusable?

Dog trainers in the military, law enforcement in my home consistently warn against hitting. Establishing authority and respect is rewarded with good behavior.

If that works for dogs and Presbyterians, why not your children?

I’m Pat McMahon.


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