Saturday, November 21, 2009

Top 10 Discipline Methods Not to use on Your Child

On the same day that I received a request to answer a survey for child abuse professionals about what I think my community's beliefs are concerning discipline methods, I saw an article about one type that wasn't on the list.

A pediatrician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is circulating a survey about opinions about child abuse. Professionals in various disciplines of the child protection field were asked to say whether we think it is the norm in our communities to use certain methods on various age children usually, occasionally, rarely or never. It didn't include the one that turned out to me to be the Number 1 Truly Shocking Thing NOT to do to Your Child.

But first the list:

Top 10 Discipline Methods Not to Use on your Child

Number 10 - Pinching

Number 9 - Kicking

Number 8 - Hot peppers in mouth as punishment

Number 7 - Calling child names such as stupid, ugly or useless

Number 6 - Hitting on the buttocks with an object such as a belt or switch

Number 5 - Slapping child on the face or the back of the head

Number 4 - Hitting child elsewhere than on the buttocks with an object such as a belt, hairbrush or stick

Number 3 - Shaking

Number 2 - Beating (that is hitting over and over again with an object or fist)

and the number 1 Truly Shocking Thing NOT to do to Your Child ...


That's right, I saw an article about a woman who called the police on her 10 year old daughter who curled up on the floor rather than take a shower at bed time. AND THEN the mother gave the officer permission to use his taser on the child if he thought it was necessary. See the November 19, 2009, Associated Press article from Ozark, Arkansas, here.

The girl's father, who reportedly "does not have custody", described the child as having "emotional problems."

The Mayor wants the State Police or FBI to investigate and said:

People here feel like that he made a mistake in using a Taser, and maybe he did, but we will not know until we get an impartial investigation.

Really? Really? The town has to have an independent investigation to determine whether a child having a tantrum at home needs to be shocked into submission?

See also my Guest Commentary on the bill that was then pending in the Massachusetts state legislature to ban corporal punishment in the December 13, 2007, Arlington Advocate.