Well, thank goodness, I was worried about that. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled last week that it is okay to beat your kids. This case involved a mother who whipped her 11 year old kid with an extension cord (my mom used to use hot wheel tracks, ouch!). She was then found guilty of battery at trial. Apparently, as long as the harm isn’t serious or permanent (what about the psychological harm?) its okay to beat your kids.
Basically the Court relies on a reasonable standard when it comes to kid beating. If the beating was reasonable under the circumstances, and not too out of hand, its okay. Well, that sounds specific enough.
I’m of mixed feelings when it comes to corporal punishment. First, I’m totally against it in the schools. I got the paddle several times as a youngster by the principal (sorry, I had to flip him off, he was an arse), so I’ve never been big on that. I have three daughters, and no one is going to lay a hand on them except me or my wife. When it comes to parental discipline, this is a bit tougher. I tend to side with the wishy-washy psychologists on this one. Hitting your kids, especially in anger, teaches them only one thing, when your mad physical violence is okay. So, as a rule I do not spank my kids, because in my experience it only teaches them to hit their sisters or friends when they are mad or upset. We use the Dr. Phil methods of parenting and so far so good. With that said, there are no standards of good parenting and plenty of people believe that spanking your kids is a perfectly legitimate way of disciplining them. I don’t want to be the person telling them they are wrong, even if I think they are. I don’t think it does any permanent harm to the children (well, I still have flashbacks about the hotwheel tracks), so I guess its all right. In any event, I’m glad Indiana has stood up for the rights of parents, in the long run that is what we need more of.