October 26th, 2011
07:17 PM ET
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Nicola

    What does spanking teach? Fear. What's learned? Aggression, and later, manipulation of your insane parenting method.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  2. Ellen

    Spanking is not needed - in fact, it is rarely useful.

    In any case, the kind of recipe for Stockholm Syndrome prescribed by people like Michael Pearl is heinous.

    In the Pearls' system, the same people expecting your love, telling you they love you, and being kind at times, are the ones who might do something as bizarre as setting you up with a temptation (or giving a ridiculous order) just to let you fail, so you can be hit. They may even cause pain due to your doing something perfectly innocent.

    And these people aren't bosses, spouses or even prison guards, working this manipulation on adults. They are doing this to tiny babies and children who have never known anything else.

    The very people defining all of life (and I do mean all - many children being raised this way are also not exposed to outsiders) are not to be trusted - their love brings pain, and they are calm and controlled when causing it.

    And they go right back to being blithely sweet after confusing and hurting their children.

    What a nightmare.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Fanny Bucheli

    Kudos to you Mr. Cooper for keeping a straight face during this bizarre interview with Mr. Pearl. The Bible might encourage spanking, but the Bible was written some 2000 years ago. One would hope that education has evolved somewhat since. I don't believe in spanking, I believe in hugging, and my children are very well behaved as well. When they grow up (which will be pretty soon), they will hug their children and their spouses – and me.

    October 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
  4. BAE

    Spanking a child does not create fear when the child knows that you love them. Spanking for discipline is vastly different from abuse. The truth is, spanking is only a very small portion of child training, which should include many hours of instruction and honesty. Children are a valuable part of society and should be taught how to have value as such. It is incredibly sad to see how many children are disrespectful and selfish. I don't see this as the childs fault, but the parents. In a sense I believe it is abusive not to properly train your child. I see frustrated parents screaming at their children because they have no control of the childs wild behavior...that is incredibly abusive, and shows a total lack of self control. Spanking should be done in a calm and loving manner...never in anger or frustration.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  5. Marry

    Sadly, not too many children have parents that give the development of a small child into a caring, responsible adult really a lot of thought.
    The least thought they give how their own behavior affects the child positive or negative. And many parents would probably be upset /shocked if they could see from the “outside” how they treat their children!
    If you want to or not – YOU give and show your child what YOU are made of and who YOU are and interact with the world! And that has often a big influence of what they become!
    If there is physically or mentally up use of a child in order to make it “pay attention” (to whatever!) it shows big deficiencies in all kinds of areas on the part of the adult.

    October 27, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  6. Dave

    People need to realize that spanking and abuse are totally different things. Obviously the children that were killed were being abused. Very sad and tragic. Haivng Pearls book had nothing to do with the "sick" parents and their abuse and treatment of those children. Most likely it was some sort of childhood trauma/abuse sustained during their childhood. Spanking should be used as a tool in the parenting toolbox. Children do need to be taught that there are consequences to their actions and that the lack of listening to the parent may result in a spanking. Spanking should be done in a loving way and never out of anger or frustration. If a parent is spanking out of anger, they need to walk away for a few seconds and compose themselves. In an ideal world, talking and explaining things to kids is a great way to go for discipline. But occasionally a quick spank is warranted if the talking doesn't seem to get through.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 am |
  7. Laura

    I should clarify my previous post by adding that I am now fully grown, married, with three children, run two successful businesses with my husband, and attribute much of my strength of character and wisdom in my life to my parents and the way they raised me (spanking included). My parents read Michael and Debi Pearl's books and agreed with much of their teaching, with positive results. As a parent myself now, I do as well. When you read the book you will see for yourself that the emphasis is NOT on the discipline so much as on what they refer to "tying strings", i.e. – making life fun and interesting. Bonding with your child and training them will negate a need for much spanking.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  8. Amelia

    While I in no way condone child abuse, which is what beating a child to the point where they're seriously injured or worse, dead, is, I do think we as a society have gone too far with the "touchy-feely-talky" forms of raising children and this is at the root of all the troubles our children have been getting into in recent years. We need to go back to the DISCIPLINE that our grandparents and great grandparents and earlier generations used. If it worked for earlier generations why should it not work for children today? You tell your children what you expect them to do. If they don't obey, they get punished. It's that simple. A few whacks with a paddle is NOT "abuse". If more parents did this we'd have fewer children ending up in juvenile detention or as adult criminals.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
  9. Laura

    From personal experience, firm, measured spanking is physically and emotionally positive. I was disciplined as a young child along with my siblings when we chose to do what we knew was wrong after being trained to do what was right. My parents NEVER hit us, abused us, or caused us to quiver in fear of their anger. I have witnessed MANY parents in my current generation who are raising their sweet little children with the "no spanking" line of thinking... but sadly I see the majority resorting to yelling, screaming, belittling, bribing, and even hitting to get their child to respond and obey normal and even safety rules of life.

    I would much rather be spanked for something I chose to do, knowing it was wrong, and have the event be over and done with than to be yelled at, emotionally abused, and treated as an "inconvenience" like so many of the children I see around me.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  10. Darlene

    Most people assoc spanking with anger and abuse not controlled and corrective. My children thank me when i spank them. Its never done in anger nor means to punish its a training tool that they understand as love perhaps just because a few out of control parents spanked out of control doesnt mean all parents who spank do this and just because someone read the Pearls book and chose to beat their kid doesnt mean the Pearls advocate that i mean interview their 5 grown children and u will see. Spanking children isnt the problem its the parents way of spanking and whether they are in control or not. Its the same as saying guns kill people its not guns who kill people. People kill people. Those parents obviousally lacked self control something the Pearls are very big on. This isnt the Pearls fault its the moms fault. Thats like saying burger king made u fat instead take resp for your own actions. Perhaps kids who havent been spanked properly suffer. I can spank my kids and not be angry while in control

    October 26, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  11. jenny

    Im 35 years old and my parents used spanking , especially my dad. There was a belt hanging by the bathroom door and sometimes just opening the door worked:). I remember that sometimes they would ask me and my sister to do something or stop something and we would't understand until we received punishment. My parents love us enormously and gave us anything they could. I grew a good person, hard worker, respectful of myself and others. I think the discussion is endless. Any "weapon" brings different outcome if used by different hands.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  12. Britney G.

    My family took in many boys from abusive and troubled homes. All of us were "spanked" NOT beaten. There is a huge difference between the two. Any of my brothers would tell you the same; many of them were BEATEN. Before Corporal Punishment was heard of, we were "spanked" with a switch (short branch from a bush) that we were sent to pick ourselves. Back then, children did not shoot up schools, or bully each other... We knew Momma would send us out to the bush to pick a switch. I would discipline my child this way were I to have any.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  13. Charles shuby

    So how do the terms beating and spanking become joined? My kids are naughty, they get a spanking. I would never beat my kids. Spanking is an acceptable form of discipline. Beating is not, and if you dont know the difference, do us all a favor and refrain from having kids.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  14. Amelia

    I was reared by two loving parents, whom I adore. I am now 51, and they are 76. I was spanked as a child in the 1960s, as were most of my classmates. None of us have grown up to be child abusers or molesters. Instead, we are all productive, loving adults who have in turned reared loving, stable children.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  15. Melissa O.

    I raised 2 kids and NEVER hit either of them. They are both kind, emotionally complete and mature, and well educated. What would hitting them have gained them, or me? MIGHT DOES NOT MAKE RIGHT!!

    October 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  16. Rae Sherman

    People must understand that spanking is in the bible for a reason. You spare the rod you spoil the child. The bible does state that if you spank a child, it won't kill them! Now those folks that beat that little girl to death, they did just that, BEAT her to death. Look @ how children act these days. Telling the parent what to do. doing what they want to do, acting how they want. Thats why its in the bible. You have to break that stubborn streak in a child. Now that man was talking about using a plumbing piece thats crazy. I got whooped with a switch, and a belt. One thing I know is this, I got whooped and spanked, and I thank my mother for it! Wake up America, when they cuttin up and actin crazy, whoop that tail! I whoops mine. I refuse to raise some hoodlums, and crazys. Its a reflection on me! You all betta wake up!

    October 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
  17. Josephine Gall

    Anderson, I admire you immensely for bringing up the issues that have been long hidden from society. I landed once, as a home schooling mother (for academic reasons) in a local group of "Christians", who said, when I brought up the subject of ADD & ADHD, they told me there was a 5000 year old method. Then they proceeded to exhibit how to make a whip from reeds, and how to beat their children with it. They also admonished the parents not to register the birth of their children. I could have stayed longer, but had to leave from nausea. I put a letter in the local paper (this was in 1991 (not sure) that helped drive these people out of the local school-board, where they had started to dominate (while not sending their children themselves to school.!) I only would wish that you had not told the author of the book about child-"rasing", that you respected him and his following. It disappointed me.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Josephine Gall

      Anderson, thanks for bringing up this horrid issue. I only wished you had not expressed respect for the author of this book and his following. They are ignorant. You would not go either to a dentist or doctor who would apply a 5000 year old method?

      October 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Rae Sherman

      I dont know who you were talking to, but Im a Christian and that just didnt sound kosher!

      October 27, 2011 at 12:24 am |
  18. Kimberly Corbitt

    Spanking not beating is an acceptable form of punishment. In no way do I believe in beating a child where I leave marks but I do believe inwhat the Bible encourages which is not sparing the rod. It is so funny to me how people are against spanking and when it was accepted by society back in the day kids were so much more respectable. I have two children and they have been spanked on occasion and I have always got compliments on them. They are not perfect but they are great and well behaved children.

    I am a teacher and I see children everyday that could stand to get a good spanking.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  19. Robert S

    Anderson, I'll attempt to give you a better analogy.... a man burns down 100,000 acres of forests and along with it hundreds of homes. Investigators find a book in his house that explains how to safely roast marshmellows. The writer of the book is held responsible because he encouraged the man to buid a fire.

    Regardless which side of the issue one is on, to spank or not to spank, you manipulated your interview to your desired outcome. You did not ask follow-up questions to clarify his statements, although they were clear. He clearly stated that he wants his readers to understand spanking as inflicting enough pain as to get a childs attention...NO PHYSICAL HARM!

    You should know that people who may believe in spanking, but apply it violently, would obviously need to be trained in parenting skills... if their believes tell them that a child should be spanked, don't you think the children would be safer if the meaning of spanking should be explained to them? No physical harm, just enough to get a childs attention! Do you think timeout is more humane than spanking(no physical harm)? What does phsycology say about staring at a corner for hours?

    It would be refreshing to see interviewers ask relevant questions and follow-up questions instead of guiding the conversation into a predetermined dead-end street.

    I am not an advocate of spanking, or of not spanking, I am fo child safety and I am a big fan of good interviewing, you've done it before, you can do it again!

    October 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  20. Anne Grant

    Violence begets violence.....and I don't believe 90% of Americans use corporal punishment! Spanking is indeed hitting and modeling to the child that it's okay for someone bigger than you to grab anything close at hand and hurt you. It's not okay.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Rae Sherman

      Spanking a child is not teaching them thats its ok to hurt others that are bigger than you. Its teaching respect, and discipline. You don't pop them for no reason, you pop them when they act like they dont have nobody's home training.Of course you're bigger than the child. Thats why the bible says spare the rod spoil the child. When they get older you will wish that you had of spanked them.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:20 am |
  21. Michael Landon Elswick

    Dear Sir,

    I was spanked as a Child... It never hurt me and I should have received more! Our Country has become soft and if more parents would help their children understand that if you do Wrong You will be Punished... Do it when they are young or let the Prison System do that for them when they reach Adulthood??? Please Understand... Child Abuse of any Kind is WRONG!!! Spanking children is sometimes necessary... Spankings in the proper way is not Child Abuse but it is Loving your child enough to care when they mess up....


    Michael Landon Elswick

    October 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  22. Liz Warthen

    From personal experience any form of spanking is physically and emotionally abusive leaving life long scars. Children who are "spanked" end up abusing their own children. It leads to generations of domestic abusers. and/or victims or both. What we learn we act out in unless we have an "awakening". Our prisons are full of people who were adversely effected by "spanking". For me and others I have met over the years in 12 Step recovery ,who grew up with physical punishment, ended up with PTSD, eating disorders, drug ,alcohol andor other addictions. I found the author Anderson interviewed very scary.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  23. Sue

    I know that it is a need to discipline children ,however, going to extreme by doing harmful actions leading to death of these children, is unacceptable. This has to stop immediately. We also need to look at the backgrounds of these parents whether they've been badly abused during their childhood days.
    The parents who Disciplinie children need to set good examples of behavior too.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  24. Leah Dombroff

    With more than 35 years of experience as a parent educator, I find that spanking generally comes up in conversations with parents when discussing discipline. All accredited research over the past 30 years is unchanged. Children that get hit become hitters. Using fear and intimidation to discipline children is ineffective and creates other larger problems. When I have come across parents who speak about spare the rod, spoil the child, I have suggested that perhaps this should be interpreted to use the rod as a tool to point children in the right direction, rather than as a weapon that hurts both the body and soul of a child.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  25. Tom

    Lighten up on the child discipline author. "Spanking" a child is not the same as beating a child. My grandmother was one of the best mothers, grandmothers, and Christians of all times and she made her kids cut their own switches when they misbehaved...if the switch they chose was too small they were really in trouble! I was paddled in high school once when I deserved it and miraculously I never needed another paddling due to the lasting impression from the first experience. I have seen countless families that did not believe in spanking their kids and guess who runs the roost? Seriously, many of these families are dysfunctional due to the lack of respect the kids have for their weak-kneed parents.

    So please lighten up on this guy. You came across as an extremely weak-kneed liberal and I actually turned off the TV.

    Tom from upstate NY

    October 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  26. Kdeezo326

    I believe spanking is a vital part of raising children. Not only does it enforces disipline, but it helps creates the fine balance of "love & fear" that children should have of their parents. Of course the love is there for obvious reasons, but children must have some sort of fear of their parents. Because if they don't, they'll stop listening to the parents, especially when they get older, and then you've lost them. That's why it's best to "train" them from an early age, with spanking as one form of discipline.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  27. bd

    The author continues to define what spanking is. If you look up the word spank in the dictionary it says "to strike (a person, usually a child) with THE OPEN HAND...." among using other objects. It is hitting, Using an object doesn't mean it's any better or more acceptable. Spanking is striking is hitting. Whether or not this guy understands what Anderson is trying to explain, I hope he realizes that he is now known as the author of a book that was found in the homes of two sets of parents that killed their children, and the book is about how to raise kids.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  28. D.L Hinkle

    This author is very confused. The bible doesn't promote hurting and punishing your child.
    Proverbs does say to "use the rod of dicipline" but this language is figurative. The rod of
    dicipline represents loving guidance and correction given through words and "if necessary"
    the appropriate withdrawal of privileges like: ipod, wii, cell phone, car, etc. The god of
    the bible is a LOVING God.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  29. Darla Miller

    My husband and I had six children which are all grown up now and have children of their own. They were spanked when they were young, but not with an object of any kind. They were spanked with the hand and no marks were left on them but they learned to mind us and all we hurt on them was their pride. They grew to be wonderful kids, teens and adults who never got involved with drugs, alcohol nor did they ever have any run-ins with the law, ever. They now tell us that the spankings was good for them because it taught them discipline, respect, and made them realize that we really did love them enough to right their wrongs with a spanking. They are now the same with their children, and their children are very well mannered, behaved children. Our children was good in school, and happy. Spanking children shows them that, we, as their parents, correct them with spankings because we love them so much. NOT BEATINGS, BUT SPANKING THEM!

    October 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  30. Kay Klein

    There is no research that supports that spanking creates more successful students. How does spanking create trust? Spanking creates fear not trust.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  31. Annienonymous

    Someone needs to "spank" this lunatic. All "hitting" does is teach a child that retaliation and hitting back is appropriate. I thank the good Lord that we were the parents who adopted our daughter (with developmental trauma and PTSD), She could have been a statistic if any of these lunatic parents had been slated for her placement. There is no need for corporal punishment if you understand human behavior and use positive reinforcement.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
  32. Jacky Severin

    You really tried to twist this one, Anderson. Thank goodness he was ready for you! Love the author. I just might live through two teenagers....lol. Thanks for the information.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
  33. Brandon Still

    I disagree with Gandolf the bearded one on only point. Tools. If your spanking a child to the point your own hand hurts, you know it's time to stop, and perhaps have gone too far.

    October 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm |