To spank or not to spank

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
Before selecting a caregiver for your child, ask about the policy of spanking. State law forbids public daycare centers from using corporal punishment, or spanking. Most states forbid caregivers from even threatening to spank a child. Daycare operators should be asked about their discipline policies, too. Some states allow home daycare providers to give spankings to children, with the signed consent of the parents. This punishment is usually limited to children over five years old, and the spanking must be only be administered to the child's buttocks. There are effective alternative disciplines for children. One of the most common is a series of progressively longer 'time-outs.' While proponents of spanking believe it's suitable when administered calmly and consistently, very few recommend allowing non-family members to spank. Advocates of spanking assert this punishment shouldn't be used as a last resort, but consistently applied each time a child deliberately defies specific parental instruction. Spanking is controversial, and opponents believe it's violent, regardless of how it's administered. Further, they feel children will respond to this violence by ultimately becoming aggressive and violent themselves. Be sure to discuss with potential caregivers the discipline method you wish to be used with your child.

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