Spanking children: Is it abuse?

National
Spanking_children__Is_it_abuse____ABC4Ne_7_20190621145215-3156058

Beaten with a belt, welts all over their body, thrown around the room and punched in the face.

Court documents state that’s what put James Early Rainey behind bars.

The 40-year-old has been booked into the Davis County Jail without bail on two counts of second-degree child abuse – inflicting serious bodily injury.

The mother, who has not been charged with any crime, says this type of punishment is normal in their family and where they come from in Alabama.

“Is this child abuse?” ABC4’s Brittany Johnson asked Victor Veith, Director of Education & Research for Zero Abuse Project.

“Sometimes parents will say, oh, ‘I got whacked as a child and I turned out just great.’ But it wasn’t because of the corporal punishment. It was probably because of other factors in your life,” Veith replied.

Veith is one of over 700 child maltreatment professionals attending the 26th American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Colloquium.

He says corporal punishment is dangerous.

“A majority of substantiated physical abuse cases start out as what we call spanking and they end up in bruises, blood, broken bones and sometimes death.”

According to the Journal of Child and Family Studies, 80 percent of children are spanked or otherwise physically punished by their parents.

Vieth says this type of punishment works temporarily but in the long-term has the opposite effect.

“There’s research saying harsh physical discipline once a month month for three or more years may decrease the grey matter of the child’s brain which is the part of the brain we need to control our behaviors,” explained the nationally acclaimed author.

“Ironically, the more we hit our children, we may be decreasing the very part of the brain they need to control their behaviors. As their behaviors get worse our corporal punishments accelerates and the next thing you know, we have a child in the hospital or even a morgue,” he added.

Professor Joan Durrant says instead of corporal punishment, she recommends parents take a positive disciplinary approach.

She lays out the following four steps in her book, ‘Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting’: 

  • Focusing on identifying long-term goals
  • Providing warmth (safe space) and structure (scaffolding technique to teach children)
  • Understanding how children think and feel
  • Problem-solving (figuring on how to achieve the long-term goals)

“For a teenager for example, to break a rule is an extremely normal thing and it’s an important part of development. If parents understand that, they can handle the situation constructively,” Durrant said.

AVA-Guidelines-for-Working-with-Parents-who-Use-CP-based-on-Religious-BeliefsDownload

Corporal-punishment-Gershoff-2016Download

Corporal-punishment-survey-2019-FinkelhorDownload

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Overcast

Abbeville

68°F Overcast Feels like 68°
Wind
5 mph E
Humidity
76%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Showers this evening becoming a steady light rain overnight. Low 63F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
62°F Showers this evening becoming a steady light rain overnight. Low 63F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
50%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Overcast

Crowley

67°F Overcast Feels like 67°
Wind
5 mph ESE
Humidity
81%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Overcast with rain showers at times. Low 63F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
62°F Overcast with rain showers at times. Low 63F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
50%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Scattered Clouds

Opelousas

64°F Scattered Clouds Feels like 64°
Wind
8 mph ESE
Humidity
72%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. Low 61F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
62°F Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. Low 61F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
50%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Overcast

Breaux Bridge

68°F Overcast Feels like 68°
Wind
6 mph ESE
Humidity
76%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy with showers. Low 63F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
62°F Cloudy with showers. Low 63F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Wind
8 mph SE
Precip
50%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous
Broken Clouds

New Iberia

67°F Broken Clouds Feels like 67°
Wind
9 mph ESE
Humidity
87%
Sunrise
Sunset

Tonight

Cloudy skies early with showers later at night. Low 46F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
62°F Cloudy skies early with showers later at night. Low 46F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Wind
6 mph SE
Precip
60%
Sunset
Moon Phase
Waning Gibbous

Local News

More Local

Sidebar

Trending Stories