Does spanking create dumber, more aggressive kids?

A new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University found that children who are spanked as 1-year-olds are more likely to behave aggressively and did worse on cognitive tests as toddlers than children who were not spanked.

HealthDay News reports:

” ‘Age 1 is a key time for establishing the quality of the parenting and the relationship between parent and the child,’ said study author Lisa J. Berlin, a research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. ‘Spanking at age 1 reflects a negative dynamic, and increases children’s aggression at age 2.’ “

The study, which is published in the September/October issue of “Child Development” examined data on 2,500 white, Mexican American and black children from low-income families. The data included parents’ reports about their children’s behavior, their use of spanking, as well as home visits by trained observers to document parent-child interactions at ages 1, 2 and 3.

“About one-third of mothers of 1-year-olds reported they or someone in their household had spanked their child in the last week, while about half of the mothers of 2- and 3-year-olds reported that their child had been spanked.”

“The average number of spankings for 1-year-olds was 2.6 per week, while the average for 2-year-olds was nearly three.”

“The study found that children who were spanked at age 1 had more aggressive behaviors at age 2 and performed worse on measures of thinking abilities at age 3.”

“Being spanked at age 2, however, did not predict more aggressive behaviors at age 3, possibly because the spanking had begun at age 1 and by age 2 the kids were already more aggressive, Berlin said.”

Apparently just scolding your kids doesn’t increase their risk of bad behavior, as long as the mother is generally attentive and supportive.

In a related story ABC News examined how being raised by abusive parents affects your parenting. According to ABC News, studies show that one in three people who were abused as children will grow up to become an abuser.

“For more than a month last year, ABC News followed three parents in Florida who are trying to overcome those odds. Cameras rolled as the parents struggled to deal with their kids monster tantrums and meltdowns that could test anyone’s patience. The families volunteered for a mentoring program for at-risk parents called Parent Aide, run by the Toledo, Ohio-based National Exchange Club Foundation.”

PrimeTime on ABC showed the footage last night of how the families were handling their children’s discipline and how they could do a better job. The online story also reviews what the parents were doing wrong and how else they could have handled the situations.

In another related story on ABC News, a doctor offered 10 TIPS TO DEAL WITH DEFIANT CHILDREN, and I found them very interesting. Obviously they don’t want you spanking a child or even using time-outs repeatedly. The big thing this doctor recommends is just recognizing good behavior from your kids and constantly pointing it out.

Dr. Alan Kazdin of Yale University Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, says in the ABC News story:

“Positive attention to good behavior can be a smile, a touch or praise — or all three — but do it right away and be specific about what it was the child did right every time. ‘Great job taking your dishes to the sink!’ works better than ‘Great job!’

I’m actually going to try his tips and email them to Michael. I like the idea of telling them frequently when they are good (I do it now but probably not enough!).

What do you think of each of these stories?

Do you buy that spanking at 1 or under will increase the child’s chances of behaving badly and doing poorly on cognitive tests? Did you notice how often these little 1-year-olds were getting spanked?

Do you spank? How young did you start spanking? How often do you spank?

Do you believe that abused children are more likely to abuse?

What did you think of the coping tips offered in the second story, as well as the 10 tips offered by the Yale professor?

202 comments Add your comment


September 17th, 2009
10:10 pm

For those of you not sure what in the world the Georgia School Council Institute is…CHeck out Georgia HB 1187 at the GDOE website. Or check out OCGA 20-2-85 and OCGA 20-2-86.
This is actually a law for parents to be involved in the education process…..which is likely the majority of parents and community folks have NEVER heard of a school council in their area. Great ON THE ONES WHO KNOW and actually utilize their school councils for any advocacy other than fund raising……for the local principal.

retired nurse/mom

September 17th, 2009
10:38 pm


September 18th, 2009
12:06 am

@ retired n/m – It is true that different personalities in children mean that spanking is more/less effective depending on the child. It sounds like you were a fairly strong-willed child. So, spanking might not have worked on you or your parents might have not used it effectively. Other children are so sensitive that just a word or disapproving look is all it takes. Spanking in those cases should be extremely rare. Most kids fall in between and are not going to be harmed by occasional corporal punishment along with other types of discipline all meted out with love and firmness.

I think saying spanking is always hitting is absurd. Have you ever seen a football player give another a slap on the bottom? That is not ‘hitting’ and yet I don’t spank any harder than that when I spank my children. In fact, I have in the past kidded around with them and ‘patted’ their behinds about as hard as I would normally spank them. They laugh as much as if I was wrestling with them or tickling them. The reason they cry when I am spanking them is because they know they’ve done something wrong and they feel bad about it.

Some children actually prefer a spanking because then the punishment is over and done with. They can move on without having to be frustrated by loss of privileges or extended time-outs.

This study only showed that spanking a less than 2-year-old child in a low income situation might cause a rise in aggressiveness. Did you notice they were spanking their 1-year-olds an average of 2 times a week? Obviously, there were other issues going on. I’ve never known any 1-year-olds that needed serious discipline 2 to 3 times a week. So, it is somewhat reasonable that this kind of excessive discipline (number not type) would lead to issues later in life. This study doesn’t really transfer to middle or upper middle class parents who spank their children (usually older than 1) on occasion.


September 18th, 2009
12:06 am

It is NEVER ok to hit a child. I am very sorry to know that some of you will justify just about anything.


September 18th, 2009
5:00 am

A Kathy….thanks for sharing the information.

I personally get frustrated when folks criticize the scores of Ga students. I know that students in my own country and school district score relatively well….a neighbor had a perfect SAT score.

Kind of like saying ( to me) , “oh, you are from the south….do the kids wear shoes to school there and do you have running water….haha ?” “Well, many of the homes in our area are as nice or nicer than those others will ever see in their area and quite a few do wear shoes that are nicer than the shoes your kids bought at Payless or Target..”

Where I live is not a total reflection of the entire state of GA ( some places are better!) and where my children go to school is a far cry from some districts. There are folks, usually in the north and northeast who look down their noses at the south and some are, quite frankly, surprised when I am hired and they can actually learn something from me…it makes me laugh as everyone can learn something from anyone.

My husband and I moved to our county and ultimately our school choice was made on the basis of the type of education our children would receive. He has driven 30-45 miles one way, to work for 20 years. My own children have done well and so I am satisfied. As we both know, a lot of it is about the home environment and there are many ( in our state) who do not have an educational environment nor would the parents even know how to have one for their children if it hit them on the head.

I will absolutely agree that if I had a small child, I might be anxious about the quality of education that my child would receive in GA and would they be able to compete with the children across the country. A lot can and has changed in the past 20 years and in the next 12.

We made our choice ( regarding schools) 20 years ago when we moved to the county and the 12 years ago when we moved to our neighborhood. I have been mostly pleased with the schools and my children have done well. If I had to start all over again, I might be looking at it more carefully.

For me, my children have received a suitable education. The variety of classes offered and the course rigor of the classes did prepare my son and hopefully will prepare my daughter too.

In the higher performing states, what do we attribute the higher scores to? College educated parents? Dual parents in the home? Higher Income? Private schools? I’d like to know.


September 18th, 2009
5:13 am

Me again and I have a question…does anyone know if ,across the U.S., more students actually take the ACT or the SAT?
I have always wondered why the claims made regarding GA schools depict the SAT score vs. ACT. Many children in other states do not even take that test and the students who do tend to apply private schools where one would presume the stakes to be higher. As I said, this does not really affect me. The test is a done deal in our house with the scores being just fine.
Just wondering…..


September 18th, 2009
8:24 am

I have been a Georgia teacher for 35 years. I spanked once. That was about 30 years ago. It didn’t help.


September 18th, 2009
8:39 am

MJG, I’m pretty sure the SAT has always been more common nationwide, but some states have preferred the ACT. I think Alabama did in the past (don’t know about now). Missouri did — my college roomate only took the ACT. I’m not sure how many others. It’s striking, though, that with fewer students taking the ACT as you’ve said, that Georgia still lands in the bottom 25% for that test. You would think that would give GA an advantage.


September 18th, 2009
9:56 am

Bainbridge Georgia Board of Education Affirms Use of Corporal Punishment is today’s news headline. What a sad testament in American society that studies show that hitting children is harmful to their development and already ILLEGAL for a reason in schools in 30 states, yet we have fearful, ill-equipped “educators” who would rather take the “easy” way out when it comes to “Discipline”, rather than teaching children responsibility and compassion based on MUTUAL RESPECT!

Retired nurse/mother

September 18th, 2009
11:03 am

Tiffany – I agree with your 12:06 a.m. post.
@KidsRPeople2 – just read that article.. all I can say is… wow.
Wonder what the data will show or what their drop out rates are, what their student achievement is. I do know one thing – my district does not use corporal punishment and our SAT scores continue to go up, our drop out rates are less and less each year, and all schools met AYP.. I guess we’re doing something right.

Retired nurse/mom

September 18th, 2009
3:15 pm

@penguin. I was not a strong-willed child but did eventually become that way.


September 18th, 2009
4:40 pm

When I was president of our high school’s PTA, we had the ACT folks come speak to our community. ACT and SATs appear to be just like everything else….once a tradition, belief, or value is embraced by a community, district, and even states, as in this case, the more likely the status quo will go on unchallenged. Both tests are college entrance exams, and I believe it was two years ago that Georgia’s 2-yr. colleges no longer require SAT or any college entrance exam. However, the ACT folks were awarded the college placement exam (CPE, which students take for a degree program) contracts. When we had the ACT folks about 5 years ago, a few of the central office staff were in attendance at the PTA meeting and told me that they had never heard of the ACT.
The differences and experiences of all people can actually bring out the best in a community and I think motherjanegoose is absolutely correct in concluding there are many variables to an “appropriate education.” Parents with resources to make decision for their children are actually empowered. However, too many in Georgia schools do not even have enough money to cover lunches for their kids. Georgia received $390,158,366.00 in Title I funds (grant money from the USDOE based on the number of free and reduced lunch recipients, which is addition to supplementing the costs of lunch the poor, who are NOT always black or Mexican) for FY 08, and even more in FY 09 and FY 10 because of the federal stimulus money. Thousands of poor who do not have any expendable income to support extra PTO projects, serve what purpose or role? I think if we can figure out a way to hold parents accountable for their children, engage them in the local decision making process, and create a paradigm shift from parents being the ATM and real partners in the education process, then we are likely to see more districts being successful.


September 18th, 2009
4:50 pm

Clarification for last sentence:
shift parents from being the ATM to being real partners in the education process…..

Retired nurse/mom

September 18th, 2009
5:11 pm

Kathy – rock on.. How many districts actually encourage people to attend local school council meetings?

Retired nurse/mom

September 18th, 2009
5:12 pm

I am proof positive of the backfiring of corporal punishment, so why is it that school districts continue with this practice?


September 18th, 2009
5:19 pm

Retired nurse/mom… I went to 7 schools in our district to read the council minutes that are supposed to be at the front office for the public to review within 3 days of the last meeting. Let’s just say, I had the law in hand to show the principal that it was my right. The number of visitors at those councils? ZERO! of course holding meetings at 0700 certainly doesn’t seem to help.
SCHOOL COUNCILs could actually give recommendations, advice, to the principal and LBOEs. That my friend is why they are KEPT secret. Also, precedent was set when councils came into law in 2002. Remember that the principal was the leader??? Well, even with ammendments to HB 1187, HB 1190, that gave parents the majority and the leadership…..the principal is STILL in charge.
As you can probably tell, this is a touchy subject and one that gave hope, only to be pulled out from under parents.


September 18th, 2009
5:42 pm

Retired N and M: I give little credence to research that is merely correlation. You can correlate IQ and car tag number, but what good would it do? Due to the nature of the question, it would be much more of a challenge to design and statistically parse out the causation. For one thing, you would need a very large sample, no rater biases, and statistical controls for the vast multitude of other variables.

Is spanking the answer to every problem? NO. Is it a tool to stop some problems? YES. Does an occasional spanking produce psychopaths? Naw.

Retired nurse/mom

September 18th, 2009
5:48 pm

catlady – Did you read the other studies I cited ?

Look Up Dr. Strauss’s Work of UNH, I think you’ll find his studies more to your liking and standards.

Retired nurse/mom

September 18th, 2009
5:49 pm

Further name one study that is evidenced based of the efficacy of corporal punishment and its relationship to improving student achievement. There isn’t one!


September 18th, 2009
9:28 pm

Thanks Kathy for the new and interesting information.

Here is a question I have had for a while:
If parents actually do not have money for their children’s lunches…how is it they drive nicer cars, wear more jewelry, have fancier handbags and their children wear more expensive shoes than my kids?
Isn’t it ultimately about where you place your priority? The areas that have significantly higher SAT/ACT scores certainly have an educational priority.

To me, my kids and family is my priority. I want my children to be prepared to succeed in the world with the best education I can get for them. The purse I carry this month will be long gone when they are trying to pay their bills, as adults. The environment of learning, I provide, will have a long term effect. Some folks are so shallow that they think others are impressed by what they wear and drive…maybe so…not me!


September 18th, 2009
10:12 pm

“If parents actually do not have money for their children’s lunches…how is it they drive nicer cars, wear more jewelry, have fancier handbags and their children wear more expensive shoes than my kids?”

But do they? Do you personally know people with this lifestyle who you know have signed their kids up for free lunch? The kids I’ve known in the past who were on free lunch were not wearing great shoes, and their families didn’t have fancy cars (currently, I don’t personally know any kids on free lunch). Is it really that common? I’m sure it happens, but how often? I mean, I hear this a lot, but usually from people who don’t actually have access to information on which students get free lunch. Catlady, do you know which of your students get free lunch? Are they usually wearing fancy shoes and their parents driving new cars, or is that pretty rare?


September 18th, 2009
10:44 pm

Motherjanegoose asked, “how is it they(folks who can’t afford lunches) drive nicer cars, wear more jewelry, have fancier handbags and their children wear more expensive shoes than my kids?
Isn’t it ultimately about where you place your priority?”
Free and reduced lunches are based on reported income for the parents, reported being the KEY here. I know a few kids who had to work and go to school and they buy themselves, “stuff.” Now, let’s just get this out there…. if there are not enough jobs in a community folks might have to go “underground” (deviant and criminal activity) to earn an income to live the “American Dream.” Let’s face it, dealing drugs can be profitable in a nation that eats pills for everything from going to sleep to getting up and then back down. I hesitate to lump all parents whose children receive a free or reduced lunch into a single group. Just as I see no reason why some of these kids might have material things normally reserved for the middle or affluent classes. I would also share that children in the custody of DFCS receive free and reduced lunches, but these kids might have relatives who shower them with gifts every once in a while.
Is it about priority? Perhaps. I would also ask could it be that most parents want their kids to have it a little better than they had it and they will do whatever it takes, even working 2 or 3 jobs? Even if parents can’t provide for everything, maybe portraying their kids as having more is an image that makes them feel like they are making it or to minimize the taunting from kids who actually appear to have everything. Remember the ole cliche` “keeping up with the Joneses?”

Retired nurse/mom

September 18th, 2009
10:58 pm


September 18th, 2009
11:17 pm

Quick question for Catlady: you stated, “I give little credence to research that is merely correlation.”
Truth is, in using the scientific method outcomes in research using humans is rarely 100% because we are all different and behave with a certain amount of predictability. Research allows for the sample group to be at least 30, but must be by random selection. You cite several variables and confounds that may have influenced the research. However, a study is rarely conducted to just go on record or in the books. From my understanding studies are also intended to spark further research. Research utilizing humans will always be scrutinized because of the ethics involved and the confounds can be overwhelming and impossibe to control by the researcher. Most research on humans is based on probability of behavior. For instance, when researching human behaviors we can’t be 100% sure how long a human can go without a heartbeat, food, water, or oxygen before they die because of the circumstances and the individual, and most of all chance. Some may call a highly predictable outcome that does not happen, a miracle rather than chance. Did you see the lady who got a tree limb through her neck? How about Jaycee Duggar surviving for 18 yrs as a prisoner after being kidnapped? Remember Phineas Gage who had a tamping iron that went through his cheek out the top of his head? Situations that are not cause and affect because of chance to some, but miracles to others.


September 19th, 2009
12:35 am

I agree with Catlady that correlation does not equal causation, but to me, that does not mean this study is flawed (I’ve been a researcher for several years now). The study may raise as many questions as it answers, but that’s not a bad thing — it’s information that may lead to the next step in study. The results here were that kids in the sample spanked at age 1 were more like to be agressive and not score as well on cognitive tests as non-spanked kids at age 3 — that’s fact. I don’t see any obvious flaws here to indicate that it’s not reasonable to project those results to the larger population conclude that spanking at that age is a good predictor of aggressive behavior among low-income children, even if the spanking alone did not cause the result. Note: the researchers quoted don’t use the word “cause.” One calls spanking at age 1 a “predictor” of aggression and a “reflection” of a negative parental relationship, but does not say spanking itself is the cause of aggression. So now the question is…why? Is it simply being spanked that’s the issue? Is it that parents that spank that young are more likely to spank often? Is it a sign of the developmental stage of the child’s brain at that age 1? For example, do other forms of punishment, perhaps largely verbal, better help a child develop thinking skills? Does perhaps a verbal warning help them better a certain area of the brain than a pop, which may inspire more of a primal fear than conscious reasoning? Or does spanking correlate to another harmful factor in the home or the lack of a helpful one in nonspanking family (perhaps more verbal cues from parents)? So while the study does not give a simple straight-forward answer to the big question, I don’t think that’s an indication that the study is flawed in its design or that the information yielded is not important or useful.


September 19th, 2009
12:56 am

We might also consider genetics and it’s influence on the cognition of the children, which may be why some score higher on a given assessment amongst the sample group. There may be some neurological reasons a child may not score as high on an assessment, and I believe a child’s diet and/or allergies can certainly influence behavior. I also saw a special about enlarged tonsils and adenoids that interrupted children’s sleep, which resulted in aggressive behaviors.
We need to remember that there is more to teaching and learning than using the behaviorist only discipline because we are talking about humans, not animals.


September 19th, 2009
2:20 am

I am curious as to how many of you are familiar with NCLB mandates and the progression of proficiency for the CRCT math and L/A and Reading and the GHSGTs? AND have children that are currently in school on or after 2002, which is when NCLB became law? By 2014 every child, except those taking alternative assessment (2% of a school distircits population) must be proficient in Math and L/A and Reading, which are combined scores? The graduation and attendance rate during testing must also show a targeted increase. The reason I ask is because NCLB is tied to federal dollars, which is causing some frustration in school districts and states who utilized social promotion and who backloaded the level of efficiency on the high stakes tests. ( Ga. set the bar low and set minimal incremental levels of proficiency because they believed NCLB would not be reauthorized and it would go away)
As we get closer to 2014 the levels of proficiency increases to eventually 100% proficiency, and more schools are not going to make AYP, and likely fall in the Needs Improvement category….which can eventually lead to the state stepping in and restructuring the schools taking funding. Education is no longer about going to school and checking in and out….we are talking about MONEY…$$$$ hundreds of millions to Georgia alone…and who in the world believes folks wont do everything in there power to NOT disrupt the educational welfare coming from the USDOE? Drop out rates should be posting soon to the GDOE, Report Card… prediction? WE will see an increase in drop outs amongst at risk kids (NCLB kids) who are the most likely to score poorly on tests that determine adequate yearly progress. The same kids who are the most likely to be spanked in schools according to the ACLU.
Having a child in the system now allows parents to see the stress on teachers. Budget cuts left them with pay cuts in our district even though they did a great job in the regular education programs for our kids. Tolerance will be replaced with intolerance. More and more teachers will embrace a ZERO tolerance for whatever they want, and it’s only going to get worse. I am fortunate, my son is in honors and athletics, and he has a mom and dad who are active in the education processes. However, it is going to take more than 10% of Georgia’s population to run the state and attract businesses and jobs.


September 19th, 2009
11:55 am

Don’t you wonder if someone is going to spank an innocent one year old baby, what on earth would they do to punish an older child? It is scary to think about. If you were a child that was spanked since you were an infant…of course you might have some psychological problems.


September 19th, 2009
3:30 pm

@ HB…yes, I am making an assumption about those who are on free and reduced lunches…here is why: when a school is documented to have over 90 per cent on free and reduced lunches and I see the bling on over 50 per cent of the kids and parents….I simply tend to think this way.

Perhaps I am wrong and all of those who are driving the kids to school in Hummers. Jags and BMW’s are actually kind neighbors who have nothing else to do ( as they have so much money they do not have to work) and are thrilled to drive the neighbor’s kid to school. While they are at it, they may as well get all dressed up too…probably heading out to the country club!

Call me hopelessly old fashioned but I was taught that if you want something bad enough you work for it…house, car, jewelry, clothes, education whatever. I guess this would even apply to kids who know the rules and behave…some parents do not want to work at discipline and thus the schools are receiving more and more children who will NEVER be ready to learn.

It’s too bad that so many in America think that someone else owes them…where is it written? When children grow up in this environment, no wonder they come to school with a chip on their shoulder and have no respect for those who study hard to make good grades.

Perhaps we need to look at the immigrants who came to America with nothing but the clothes on their back and a work ethic. Many of them endured rotten conditions and work environments in order to better their families.


September 19th, 2009
4:15 pm

Many immigrants still are. Those are among the children I have known in recent years who received free lunch. Example: I know one school with high free lunch rates that keeps a clothes closet for students. I helped my mom with a project for several families there, including an immigrant family with 4 children who had very little. The family did have a car — an old one that got Dad to and from work as a landscaper. Mom cleaned houses and took English classes when she could. We bought toys and books for the children, school uniforms, some play clothes, and shoes. The counselor at that school said most children in the school were in the same situation. Perhaps there is greater abuse in some areas than others, but when I worked with low income schools in the past (haven’t in the last 4 years), I didn’t see Jaguars dropping the kids off or huge amounts of jewelry or designer clothes. There is most certainly abuse of the system in this country and some parents teaching their children they are owed somthing, but there’s an awful lot of actual poverty too, so I do think it’s important not to lump all people accepting help into one negative assumption.


September 19th, 2009
5:05 pm

I AM ALL ABOUT HELPING CHILDREN. I think I mentioned that I took a box of girl’s clothes to a school a few weeks ago where I have a friend who is a psychologist and he passed them on to the counselor to dispense to families in need. I would never turn away a hungry child. We have donated to food pantries for years.

My son tells me stories of young patients ,who drove through the Pharmacy where he worked, filling dermatology prescriptions payed for by Medicaid ( a $500 prescription) and they would be driving a Hummer. Meanwhile, he has a 10 year old Saturn and is working his way through college. This week he told me of a lady who reported her purse stolen…she had $1600 cash in it and $200 worth of food stamps. WHO CARRIES $1600 IN CASH and where did the money come from? Smells fishy to me and even him ( although he is only 22 he has seen a LOT).

Last fall, when gas was over $4 per gallon, I observed several parents (in a school known for free and reduced lunches) driving their kids to school in the cars I mentioned above. I am wondering how they can afford the gas if they cannot even afford the lunch.

I have shared my disgruntles with teachers and they just nod their heads in embarrassment and say they see this all the time. This is why some schools in poorer districts advocate uniforms…I saw this first hand a few weeks ago. When children all wear the same type of outfit, there is not as much competition and thus they can get down to business and learn.

While I used to be optimistic, when I was much younger…I am not so much now. I have worked hard to build my business and am willing to pay taxes on the income I earn to help those who are less fortunate. I despise paying taxes for those who have never worked a day in their life and are reproducing children who could be of the same mind and then continue to vote for someone who will be the Pied Piper and promise take care of them too, To me, if more people are receiving than are paying…the money will run out but I am not a economist!

My children will be out of the local schools in the spring. I am not an advocate of spanking for misconduct and most certainly not in the school system. I have spanked my own children, when the situation called for it: immediate danger or flagrant misbehavior. I am an advocate of children accepting punishment for their wrong behavior,

For the Pollyannas out there…I hope that your children are will not be in the public school system long as more and more children are arriving from homes where there is no discipline and this WILL affect the atmosphere in which your children learn.

My children have been in public school K-12 but I fear for potential grandchildren and it has occurred to me that I may need to be saving for a private education for them…if the behavior continues to decline in the families that populate some public school systems.

FYI….regarding the ACT /SAT debate….it just occurred to me that I must live on the right block as we have 2 Valedictorians of our local public high school….one 2 doors to the right and one 4 doors to the left. I am thinking that if we can assume the entire state of GA is an embarrassment due to the poor testing scores and how they rate on a national basis…I ( perhaps) can claim that we have a smart block with 2 children who graduated at the top of their class..just not mine. Oh excuse me, I now see that it does not have to do with the location but the inspiration of the parents…LOL!
Yes, some parents are inspired in the state of Ga but too many are not.

Finally, @ Kathy…I just realized that you are probably not the regular poster who is a colleague of mine and former Kinder teacher. It confuses me when 2 people post under the same name. You seem to be older than her as her child is in preschool. I assume you have been Kathy longer that her…just not who I was thinking about.


September 19th, 2009
10:00 pm

“WHO CARRIES $1600 IN CASH and where did the money come from?”

Since she was carrying food stamps, I think it’s enitrely possible the money was from welfare. That may sound odd, but when I was a bank teller in an area of a town where most poorer residents lived, I was surprised to learn that most people receiving assistance there cashed their entire checks on the 3rd and went around to downtown offices paying rent, utilities, etc in cash. Even after reforms kicked in that year that I think required most recipients to use direct deposit, people came in and withdrew in cash all the money from the account on the 3rd of the month. Most of those customers had savings, not checking accounts, and very few withdrew a portion periodically throughout the month rather than withdrawing it all in cash as soon as it was deposited.


September 19th, 2009
10:16 pm

I meant to say in part from welfare — clearly time for me to go to bed…


September 20th, 2009
1:27 pm

motherjanegoose wrote, ” You seem to be older than her as her child is in preschool. I assume you have been Kathy longer that her…just not who I was thinking about.”
I might have been Kathy longer if I didn’t change my name from Sarah, or I had my son when I was 13….. or even if I was born before your colleague….none of which has been disclosed.
However, your deductions are correct IF your friend was born after the initail attacks on Pearl Harbor….
This was actually fun because it can teach all of us to be aware of how we might pick up clues and draw conclusions about anybody we encounter. I hope you don’t mind motherjanegoosse as I actually enjoy the dialogue of others who are thinkers.


September 20th, 2009
1:53 pm

@kathy…the Kathy I know ( and who has been posting on this blog for a long time) is in her mid thirties.
She actually called me over a year ago to see if it was me….motherjanegoose….on this blog.
We got a good laugh over it.

Some posters get in a huff when others ask, “who are you….you are not the original Kathy…”so, I did not want to approach you this way.
This has happened to Becky ( who posts often on the blog) a few times. I was trying to be considerate and note that if you mother a high schooler ( if my memory serves me?), you may have had the name Kathy longer than the Kathy that we already know on this blog, who has a preschooler.

FYI…I recently spoke with someone who knows way more about this than me: I was told that schools with larger numbers of students on free and reduced lunch do, in fact, have lower test scores….HMMM.


September 20th, 2009
1:55 pm

I was spanked regularly as a child. Everyone remarked on what a well-behaved little girl I was. It wasn’t until I became clinically depressed and started really struggling in high school that they figured out I had ADHD, and put me on Ritalin. The medications majorly improved my life, turned me into an A student all through college, and I’m still on them now. I just want to make this point clearly, because many people seem to think children with ADHD “just need a good spanking” – but it’s actually a neurochemical disorder that’s lifelong for over 50% of patients, and nothing except medication will fix it because of the physiological basis.


September 20th, 2009
2:11 pm

motherjanegoose: you are absolutely correct in the lower test scores and poor correlation. However, if you dig deeper, before NCLB’s mandate of highly qualified teachers it was the poor schools that had the highest numbers of “out of field” teachers. Meaning, math teachers teaching SS, L/A, science, etc.
I have always thought. If we have only begun educationg minorities equitably and de jure(on paper of course) since the ESEA of 1964, then perhaps we might be led to fully understanding the old riddle: What came first The low test scores or expectations?
BTW: I would not have been offended by the OK(original Kathy) as I realize I am fairly new to the AJC’s site. I also realize that is such a common name and I might have some anonymity! LOL
Folks up in the “city” have proximity to lawmakers going for them….and some of us appreciate all of the advcocacy on behalf of all of Georgia’s children. We can never have too much.

Retired nurse/mother

September 20th, 2009
2:15 pm

@motherjanegoose — schools who have a lot of reduced lunch students are supposed to be receiving extra Title 1 funds to help them succeed.

@JC – I am sorry you went through that. It is a fact that students with disabilities are more likely to be spanked in school. Read Impairing Education that was released in August. My quetion is why is the State of Georgia continuing to allow this when they know darn well of this report. I myself sent it to them!


September 20th, 2009
4:07 pm

Yes they are but as Kathy mentioned, which came first the chicken or the egg. To me, home environment and attitude about education ( before kids ever come to school and when they are at home each day) is not always changed by food or Title 1. Sometimes it can be done and those tax dollars are well spent. Unless there is abuse…arguing about spanking is a moot point as there are thousands of children who have never caught the excitement of learning and never will. Some do not even like books…any wonder when they are in public housing with a BIG SCREEN?
Children need to see readers in order to be excited about reading.

Do some research yourself and see the correlation. It is disheartening but revealing. I do not personally have a dog in this fight as my kids are out and on their way out. They both went to public schools we selected and scored well. I am not here to argue but to say…I see the attitude sliding into the toilet, as I observe students in some schools and no matter how much money we throw at them, the home environment perhaps will not change.

If I had my wish, I would have funding and grants to visit all schools in low scoring areas as I know I have a chance to engage Kindergarteners in the excitement of learning. I would love to travel all week to those schools ( next year when my daughter is in college) and share what I know to strengthen the aspect of literacy. Currently, I can only work with schools who have money to pay me and this is not all local schools.

Retired nurse/mother

September 20th, 2009
6:23 pm

motherjanegoose – you make some great points. However I beg to differ on the spanking issue. It’s been proven that many of the districts that utilizing this discipline method also are not receiving positive results, the question is- why bother using something as antiquated as a paddle to hit a kid in school under the guise of education. And it also isn’t moot because let’s face it – everybody and their brother is making hoopla over the 2 stories in the news about the elderly gentleman spanking another person’s kid. Why arent’ people make hoopla over ‘educators’ who continue to do this – under the guise of education – when the practice itself is not benefiting anyone? Not one educator – – can honestly say they took child development courses or higher education classes that say paddling is appropriate in schools.. There are no such classes! And if you read one of the links I posted, even a GA. professor that teaches Criminal Justice made comments about these matters!


September 20th, 2009
6:42 pm

motherjanegoose: believe it or not all of those poor schools could and should use Title I funds for someone like you. However, too many do not fully understand who can have a say where Title I funds go. Did you know parents are supposed to be in on that decision making process as well? Section 1118 of NCLB. Title I schools are supposed to spend 1% of the funds on parent involvement and engage parents in writing local compacts between parents and teachers. Unfortunately, too many outside the “school” boundaries TRUST the schools to do what is right and fair.
Parent’s are not necessarily stupid, we are too trusting. Perhaps some of this apprehension in our society toward BIG government will open the eyes of folks to see that they could actually make a bigger difference in local politics. To another point: Folks who don’t have children can still help poor schools. Many schools collect Boxtops 4 Education, Tyson Chicken Labels, ink cartridges, and Campbell Soup Labels. Rather than throwing this money in the garbage, take your labels to these poor schools and ask them to use the labels for books! Except for the ink cartridge program, all the others can be found by Googling them.


September 20th, 2009
6:50 pm

I have NEVER claimed to be in favor of paddling in schools NOR paddling someone else’s child.

I am NEVER talking about districts. Someone brought the school paddling into this topic and it was not me. I personally thought the topic centered around families and how they disciplined their own children. I guess it struck me to be families as there are not many ONE year olds in school.

If parents have no idea how to discipline their children and nor how to send them to school as respectful individuals free lunch or Title 1 money is not going to fix the problem….in my opinion.
Yes, all children need some form of discipline at one time or another and each child responds differently to discipline choices.

Many teachers ( I know) would rather have students, in their classrooms, who at one time had a pop on the hand, butt or even threatened with a switch ( at home) than some of the students they see today who are downright mean and ill mannered. Kids are running the show because some parents are trying to be their peers and not damage their self esteem.

When kids are taught they have to work hard to accomplish something and overcome the obstacles that may thwart their efforts, then they are proud of themselves when they cross the finish line to accomplishment. I daresay that we have more and more kids who do not even know how to start a project, much less finish it.


September 20th, 2009
6:59 pm

@ Kathy…I was in a school last week and met a professor ( older than me) who is a reading specialist in our county. She came to me and said, “Oh my goodness….you have so much learning going on in your presentation…it awesome.” She has been hired by the county for at risk schools.

I have, in the past. donated and shipped boxes of books to schools where there is simply NO money. I have also donated FREE programs. Once, I was hired by 2 Catholic Schools in Alabama who then raised money to send me to a poor public school. It was heart wrenching to see those children and the playground….cement with metal swings that were all worn out and probably had been there since I was in school. Those kids were SO excited about my visit and I was delighted to be with them.

Even if some groups could raise money to sponsor me, I would love to do it and would certainly give a reduced fee, as I am passionate about getting children excited about learning!


September 20th, 2009
7:11 pm

True hitting is hitting yet there are many types of hitting. I have spanked my children, done the time out thing, and several other things to get them to behave. What might work for one parent may not work for another because there are also many types of children.


September 21st, 2009
10:14 am

MotherJaneGoose..You refrence about kids getting free (or,reduced) lunches, rings beels with a fellow coworker.. She raised cain last year because her child was turned down for free lunch, yet about every 6 months he gets a new phone, they are always going out to eat dinner at nice restaurants about 4-5 nights per week, she eats out lunch every day, about 2 months ago he was given a truck..Any time that he wants something, he gets it, as does her daughter that is now away at college..All of this from a woman that always plays the “single mom” with no child support card..She never factors in that they all live with her mom..She will tell you that she’s never had any help..

Sorry for such a long post, just thought this might give some insight on free lunches..

retired nurse/mother

September 21st, 2009
11:51 am

leigh – what if your children once all grown up will tell you how badly they felt from it, then what would you think?


September 21st, 2009
7:27 pm

@ Becky…then you do know what I mean. If folks work for thing themselves, I do not care if they own a Hummer and a Mercedes…good for them. If they are using my tax dollars, then it is a different story all together!


September 23rd, 2009
2:38 pm

i am currently writing an argument essay in school on spanking! i am for spanking. as a child i was spanked and i believe it did alot of good. spanking is not violent and is harmless if done in a non abusive way.spanking teaches kids that what they did was wrong and there are consequences. i know that i didnt do alot of things when i was younger because i didnt want to get a spanking. it taught me respect for authority and dicipline. i believe that parents should be allowed to spank there own child and if other people have a problem with spanking then they should find other ways to discipline there child and stop butting into other peoples lives and the way other people decide to discipline their children.


October 11th, 2009
5:56 am

Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.


October 11th, 2009
6:01 am

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads- visit

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
Center For Effective Discipline,
PsycHealth Ltd Behavioral Health Professionals,
Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.