The Spanking Mum: A dismal failure

It was in 1949 that Dr Benjamin Spock published the first edition of Baby and Child Care – the book widely accepted as a watershed in the way we bring up our children.

Spock, rightly or wrongly, is regarded as the father of what came to be known as the permissive society, with less emphasis on an authoritarian approach to parenting in favour of something significantly more ‘child-centric’.

Strangely enough, though, in the first edition of the book, Spock was not totally hostile about spanking. He wrote:

I’m not particularly advocating spanking, but I think it is less poisonous than lengthy disapproval, because it clears the air, for parents and child.

Hallelujah. I can at least agree with the last part of that.

However, by 1985 Spock had hardened his stance on corporal punishment in favour of complete interdiction. And in the ensuing decades following the original book’s publication, psychologists throughout the world began a steady push towards an ever more liberal child care agenda, coupled with ever-greater state intrusion into family life.

So, allowing for say a decade for these ideas to really take hold, the liberals have had roughly six decades to prove that their approach results in happier, better behaved kids.

Instead, it has raised generations of disrespectful, selfish and entitled children who become even worse in adulthood – and go on to raise their own children who are even more impoverished in morality and kindness. Meanwhile, decent people have been forced to parent with essentially both hands tied behind their back, or face serious state intervention.

In short, the great liberal experiment has no clothes. It has been a disastrous failure for our society, and particularly for our children. Yet still, the liberal machinery continues to push its agenda ever more intrusively into our nation’s families. Why, when it clearly isn’t working?

The answer can be found in the words of Benjamin Spock himself, who said in later life:

It took me until I was in my 60s to realise that politics was a part of pediatrics.

And there you have it – out of the mouths of babes, as you might say…

Contributor: Louise. Originally published in her blog The Spanking Mum. Opinions expressed are solely those of the original author.

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