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Parents shouldn't spank if they have major depression, major marital problems, or substance abuse problems. They shouldn't spank in desperation or in anger that's what leads to the negative outcomes, like increased violence, associated with corporal punishment.
To say that all ADHD kids should be spanked is a misreading of my position. But I expect parents and schools to do something before we give out pills. And I give out pills.
A Spanking Might Beat Ritalin
The component I added to Phelan's program that makes it 80 to 90 percent successful in the 6 and under group is spanking or other physical intervention. There's good solid evidence that when you give parents permission to give one or two smacks on the child's bottom if the child defies the rules of the timeout procedure, the family is more often successful with the approach. For parents still uneasy about a spank, they can use a specific restraint technique I call "the hold" Nike Uptempo Mint
[holding a child against the parent's chest]. But kids actually prefer a spank because it's over Nike More Uptempo Release Date 2016
with right away.
What we overlook is that in mild ADHD, which is the majority of the ADHD that is diagnosed in the community, a more organized and coherent system of discipline can make the difference in whether your kid will be on Ritalin or not. You don't have to spank. But if you're using spanking as one of an array of tools to get control of your kid, you're not hurting them in the long term. Lively, impulsive, spontaneous kids who know when to shut up don't get medicine.
Aren't you worried that parents will say: Larry Diller says if I spank my kid, he won't get ADHD?
I keep copies of the book
That is my big worry. And that's why my friends tell me to keep my mouth shut.
I prepare the parents for the likely initial very intense negative reaction from the child, and I feel that if I send them out with the 72 hour guarantee, they're strong enough to handle it. When children are out of control, you may be sparing this kid and family months of treatment and the risk of being labeled mentally ill. If you don't deal with the bad behavior, it takes you to ADHD land; it takes you oppositional defiant disorder land, to generalized anxiety land, and obsessive compulsive disorder land.
What form of discipline do you recommend to parents?
One of the big concerns is that spanking will increase the physical abuse of children. Are there parents who shouldn't spank?
No. Phelan says if they don't go to timeout, start the timer again, and add another consequence. I think that's extremely hard for small children to use to make the right decision.
intensity. These kids have determination, stubbornness a simple no doesn't work. Even a "Boo!" doesn't faze these guys. The other quality of temperament that comes into play is intensity. When the child is happy they're very happy, but when they're angry they're very angry.
Over the years I've talked with Lawrence Diller, a behavioral pediatrician in Walnut Creek, Calif., about how society deals with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He often prescribes Ritalin for children with ADHD, but he also thinks that Ritalin is prescribed too often. He seems like a thoughtful, reasonable guy. Nike Uptempo V So imagine my surprise when I saw an article by Diller in which he asked: "Could it be that America would rather give unruly kids a pill than a swat?" Spanking instead of Ritalin? Wow. So I called him and asked what's up. Excerpts:
What gets children into trouble early on are qualities of temperament qualities of persistence and Nike Uptempo Gum
1 2 3 Magic [a top selling book by clinical psychologist Thomas Phelan] in my office. I like it a lot. [The book provides a simple system for disciplining that involves counting to three and then putting the child in timeout.] I give parents of 4 , 5 and 6 year olds a guarantee that in 72 hours their child will be better if they follow these methods.
Spanking is probably the most controversial issue in child rearing. You treat children with ADHD. What on earth compelled you to write that spanking may not be so bad?
I was provoked. About a year ago, a California assemblywoman from the South Bay put out a proposal to make the spanking of children 3 years old and under criminal. I thought, please, please! The reason it gets to me is that in 30 years of practice as a developmental pediatrician, issues of discipline cause 80 percent of the problems that I see. The families that are struggling with children's behavior are also struggling with spanking. Often, they've taken a vow of abstinence. They figure if spanking is bad, then all forms of conflict are bad, and they hesitate to discipline their children. They wait too long before taking effective action. This doesn't have to be spanking; it could be removal of a toy or imposition of a timeout. I am talking about middle class, upper middle class families that love their kids, that have the resources for their kids.
Nobody wants to be pro spanking. I just got asked to be on a website called Opposing Views, where they asked me to take the pro spanking position. I declined. I'm not pro spanking. I just think a well thought out spank ain't so bad and shouldn't be banned.
But spanking's not recommended in 1 2 3 Magic.
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