As a psychotherapist and parenting educator, I often get into discussions about spanking.
Unhappiness is one negative side-effect of being raised with spanking.
But over the course of my career I've come to believe that if a parent has the support, time, and resources to learn alternatives, spanking could be avoided even in the most dire of circumstances.
Surely policymakers in all states should be focusing on educating parents about alternatives, rather than sanctioning a practice that, through its connections to mental illness and addiction, can further stack the deck against children who are already at a socioeconomic disadvantage.
Considering all the research saying spanking creates more bad behavior and negatively affects brain development, is there ever an appropriate time for spanking?
I recently met a woman while in the audience waiting area for three Oprah's Lifeclass tapings in Chicago who caused me to really consider this question.