Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


By Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D. Traditional Realist

Modern children are exposed from birth to the modern world of electronics. Instant gratification is at their fingertips. These children can press a button, “wa-la,” things happen. Gadgets teach them that there is no limit to their exploring this parallel universe of cyberspace. 

The parents are also integrated into this world as much of their leisure time is devoted to reading and sending messages and interacting with social media sites.  There is little time to observe and instruct their child in the correct way to act and think to be socially, emotionally and morally wholesome.

Modern children are not taught to pay attention to things they do not want to do or learn. They realize they can use their digits to move onto something more interesting on the screen. A child does his “own “thing while the parents do “their own thing.” This is a recipe for poor parenting and a self-absorbed child.

When a young child paints the walls, hits the cat, throws food on the floor, goes into a rage or does other destructive actions, the parent’s hands are tied. They do not respond naturally by spanking him on the backside and saying “no.” Even though female mammals instinctively use their paws to keep their offspring in check.

The historically time tested and accepted behavior of spanking has become outlawed by politically correct propaganda affecting the minds of most of today’s parents. The self-censorship of spanking by parents has had a profound impact on the social, emotional and mental development of too many of our children.

These children are not being trained to listen, follow directions, have limits and anticipate consequences for their impulsive behavior. The mild form of non-listeners is having trouble following simple instructions in school. They are being delicately identified as “learning disabled” instead of being trained to attend to adults.

The more pronounced children are labeled “ADD or ADHD.” Children who exhibit belligerent behavior are labeled with conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. Too many children have not been trained in social interaction and therefore their communication falls in the autistic spectrum category. Children who have not been taught to accept limits often demonstrate self-stimulation and strange behaviors. They could hide under a desk or behind a bush, not answer when called by name and use inappropriate words. Often they will have a vacant look on their face when told to do something by an authority figure.

Moderate spanking is not a cure-all for inappropriate behavior although it would reduce the number of dysfunctional children that have been misdiagnosed.

The simple practice of saying “no” and spanking are attention getters that instill respect of the parent’s power in the child. Children need to learn that there are certain rules they have to follow regardless of whether they want to or not or face real consequences. By internalizing this reality through strong emphasis the child would be less likely to have the audacity to attempt outrageous behavior and develop negative habits. Instead they would receive attention and gratification from doing what the strong parent has defined as appropriate behavior.

The establishment of obedience to what the parent has taught as unacceptable behavior allows the youngster to focus on learning more advantageous actions to earn rewards.
Parents should realize a legitimate spank on the behind of a toddler pays great dividends to the child as well as the parent. These parents tend to enjoy their children more, which motivates them to spend more time with the children. The child who is well trained at an early age for minor offences rarely will need to be spanked as he grows older.

There is an obedience transfer to other authority figures that enables the child to be more appropriate and pleasant in the presence of adults. It establishes healthy parameters. Once the fear of the parent is instilled in his mind the child conforms to the parent’s directions.

This simple act of gaining the child’s attention in a loving way will keep the child on the straight and narrow path needed to be successful. Their listening skills and respect for authority will exponentially grow. Although spanking has been labeled as politically incorrect by our “culture police” parents have the responsibility to do what is best for their child’s future. Moderate spanking of a toddler works to increase the child’s listening skills and respect for the parents and other authority figures.

In other words parents doing their duty as parents will make life easier and better for everyone.

Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at

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