The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Assault is no way to teach control

I am stunned by the rash of letters lately advocating spanking children as a way of teaching them appropriate behaviors. Really? Being struck by the hand or with a object is an act of aggression and assault, no matter the motivation. I believe what is being taught with that approach is that if you are bigger and stronger, you can assert your physical power to get your way. The result is not a respect for authority but a fear of reprisal. Do we want our children to respect us or fear us? Come on.
We have the ability and responsibility to seek out the plentiful resources that exist to assist us in learning to discipline so that our children can eventually learn to control their own behaviors from an internal drive to do so, instead of learning from us that anything goes as long as they don't get caught. Resorting to physical punishment is lazy and says more about the character of the punisher than the needs of the child.
Donna Witte
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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.