When does discipline cross the line into abuse?
Hana Williams, 13, died of hypothermia after being starved, abused and locked outside by her parents. Lydia Schatz, age 7, died after being repeatedly beaten by her parents. And four-year-old Sean Paddock suffocated after his mother wrapped him in a blanket too tightly, in an effort to keep him from getting out of bed.
The children lived in three different states. But all three had parents who used the teachings of a parenting book called, "To Train Up a Child." The book teaches parents that corporal punishment is part of being a loving parent. They recommend using plastic spoons and thin branches, known as switches, for spankings. The authors also compare training a child with training a dog. It encourages parents to sit on their kids to spank them, and "hold them there until they surrender."
The book has come under fire since these three deaths, and there’s an online petition asking Amazon to stop selling the book.
"To Train Up a Child" isn't the only parenting book that advocates spanking. And fans say corporal punishment is the antidote to "passive parenting" techniques like time outs and taking away privileges.
So what do you think? Is hitting your child with a spoon or switch – or sitting on them until they surrender - child abuse? Should the book be pulled from Amazon? Or is this a big deal about a parenting technique that’s been used for centuries? Facebook.com/JohnTesh.