A study published in the Canadian Medical Journal, reported today (February 8, 2012) in the Boston Globe http://b.globe.com/zy0cDb includes these cautionary comments:

“Spanking is a traumatic experience that can cause small losses in the brain’s gray matter,” explained Murray Straus, “causing behavioral changes.”  “Of course, some kids aren’t harmed at all by spanking, just like some heavy smokers suffer no harm from cigarettes,” Straus said. “But they’re the lucky ones as opposed to the unlucky ones who suffer harmful side effects.”

The study’s author said, “First and foremost, she said, parents should act as positive role models, modeling behavior that they want their kids to mimic.” The GLOBE writer added ‘note to self: Scream a lot, and don’t be surprised when your kids scream back.’

To that, I add my own rueful plea, “Boys, do you forgive me?” I was not the most patient mother. It is so hard to look back at one’s failings. I try to be compassionate with my former self, in retrospect, just as I try to show patience to my grandgirls now and to their parents.

The article is worth reading in full.