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THE EDITOR, Sir:
I have to agree with 'Martha Brae' (Letter of the Day, December 20, 2013) that beating children has been a very bad idea from the beginning and that other ways of correcting misbehaviour must be found.
Some types of misbehaviour are actually a result of an original spanking. A child may be spanked very early in life for some ridiculous reason, like touching a glass figurine, before he or she is able to understand the directive not to touch it. The spanking causes future misbehavior by some twist of the psyche which is unrelated to the current discipline problem, but to the original one.
Some children will actually provoke punishment, subconsciously. The parent doesn't know what's going on, so spanking is the easiest and nearest remedy.
Unfortunately, the violent turn in schools makes it more difficult to eradicate the practice in schools and, therefore, more difficult to teach parents.