No, Charles Barkley, spanking kids isn’t a black or southern thing.
After Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with “reckless injury” to a child for whipping his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, Barkley pushed the issue as a difference in race and culture. In a NFL pre-game show on Sunday, the NBA Hall of Famer, who grew up in Alabama, said black southern parents hit their children "all the time." But Claire McCarthy, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, completely disagrees.
"There’s a study that came out not too long ago that showed that like 90 percent of parents hit their kids at some point," she told HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd. "So this is really, really common. It may not be to the point of drawing blood with a switch, but it’s really common."
In fact, the use of corporal punishment may have more to do with a growing generational divide.
"Sir Charles Barkley did us all a big disservice by saying something that is stupid and asinine," said psychologist Jeff Gardere. "This is not about black folks, this is a generational issue. Many generations from many different socioeconomic levels spank their children."
As Gardere explained, parenting styles and acceptable forms of discipline change through the generations, especially because corporal punishment has been shown to be ineffective.
"As we get older, as we get more evolved, we do understand that hitting the child is not going to solve the problem," he said. "We need to show them conflict resolution. Violence begets violence."
Watch the full conversation about the use of corporal punishment to discipline children here.
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