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Letters to the Editor

Boston Globe Magazine readers respond to “What If Spanking Works?” and an essay on the dangers of letting your car engine idle.

A PUNISHING DEBATE

I would like to thank James H. Burnett III for the very well-written and well-thought-out article “What If Spanking Works?” (June 17). I grew up when it was considered acceptable to spank and can remember being on the receiving end of it. Through the years, I have seen it become less acceptable, and my wife and I did not spank our two children (though I admit there were times I was tempted to). This type of punishment is a double-edged sword. If children perceive that the parent loves them and is doing it to teach them that what they did is not acceptable, then it may be successful. On the other hand, children may not be able to understand how someone who supposedly loves them would hurt them. I think the best way to teach children is by example and being open and honest with them about everything.

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