The following is from Baby and Child Care, 1998, pp. 437-438. This was the last edition of Baby and Child Care. Dr. Spock died on March 15, 1998.
- "In earlier decades--and in earlier editions of Baby and Child Care--I avoided a flat statement of disapproval of physical punishment. . . . What made me go against my own rule was a growing concern over the sky-high and ever-rising figures for murders within the family, wife abuse, and child abuse in America . . . " (p. 172)
- "[Physical punishment] certainly plays a role in our acceptance of violence. If we are ever to turn toward a kindlier society and a safer world, a revulsion against the physical punishment of children would be a good place to start." (p. 173)
- "My other reasons for advising against physical punishment are, in brief, that it teaches children that might makes right, that it encourages some children to be bullies, and most fundamentally, that to the degree that it results in good behavior it's because of the fear of pain. I have a strong belief that the best reason for behaving well is that you like people, want to get along with them, want them to like you." (p. 173)
- "I don't think physical punishment is necessary or particularly effective." (p. 215)
- "All schools should be friendly, creative places like the best I've seen. We should wean ourselves away from physical punishment." (p. 33)
- "A teacher who uses physical punishment or sends a student to the principal for punishment has failed and has given up, in my estimation. I don't care what the laws of the state or the board of education say." (p. 251)
- "Recently I visited a small private school . . . with the idea of asking children . . . what advice to parents they'd like me to incorporate in the forthcoming revision of Baby and Child Care. In a thoughtful mood, the class was unanimous that parents should not hit their children. . . One child added that if you're crying and your parent tells you to stop and then hits you when you don't stop, it only makes you cry more." (p. 229-233)
- "I hope American parents can outgrow the conviction . . . that physical punishment is necessary to bring up well-behaved children. . . [T]here are parts of the world where it has never occurred to any adult to strike a child. I have known personally or professionally dozens of families in which the parents never lifted a hand--or otherwise punished or humiliated their children--and yet the children were ideally cooperative and polite. Children are eager to be ever more grown up and responsible." (p. 13)
Dr. Spock was a member of the EPOCH-USA Board of Directors right up until the time of his death. Thus, he was so strongly committed to never, ever hitting children, that he loaned his name in support of the no-hitting cause!
- "There are several reasons to avoid physical punishment. It teaches children that the larger, stronger person has the power to get his way, whether or not he is in the right. Some spanked children then feel quite justified in beating up on smaller ones. The American tradition of spanking may be one reason there is much more violence in our country than in any other comparable nation."
Benjamin Spock, M.D. died on March 15, 1998.