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Old 04 November 2007, 11:19 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
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Icon108 Dr. Spock's deathbed recantation

Comment: From an e-mail sent to me:

If you are older than 40 the name Benjamin Spock is more than familiar. It
was Spock that told an entire generation of parents to take it easy, don't
discipline your children and allow them to express themselves. Discipline,
he told us, would warp a child's fragile ego. Millions followed this guru
of child development and he remained unchallenged among child rearing
professionals. However, before his death Dr. Spock made an amazing
discovery: he was wrong. In fact, he said:

"We have reared a generation of brats. Parents aren't firm enough with
their children for fear of losing their love or incurring their
resentment. This is a cruel deprivation that we professionals have imposed
on mothers and fathers. Of course, we did it with the best of intentions.
We didn't realize until it was too late how our know-it-all attitude was
undermining the self assurance of parents."
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Old 18 November 2007, 03:49 PM
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Namowal Namowal is offline
Join Date: 06 November 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 260

I can't offer proof that this is a hoax, but parts of it don't read true, especially if this is quoted speech. Who talks that way?

I did some googling and found a claim here that Spock used the "know it all" line in 1974 (page 44, which in turn is credited to a Redbook article) Assuming this source is correct, perhaps the sentiments from Redbook are were exaggerated over the years until it became the the "death bed confession" claim?

Last edited by Namowal; 18 November 2007 at 03:50 PM. Reason: broken quote code
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Old 18 November 2007, 04:11 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
Join Date: 14 July 2006
Location: Indiana
Posts: 12,275

Did Spock even actually advocate not disciplining children? I seem to recall that he thought spanking was just fine, not only for discipline, but as an outlet for parental anger. He seemed to think it was better for a parent to "get it out," than to let the anger fester by not spanking.

And what "generation of brats" would that be? My generation? the one before me (the "boomers"), the current one?
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