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Domestic CP - March 2007
Orange County Register, California, 5 March 2007
An ounce of prevention
Deputy probation officer's parenting book draws on experience working with incarcerated youth.
By Theresa Walker
The title of Amber White's book might seem kind of strange: "How to Raise a Juvenile Delinquent: A Common Sense Approach to Parenting."
But White is a deputy probation officer who has worked with incarcerated youth for 10 years. She hopes to grab the attention of parents to help them keep their children from becoming one of her charges.
She's also the mother of two young boys. Her own experience as a parent tells her you've got to start teaching kids about consequences when they are toddlers.
She began writing just to vent frustration over ineffective parenting, the results of which she saw every day at juvenile hall, and the 109-page book evolved. Environmental factors and modern technology play such a huge role in affecting how children are raised these days, White says.
Q. What's the most important thing parents should do in raising their kids?
A. Respect, accountability and deterrence. Those are the three things that need to be in the home from the time the kids is a toddler until an adolescent. It's so basic: Providing consequences – if you do this thing that's wrong, this is going to be the outcome.
I call it healthy fear.
Q. In the acknowledgements, you thank your mom for the spankings she gave you. What do you think about the proposed bill to ban spanking of children 4 and under?
A. I think it's ridiculous. First of all, I don't think the government should try to dictate how we raise our kids. I've read a lot of research and a lot of the advocates for not spanking your kid are basing their studies on kids who are getting spanked every day or more than one time a day.
I think spanking is healthy if it's used in moderation. I don't even have to spank my kids anymore because they know it's a possibility. I've only swatted them for deliberately disobeying me. They need to understand that disobeying me is not an option.
That's the same thing that happens with kids in juvenile hall. They realize they have absolutely no control in the situation; they know the authority of the deputy in charge. They succumb to that.
Copyright 2007 The Orange County Register
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