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  • Sarina Shirazee

"I was spanked and I turned out fine"

“I was spanked as a child and I turned out fine”, “I have hypermobility and I didn’t have any issues”, ”I was late to talk and I didn’t have any problems”. I hear these kinds of generalisations from adults all too often.⠀

These generalisations prevent children from getting the help that they need. We need to look at children individually, combined with what years of research tells us, not individual cases or anecdotal evidence. Rather than “waiting and seeing”, we should be trying to prevent children with certain risk factors from developing known related issues, instead of waiting to treat the issues if/when they do arise. ⠀

Dr Justin Coulson, parent and psychologist, put it wonderfully when he said: “It’s what’s known as an anecdotal fallacy. This fallacy, in simple terms, states that ‘I’m not negatively affected (as far as I can tell), so it must be O.K. for everyone.’ To say ‘I turned out fine’ is an arrogant dismissal of an alternative, evidence-based view that may be more enlightened. Anecdotal evidence often dismisses/undermines scientific results, to our (and our children’s) detriment.”⠀

Oftentimes, people who think they haven’t been affected by certain conditions or situations are forgetting difficulties that they experienced. Or, they aren’t even aware of difficulties that they experienced in childhood, and the fact that these are often still present in adulthood (without intervention).⠀

So, keep an open mind.⠀


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