the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

*Dr. Kevin Leman ("Have a New Kid by Friday"), wrote, "If you want a perfect child, go find a mannequin.  Children don't come in mannequin style."

The newspapers report that a woman in Cincinnati, OH, took a stranger's toddler "zun" over her knee and spanked him three times, inside a Salvation Army store.  The child had said something that annoyed her.  Gloria Ballard was arrested on an assault charge, entering a NOT GUILTY plea.  (The Yiddish word meaning to assault is "bafaln.")  Outside court, Ballard said she gave the boy a hug and gently patted his backside ("hinten") because he was upset.

Ballard, 43, faces a charge that carries a maximum sentence of six months in "turme" (jail) and a $1,000 fine.  She is a mother and grandmother and she has "gehakte tsores"

KidsRpeople2 says, "Doesn't it just make sense to keep our hands off of other people's children?"

In Yiddish, a back-handed slap is called a "frassk."  Dr. Kevin Leman writes about spanking:  "Spanking should never be done when you, the parent, are angry...A swat is an open hand on a kid's tush.  It's a onetime shot.  That is very different from a prolonged spanking that whales on the child."

Leo Rosten ("The New Joys of Yiddish") writes about the word "frask"/"frosk"/ "frassk":

"I gave him a frask in pisk" is a splendid way of saying, 'I gave him a slap in the puss.'  He continues, 'My father was so mad yesterday,' said little Morris, 'that five separate times he wanted to give me a frask.'

"How do you know it was exactly five times?"

"Because I counted."

"What did you count?"

"The number of times he hit me."

"I thought you said he wanted to hit you."

"I did.  Would he have hit me if he hadn't wanted to?"

Rosten continues:  frosk, a slap.  The beauty of its euphony, begiles me--as I hope it will you.  "A slap passes, but a word (i.e., and insult) remains!"

Sylvia S. Seaman ("How to Be a Jewish Grandmother") writes, "Dr. Spock, God bless him, says parents are only human. Grandparents, too.  That means that when you can't stand it anymore, it's O.K. to give the child a good whack.  Dr. Benjamin Spock won't object."

All parents want "klug" (smart) children. A question:  "Can spanking lower a child's I.Q.?  A study examined the I.Q. scores of many children aged two to four, and five to nine, and compared them with their I.Q. scores four years later. 

Researcher, Murray Straus, found the children who are spared the rod may have higher IQs than those who are spanked. He found the younger children who were spanked scored on an average of five points lower on their IQs, compared to children in their age group whose parents did NOT believe in corporal "shtrof" (punishment). Among the older group, "der untersheyd" (the difference) was 2.8 points.

Straus said, "To put it in a nutshell, corporal punishment slows down the rate of development of mental ability.  All the kids got smarter because they got older, but the ones who were spanked, less so."

What is corporal punishment?  In this study, it is defined as hitting a child, usually in the buttocks ("zudik") at least three times a week. 

Who usually did the spanking?  "Di muter" (the mother).

In another study, it was found that many "orem" (poor) children are spanked at ages as "yung" as 1 and that the practice is tied to more aggressive behavior by age 2 and delayed social-emotional development by age 3.

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe agrees with this
statement:  "The behavior of some children
suggests that their parents embarked on
the sea of matrimony without a paddle."


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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