Leader of the ‘pronatalist’ movement smacked two-year-old son during interview

The leader of Elon Musk’s “pronatalist” movement, which encourages families to have lots of children to avoid population decline, is under fire for slapping his child in the middle of an interview.

the Guardian journalist Jenny Kleeman interviewed Malcolm Collins and his wife Simone for a weekend feature.

In the article, Kleeman wrote that she was left “speechless” when Mr Collins hit his two-year-old son, Torsten, “like a reflex … in the face” while at a restaurant after the child ” he kicked the table and made it wobble.”

“It’s not a hard hit, but it’s a direct slap to his two-year-old son’s face that’s firm enough for me to hear on my tape recorder when I play it back later,” Kleeman wrote. .

“And Malcolm did it in the middle of a public place, in front of a journalist, who he knows is recording everything.”

Kleeman pointed out that slapping is not illegal in Pennsylvania, “but the way Malcolm did it — so casually, so openly, and for such a young child — leaves me speechless.”

After noticing how “terrified” she was, Mr. Collins went on to explain to Kleeman that he and his wife “developed a parenting style based on something (Simone) noticed when she saw tigers in the wild: They react to bad behavior on their part. chicken with paw, a quick negative response at the moment, which he considers effective with his own children”.

“I was just giving you the context so you don’t think I’m being abusive or anything,” he told Kleeman.

Said the father of three The New York Post that “several people called (child protective services)” on the couple after reading the Guardian piece.

“There is now an active movement to take our children away,” the 37-year-old claimed.

Mr Collins said he and Simone, who is currently pregnant with their fourth child, only use corporal punishment as a corrective action in potentially dangerous situations.

“(Overturning the table during the interview) fell into the category of something that could cause serious harm to him or others. At a table full of kids, tipping it over could easily kill someone,” he said Bar.

He defended the family’s “bopping system” as a personal decision they made, but said he wouldn’t recommend it to every parent. The outrage the interview caused, he said, was the result of people trying to conflate “mild discomfort with abuse.”

“That’s where trigger warnings come from, or the idea that being offended or has offended someone is a form of violence,” he said.

“There is no tolerance for any form of emotional or personal inconvenience.”

said Mrs. Collins Bar she was raised in the same mindset as the outragers, where “under no circumstances” is “non-positive” physical contact allowed.

“It’s hard to get out of that bubble. It’s hard to think practically about what will help your child’s survival and safety,” she said.

The 36-year-old insisted she and her husband never use corporal punishment in ways that are “delayed, painful or violent and harmful” to the child. She also dismissed online criticism of the couple.

“I think most people in this position either don’t have a lot of kids or don’t have kids at all,” she said.

The couple, who have two sons and a daughter, said the Guardian plans to have at least seven children.

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