A lot of parents are beating their children for their grades, a new study suggests.

The New York Times says when report cards are handed out on Friday, child abuse reports go up on Saturday.

The study, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, comes from a team headed by a researcher at the University of Florida who studied reports of child abuse in ages 5 to 11 during the 2015-16 academic year.

It confirms was a lot of pediatricians had been saying: there’s a relationship between report cards and violence against children.

“When you say, ‘How did you get it?,’ they say it’s because of their report card,” Dr. Alexander, an author of the study, tells the Times.

The doctors asked the parents why they hit their kids and, according to Alexander, they respond that it’s because they got a “B” or a “C” on their report card.

What’s particularly interesting is the relationship between violence and report cards mostly appears when the grades are sent home on Friday, the study said.

One possibility for this unique finding is that when report cards are released earlier in the week, caregivers are distracted by other activities such as work and caring for other children.

Thus, caregivers may not have the same opportunities to react negatively to a child’s report card when released on a Monday through Thursday.

Another possibility is that caregivers may avoid harsh punishment when children will have guaranteed exposure to mandated reporters (eg, teachers) the following day.

Given that this study, to our knowledge, is one of the first of its kind and that our findings do not indicate causality, ideas about the mechanisms linking report card release day and physical abuse are still largely speculative, and additional studies are needed to elucidate this possibility.

Subsequent studies wherein additional, potentially influential, factors are measured (eg, days missed from school for children with verified cases of physical abuse after report card release; quality of report cards; parental beliefs about corporal punishment) would be helpful.

In addition, randomization of the report card release day would create steps toward understanding pathways of causality.

A solution might be to issue report cards earlier in the week.

Or just stop hitting your kids.

“The answer is not spanking or hitting or whipping them,” Dr. Antoinette L. Laskey, the chief of the child protection and family health division of the University of Utah, said in a JAMA editorial “It’s a healthier approach. It’s talking with them. ‘Why are you having trouble in school? How can we do better?’”

In its editorial, JAMA pointed that “no studies have shown that the use of harsh physical discipline or corporal punishment had the desired effect of positive behavioral changes in children.”

If we lived in a Frank Capra world, something special would be happening in Little Falls, Minn., right around now.

Alas, we’re not in Frank Capra’s world, and there will be no Christmas dinner at Charlie’s Pizza this year (psst: Hey Little Falls: take the hint!).

Charlie Peterka and his family have been putting on the event since 2011 to honor their daughter, Donna, who died around the holidays.

“We still do it in memory of my daughter. Because rather than sitting around watching crappy commercials … we have something to do. It gives us something to do that day,” Peterka tells the St. Cloud Times.

“It’s not need-based. Whoever’s hungry or lonely can come and eat and have whatever they’d like. And if they’re still hungry, they can have more,” said Peterka.

He also provided about $5,000 worth of presents for those who didn’t have any. So many people showed up, he rented a bus for people to sit in to stay warm until they could get inside his restaurant.

But not this year. Charlie’s in the hospital with some serious health problems. He’s spent about a year in the hospital, the Times says, and isn’t due to get home until January.

“People aren’t going to get anything this year. That’s sad,” a local business owner said. “That just shows you what happens when you got a guy like Charlie, who took it upon himself and said ‘I’m doing this.'”

The weekend tear-duct check came from Shirley Wang, who told the story on WBUR’s Only a Game broadcast about her dad, a cat litter scientist in Muscatine, Iowa, who somehow became Charles Barkley’s friend.

Lin Wang was on a business trip in Sacramento, Calif. Barkley was staying at the same hotel.

They chatted in an empty bar; then they went to dinner. They liked each other and kept in touch.

Wang’s colleagues didn’t believe he was friends with an NBA star but it didn’t matter to him.

When Barkley’s mother died in 2015, Wang showed up at the funeral in the middle of Nowhere, Alabama.

“For your dad to take the time to come to the funeral meant a great deal to me,” Barkley told Wang’s daughter.

Then Wang got cancer; he didn’t tell his friend.

“I called him and got mad at him when I found out,” Barkley said. “I was, like, ‘Dude, we’re friends. You can tell me. You’re not bothering me. You know me well enough — if you were bothering me, I would tell you you were bothering me.’ ”

Barkley didn’t know Wang was watching him every night on his TNT NBA broadcast, laughing while dying.

Mr. Wang was watching the Golden State Warriors playoff game last June when he died.

The funeral was set near the outskirts of Iowa City in a house by the woods. I was talking to my childhood friend when she suddenly looked stunned. I turned to look behind me.

And standing there — drenched in sweat from the Iowa summer, towering over everyone in the room at 6 feet, 6 inches tall — was Charles Barkley.

“I had not met anybody in your family,” Barkley said. “I didn’t know anybody there.”

Everyone watched, astonished, as this man — this man we only knew from TV, this worldwide celebrity — walked down the aisle, looked at us and sighed.

“What did you and my dad talk about?” Shirley asked Barkley for the weekend broadcast.

“We talked about you and your brother,” Barkley said.

It turned out, there was a lot Wang the younger didn’t know about Wang the elder. She learned about him from Charles Barkley.

At the funeral, people shared memories of my dad and made me realize that, for example, he was not just a cat litter chemist — but an industry-changing scientist with a Ph.D. And not just an immigrant — but someone who reached out to Chinese newcomers. And not just a thoughtful guy — but someone people trusted for advice. I realized that, even after he passed away, I would continue to learn things about my dad.

Before Barkley and I hung up, he had one more thing to say:

“Hey, listen. You stay in touch. Please tell your mom I said hello. Give her a big kiss. Tell your brother I said hello. And listen: Just keep doing you. It’s your time now. Don’t forget that. That’s the most important thing.

“Your dad prepared you to take care of yourself. He prepared you for that. I was blessed to know him — and know you, too.”

“Thank you for your time,” I said.

Not much has worked to stem the tide of distracted and dangerous driving. By now everyone has heard the warnings, but a glance over in either lane on your way home or to work on your next commute will likely tell you all you need to know about whether anyone’s listening.

So people probably won’t pay much attention to Bruce Benson, who was 16 when he killed his best friend 30 years ago. Read more