To Spank Or Not To Spank

To Spank Or Not To Spank

“Go get my belt.” belt

Those were the most dreaded words ever spoken in our house. It meant someone was going to get the belt, an extension cord or a switch from the plum tree in the backyard, one of those tools of discipline, liberally applied to their hindquarters.

These days we struggle with spanking, meaning that some folk believe in the saying, “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” others believe that hitting a child is abuse, period, and still there are others who believe that spanking within its limits is acceptable.

There are a couple of problems I have with spanking. For starters it seems to me that there are some folk who go to far. They spank to relieve their own frustration and rage, and that’s when it becomes abusive. More importantly hitting doesn’t teach an alternative behavior—the lessons learned after a spanking is next time don’t get caught.

So I checked in with what the American Academy of Pediatrics endorses as acceptable methods of discipline:

  • Natural and logical consequences – meaning let the chips fall where they man when your child makes the wrong decision.
  • Withholding privileges.
  • Time outs.

Hmmm….

However when they surveyed random members from the Academy the results were very interesting:

  • 31% completely oppose spanking.
  • 53% generally oppose, but feel that an occasional spanking can be effective.
  • 13% favored limited use of corporal punishment.
  • 1.5% were unsure.

Were you spanked as a child? Do you spank your own children? Is it acceptable to hit another person in order to control them?

What do you think?

– Aunt B

Comments

58 Responses to “To Spank Or Not To Spank”
  1. Lizethe says:

    To spank!! I remember growing up my mother used to spank me to correct me not to hurt me and it helped me stay on the right track! It worked at least for me.

  2. Lisa says:

    Hmmm. I was spanked as a child in the form of a wooden spoon, “belt” (I remember a distinctively mean looking belt buckle) and I really have mixed feelings about it. I was spanked, I believe now that I am older, out of anger and frustration. Not that myself or my sister were doing anything to endanger ourselves or others, but because we weren’t “listening”. I do not like my son’s father using spanking because I feel he uses it in the same manner. Or as a form of control. And I also do not like the yelling part of that. Though I would NEVER use anything other than my hand to swat at his behind, I am beginning to feel worse and worse everytime he does do something that I feel warrants a spanking. If he is harming his sister, which he sometimes does with a devlish look on his face, then I do resort to a swat. But I do have to catch myself if I start to spank him for simply “not listening”…I try to remember that hands are for holding, not hitting. As hard as it sometimes may be for me…

  3. Aunt B says:

    Your take is interesting, and I also think the results from the pediatricians was as well. Even though as a unit they voted against it, they also used it as a form of discipline with their own children.

    I agree, that hands are for holding not hitting, as well as love and fear cannot live in the same place.

    Hmmmm…

  4. Linda Martin says:

    May I say that I too was spanked as a child…I didn’t grow and turn into a killer or whatever . I know there’s a strong push against spanking in our world. Yet the bib;e tells us it’s our responsibility to correct our children. If we remember all children are just “little people” each with it’s own understanding then I feel at times a child really needs a spanking. I spank my grand and great grand children with my hand on their rears…it’s REALLY hurts me worse than them. But I have also seen how they come to me for days afterward with hugs and love, no back talking, no ignoring me…it’s a blessing !

  5. PDeverit says:

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child buttock-battering isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    NO VITAL ORGANS THERE, So They Say
    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

  6. PDeverit says:

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc that can easily be found by doing a little research on “spanking”.

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child buttock-battering isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    PsycHealth Ltd Behavioral Health Professionals,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    The LDS Church (http://education.byu.edu/youcandothis/spanking.html click “quotes on spanking”)
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child buttock-battering is prohibited by law. In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

  7. Aunt B says:

    Thanks for the input PD

  8. G says:

    @PDeverit: Your line, “In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Is incorrect. The United States and Somalia are the two countries that have not ratified it. 😉

    What a shame! Children should never be spanked. It’s the parent’s that are out of control. Not the children.

  9. Debi says:

    I don’t spank anymore. Why? I have a few reasons….First, it’s disrespectful, second, I feel terrible when I hit a child (or anyone, for that matter) and third, it makes no sense for me to hit a child and say that they shouldn’t hit others (what does this say to children?) The final reason I have for not spanking (hitting) children is that there are many much more effective and respectful ways to discipline children. Fortunately, I work with children, so have taken many workshops and courses giving me other more effective tools. If you spank because you don’t have other options, ask someone in your community who works with children for some tips, or a mom who’s found another way. Good luck.

  10. Savannah says:

    My parents spanked me and it often went way too far. I am completely against all forms of corporal punishment. I believe that the only thing corporal punishment can lead to is the murder of the child, and that defeats the purpose of parenting, doesn’t it? However, if the child put herself in a life-threatening situation, such as running into a busy street when the parent couldn’t follow, spanking is acceptable.

  11. michelle says:

    My 2.5 year old is potty training (and doing well!!) She recently started spending weekends at Daddy’s…and he only started visitation in december. One night he woke her up from a “pass out on the couch kind of day” before being put to bed he took her potty and to brush teeth, she didn’t exactly comply to either task. So because he asked her calmly to go potty twice, and she didn’t, he SPANKeD her?? Also the same with the teeth brushing, she didn’t comply, he spanked. I do NOT agree with spanking for these reasons-anyone disagree with me?

  12. karen says:

    No that is inapropriate
    The poor child has just woken up and
    Needs love and parent compassion
    Tired and exhausted just sit her on
    And use pull not push to get cooperation

  13. Alex F. says:

    I spank only when it’s extremely necessary. For example, your child decided that he’s going to try his hand at hitting you. Your child decided to cross the street without looking (while you were trying to take your youngest out of the car) and almost got hit by a car. I have seen some of my friends get so frustrated by their child’s behavior that they tend to scream at them like mad women. Is screaming at your child and saying cruel things to them out of your own frustration and lack of patience any better than just spanking them? We are all human and as such we can only take so much. And therefore we need to learn to step back and breathe. I came from a family that there were no such things as warnings, timeouts, punishments or any of that passive type of discipline (I did pray for such at the time). We got the belt, the shoe, the hand, the wooden spoon, the rod, the whatever was handy at the time. At that time it was abuse because the beating, you can’t call that spanking, wouldn’t stop until the adult would get tired or you stopped crying, or running (running always made it worse). Now sometimes we compare notes and laugh, but in all honesty it’s not funny at all to know that that’s the type of childhood you had. This is why when I see myself getting frustrated and want to spank my child, I simply walk away and ask him to leave Mami alone for a few minutes. Remember we have a choice in how we treat our children and the type of discipline we give them, it is up to us. Do I spank from time to time, yes I do. Like I said sometimes a child needs to learn his/her lesson and there are times when a mere time out will not do the trick. However for the most part I result to timeouts, take away things that he likes, grounding, talking and so on and so on. Spanking it’s my LAST resort and like mentioned before only in extreme cases. We are all human and as such we will make mistakes, our kids didn’t come with a manual or a dvd that we can watch and learn from. All we can do in my opinion is learn from our mistakes, our childhood and try to do better the next situation around. You can never tell your child enough times that you love them. I think it also helps to explain to your child (when possible) why things happen and it’s ok to admit to them when you are wrong. They learn from us as we learn from our parents. Hope this helped someone out there.
    Sincerely,
    -A parent just like you

  14. Sherry J says:

    I too was spanked as a child. It progressively got worse when I became a teenager. My mother went from using a belt, to using the broom, to using a plastic bat, to using her fists. She wouldn’t stop hitting until I was hunched on the floor peeing my pants. THAT’S ABUSE!!! Spanking a child on the bottom is not abuse. You should never use your hands to discipline a child. Hands are used for love, not pain. An appropriate paddle should be chosen and used only as a last resort. You should never wait until you’re at wits end before you decide to discipline your child. If you do, chances are you’re going to go overboard. Then, when you do discipline your child, you should take the time to explain why. Never just say, I do this because I love you. That is giving them the wrong picture. That sets them up to possibly become the victim of an abuser. I belive the most important thing to consider when raising and disciplining your children, is to consider instruction from the Lord. Treat you child as you yourself would want to be treated. Respect, Love, Compassion, and Understanding go a long way.

  15. Cadence says:

    To spank, for sure, but not only spank as a measure of discipline (use other methods as well, talking, time-out, withholding privledges) I have 4 kids and I use spanking as a measure of discipline and yes, control. People on here keep using that word as if a parent is not supposed to control their childs behavior?! I have lovely children, who are thoughtful, creative, loving and beautifully wild, but who have problems with boundaries like any child. You step out of your boundaries, I will call attention to it. I may get on your level, look you in the eye and explain why that wasn’t acceptable, I may take you to your room and tell you why that wasn’t acceptable and have you sit on your bed for a little while, I might tell you why that was unacceptable and spank your butt. Depends on what you did and if you are a repeat offender. I love my children more than life itself, and because I love them, they have limits. I know several people in my life who don’t discipline their children at all, certainly don’t spank and the result is really ugly. They don’t have good relationships (in every case I am thinking of) and there is no respect for rules and any expectations these parents have for their children, the kids just refuse to meet. My children are open and loving, they meet expectations and they really do try their best, they are respectful to us and other adults and over all are just great little people, who are happy and well loved. I think part of the problem with todays youth is that parents are too concerned with their children disliking them for disciplinary reasons or the childrens feelings being hurt and they are creating unrealistic environments with no boundaries and no consequences. How will they function when life ceases to be like that? Do yourself and your children a favor, discipline. And in my book, a spanking to correct behavior is not wrong, as long as it is not your only method (how ineffective would that be) and that it is warranted. Spank wisely and with love.

  16. putanesca says:

    Children should only be spanked for outright disobedience or defiance, only on the buttocks and not after five years old. I turned my son over my knee and spanked him with a paddle until he cried. This breaks the will but not the spirit. Yelling constantly, belittling, accusing will break a child’s spirit. After five years old you can begin to reason with your child and discuss natural consequences or parental applied consequences.

  17. KC says:

    The home I grew up in, my mother was beaten by her husband, then I was beaten by my mother. She left her husband, but she still took her bad day out on me. In turn, I have a hard time with my temper. I have 3 children and I can not hit them for any reason because I am afraid I might not be able to stop. (I’ve been in a few fist fights where I couldn’t stop myself) I have found that my children are respectful and well behaved with out ever being spanked. It’s called leadership by example, I give them an example of how I want them to act and they follow. I’m not saying they don’t misbehave from time to time, they are children, and human, so that means they make mistakes just like the rest of us.

  18. Illiah says:

    I was hit has a child and so were my siblings. i became a very violent child as a result because i started to hit back when i knew i didn’t deserve it. one of my brothers turned out fine but the other one has terrible anger management issues and also started to hit back. i think hitting might be useful if the child endangers another person but otherwise, regular use i think is more detrimental

  19. Maria says:

    I don’t believe in spanking. I believe in communication and I believe in time out. I as well believe in removing outings, privileges, etc.

    That works just fine with me and the four children and that will remain constant.

    Good luck to those who spank and may you never physical bruise or hurt your child and land up in the emergency room.

  20. Mamie Dukuray says:

    i believe a child should be spanked. the bible says dont spare a rod and spoil a child. i jus dont think we should spank out of anger and frustration but out of love and this is comin from a 17 year old high school student. i love kids i want to major in pediatric nurse practitioner and to spoil a chilld beuz i dont want to hit them is the last choice for me.
    hit but dont abuse. hitting in love is different than hittin in anger.

  21. Aunt B says:

    Hitting in love… that one caused a brain cramp.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I was spanked as a child and it hasn’t HARMED me one bit. In fact, I grew up a lot for it, and I understood what to avoid doing. Doing it a little regularly on younger kids and slowly building them up to understand morals and to deviate to other punishments seems to be effective. Of course, like anything, it can be overdone.

    Communication can work too, but generally it’s with older kids, like I said deviate. Younger kids don’t understand morals or the “whys” and thus have difficulty following. Just don’t over-do.

  23. Amie Cordsiemon says:

    Spanking is cowardly and the easy way out. If you can’t be more creative when disaplining that’s your weekness. A child doesn’t need to learn the message that hitting is ok. A hand should be used for love or kindness not a frustration of a parent. Even when a child runs into the street the spanking doesn’t stop them from going into the street- their in the street. Too much violence in the world and the cultures and genders that appear to be in jail the most seem to spank/hit the most- seems as if spankings working???

  24. Glenn says:

    Whats wrong with todays picture in regards to Spanking. Just go to your local Wal-Mart and watch what type of children are roaming the store. Screaming, crying, totaly disrespectfull brats. I raised 4 very disceplined children and 2 of them are in the Military. Yes I did Spank them or as we call it here A whipping, ( Belt, King Switch, Hand ), but only when they understood why first.
    A good laying on the Hands is beneficial to some children and the ones I Have noticed over the years who grow up to be disrespectfull, trouble with the law and just plan spoiled useless members of society are from one or two catagories.
    The ones that the parents went overboard in there discepling or believed in TIME OUTS and STAND IN CORNER.
    So some good old fashioned wacks on the BOOTY can go a long way in a childs understand. And don’t threaten your kids, with I WILL SPANK YOU IF YOU DO IT AGAIN, and continue repeating this over and over and still do nothing about it. Be Honest with them and if you say your going to do somehting KEEP YOUR WORD. And they will come to respect you as a person who they know they can believe.

  25. Peter says:

    Never spank a child, it is disrespectful, literally hurts the child, harms the relationship between child and parent, and is a sign that the parent has not learned other skills and methods to discourage undesireable behavior. There is little to learn for a child from a spanking, there are other ways to get the message through, while not harming the child and bond between parent and child.

  26. Amy says:

    I think its a personal choice to be decided on between two parents. I was spanked and I do spank my children when needed. For my children to be spanked it has to be pretty bad offense. I agree kids with zero dicipline or consequences have a much harder time. It also depends on the child. I have one that spanking totally does the job and the other you have to take things away from him to impact him. Just all depends there is no one answer.

  27. Kathie L says:

    I also was spanked as a child and I still remember the spankings at the age of 54. Do I think it was abuse? No.Do I think there was a better way to deal with dicipline? Maybe.
    This is what I see in young children and adults now. The young people of today have NO RESPECT NO MANNERS and THEY TALK TO ADULTS AS IF THEY WERE IN CHARGE.
    So someone tell me what is the best way to dicipline a child?
    My parents put a scare into me for being disrespectful, talking back and not saying thank you etc. I learned a lesson that I will not forget.
    Can we say the same thing for young ones now?

  28. shirley says:

    well i believe punishments depend on the child. spanking did not phase my son, however, if i took away his skateboard it almost killed him. ha ha. i fully believe in spanking a child, it never did me anyharm. thing is , these days , people get in trouble for spanking their own children. look at what has happened to our kids the past few years. parents are hardly even allowed to scold their children anymore. the kids are going to the dogs and descipline is almost a thing of the past, even in our schools.. adults should not be afraid of their kid or anyone elses. children need guidance and structure. they long for it in one way or other . it is up to we the parents and teachers to make sure they have it. other wise they go else where and usually end up in trouble. kid need limits and someone to enforce those limits and someone who will stick to those limits.

  29. MAGGIE says:

    well, i do believe in spanking, but only when appropriate. like repeat offenders. i had to spank my daughter very little and my son,, well it didn’t even phase him other forms of punishment did however with both kids. time outs are good and sometimes just sitting and talking to the child is enough and rewarding to both. take away their favorite toy or activity for a while and stick with it grounding works well but also stick with that. do not just say the words and then allow the child privilages anyway, or the child will not take you seriously , therefore they will not learn from their mistake and they won’t gain respect for the parent. it never damaged me to be spanked as a child , in fact it did me good. but it was not the only form of punishment my parents used. but i know my parents DID spank me because they loved me and wanted me to learn.. so yes, i do believe in spanking . our kids now days are not being taught morals and standards and respect. they do what they want to do and often times parents will just let the kids do what ever they want to keep from fighting with them and get them out of their hair. i have this happening with some of my own relation. the kids were raised being called stupid, retarded, babies and all and none of us could do a thing about it. two of those kids dropped out of school and have been in trouble with the law and just have not self esteem at all. they are in their early 20’s. it is sad to watch this. there are still two boys to go and they have raised them the same way. lots of times they will allow the 17 year old to spend all the weekends away so they don’t have to deal with him. it is awful . they could have used better ways to decipline these kids.

  30. Jamie says:

    I have three little boys–8, 6, and 4–and I do use spanking as a discipline tool. I never hit my child out of frustration; if they have done something for which they know they will get a spanking and I am very angry with them at the moment, I will tell them that they will get a spanking as a punishment but I am angry and I have to go calm down first. And I *only* use my hand, just enough to sting and get their attention, not enough to really hurt. I firmly believe that anyone who uses a belt or a switch on a child needs to have it turned on them.

    I think it is effective, mostly because I always speak with them afterward to make sure they know what they have done wrong and why they earned a swat (or two) on the rear. The acutal spanking is more of an attention-getter than anything else, a way for them to know that I am serious and they have to pay attention to the lesson that I’m trying to teach them. Time-outs and taking away priveleges just don’t seem to get that message across to my boys.

    I know it’s working. . . recently we’ve had a big problem with calling each other bad names and using foul language with each other. I overheard my four-year-old say a forbidden word, then he looked around to see if I had heard him. When he noticed me looking, he came over and apologized for the bad word and said that he knew he’d earned a swat. Until I started spanking for that offence no punishment that I handed out had any effect on the bad behavior.

    Spanking is an effective discipline tool, but parents need to be aware of themselves while they do it. Never spank when you are angry, never use anything other than your own hand, make sure to follow up with a lesson and not just an undefined punishment, and always be aware that it is YOUR CHILD you are disciplining.

  31. Jim Kikerf says:

    Spanking is an effective method of reinforcing a lesson previously taught, but limited to those times when the parent is not still angry, and must be explained to the child. When I was four and a half or early five, two female cousins came to visit. They went for a walk with my older brother, but left their purses behind. I found their purses and searched them. I found a nickle in one and kept it. When the three returned and the “victim” found her nickle missing, she set up a howel and I was identified as the suspect. My parents were chagrined and although the victim pleaded for mercy for me, my father decreed that I would get a whipping. I knew that what I had done was wrong and that lesson has stayed with me now for over 75 years.

    Some children can be lectured effectively, others not. Spanking for serious infractions for the latter.

  32. CHRISTA says:

    Many People are against spanking, becouse they where spank’t.
    Including me.Iwas raised by very religues Nuns,they love’t
    beating the Children, that is why Iam against spanking.
    I also have 4 Children, I reward them for good behavior,
    make Deals whit them, they can andestand,
    If they dont want to listen, make them kneel on the floor,
    untill they listen, and have them repeat – what you said.
    this works better, then beatings.
    some times, whe need to change old habits.

  33. Quenette says:

    I also was disciplined growing up from verbal correction to spanking and each form, now that I’m adult has been appreciated for the most part. My mom was the disciplinarian and she didn’t play. Sometimes, I felt she took it over board, but I know that she wasn’t trying to physically hurt or kill me. If that was the case, it would’ve shown in other ways/actions. The momentary pain at the most hurt my pride, but it kept me knowing and respecting my parents and other adults in authority. As a mom of toddlers (under 6), I guard when it’s needed and when it’s not. I also believe if you spare the rod, you’ll spoil the child. Kids are smart. It only takes a few times for kids to catch on to the fact that you’re not going to do anything but “talk.” I have to throw in the element of surprise with my kids to let them know, I love them, try to talk to them, but sometimes when their disobedient, it takes a little poppin’ action to get my point across. 9.5 times out of 10 (.5 if they’re feelings are really hurt, they may wait a few hours) they come back with “Sorry mommy I love you” – and these are toddlers! If you do it in love (not anger or frustration), you won’t ever have to worry about crossing the line. It’s all in how you do it. Be Blessed Folks!

  34. marie says:

    I was spanked growing up- but often out of anger and frustration i.e inappropriately. Spanking should be recommended with clear guidelines- eg use a wooden spoon and hit three times across the legs or on the buttocks. Used correctly, i believe it is a positive thing for a child. Post natal courses in discipline should also exist, which focus also on positive parenting

  35. kateeist says:

    I have never seen a spanking occur that wasn’t out of complete frustration with the child.

    When I was young and did something my mother deemed “bad”… she would spank me very hard. I feared her spanking me. That was it. I never stopped to consider why I deserved it. I was only in fear. She’d have to chase me around the house to get her hand on the back of my neck or my arms to get a swing at me sometimes.

    I believe spanking shows the parent doesn’t know how else to handle a child. Like a dog. That is the way to train puppies. Not children. Children can communicate and understand that their actions were wrong.

    To me, it all boils down to how you perform the spanking. If you calm down yourself, and the child is calm. Spank away. Not just aimlessly swatting at the poor thing until you feel they’ve learned their lesson.

  36. Nettie says:

    I realy don’t like to spank my kids because when I was a kid my father and mother were very abusive to say that I don’t spank I do only when it is realy needed they have to realy upset me like for instance hitting me or screaming at me is a need for a good spanking with a wooden spoon and it gets the point across

  37. mary says:

    yes I believe in spanking when we did we did not have kids killing their parents, school mates and church family. Just watch the kids on these T.V. SHOWS how they talk to parent and how they behave at school.

  38. All children do not need spankings. Sometimes boys in particular get out of control. If you do spank, do it as a punishment, not as an anger issue. It’s all about control. Some situations kids need a good swat. I never, never hit my son with a spoon or something like that. I never slapped him or abused him. Its about punishment as a deterant with respect. However, I did spank him when he needed it. He was a determined and headstrong child. I always talked to him and tried to reason with him but if things got out of hand, sometimes the alternative was a good spanking. I also used psychology on him.. I gave him choices within bounderies. As a child grows older and more independent, you should think about giving them a choice…You can do A. or B but not C. Which one would you like? It’s not as simple as picking up a belt and saying OK this is my way. You have to know your child and know what works. The most important thing is to love them hard. I used to tell him, if I did not care I would let you do whatever you like and would not care if he got into trouble of got hurt but I do care and I am trying to protect you and show you what is right and wrong. It’s just not that simple. I guess the bottom line is, how much do you care? How much are you willing to sacrifice for your child? When you have a child, you should really know yourself so you can teach how to get along with others.

  39. Nonhlanhla says:

    Up to now, I have spared the rod and spoiled the child. This worked well and good until recently my 15 year old daughter has been going to the gutters from being midly rude, to being midly disobedient and lazy,to being totally rebellious and stubborn. Yesterday I found myself spanking her with a belt and an open hand,it was done in a moment of rage but I do not regret it.I believe it is an effective method of reinforcing a lesson previously taught.There was no time to explain anything to her except that she had been warned enough. I am yet to see if this is the language she will understand. This is the way we were brought up” the rod was not spared and it saved my soul from hell’ .I have decided my children are not going go to hell too,the Bible says “There is some foolishness tied around the neck of a child and the rod of correction will remove it”. so, yes I am for spanking when necessary.

  40. Josh W says:

    I was spanked as a child. Sometimes, as memory recalls, a little too severely. However, I do not fault my parents for ever doing it and will never. Corporal punishmet is something that has gone on for ages and hopefully we will have the choice to do so for all time to come. I’m not saying that spanking is always the right decision, though. There has to be an escalation of force, or at least thats my method. If scolding, multiple time-outs, and removal of privledges do not work, then I see that it is a perfectly acceptable form of punishment. As the famous quote goes, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” My parents were spanked, as were their parents, and so on, so forth. And as much as it sucks to hear it, sometimes somebody just needs some sense smacked into them. When I was a kid, I was taught children were meant to be seen and not heard, which in my opinion is somewhat correct. Agreeing with a previous post, walk into wal-mart and just look around. I know I would never have acted half as bad as some of these kids these days, for fear of fire on my hiney. Children these days offer no respect for their elders and I believe that is due largely to fact that parents have relaxed standards of discipline. So, I guess my whole point is, yes, spanking is ok, but only after youve exercised all other forms of punishment.

  41. No More Games says:

    Parents want none of the responsibility of raising a child, providing food and a safe and clean place to live, but they feel that whenever the 6,7,16,18 year old pisses them off they can beat the shit out of them and that makes them a “responsible parent”. I live in a “bad neighborhood”, but “bad neighborhoods” are usually bad for kids because the parents don’t try to put their kids first.

    SIMPLE RULES TO FOLLOW FOR PARENTS

    1.) Don’t hit your child when you’re angry, cool down. Wait five minutes.
    2.) Don’t hit a kid over the age of thirteen. It’s weird, and it shows the kid you have no control over yourself.
    3.) If you can’t hit yourself with it five times without bruising or cutting yourself, DON’T USE IT ON THEM.
    4.) Don’t get in a fist fight with a child. If you lose, it’s humiliating. If you win, you go to prison.
    5.) Never let a step parent or girlfriend/boyfriend physically punish a child.

    Remember, if you punish your kids, you’re supposed to be doing it to prevent them from developing bad habits such as lying, cheating, stealing etc. If you wound or injure them or make them afraid to tell the truth, YOU ARE COMPLETELY TO BLAME FOR WHATEVER THEY BECOME. Don’t be surprised when that little six year old you bruised with a wooden spoon hauls off and hits you back when he’s the one who’s taller.

  42. Linda says:

    No matter how you disquise or sugar coat it… spanking is the assault of a big person on a little person…a littlle person who loves you and wants to be just like you, and you hit them?

  43. Jill says:

    I’m totally against spanking a child. why? because is cowardly to do that to children.
    my father hit me one time and leave me unconsious.
    so, you can see why i hate when somebody abuse a child an any way.

  44. Cadence says:

    Linda, that really seems like an over-simplification, honestly no offense intended. In that light we can almost see the doe eyed little person you are describing. But that little person can and will run you over! Like I said before, I don’t just spank my kids, I use several forms of discipline, but some children really push for that butt whooping! My youngest son for example, if I did not spank him, there would be no hope for that boy! I love him dearly and he is a wonderful child, but he is the most stubborn and strong willed child I have ever met, ever. If you take a toy from him as a disciplinary measure, you had better be ready for what quickly ensues. He will throw things, he will throw himself, he will hit his siblings, pick him up to try to remove him from the situation and he will hit and kick and scream because really HE is the situation. Not one of my other children act that way, it just isn’t their personality type, they are pretty laid back. I think the last time I whooped them was years ago. At first, I really tried alternative ways to handle his bad behavior, but eventually I just whooped his butt. And he is S0 much better behaved, when his behavior starts to get crazy, I tell him, I am going to count to three and if you do not stop (insert bad behavior) I am going to whoop your butt. 90% of the time he calms down enough for me to talk and reason with him, so I don’t even have to whoop him that much anymore. So, for him it was effective. I don’t enjoy whooping my kids, just like I don’t enjoy when they misbehave and they are upset because they can’t do something they wanted to do as a result. It sucks, as a parent I want them to be happy, however I also want them to have boundries and I want them to understand respect. As for all the people who suggest that spanking a kid is cowardly or “the easy way out”, I say, if you are using spanking appropriatly, it is just another method of discipline. Those kind implications are strange to me, as if every parent who spanks is a raging monster or lazy? I was spanked, I am not traumatized, no one beat me and I don’t really think about it. I probably needed a few more than I got really. Anyway, that’s just my two cents.

  45. Courtney Epperson says:

    @ Lisa… Is it possible your son, who sometimes harms his sister “with a devilish look in his eye” may possibly be learning that behavior from his father? When a child is hit, he learns it is ok to hit. Recently a good friend of mine and I got in a nasty verbal fight. When I spoke to him about it, and why it had gotten that far, he said that when someone hurts you, even if it was unintentional, you want to hurt them back. I had to explain to him that when you love someone, you don’t want to hurt them, no matter what mistakes they have made. Acting in self-defense even does not need accompaniment by the desire to hurt the other person back. Yet, this is how he felt, and how many, I’m afraid, feel on a daily basis. I know they must have learned it somewhere, because I definitely learned my attitude from somewhere.

    As a child, I was spanked once. I still remember. I loved my father, and more than the physical pain of that beating (my ass was red and sore for days), the emotional scarring was evident for a long time. I wanted to make him happy, and I did not even understand what I had done that was so wrong. He gave me no chance to make amends, just beat me. It was one of the singularly most scary events of my life. I was six. He also would not talk to me for days. Looking back I see that it was wrong, but as a child you would never understand that. My father reacted out of fear. What he should have done instead was sit me down and talk to me. Ask me what happened and why I did it, in a calm tone. Then explain why children don’t do that. In the end, it wasn’t even my fault, but neither of my parents ever cared to ask.

    Usually I was put on time-out if I did something wrong, or when I got older my things were taken away or I was grounded from using the phone or computer, and could not see my friends for usually a reasonable designated amount of time, or if it was homework-related, until I had caught up. I won’t say I’ve never made mistakes in my life, but even now my Mother struggles to remember many times where I did something wrong. The only times she remembers, I do too. I was never punished for trivial things.

    The reason I can say that I was so well-behaved is because of the understanding and time put into raising me by my Mother. She was a stay-at-home Mom, but more than that, she took me to the community center where we got regular socialization and we took many classes together, everything from sports to arts and crafts to even ballet for a few years. In my neighborhood, we started the Kids Club, and we decided amongst ourselves that we should have regular bake sales and donate a portion of the money to a good church. The rest of the money we saved til the end of the year to go on a trip to Six Flags together. Only one kid in the club couldn’t go. From the moment I was born, my Mother immersed herself in Motherhood and stimulating my mind, and teaching me about compassion towards others, especially animals and those littler than me. Once at the park when I was about 8, we observed that a baby blackbird had fallen out of it’s nest. The adults were attempting to protect it from a nearby stalking cat. Without hesitation, my Mom being the woman she is, we took that baby home and raised it, taking care to make sure it was fed properly and in the right amounts. We taught him to fly, though truly it is a very instinctual thing for creatures with wings. Eventually we took him to a wildlife center where they would teach him to hunt for himself and then re-release him into the wild. My Mother never sugar-coated anything for me and spoke to me like an adult, using complex sentences and “big words”. My Mother may have been exceptional, but I believe it is not impossible for even working Mothers to instill the same values and understanding in their children, with a little time and effort. I believe compassion comes along with intelligence.

    There is ALWAYS an alternative to hitting a child, if the parents has the intelligence/compassion to control their own impulses and utilize them.

  46. Sue says:

    Spanking in NOT okay. It is the impulsive reaction of a parent out of control.. Get help, talk to professionals in guiding childrens behaivour, learn how to interact and talk to a child.

  47. Jacqui says:

    It defintely is important that naughty children realise that bad behaviour means consequences. However, those consequences should not inflict physical pain – hitting kids is an impulsive and uneducated response – children are intelligent and can be corrected through more humane forms of discipline. The key is being firm and consistent in disciplining the child and also offer explanations.

  48. Julia says:

    I think that NOT spanking is why the kids are the way they are today. Mouthy disrespectful, rude! I spank my kids, when they need it or severely deserve it. I don’t get excessive with it. I was spanked when I was a kid, my parents would put 3 paint stirrers together with electrical tape….and I knew what was acceptable and what just wasn’t. Kids these days need the discipline that was instilled back in the ’50’s and ’60’s. Society would be alot better.

  49. mamasita says:

    I don’t think “spank” is a black and white issue or is that clear cut. If someone spanks out of anger or out of desire to control, then it’s abuse. If someone spanks because the immediate correction is necessary then that’s different. To spank because a toddler sticks their finger in an electrical socket is a response to an immediate correction necessary for the safety of the child. To spank because your child just back talked you is done to control or relase anger generated from the child. There is no immediate need for correction with back talking. No one method of correction is always right for every child and every moment and for these goofballs that seem to think that the “time out” is appropriate in every issue has never successfully raised a child to productive and secure adulthood. I had an abusive mother and a very laid back father. Neither were healthy. My mother used belts, wooden spoons, paddles, anything to generate pain and fill her sick need for control. My father felt bad for us and never did any correction at all aside from the “time out”. Neither were healthy and neither worked. It’s all about finding a healthy balance in everything we do in life, including raising children.

  50. Nandini says:

    Spanking I personally believe is not the right punishment for kids. when I was kid I use to get regular broomings, belts, somtimes even on the road my mother kept on beating me. I was the eldest at home , taking whatever reponsibilities such as feeding , cooking, cleaningwhatever chores including my school.I had great responsibilites at the age of 5, I still remember. But my mother was constant beater. She would blame me of having something to do with my father. But she brought me up. She was more concerned about my younger siblings. That is natural.
    Spanking made me rebellious towards my mother. I never hated her but I was not loved was the feeling.

    I have a son of 7 now, I dont want to hit him but sometimes I hit him. I control myself a lot. He is a sweet child, and normally naughty to some extent. But I hit him sometimes if he does not concetrate on his studies. I love him. but my frustation unknowingly get on. and then I really really regret.

    I have realised that its a child needs protection as i needed, loved, respected. I dont want him to become rebellious later.hence I have other ways to punish him like no watching shaun the sheep, no tom n jerry , or no cycling, or no function. Well that works.
    I want him to be successful if not Einstein or Franklin. Children need to be talked, loved , disciplined and also setting our own examples.Love your children. be tolerant. Spank with explainations and only on very serious wrongs.

  51. carol says:

    I don’t think it’s so much the spanking or not spanking–it’s what motivates the parent.

    Both my parents spanked for the wrong reasons–they were tired or upset and therefore our antics were conjoined with short fuses. However, our mother loved us a ton. When she hit us it was generally easily forgotten, and we moved on. My father, on the other hand, had been abandoned as a child, and my mother was his first real tie in his life. He adored her but was often jealous of the attention she gave my sister and me. If he were overworked or stressed, he would hit us, and there was a very different feel to the whole situation. Everything came through his arm: hatred, disgust, a desire to hurt us. It was a way of letting us know: “Back off, and don’t get too close to me.”

    I ended up in several fist fights with him as a teenager, almost as if I were trying to hit the rejection. And, as his subconscious desire dictated, I never got very close.

    Hence: Kids are very forgiving and resillient. You can hit, and you can even hit for the wrong reasons, and it probably won’t damage them. To hit out of spite, hatred, or any of the black emotions can do damage.

  52. Mac says:

    I have one child who always misbehaved. I was consistent when she was little in spanking her. If I didn’t she would throw huge temper tantrums and almost pass out in anger. She is 12 now and basically perfect at age 4 I stopped spanking there wasn’t a need. I always said only three things will get you a spanking blatant disrespect hurting others or yourself and throwing anything out of anger. I have a younger daughter who started to have tantrums at 3 and be very cruel we spanked her only with no affect . She was never remorseful and continued bad behavior. We then would send her to a designated spot for a time out. This almost hurts worse because I felt like I was telling her to go away. But it worked. She is now ten and I rarely have to discipline now. They are both so well behaved. I am a happy mommy with two great kids. Just remember to have them tell you why they were punished. If they haven’t a clue it’s not working. Discipline in definition is to teach. Punishment is to correct. My sweet father used to say the Laws of the Lord are for our family and the Laws of the world are for others. He meant to be in his family you would have to obey the word of God honor your mother and father don’t steal etc. But if we couldn’t obey those In his home we were others and we’d have to bear the consequences of the world, like jail, tickets, fines judgements etc. We are four grown adults now with clean records and all graduates with degrees. I did fear my gather but he never spanked or yelled. All families are different and all children are too. Please have safe punishments for your children and don’t abuse them. They need you!

  53. mimi says:

    Kathie L. I totally agree with you! I work in a middle school in the front office. How many times do we hear, “what’s wrong with kids today”? First, why are we asking this question? Because they are out of control. I am 47 and compare my generation and even adults 30 and up to todays generation of kids. The difference is we were spanked. Most younger adults were not spanked and we turned out just fine. You do have to explain why they are getting a spanking. I believe you should use something else besides your hand. I believe the problem with kids today is they have no healthy fear of any discipline.

  54. geoff says:

    after 15 years of being beaten, i finally escaped my father by joining the army,,however i do feel that we have to teach our children respect and the difference betwen right and wrong,,if a child does wrong then there has to be some form of punishment,,it´s no good sening them to their bedrooms as we did when we were children because they have tv´s laptops etc next to their beds,so this is no longer a punishment.i do believe that a spanking does work in most cases but has to be conrolled so that it doesn´t turn into a beating,,this could cause the child to rebel against you out of hatred later in life,,as i did against my father,, all i can say is that i have four daughters of which at some time or other they have been punished whith a spank,,they are all happy grown up adults now some with chidren of there own,,who also spank the children,,

  55. Grandma B says:

    Well, I’m what is catagorized as a Baby Boomer and am third oldest in a family of eight children. Mamma used her hand or the belt, daddy used the belt as he was a Golden Gloves Boxer in the Marines and his hand were declared legal weapons. We got “it” only when we really did something terribly wrong, and we weren’t spanked on a daily basis, and we all turned out fine, no life long trauma, no one ever in jail for anything, all fine upstanding citizens! I have three boys, whom I spanked with my rule of “after the 3rd warning and you get a swat” was broken. We, as well as my children, were never “beaten”, one or two swats on the backside just reinterated that what ever the behavior was that warrented the spanking, was not going to be tolerated. I read comments as far as to “G’s” and I don’t know how old this young man is, but I disagree with his statement that it is not the children who are out of control, but the parents. My generation and that of my children’s were when most children were spanked, as opposed to today’s “time out” (although for minor incidents I used this method) or, my favorite, “we’re allowing them to be themselves”, were not rude or beligerent to adults, teachers, police officers, or especially their parents. I’m really appalled at the way parents allow their children now days to speak to them, cuss at them, yell at them, literally verbally abuse them, and in some cases physically abuse them. They TELL their parents what they are doing or where they are going and when, they do not ASK their parents if they can do or go. Neither we, nor our children would ever have talked back to our parents the way children do today. When I was correcting my children, I could tell by the look on their faces, as I’m sure my parents could with me, what was going through their minds. I used to tell my boys, “you can think anything you want to about me right now, but don’t you ever let it come out of your mouth! They are 40, 37, & 34 years of age, and to this day, do not talk back to either myself or their dad, do not cuss at us or be disrespectful in any way. I hear twelve & thirteen year olds telling their parents they can’t do something because they already have “made plans”. The parents just take it, and then ask what they did wrong, why does their child treat them that way, why are they always in trouble, “we’ve never laid a hand on them, we’ve tried to give them everything they wanted”….BINGO!!!! I don’t care what anyone says, I still believe children NEED discipline to know their parents care. I would tell my boys that, with any given punishment, be it taking a privilege away or a spanking, that it was because I loved them, and if I didn’t, I wouldn’t care what they did! Parents now days are so caught up in trying to be their children’s friend, not their parent, that if they reach the point where they threaten any kind of discipline, their children, whom they love so much and would never dream of slapping or spanking, as THAT is cruel, threatens to call the police or DCFS. And all children now days, know, believe me, that unlike 30 years ago when they would remove the child from the household, now they remove the parent and arrest them! I really believe that the “system” in all their infinate wisdom, has taken parenting away from us. Parents are not allowed to raise their children by “house rules” anymore, they are only allowed to raise them by the rules of the system, or risk going to jail. It’s almost to the point where we are only to give birth to our children, take care of them until they are old enough to go to school and at the tender age of five or six, THEY become their own parent ( except for the necessities needed or things they want) and we are to do everything they tell us to for fear that either our child will hate us, or some one, perhaps our own child, will call the authorities because we slapped their hand or gave them a swat on the backside! So my opinion: Beating a child; ABSOLUTLY NOT! Spanking a child when warranted: DEFINATELY!

    Grandma B

  56. anne says:

    I have this to say about spanking, especially in very young children: it is an excellent substitute for patience, imagination and creativity. Not spanking can be very time consuming but the work involved in entering into your child”’s life at that moment when you would otherwise spank is worth it. And my kids never ran into the street. When they were little and we went outdoors I did not let go of their hand, period. Bratty in the supermarket? I tried to make shopping trips fast and let them put groceries in the cart, etc. As far as people saying that the world is like it is because not enough parents are spanking their children, I think that is ridiculous, just ridiculous. Thank you.

  57. Emma says:

    I, as a child was spanked as well. My parents never did it out of anger.Altho my sisters did. I am the baby of the family, and was most end os my sisters raine. It was horable getting “spanked” by them.Eather they would spank me, hold me down n hit me in which ever way they could, throw what ever object they could get there hands on, dump hot water on me(some times cold), tie me up for hours on end, or leave me out side of hours( no matter how cold it was). My parents did punish them, but it didnt help only made it worse. Spanking is not abuse if you know the limmets. The things that my sisters was. I will naver let my Children be treated like that. I will spank them if nessacary, but i will have other options befor i would ever do that.

  58. Angela says:

    We shouldn’t even be asking this question, as the answer is obvious. Spanking a child constitutes child abuse in absolutely all situations. Those of you who justify hitting a child only in “certain situations” really need to reexamine your convictions. You’re giving yourselves excuses for completely losing your patience with a child to such an extent that you actually believe physical violence is your only option. Really? We’re talking about extremely young children here. What message do you think you’re sending? You’re teaching young, impressionable children that violence is the answer AND you’re emotionally (and perhaps physically) scarring them in the process. If you as an adult hit someone, then you’re rightfully charged with assault and perhaps you go to jail. Yet we hit little kids and somehow normalize this behavior in our minds? Are we barbarians? People!! Come on!! You can do better than that. End senseless violence. Make the world a better, more harmonious place. The path to peace really does begin with parenting.