Do you feel guilty after spanking your child?

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Angela - posted on 10/21/2012

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I feel awful. I've always believed spanking to be a lazy form of parenting, an I'm running 102 fever and my husband is at work and my parents are deceased and...she just walked out into the living room and dumped a whole bin of art supplies all over the floor and I lost it and smacked her on the arm and now she has a red mark and I feel like crap.

TealRose - posted on 08/05/2011

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I, as 56 yr old grandmother, am horrified, disgusted and sickened to see just how many people think that hitting a defenceless child is fine! Discipline? Yes... but discipline means to teach = it does not mean to hit. For those who feel guilt - yes .. I call it your conscience telling you that hitting someone 3 or more times smaller than you is totally wrong. How can you say 'use your words not your hands' and then HIT a child?? No sense ... no fairness either. Who wants to teach a child to hit??? No respect for that child either. You want respect? Then earn it - no-one can expect respect if you don't give it out - and hitting anyone is not respectful. Why should you as an adult be exempt by law from being hit - but a tiny child .. not so ?? Think abou this too - most of the behaviours that we get 'angry' or dislike with our children - that lead us to yell, or worse to spank we wouldn't DREAM of yelling or hitting our partner or friends for. Or would you??

For those of you who do NOT feel guilty ..... I refrain from commenting .... except to say you frighten ME ... so think what you are doing to that child!

If you feel that spanking is the way to go - just remember the lessons you are teaching. Fear, pain, anger, hate and resentment. That you don't love them - no .. when I was hit I never believed my parents and they lost my love, respect and trust. I don't trust or respect anyone who hits me.

Nichol - posted on 05/13/2013

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I believe spanking is necessary when the child is out of control. There is a difference in spanking and beating your child. I do believe that is what is wrong with a lot of youth now a days is that parents thought a little TIME OUT was in order when the child was COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL an needed to know that for their actions comes a sensible reaction. I do hate to spank my child but sometimes it is necessary for her to know that when she does something its called for there will be a punishment. I was spanked as a child as never once did I think my parents didn't love me or that I was being treated unfairly. I learned respect an manners...not just for myself but for others. I think we can be so quick to judge and I do not believe its lazy parenting. Lazy parenting is thinking that if you tell them to stop 5 times and put them in timeout it will work, no that's them knowing that they can do as they wish and all they will get is a timeout. It's lazy parenting that has shaped the children now that think its okay to talk to their parents or other people with disrespect. So the bottom line really is yes, we will all feel guilty having to spank our children, but if you take five minutes after the act and go to them an ask them why they got a spanking in the first place the child will tell you why and have more respect for you because they know what they did was wrong. Telling them you love them and want them to be responsible, respectful, adults. It will teach them the right way.

Jennifer - posted on 03/07/2010

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I see nothing wrong with it as long as it's done out of love. there is a huge difference in spanking a child and beating a child. Some children alternative approaches work but for others it does not. I have a 19 month old son that just laughs at me for the most any time he gets in trouble. If I swat him on the butt , which he wears a diaper so it doesn't hurt at all, it gets my point across to him that enough is enough. Everyone has their own parenting methods and you should do what you feel is right for you and your child. It shouldn't matter what other people think. People look down on what each other does everyday from the clothes we wear to the vehicles we drive. Parents have been spanking their children for centuries. and if you really think about it the less we have discaplined our children and the less we have asked of them the more our acrime rate has gone up over the centuries. each generation gets worste cuz as parents you don't want to be as hard on your kids as you thought your parents were on you. so each generation has less and less boundries and rules as the generation before them.

Pattie - posted on 06/21/2009

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Feeling guilty is a normal reaction. Be careful not to let that guilt translate to allowing your child to get away with bad behavior; and don't let the child use your guilt against you! And forgive yourself. He/she will get over it!

I use the 1-2-3 method. Just say "1" the first time he misbehaves, "2" the second and "3" the third; at which point it is too late! Put him in time out, put him in his room, or even spank if the offense warrants it. Use common sense. And don't talk too much! Let the child keep talking, say "2" and nothing else! Usually you don't even have to tell them what they are doing wrong, they already know. If they look puzzled, explain as simply as possible; if they question why, remember "Because I'm the mommy." is a legitimate response! God gave you the position of authority and responsibility; you don't have to explain. You may want to explain at some point but right now it would be a distraction!

I DO NOT spank him for his ADHD behavior or for being a boy. The 1-2-3 method has helped with his ADHD, sometimes he misbehaves without realizing it. 1-2-3 gives him a chance to re-focus.

I limit spanking to those times when he is truly misbehaving and ignoring all my requests to stop. He is one of those children who pushes his limits just to see where they are. I believe he is more secure knowing that there are limits to what he can and cannot do. He is very well-behaved now though not perfect. It will get better! The spankings you give now will decrease in number as the child matures.

If you don't discipline a child, the result will be an un-disciplined adult!

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42 Comments

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Carrie - posted on 07/11/2014

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I have an 11 year old and 8 year old son and I have NEVER spanked them. Trust me my 8 year old tries my patience to it's limit and beyond. When that happens deep breaths and into his room to sit on his bed so we can each take a short break. I totally agree that there needs to be discipline but I have always found that grounding and taking away of electronic devices (TV, DS, tablet, computer, phone, etc) works in my house. When they are grounded to their room and can only read books and think about why they are there it usually makes them think. In fact my kids will usually come to me and apologize for whatever it was that got them grounded. If your child makes you so mad that you feel the need to spank them their room is the place for them until you calm down enough to talk about their behavior.

User - posted on 04/11/2014

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Most parents makes all the same mistakes. They all tell the children, DON'T instead of DO. When I take my young kids for a walk, I never tell them DON'T run off! They will run off. I tell them, DO stay with mummy, or DO stay on the path. Not DON'T cross the road! Teach them what you WANT the kids to DO, not DON'T. All the young toddlers hear is run away, cross the road and don't hear the word DON'T. hope I make sense.

User - posted on 04/11/2014

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I totally agree with the grandmother Teal-Rose! Hitting is NOT RIGHT.
" When a big child hits a small child in the playground, we call him a bully; five years later he punches a woman for her handbag and is called a mugger; later still, when he slugs a workmate who insults him, he is called a troublemaker; but when he becomes a father and hits his tiresome, disobedient or disrespectful child, we call him a disciplinarian." There are other form of discipline. I am a deaf mother with a 10 yrs old and a 3 years old daughters. They rarely have tantrums or out of control. I thought them sing language at the age of 6 months. They could tell me their needs and wants through sign language at the age of 9 months. I always talk to both my children, teach them empathy and compassion and never encouraged "bad behaviour". I also don't understand that most parents encourage a 6 months old baby to smack the parents faces and laughing at the baby for doing it so, because 6 months old babies don't really hurt adults by doing that. By the time the same babies are becoming toddlers and they are not allowed to smack their parents faces. The parents don't laugh anymore and get angry at them for doing so. How is it showing them to do the right thing when the parents are teaching them to do wrong thing from the beginning? I do see it happening a lot! How confusing must it be for the babies/children.

Aztar - posted on 12/17/2013

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If you didn't feel guilt I would be concerned. Guilt is a normal reaction to inflicting pain whether mental or physical on someone. I was spanked as a child and I adore my parents.

There is a fine line between discipline and abuse. If your feeling that guilt your probably doing something right. Do not let your child see it though. My 2 year old refuses to obey til he has that flick of the wrist.

Do not use an object to spank your child. Use your hand and explain to your child why it happen. It however should be a last resort. If you have tried reasoning with your child with no results then and only then should this method be used.

Stef - posted on 09/29/2013

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I have never hit my children, never will! I love my children to be completely free and explore whatever they want. Discipline is completely unnecessary in our house and my bf and I let my boys act completely naturally without any stupid interference from us.

Kim - posted on 07/10/2012

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I FEEL HORRIBLE AFTER I SPANKED MY SONS...I HAVE TWIN BOYS THAT ARE ABOUT TO BE 3 IN AUG. AND I'VE ONLY SPANKED THEM A COUPLE OF TIMES BUT ITS ONLY BEEN A LAST RESORT BECAUSE TIMEOUT ISN'T WORKING ON THEM...I'VE BEEN VERY CONSISTENT WITH TIMEOUT BUT TO THEM ITS MORE OF A GAME...WHEN I GET VERY UPSET I WALK AWAY BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO LASH OUT AT THEM BUT TODAY ONE OF MY SONS WHO ACTUALLY GIVES ME THE MOST PROBLEMS WITH LISTENING CAUGHT A TEMPER TANTRUM AND KICKED ME SO I LOST IT AND SPANKED HIM ON HIS BUTT AND PUT HIM TO BED...NOW I'M SITTING HERE IN TEARS AND FEEL SOOOO GUILTY FOR WHAT I'VE DONE....I LOVE MY BOYS WITH ALL MY HEART, THEY ARE MY WORLD, HOW DO I GET PAST THIS STAGE WITHOUT HAVING TO SPANK THEM? ESPECIALLY THE ONE THAT GIVES ME THE MOST PROBLEMS...HE'S VERY WHINY, SELFISH AND VERY BOSSY...I DON'T WANT MY KIDS TO GROW UP GETTING SPANKED ALL THE TIME...I DIDN'T GROW UP BEING SPANKED BY MY MOM BUT MY BROTHER WAS ALWAYS HITTING ME AND MY DAD WAS ABUSIVE TO MY MOM...I SWORE I WOULD NEVER HIT MY KIDS AND I BASICALLY LIED TO MYSELF...CAN ANYONE GIVE ME ADVICE ON WHAT'S THE BEST THING TO DO?

Casey - posted on 08/04/2011

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I haven't had to (yet), he's a little over two years old and hasn't done anything yet to warrant a spanking, but I think if I did, I would feel guilty not because it was wrong to do so, but that look I know he'll give me with his cute little face and his pouty little mouth, that says "I can't believe YOU did that to ME mommy! How COULD you?". lol.. I feel guilty any time I hear my baby cry (yes, I still call him a baby in my head, even though he's over two!!) when I'm giving him a time out, or saying no to snacks when he didn't eat his dinner. But I know what guides my decisions regarding him is the best part of me and my judgement so I try not to question it TOO much, because being over critical of oneself can be discouraging when up against something as challenging as raising a child. See how you child is. If they are a wonderful child, that are happy and don't have very troubling characteristics, you're probably doing an outstanding job!

Kalandra - posted on 08/03/2011

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Depending on the reason, I don't. If I told you to stop doing something more than 3 times in a 5 minute period, you just aren't listening. Sometimes, when I am already frustrated or mad and they aren't listening, I feel guilty.

TealRose - posted on 08/02/2011

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My children are now adults. Feel guilty after spanking them ?? NO .. because I NEVER hit my children! I believe that when one feels guilty about spanking their child - that old 'this hurts me more than it hurts you ' thing ... well that is one's conscience telling one that it's wrong. Good for Jimminy Cricket !!

Do I feel guilty for EVEN THINKING ABOUT hitting my children? Yes... every single day of my life. I am disgusted ....

Eka - posted on 07/27/2011

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yes very much, i think it perents wickness when he/or she spanking child. i done it with my older dauter, she is now 10 years old and when she don't like something now she spanking me. Don't do this. Now i have 1.8 years littetl dauter and try do not spanking her.

[deleted account]

Nope. If you feel guilty for it then it is probably the wrong choice for you and your child. Spankings are a pretty rare thing for us though.

Crystal - posted on 03/02/2010

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it's the wrong message. do you want your child to hit when things don't go as they planned? with their sibling, a playmate, etc...i'm not perfect. i have bad parenting days but this is not something we should condone as parents.

Brittany - posted on 02/15/2010

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I do . but then again i dont. My son understands well enough what he can and cant do. I usually threathen it more than anything. But when i do it, i tell him no the first time, and if he does it again then i say "if you dont stop mommys gonna spank" and if he smiles and does it again. then i do. but i never do it hard, i think it just hurts his feelings more than anything. i know some moms are against it. but i really feel that once in a while, if your child is really getting out of control, they could use a spanking once in a while. My parents never spanked my brothers, and my youngest brother is now out of control. and walks all over my parents, they just started spanking him. And hes starting to get alot better. All kids are different though, but id rather spank my child once in a while, then let him walk all over me.

Lynn - posted on 11/06/2009

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I was spanked as a child. My last spanking was when i was 5 years old. By then i knew better. Now that I have a child myself, my husband and I spank him when need be. And after he is done crying (which is usually about 30 seconds LOL) I kneel down to his level, and ask him if he knows why mommy spanked him. After he expains to me what he did wrong, I give him a hug, and ask him not to do it again. I feel no guilt because I do not spank him hard enough to really hurt him, just hard enough to show him i am not happy.

[deleted account]

I don't spank my boys. I never have and I never will. There are other and much better ways for disciplining your child.

Lyndsay - posted on 07/23/2009

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I don't. I tap him on his bum and send him on his way, it's not like I brutally beat the kid. And anyway, when he does get a spanking, he usually just laughs in my face. So if he's not upset then why should I be?

[deleted account]

BTW. NOTHING works like a quick spanking.

I am no behavioral counselor, but I have 10 kids...Yes, TEN.

My father a counseling degree and worked with children 20 yrs ago (he died 13 yrs ago), and my mother has a counseling degree as well.

The issue is really, Why?

Do you discipline because you have reached your limit with wrong behavior or do you do it to train your child to follow a set of rules for life on how to treat others and respect authority?

Discipline in anger is wrong whether it is time out or spanking. the child can know you are angry with their actions or attitudes, but they must know that they correction is to change their actions and attitudes not because you are angry.

My 6 yr old son knows I am angry with him for shoving a marker up his little sister's nose, but he also knows that when he is spanked for it it is to remind him that there is a real consequence (or cost) for his action, and he can explain it to whoever asks.

[deleted account]

Don't do it in anger and always talk it through with the child.

If you are spanking in anger you will feel guilty. If you are doing it to retrain a wrong behavior then you are not wrong and you are not acting in anger.

Guilt comes because we are unsure about our own actions. If you have a routine and purpose for discipline and are not waiting for your limits to be reached then you are not disciplining in anger.

Set the rules, adapt them as necessary. A child only needs a warning of a change in plan to be able to follow it. I will give a count to mine. 2 chances after I change a rule...The more often the rule is broken the stronger the punishment.

They must understand consequences now, not when the police comes to pick them up.

After 10 kids, mine know the rules and assist me in enforcing them with the younger kids. I never fail to have compliments on how well behaved my 10 are in comparison to an over worked mother of 2 unruly children.

Drop the guilt by the wayside and start consistently enforcing a set of rules they need to live by, including respect for your authority! You are Mom, not them. You feed and provide for them, not the other way around. Be in charge and don't let them push you over the limit!

Maria - posted on 06/12/2009

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Yes, I did! But, I'm often reminded that disciplining a child needs to be started at a young age, so that they don't end up in detention or worse the juvenile hall when they grow up! Of course, there's a difference between discipline and abuse, and we should never cross that fine line as parents. When I feel frustrated, I just call time outs for my boys when they were little, or ground them when they were old enough, and time out for myself as well.

Keyla - posted on 06/11/2009

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I definitely will never spank our son. I think that sends completely the wrong message and it would be too easy to go overboard. My brothers and I grew up being spanked and hit and those are never good memories. My father ended up hitting my brothers with cables, hangers (until they broke), belts, etc. Needless to say, he did not have other parenting resources at his disposal (he and his brothers were hit as well). It is a self-perpetuating cycle. One of my brothers ended up having thoughts of hurting my father and then hurting himself--that is the only reason it stopped (but he kept hitting my other brother). I discipline my son, but it will never get physical, after what we went through as kids.

Diane - posted on 06/11/2009

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I'm not against spanking, but I always try other approaches first. I remember being spanked as a child, but I don't remember it ever being abuse. When I got spanked I had it coming. Like when I stuck a bunch of straight pins in my grandmother's waterbed.



My daughter is 2, and I have popped her on the butt a couple of times. It doesn't do anything but aggravate the situation more. With her timeouts are way more effective. Making her sit on her bed for a few minutes gets my point across alot easier for her. The thing she does the most to get in trouble is hitting or kicking my 3 year old godson. Then it just seems pointless to spank her. Ya know, don't hit so I'm gonna hit you, it's a waste of time and would just confuse her. Now my godson, all you have to do is say "If you don't stop, you'll get a spanking" and he stops. So I do agree, sometimes different things works on different kids.



If it comes to a point where I think a spanking is needed, my only rule is to never spank angry. Another mom had posted that she sends her kids off to another room until she's ready to hand out the punishment. I think that's a good way to go about it. I remember when I was a kid (the waterbed incidant) my mom calmly sat on the couch and told me I was gonna get a spanking. She then made me walk over to her to get my spanking. To this day I don't remember the spanking, I remember the walk across the living room to get it.

Sarah - posted on 06/03/2009

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I only spank when it's abosolutely necessary, and thankfully it isn't that often. I actually yell more then spank, not that I like raising my voice to my boys, but I find that it's sometimes more effective then a spanking. No, I don't feel guilty when I do spank them. I sometimes feel more guilty for yelling at them believe it or not. Its all about what works for you and your kids.

Sara - posted on 06/02/2009

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I don't, it hurts their feelings more than anything. Children have been spanked for years and it never killed anyone. I'm not talking about beating kids, just a swat on the butt. My kids are pretty good and don't need them very often. But when they need it, I don't feel bad. If they are running in the road or something like that, I'd feel better spanking then than I would having to bury them. Even the bible says "spare the rod, spoil the child"

Charloette - posted on 03/18/2009

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Yes I do. I also say sorry to my son after. I have been trying to give time outs and not spanking any more. But sometimes they just push me to the point of no return. I also tell them how much I love them but I don't like WHAT they did.

[deleted account]

Yes I feel quilty, but I know there are times that a spanking is needed. I am a mother of 2 boys. One is 12 and the other is going to be 8 in May. I can probably count on my hands the times I have actually spanked them, but I have done it. My problem is that I can't stand my boys being upset with me or thinking I don't love them. Or having thoughts that they hate me. I done this with my mom when I was younger and I couldn't bare the thought of them doing or thinking what I did. They are of age now that I can usually ground them from their fav. things. But when they are a child I think they respond to a little swat on the bottom than sitting in a chair for however long.

Nichole - posted on 03/17/2009

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No, I don't.  I generally reserve a spanking for offenses they KNOW about beforehand, so they understand why.  I also, generally, spank for things which could have harmed them, or are blatant definace/rebellion or persistent disobedience.  I also do my best to follow through with my 'threats', so they (most of the time) do what I ask, or don't do what I tell them not to.  Works well for us.

Kristeen - posted on 03/06/2009

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There are other forms of discipline. I don't want topreach, but our role is to guide our children's behaviour, to teach them self-discipline, to model the behaviours we'd like them to adopt. Discipline doesn't equal punishment. Children don't need to be punished, they need firm boundaries & positive reinforcement.



Let me put it another way, if a man hit another man or woman, that would be considered assault. Why is it okay to hit a child???.



I'm not going to criticise anyone's parenting, but if you are feeling guily, find another method of discipline, mothers have to much to worry about without adding guilt to our list.

[deleted account]

I feel guilty, and I get over it. I hate to say it, but discipline is needed, or else our kids will be, well, pretty messed up later, maybe their whole lives. Time outs, removed privileges can work, but don't always. Some kids seem to need a more hands on approach. If you punish them a different way, and they persist in doing the same thing, then that punishment is obviously not working. Then you either increase the strength of that punishment, or try a different one. Good luck, and thank you for trying to teach your children how to behave.

User - posted on 02/19/2009

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i don't spank my child. I never will. I don't want to sound hoity-toity about it but I am a behavioural counselor as well as a mom, and I know that other techniques work better than physical discipline. I have seen it every day at work and at home. Time outs are only one method too. I am not getting down on anyone for disciplining in their own way, hell you are the p arents and you know your children best. However, to answer the question, IF i did spank our boy, I would feel completely guilty.

Carrie - posted on 02/19/2009

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Here's the thing with spanking...no I don't feel guilty because I know what kind of child they will turn out to be without some form of discipline. I usually try to wait until I'm no longer mad, so I tell them to wait in their room until I'm ready this does two things first it makes them sit in there and stew in the fact that they're going to get a spankin' which is way worse than the actual spankin, so by the time I go in I don't have to spank them all that hard because they have already had the real punishment. There are some things time out just can't handle so I do believe that as long as you're doing out of love and for their well-being spanking is fine. Being a parent isn't the easiest thing in the world and we do the best we can as parents...I'm sure you're doing fine. Just make sure they know why they're getting punished and afterward reaffirm your love for them.

Stephanie - posted on 02/19/2009

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if your doing it for a valid reason and you explaine it to them then you shouldn't feel guilty for disiplining your children. just think that if you don't do it while they are young you will be getting a call at 3am from the police .... i am a firm believer that you children need boundries and i have a talk with my children from the first time they miss behave as a toddler and use words they understand like its not safe or not nice..

Dawn - posted on 02/16/2009

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my son isn't old enough yet for that but my 3 year old daughter is, i threaten them more than anything,. i kinda agree with chloe about feeling guilty afterward. i use time outs first. and i really try not to punish her with a spanking for hitting or pushing her baby brother by spanking cause i don't feel that sets a good example...don't hit your brother whack! but i'm gonna hit you. it just doesn't work for me. time outs are pretty affective here and taking away privaleges.

Chloe - posted on 02/14/2009

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HELL YES. Ive only done it a couple of times but i felt VERY guilty. Toward my son as well as feeling as if someone was watching & judging. I don't have a point of reference on this subject but i know its frowned upon in this day n age. I think a lot of my guilt came from there. Was i doing something wrong etc. Its a personal choice but if you are feeling guilt try time outs (i use my sons cot), or just putting your child in a room for 10mins & closing the door.  I personally don't spank anymore. The guilt got to me.

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