Poll: Discipline or abuse?

Lyndsay - posted on 06/17/2010 ( 86 moms have responded )

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This question stems from an ongoing topic in the Welcome forum, where one mom stated that she smacks her child with a wooden spoon (or other paddle) until he submits his will to her.

In your opinion, is this discipline or abuse?

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Minnie - posted on 06/29/2010

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I agree, Jennifer. But, such is humanity. The small and weak tend to get the short stick.

Children have the right to bodily integrity- and I believe that striking a child's body, whether it be with a hand or any other implement, is an abuse of power, and abuse of the relationship, and an abuse upon the child's person.

Jodi - posted on 07/04/2010

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Alison, if she has been getting nasty messages from people from a thread on the welcome page, she can report them to a moderator, and we can issue warnings to people, because this kind of behaviour isn't acceptable. It is perfectly acceptable for people to debate the issue, but personal attacks and PMs abusing her aren't ok, and if we know about it, we will issue a warning.

Rebecca - posted on 06/29/2010

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never hit a child no matter what. yes they need to be disciplined but not hit.

[deleted account]

I think it's quite hypocritical to view smacking/swatting a child with a wooden spoon or even just a hand as not abuse. If I smacked any adult with a weapon or just my hand I'd be charged with assualt, so surely therefore doing the same to a child should be considered abuse? Just because they'e children doesn't mean they shouldn't have the same rights as adults!

Johnny - posted on 06/28/2010

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To me A swat with a SPOON still qualifies as abuse. That is a heck of a lot different than an open palm. And it does not sound like she just did it one time, but that it is a regular disciplinary technique. As a former child protection social worker, I can tell you that where I live, she would at minimum be receiving frequent check-in visits, parenting courses & assessments, and her child would be getting checked over by a doctor once every few months for signs of damage/bruising. But I suspect that the abuse that she publicly admits to on a website is far less than what she is really meting out to her child.

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86 Comments

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Lynette - posted on 07/04/2011

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Physical abuse is when someone deliberately hurts or injures you. Hitting, kicking, beating with objects, throwing and shaking are all physical abuse, and can cause pain, cuts, bruising, broken bones and sometimes even death. No one has the right to hurt you in this way. Directly from NSPCC website made for children to read.



I am disgusted that people think it is ok to hurt a child in this way and are open about it. As define above it is abuse, it is not just a tap on the hand it is full blown physical abuse. I don't care who the person is but if it was an adult on adult we would call it assault, people have some sense.



Also I would be reporting this person if I knew where she lived, I am extremely concern for the child.

Sherri - posted on 09/07/2010

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Small swat - not abuse
repeated hard hittings - abuse

However, submits his will to her sounds like abuse to me.

Ary - posted on 09/07/2010

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Disgusting. If a parent takes ANY action to "submit" their child to "their will," it's abuse. I can't imagine even thinking about swatting my boys (ages 4 and 2) on their little rumps with a wooden spoon. Or anything else for that matter. For any reason, especially for throwing a tantrum. 2 year olds are SUPPOSED to throw tantrums! That is a part of their development. And when a child is throwing a tantrum, that's the ideal time to be supportive of him or her. I always wrap my LOs into big bear hugs when they tantrum. That keeps them from getting hurt, and I find that it dissipates my children's anger AND my frustration. That poor baby must fear his mother. I would be so heartbroken if my babies ever looked at me with fear in their eyes. So, definitely abuse.

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2010

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Ok wow i really did not like her post i dont think getting a spanking is abuse but she's talking about killing the kids will at 2 years old. Thats just creepy anyway i dont no about the rest of you but if spanking with a spoon is abuse my mom would be in jail lol. But with me and three older brothers she needed us to listen and i dont think any of us care now in fact we laugh about the story's of mom trying to discipline us we were rotten. But i think this lady goes way above normal she's creepy and ya i think its possible child abuse.

Kate CP - posted on 08/31/2010

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You would only use a spoon or another object to inflict more pain. Why on earth would you want to inflict pain on your child? I admit, I'll swat my daughter on VERY VERY rare occasions, but it's only once and it's with my hand. My mother used to hit me with a spoon and the look on her face when she did it terrified me. It was a look of almost hatred and pure anger...I know my mother loves me but back then it was kind of questionable. Definitely abuse.

LaCi - posted on 08/31/2010

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I'm not against spanking. However,


"abuse. Especially since it is until her child submits. Like his will is being broken. That is sickening"

I completely agree with that statement.

[deleted account]

I've heard of this case before and it is totally abuse. When I read what she wrote, I was appalled and truly worried for her child. She is scum as far as I'm concerned and if I knew where she lived, I'd report her.

Stasia - posted on 08/29/2010

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abuse. Especially since it is until her child submits. Like his will is being broken. That is sickening

Jennifer - posted on 08/28/2010

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I find it hard to believe there are any parents out there that don't think striking your child with an object is abuse.

[deleted account]

Abuse,

I am totally against any form of smacking. I was hit by my father for my entire childhood and swore i would never do that. My daughter is 3 and i've never hit her. I use the naughty spot and she is such a good child. The main reason for my feelings are, how can you teach a child to respect another person and not to hit when you are punishing them by that very action. It makes no sense. If you don't want a child that hits and slaps, then don't slap them.

Vickie - posted on 07/31/2010

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I am definitely from the old school and believe in spanking especially for things like running out in the street, biting, hitting etc, but when a child is throwing a temper tantrum normally that is an attention getter and it usually doesn't matter if it is negative attention or what so ignore the child he is not hurting anything, except maybe your ears and you could always put in some ear plugs, but definitely no need for using a wooden spoon on him and attempting to break his spirit that does fall under the catagory of child abuse. No reason for it. I use to spank my children in the grocery stores because of their behavior, with my hand of course, they learned in public how to behave properly. If they behaved and wanted something if I had the money they usually got it, if they misbehaved they didn't get anything when we were out and about. They grew up to be very decent young men. This woman needs to have her child removed and needs to be ordered to take parenting classes if she wants him back and if she gets him back then they should keep regular checks on her and the child.

Lisbeth - posted on 07/31/2010

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The use of force is a last resort. One aspect of violence is that it is unpredictable. Although your initial intention may be to use limited force, once you have engaged in violence the consequences are unpredictable. Violence always brings about unexpected results and almost always provokes retaliation- Dalai Llama

Mae - posted on 07/31/2010

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The last part of that sentance makes it abuse because even the smartest child may take one or two separate incidences to figure out what they did wrong. One or two quick half or even quarter strength swats across the butt are fine followed by an explaination of what they did wrong. My mom did that with me and my brother growing up where she would bend us over her knee and smack us with a wooden spoon full force for about 15 strokes sometimes. It didn't do any permanent damage to me I don't think, but it was very excessive and sometimes I didn't unerstand what I had done wrong.I think she needs to get some help because it sounds like to me that she has some agression problems

[deleted account]

I would call hitting a child over and over abuse, but the example you are talking about hasn't been doing that. I think what she meant by submitting his will has been miss interpreted.



On a different thread this mom said that she gave her little one a small tap on the outside of a diaper with a wooden spoon. Sometimes she gave him a second tap. I'm not saying that I agree with this because spanking so young isn't for me and I think wooden spoons should only be used for cooking, but I wouldn't call it abuse.



I know this mom is very upset about the whole thing. Even mom's who admit to giving an open handed swat to an older child get PM's from militant anti spanker's. I dread to think of the messages she's probably been getting.

Katchya - posted on 07/03/2010

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I have a very skewed view on this one. My son became mine after his bios decited to do the same thing to him(and much, much more) He has RAD Reactive Attachment Disorder.In humans tearms it means he does not attach to anyone. So no hugs, kiss, or cuddles. He now lets me do it but it is not enjoyable to him. For the 1st year he thought EVERYONE was out to kill him. So he had to kill you 1st. We are now to a point where he is no longer an every day threat. It took 5 years of that kind of parenting to "break" my child. So I would love to do to people like that what they do to their child. "Break" them. O ya but I would go to jail. Nothing happens when you do it to a child. Why is that?

Jodi - posted on 07/03/2010

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Here is an interesting article I found on the website of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (a government site), and I think it is a great document which sums up child abuse really well. I can see that in some areas, it is likely to be subjective (as anything will be), but it certainly gives guidelines quite succinctly. Not legislation, but certainly an authoritative document.
http://www.aifs.gov.au/nch/pubs/sheets/r...

Elisabeth - posted on 07/02/2010

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ABUSE!I I don't mind a quick smack on the bum (open hand only) and after plenty of warning. My mother used to hit me with a horse whip and once she lost it (or perhaps someone hid it...8-P) so she used a wooden spoon, it bruised and drew blood and broke too. And it bloody hurt!

(@ Jodie & Loureen - I'm a bit delayed but the laws in WA are that a parent is allowed to hit a child over 5 anywhere between the shoulders and the waist or on the rear end with an open hand, once only, you may restain with reasonable force. Unless it has changed recently. It is differant from state to state. 8-) )

Ashley - posted on 07/02/2010

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I think that is definately abuse...I think a swat on the but or a smack on the hand is fine but not to repeatedly do it or leave marks that just isn't right..

Deedee - posted on 06/30/2010

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I grew up in a Tongan household, so a beating with a spoon would be pure luck. Although I was disciplined this way as a child, I do not find it to be abuse. I think it is only abuse when taken too far. If it's just one hit & not that hard, then I honestly think it is ok. I do not use this method in disciplining my soon, but I do spank him.

Lise - posted on 06/29/2010

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I'd just say discipline except hearing the phrase "submits his will to her" - that makes it sound like abuse!

Lesli - posted on 06/29/2010

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Abuse.... never use an object to hit a child, that's violence.

just because a child is more prone to give in to physical violence does not mean you should not respect you child as a person. Would you beat anyone else with a wooden spoon until submission? that mother should be beaten, so she can feel what kind of emotion she is transmitting to her own precious child.

children should not submit, but understand that certain things should not be done and that there are consequences to every action, whether is spanking or not. If my kid runs in front of a car, i would spank him repeatedly. If my kid rips a calendar or spits his food at me, i wouldn't throw him in my lap and spank. i might slap his hand with my hand, not with a wooden spoon.

people like her make me so mad!!!

Krista - posted on 06/29/2010

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@Michelle: this wasn't just once. As you can see from her original post (which I quoted here), she spanks the child over and over until he "submits" to her. So it's not a quick spank as a deterrent -- it's a power thing.

Michelle - posted on 06/28/2010

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I have read the post that was originally written and I wonder if it has been taken out of context. She clearly states that he gets A swat and if he continues he gets A swat. meaning what exactly?? We are all sitting here thinking she is beating this child however we don't know the extend of how hard A swat she is referring. And I am pretty sure that A swat is written as singular meaning ONE. Not plural meaning more than one. One swat with a spoon when he doesn't listen is no different then a smack with a hand. Unless she is striking the child like you would strike a baseball, I think we are blowing this post a little out of proportion.

Abby - posted on 06/27/2010

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that without a doubt should be reported. that is very disturbing to hear someone openly admitting to abusing there child its very sick. i hope she goes to jail. her kid is going to be the next gacy on the block

Johnny - posted on 06/25/2010

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IMO abuse. And where I live, legally, it is abuse. If she was discovered, she would probably have her kid removed. In fact, if she was leaving welts, there would most likely be a police investigation launched.

I don't think that spanking with an open hand on the rear not leaving a mark is abuse. I don't choose to do it, but I don't have any issues with the concept. The way the poster speaks of "humbling" a 2 year old is utterly ridiculous and she is clearly ignorant of normal child development.

[deleted account]

When I was young, Heather, my parents would spank me with a belt or a wooden spoon and THEY didn't consider it abuse BUT I did! I guess I was just too young and my running around the house, crying and trying to get away from them didn't set off alarm bells....maybe I was just being dramatic? Someone in another debate actually said their child was being overly dramatic when he cried after a spanking! Gah...

Heather - posted on 06/25/2010

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If its abuse, then I was abused as a child...my parents spanked, used wooden spoons, spatulas, and the belt on occasion...but I honestly dont feel I was abused at all. I think times have changed though, and I dont ever plan on hitting my son, but honestly, there are times I have to stop myself from giving him a smack on the butt...I get so sick of repeating "no" a million times a day...but I always stop myself, put him in his crib with some toys and take a short break.
I think spanking to break a childs spirit is absolutely abuse... but I dont really think a swat on the butt is abuse or a smack on the hand if the child is doing something that will hurt him. If there are welts or bruises then that is certainly abuse.
I just think it is interesting that when some of us grew up, a spanking was not considered abuse at all...hell, when I was young, they still had corporal punishment in schools and in 4th grade I got 3 wacks with a paddle from my principal for talking too much in class...it was the norm....thank God times have changed because I would flip out if my little boy came home and told me his teacher or principal spanked him!

[deleted account]

I am horrified from that post it is horrific reading, forone the child is 2 years old he does not know right from wrong this is why we as parents need to guide our children. Secondly he gets a swat on the bum with a paddle of some sort never a hand because mommy's hand is for nurturing - mommy's hand holds the paddle where is the nurturing in that? Thirdly what kind of a mom hits their child until they submit and cry a pittiful cry? Seriously this is abuse and this woman will just get worse and worse if she is not stopped - anyone who hits someone repeatedly (with or without objects) has a problem, they could be ill mentally or they are control freaks IMO.

Definately abuse poor poor child he's only 2 poor child, I want to cry now thinking of that poor little boy.

Cyndel - posted on 06/21/2010

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This is how I was disciplined, I see no problem with it. I prefer to keep spankings for very few things, dangerous actions that he needs to realize immediately is not ever to be repeated, hurting someone else, and rebellion, mostly because my son is very pain tolerant and they don't affect him very much, so if it is a rare event it is a shock and thus more affective. There may be a few other exceptions. But other then these I prefer to use other forms of discipline. The chair, isolation, loss of toys, loss of movie time, loss of other privlages. These work better for my son for most things.

Jennifer - posted on 06/20/2010

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and ton answer this poll ,it is abuse. my mom use to hit me with all kind of things growing up, i would rather take and ground before i would lay my hand on my children, the only time is to is when they are in dangering ther life, like running out in the streets. my so at 4 yrs old did this and i almost lost him cuz he snatched away from me, he went throygh aklot of theraphy and rehab they said he would never be the same, but what im getting at is he ran in the stree again about a year ago and when he did this i did smack his but, but he will never do it again, theres atime for everything and just because a child is acting out or as a child would at there age u have to remember we were their age at one time also, !

Jennifer - posted on 06/20/2010

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a child shoul never be hit with any object except with the palm of your han,thats only when really neede,talk to ure child ,take things away they really like.

[deleted account]

Abuse! I'd love to give all the parents who think it's ok to physically hurt their children a big smack...a taste of their own medicine don't you think?

Sherri - posted on 06/19/2010

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discipline but after reading her post I am horrified. You don't break a child. UGH!!

Minnie - posted on 06/19/2010

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My several posts in that thread sums up my position on the matter ;)

Karen - posted on 06/18/2010

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I believe that it's abuse. Your teaching your child to smack out of anger. I take things away from my kids and it really works. Now with Mikey he is only one so you just have to keep telling him no and remove him from whatever he is doing that he shouldn't be. Even though he just turned one in May he does understand the word no and usually stops what he is doing on his own

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