Discipline: Do you believe in Spanking?

Kyleigh - posted on 06/04/2011 ( 449 moms have responded )

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I know there is a lot of you out there that say Yay or Nay to this one. Wasn't sure. I would love to read your "own ," opinions on what you think about "spanking."



I personally don't spank not even my own bio. my 2 sk's know that time outs is what is given.

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Charlie - posted on 06/05/2011

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Children are humans too , they have the basic human right to bodily integrity like anyone else . Spanking is an abuse of power .

A parent should be a leader not a dictator , a child should do good out of respect not fear .

Personally I think it's better a child learns there are consequences to running outside in the streets like no play outside until they learn to play safely in the yard ...that way they learn consequence , they take responsibility , they experience choice and learn without a parent resorting to physical acts of aggression .

If you dont like your child running into the street get a gate , shut the door or fence your yard dont punish them for something YOU could have avoided , obviously they have little understanding of consequences so discipline them
( teach them ; note the difference between punishment and discipline ) give them consequences to their actions appropriate to their behaviour .

We can teach , discipline and be civil human beings towards our own kids .

[deleted account]

Similar but not the same. Plus the people are different, and for me, if I can encourage even one person to be open to new ideas, I'm ok with that.

[deleted account]

Not funny at all Dana. I just need to learn not to open spanking debates cuz they are all the same and it's tiring to read the same anti-spanking tirades over and over and over again.

[deleted account]

Okay Dana, after more thought... I might have to "come over to the dark side". I think you might be right on this one. I was thinking about training puppies (bare with me) and you would never hit a puppy, even if they were doing something dangerous, because it would just be sad and probably not that helpful anyway. And we should certainly be treating our kids even better than we treat our pets so yeah, you called it... spanking= not good.

[deleted account]

Amanda, you LAUGHED about my belief that children deserve to not be hit. Grow up. Can we please have a mature conversation?

I'm glad you came a long way. So have I.....apparently further than you!

[deleted account]

Dana, thanks for the advice about gates. I live in a little apartment in which the living is pretty much the same room as the kitchen so it really is not possible to gate it off. It's neat that you think you can prevent your kids from ever getting seriously hurt, and I do hope it works out that way for you sincerely. But for the hopeless few of us that are lacking in resources and ample in children, I hope you see why spanking might be a practical last resort to some hazardous situations. But as I said earlier, I do time-outs and I'm not sure I would consider any spanking in the future myself... but I imagine how it could be helpful for more dangerous things.

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2011

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@ Ashley...when my 2nd child was almost 2, he would always take the plug in things out...I would always tell him no and tell him he could get hurt....until one day he did that and stuck a screwdriver in it...thank god he wasn't shocked...but he did got a spanking for that and needless to say he has never done that again.

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2011

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@ Dana~
First off I would love to say thanks for thinking that I am a piece of work. I have worked very hard at it. :)
Second...I had a messed up childhood...I have came a long way from what I was brought up in and have raised the standards a lot higher than what was set for me...
Third...YES!! Children do have rights to their bodies..they should not be abused. I don't think that spanking is abuse. There are people out there who are just damn right mean to their kids.
This is what I do....I don't spank all the time...there are different punishments for different actions. Each choice they make has a consequence. When I set a punishment you have to follow through with it. You explain to the child why they are in trouble, ask them if they have any questions, what choice they should've made and why. And you ALWAYS show them and tell them that you love them! Different punishments work for different kids. Glad that you have found one that works for you...how many kids you have?

[deleted account]

There are proper steps you can take to keep your children away from a hot stove, Ashley. And there are some plug covers that are easily removable but there ARE ones that aren't.

Have you heard of baby gates? Section an area of your home off with gates or a pen for the kids to play in. There ARE ways and sometimes it requires some creativity.

It's NOT ok to hit a kid because they reach for a stove. I can MAYBE understand you swatting their hand away in a panic, but to premeditate swatting their butt? I just don't agree. It's unnecessary.

[deleted account]

Also, it's all well and good to say "just keep your kid out of harms way" when you have one or two... try three kids under age 3.

[deleted account]

and my son can remove outlet plugs... though I still haven't spanked him for it ( I do time-outs) but I could see a legitimate to do so

[deleted account]

I think children are more capable of getting into things in a very rapid manner than you are giving them credit for

[deleted account]

I was never spanked as a child, my parents never believed it solved the problem & I believe it humiliates the child and isn't a deterrent.

[deleted account]

You don't need to scare a child out of anything. If there going to be in harms way, you remove them, or......here's an idea. Take preventative measures where it's possible to ensure situations don't become harmful.

Put covers on your outlets, locks on your cupboards, don't allow them near a stove etc.

[deleted account]

I like what JL said about kids needing repetition. That just makes good sense. With that said there are some actions you would not want your kids to ever repeat. Things that would be harmful to themselves or others. So, I guess a reasonable stance on spanking might be "only if you need to scare them out of something that would be far worse if they tried"... like taking the plug out of an outlet and trying to stick their little fingers in there. But certainly spanking should not be done out of anger or frustration.

Jaime - posted on 06/05/2011

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Children don't need to be treated like adults, but they most certainly have a right to bodily integrity. Spanking is a clear abuse of power. When we know differently, we do differently. Children are still growing, developing and learning which is why repetition is so monumental in teaching them how to behave properly. Spanking discourages a repeated action simply because a child fears the repeated consequence. We don't have robots, we have children...they think and feel and eventually they will KNOW and if a child is continually spanked, all they will know is that 'I do this, I get spanked'...there will be no understanding of appropriate consequences for inappropriate actions.

[deleted account]

Are you kidding me, Amanda? You think it's funny that I think a child has a right to their body? You're a piece of work. I'm glad y'all think it's a joke that children have a right to not be hit.

You can't hit an adult so why is it ok to hit a kid? Please, answer me.

[deleted account]

Yes. Do I believe kids HAVE to be spanked? No, but I'm most certainly not anti-spanking.

I didn't learn it from my childhood. My kids don't fear me or hate me. They do trust me and the ONLY people they have ever been 'violent' towards are each other. Even when the 3 year old I babysit 'pummels' my 3 year old.... my son never has and never would lay a hand on that boy cuz he KNOWS that isn't acceptable.

Amy - posted on 06/05/2011

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Well, for starters, a child is not an adult. It's just a fact of life that a child cannot be treated like an adult until they he or she is one. If you spank an adult that is not acceptable, although man, sometimes I wish it were. There are a lot of whiny, bratty adults out there that could use a good swat from time to time. As for it not being that simple..I never said it was. I simply said that what I am doing with disciplining my child works for her and us. She is never harmed and we always discuss it afterwards. We also talk about how to do the right thing and why something is wrong. I don't just randomly give her a swat either. She is always warned and then gets a countdown before the spanking. Lately we haven't had to spank at all because just the countdown alone (3, 2, 1) seems to work. I am fortunate that my daughter is a very quick learner so spankings have become less and less but there are children, such as my nephew who need a little harsher discipline because they simply do not listen and routinely run out into the road. I agree with several of these other moms who say, "Better a slightly red bum than a child dead from getting hit by a car."

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2011

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Lol kids rights?? The kids have a right to eat what is given to them, the right to shower, the right to be taught. Pretty much after that everything else is a privilege. Priviledges can be taken away. The "police" are like our parents, to keep us in check. If you get out of line with them, they will shoot you....just sayin!

[deleted account]

But it's not as simple as that, Amy. What about your child's rights? Why is it ok to spank a child if it's not ok to reprimand an adult like that?

Amy - posted on 06/05/2011

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I think that if they repeat the behaviour when they think nobody is watching, you haven't trained them properly in the first place. Like I said, a gentle tap on the bum (that does not hurt) and a discussion afterwards about why it was being done makes sense for my child. It may not make sense for yours.

Karen - posted on 06/05/2011

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Don't and won't spank. I can't wrap my mind around intentionally hurting my child. (And I was spanked as a child in what most people would consider to be the "proper" way) I can always find a way to teach my daughter - although it does mean that I have to be creative, consistent and have a whole lot of patience.
I believe that spanking makes kids feel totally powerless and puts them into a fight or flight state - which isn't a good state in which to learn anything other than - when I get caught doing xyz my mom hurts me on purpose (as opposed to thinking through and learning about why he/she shouldn't do xyz). I always wonder what parents expect their kids to do if they aren't around to spank them. So, if you spank your kids, do you think they would repeat the behaviour if there was no chance that they'd be caught?

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2011

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I'm a mom of 5 and yes believe in spanking. I don't spank all the time..it depends on what happened. My mom whipped me when I was a kid. There's a difference bw spanking and beating. I think that's where the problem lies today. Some ppl take it toooo far.

Amy - posted on 06/05/2011

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This was very encouraging and I thank you for writing what you have. Too many people think that spanking is just abuse. We listen to the child psychologists who say our parents were 'evil' for spanking us. My daughter also most of the time is just asked, "Do you want a spanking?" if she's being disobedient and corrects her behaviour. She gets them if the hits or is deliberately disobedient or disrespectful and it HAS made a difference. These spankings and times of discipline are becoming less and less often. She gets a slight tap on the bottom and then she wails because she is super dramatic. When she calms down we pick her up, snuggle her, tell her we love her and ask HER why she thinks she got spanked. The other day she told us EXACTLY why she got spanked. So, they get it. Give kids a little more credit. And it doesn't have to hurt...I find embarrassing them a bit or just a tap on the bum is very effective. I used to swat my daughter's hand when she was being bad and discovered quickly that she just hit back so I stopped that one quickly. Swat on the hand does not work as a deterent. This is what I have found with my own child. Every child is different and every child needs different discipline but they MUST be disciplined at the age where they don't know better. It is our job to train them and raise them to be upstanding, law abiding citizens who care about others.

[deleted account]

As in, excessive spanking, Valerie, or just a big part of spanking?

I have to agree that spanking SOMETIMES.....maybe even often, is a loss of control by the parents.

Valerie - posted on 06/05/2011

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i think a lot of spaning is just loss of control by a parent and often times leads to agressive behavior in children

[deleted account]

That's true, Diane. I bet it's hard to find anyone who spanks now that wasn't spanked as a child. Spanking is a learned behaviour, for sure.

Fortunately for me, I broke the cycle in our family. My parents spanked me, and it wasn't acceptable to me then, and I've decided to do my very best to not repeat that on my daughter. I don't want her to feel how I felt growing up.

Kyleigh - posted on 06/05/2011

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i just dont want my children thinking its okay to spank it teaches to hit!

Melissa - posted on 06/05/2011

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Lol I think Bernadette was just trying to keep the peace. And I'm glad you've been able to open yourself up to other options, even if you don't personally agree with them, or even practice them. I think as parents, we all need to understand that no other parent is going to have the same beliefs, same backgrounds or same ideals as us, and we're all going to make mistakes at one point or another. Understanding one another and supporting one another is really really important. It's so easy to get defensive, especially over the internet where tone of voice isn't able to be heard, but I'm glad this conversation had a possitive outcome :0)

[deleted account]

Melissa, I was referring to Bernadette telling us not to argue.



I'm enjoying this dialogue between you and I. Some people might think we're arguing, but for me, it's a conversation, and you're right......we can all learn from one and other.



What I've learned from talking with people who spank, is that they're not horrible monsters or abusers. I think I've become more understanding, so thank you for that.

Melissa - posted on 06/05/2011

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No one said you couldn't comment or disagree, that seems to be what all of us are doing to some extent lol, but in your disagreeing with me, I think it's equally acceptable for me to disagree with you, is it not? You have your beliefs, I have mine. You have the peace of mind that your child is thriving with the disciplinary actions you have chosen for your household, and have the peace of mind that my child is thriving with the disciplinary actions we have chosen for mine. I don't really see the point behind your "monkey see monkey do" comment, because I think all parenting has the "monkey see monkey do" aspect. We naturally take parenting cues from our parents that we clearly see have worked, I'm sure you yourself have done the same. I'm not sure I see how that could possibly have a negative spin in my case. I as well as my brothers have grown to be healthy, happy, respecful, well rounded, hard working, loving individuals. None of us harbor any of the "effects of spanking" that so many psychologists and therapists love to publish books about. I also have many friends and family members who grew up with spanking as a form of discipline in their households, and none of them suffer any of those "effects" either. I also don't see the logic behind your assumption that I haven't learned and grown, or that I need to "do better" when my son is one of the happiest, healthiest and most developed children I know. I think it would be more beneficial to discuss differences and learn more about other people before jumping to a conclusion and making an assumption. We all have our own beliefs, but I think we could all learn a little bit from one another, too. Maybe not with this subject, but you never know.

[deleted account]

Shit, I forgot I'm not in the debate community. I guess that means we're not allowed to comment or disagree. My bad.

Melissa, you're right....all children ARE different, but NO child deserves to be hit. There are always better, more effective ways.

You and your brothers were spanked as children? Hmmm. That definitely gives some insight to your opinion. Monkey see, monkey do.......OR, you can choose to learn and grow and when we know better, we do better.

Melissa - posted on 06/05/2011

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Dana, it's very fortunate for you that your child reacts positively to other forms of discipline, making them more effective FOR YOU, however you really need to understand that every child is different, and every child is not going to respond to forms of discipline in the same manner. What's effective for your child may not be effective for mine. "Effective" is a very situational term in this instance.



And Bernadette, I agree with everything you said. And yes, looking back on our own childhoods is a perfect way to know what could and could not work with our own children! My brothers and I were all spanked as children. It didn't leave any lasting effects or have any negative impacts, it merely corrected poor behavior that words, time outs and removal of privileges didn't! But that's because we were spanked, not abused :0)

Bernadette - posted on 06/05/2011

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ladies please lets not argue about this situation spaking children is a very sensitive subject to some to me it all depends on the child some moms are bless to not have to spank they can rational with thier kids and the child will listen but some kids lets be honest are hard headed than others and use time out grounding taking things from them and it does not work so you have let the child know some kind way that what they are doing is wrong there has to be some type of consquence for the behavior another it not against the law to spank as long as you not beating the child were there are marks on the child and yes it is not good to spank when you are angry basically find out what works for that child for each child is different also most kids act out for a reason it also depends on the age of the child a tap on the hand is not going to hurt if the child consistly keeps doing something that is very dangerous after you have told them several times and they continue to do it basically it depends on the child and the situation so find out what works for your child but most of remember we all were kids once ourselves i look back on my childhood and laugh cause i had smart mouth talking back constantly after a few back hands i learn to shut up lol

[deleted account]

I'll respond more when I get back because I have to run out for a few hours, but....

"SO many parents fear discipline."

Spanking isn't discipline. There are always more effective ways.

Melissa - posted on 06/05/2011

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As Nicole said, I would rather give him a smack than wait till he pulls the pot of hot oil over his head. I've been working with children for about 15 years now, and I have to say that the majority of children these days do not have boundries. SO many parents fear discipline, and it's really doing more harm than good. No one WANTS to spank their child, but I would much rather have him deal with a quick sting to the tush or hand than have him get hurt or grow up thinking there is an option OTHER than listening to authority. Parents need to realize that THEY are the authority figure. Parents make the rules, and children need to follow them. We are responsible from day one to teach our children how to be adults, and I will be damned if I'm going to allow my son to grow up to behave like the majority of children I'm seeing these days. If spanking is "abusing my power" as a parent, isn't putting my child in time out the same thing? Taking away their favorite toy? Not allowing them to go outside? And yes, I do believe there are certain situation that do require spanking. When a child is in the store with their parent screaming because they're not getting a toy, I see no problem with giving that child a quick swat to the backside. When a child tells their parent to "shut the eff up" like I have seen in the past, I think that child needs a flick to the lips. More times than not at this point, we don't "need" spanking in my house. In most cases when our son is acting out of control all we need to do is say "do you want a spanking?" and he shakes his head no and corrects his behavior. However, there are times when he's very hard headed and out of line, and he does get a spanking. He cries for all of 5 seconds and is over it.

I've had a lot of experience with a lot of children with a lot of disciplinary backgrounds. My cousin doesn't believe in spanking, time outs or removal of privileges; only redirection. Her children are the most destructive, disrespectful children I know. Family members literally cringe at teh thought of them coming to visit because they ALWAYS end up breaking something while running through the house screaming at the tops of their lungs. Meanwhile, their mother sits there and calmly says "hey guys, let's leave that for outside", "hey big guy, would you like to come here?" and do they listen? Negative. I have a friend who has never used spanking with her child, and now at 7 years of age he is outrageously disrespectful. She threw him a huge birthday party, rented one of the rooms at the top of the statium at the ball park, had a clown with balloons, 2 custom made cakes, all of his friends, it was fantastic. When I said to him "WOW, Rielly, you're one lucky kid! What a great party your mom threw for you!" he said to me "she doesn't do anything for me". These parents have "followed the books" and listened to psychologist and "mothers guides" and "peaceful parenting" and all that hoopla. It's crap and results in just that. I do, however, know another mother who has never used spanking with her daughter, and her daughter is very well behaved. Like I said, not every child or situation requires spanking, but I do believe that some do. Some children are more stubborn, hard headed, more asserted, and need a stronger hand. It is our responsibility to know the difference. If you can't handle spanking your own child, if you're afraid of hurting them or of abusing them, it speaks of your own insecurities and your own inability to control yourself, no one elses.

[deleted account]

"I don't believe every child or situation "requires" spanking"

I would take it one step further and say that NO child or situation requires spanking. There are ALWAYS better ways. Period.

Spanking is punishment, Melissa. Spanking is not designed to teach a child. Discipline is. I have no problem separating spanking from abuse. I know there's a difference. I don't think parents who spank are child abusers, BUT they are abusing their power as a parent.

Melissa, I ask you, if you're calm and rational in a situation, then why do you feel that it's necessary to spank after a certain point? There are always better ways. If you're calm, then find another way.

Melissa - posted on 06/05/2011

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And to Louise, I really don't think it's fair to assume that a parent to opts to spank is lacking of control and lashing out. Yes, there are parents who do that, but like I said, that's abusive behavior. Spanking as a firmer form of discipline is not automatically an out of control, abusive parent.

Melissa - posted on 06/05/2011

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We use spanking in my house. It's a last resort, after redirection, firm tone and time out. I don't believe every child or situation "requires" spanking. I don't think it should be done on a regular basis, and it should never ever be done out of anger.

To the women who say spanking "corporal punishment", I couldn't disagree more. I got into a discussion about this with my cousin recently, and we have very different view points. A lot of people have a very hard time separating spanking and abuse; they certainly are two very different things. I've had this discussion so many times I'm really tired of it at this point, but I will say (I'm certainly not trying to attack anyone, I'm simply making a point), Katherine said she's gotten angry and spanked, but then cried because she felt so horrible. As I said, you should never ever spank out of anger. When that happens, it IS borderline abuse. It's a loss of control. When we spank in my house, we are always in control. We don't yell, and we don't give more than one swat.

An example for when we would spank is if our son tries to play with an electrical outlet. We want him to KNOW that those are NOT to be played with. They're all covered in our house, but they're not covered everywhere else in the world. When we see him doing this, we swat him swiftly on the back of the hand. It's more of a shock than a sting, and he usually starts to cry. At that point, we sit with him in our lap and say softly "do not touch that". At that point he cuddles up to whichever of us is holding him, and he snuggles for a moment. After all is said and done, he scoots off our laps and goes off to play on his own. I've heard spanking will make our son fear us as opposed to love or respect us, that he'll be emotionally stunted, nervous, that it could create separation anxiety, a number of things. Our son has received spankings since he could consciencly misbehave. He has never once suffered any of the "adverse reactions" spankings have been said to cause. As I said, spankings and abuse are two different things. The "adverse reactions" spankings have been said to cause, are caused by abusive behavior, not spanking.

[deleted account]

Would love to see you ladies in PBS. We're here to encourage and support each other. Discipline is about teaching. Spanking is corporal punishment and is ineffective in teaching a child anything. There's a lot more to "positive discipline" then just not spanking. Come have a look if you're looking for support or you're a sometime spanker and looking for alternatives.

http://www.circleofmoms.com/positive-beh...

P.S. Obviously I don't agree with spanking! ;)

[deleted account]

No, I don't spank J. I don't use traditional "time outs" either.

We spanked for a while--I didn't believe in it then either, but gave in to outside pressure from family. It only made his behavior worse and the actual spanking seemed to have no effect on him--he didn't stop the behavior, he didn't cry, he just stared at me with an angry look and took it. He became more temperamental, more violent, and seemed to be angry all the time--the days of sweet smiles and giggles over nothing disappeared completely. I don't know if I wasn't hitting hard enough, or what I was doing wrong, but I was definitely not doing it right.

We now use Natural Consequences. Yes, it takes longer, but it is more effective and permanent. There is a Natural Consequence for almost every action--run into the road: we go home/inside and he is to play inside in a certain boundary until he learns to heed the boundary. Turn on hot water: He gets burnt (Our water is not set hot enough to scald him). Refuses to share: He looses the toy. Hits a kid: removed from the kid.

The only thing we use "time out" for are full blown temper tantrums, and we do not use the traditional "sit here because you are being bad" idea. He is sent to his room, there are plenty of fun things in there to help distract him or help him work though his anger if that is what he needs. He can come out at any time as long as he is ready to be nice and respectful. He can come out to ask for help too--and he often does--so I will sit down with him and talk out his emotion, sometimes we'll tear up paper, or scribble. Sometimes we blow bubbles (which is very calming).


Basically, I try my best never to punish him, but to always teach him.

Kimberly - posted on 06/05/2011

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My daughter will be 2 in August and I've never hit/tapped/spanked/whatever you want to call it...her. I'm lucky that she's well behaved anyway (is that her personality or my teachings? I don't know!) but I've been very consistent with redirection since she was crawling. I have never even used time outs, because I've never had to. For me and my family personally, I don't believe in hitting my child in any way shape or form, I wouldn't judge someone if that's what they choose to do, but I do believe there are better ways to get your point across.

Nicole - posted on 06/05/2011

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if my son ignores me with regards to something really important/dangerous, i will reprimand him and explain why he shouldnt do it, if his intrest in the negetive behaviour continues i will put him on the naughty chair and if it persists i would rather give him a smack than wait till he pulls the pot of hot oil over his head for egsample. he doesnt get smacked often, but when he does it certainly does make him realise that he is messing with something very serious.
i would rather prevent the situation with a smacked bum/hand than a trip to a&e.

Kimberly - posted on 06/05/2011

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I really hope i'm not hanging myself out to dry here but yes I do spank. They are for things that I think are very serious such as running ont the road, turning hot water on and touching the stove. I have only done it a few times and it has worked my dd doesnt touch them or go on the road but as a general punishment no it doesnt work and I cant justifie spanking her for hitting me?!?!? Time out and tone work the best with my daughter

Louise - posted on 06/05/2011

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I have raised two sons who are now adults and I now have a daughter who is 2.5. My sons were smacked until the age of about 7 and it had no effect on them what so ever and left me feeling sick to my stomach that I had let the situation get to that. I never smacked them hard and it was always a slap on the bottom. Spanking got me no where and made me feel terrible.

My daughter has never been smacked. I suppose I have learnt to control my emotions better as a older mum. My daughter is easily controlled with voice tone.

I do not believe in smacking, but I understand that some people can not control themselves and lash out as a last result. What I will never understand is the people that take a belt or slipper to their child. That is unforgiveable.

Katherine - posted on 06/04/2011

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Nope. Spanking doesn't work if you continually have to do it.

It's just a form of corporal punishment showing power and a child is supposed to learn from you. What do they learn from this? Violence.

I'll admit I HAVE gotten angry and done it, but then cried because I felt so terrible. Hurting does not teach or guide. It just shows a lack of control IMO.

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