To Spank or Not to Spank?

[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )

I'd love to hear everyone's opinion on the subject of spanking; opinions beyond a simple "spare the rod spoil the child" and whatever the opposite of that may be. Regardless of whether spanking is right/wrong, good/bad, effective/ineffective, I hate hearing that phrase used in reference to spanking because I don't believe it was meant the way people use it today. I believe it was said in reference to how a shepherd GUIDES his flock using a rod, not hitting them with it. What I'm really interested in is everyone's reasoning behind your opinion! WHY do you support or oppose this form of punishment? And in your opinion, what role, if any, does age of the child play in your theory?

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Bexterwhite - posted on 01/06/2011

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If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
THIS IS WHAT WE TRY TO LIVE BY IN OUR HOUSE.
Hitting kids in-fact hitting anyone is not ok, its humiliating and degrading. it teaches children to use violence to get there own way.
It is a lazy ignorant way to discipline at best and child abuse at worst.
There is not a thing a child could do that could not have been prevented or disciplined in a better way.

TealRose - posted on 03/21/2011

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As a 56yr old grandmother who was spanked - I can tell you how wrong it is. Being spanked, lost my parents the respect, trust and love I held for them. I have never respected anyone who hits another. I couldn't trust them not to hurt me. I learned only fear, pain, anger, hate and resentment. I learned they didn't love me. No, that post spanking nonsense pep talk of 'oh we love you' meant nothing to me. They had just proved they didn't as they had just hit me. By pro spankers standards, I wasn't 'abused' ... by MINE ... I was. If you think your child is ok with it . think again. I tackled my mum about this shortly before she died a few years ago, and she just said ' you were fine, you were happy' .. I wasn't. I hated living with them, I always felt unhappy.

Why is it that animals and adults - even criminals are protected from being HIT and our defenceless children are not? Why hit a toddler to 'gain attention' instead of taking an arm and either diverting her or moving her from the danger? Why not childproof your house?

NO child deserves to be hit. Ever. Discipline means to teach not to hit. Why would you want to show your child their first display of violence? What does that show them?

Becky ... I love your post.

Tammy - posted on 01/03/2011

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I think that first you have to identify a few things.



1) not all children have temperments that require spanking so a child that was never spanked can still be a good thing.



2) What do you mean by spanking. Because most people today have no real understanding of the correct way to spank.



It is not to be done in anger, but for correction. So if you are angry you shouldn't be spanking them right then. You may have to let them know that one is forthcoming and take a breather first. They need to know why they are being spanked, the best way is to ask them first if they know why. They generally do. If you are going to spank you should use it first or second. You are less likely to be angry when dealing with a first offense then if they have been disobedient over and over again. Older children can be told what the penalty is, however you do have to be consistent or it just won't work. I would have to say that inconsistency is discipline is more damaging than spanking.



Again, if you are angry or are easily angered than spanking may not be your best route. Also, wouldn't spank past 12 yrs old. Maybe 10.



One more quick thing:

"Spare the rod and spoil the child" was meant as a warning not a suggestion:)

Tammy - posted on 09/20/2010

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My parents spanked me, and i dont hold a grudge against them for it. i grew up a respectful woman and would never have dreamed of violence toward my Mum or Dad. I believe they taught me well and kids that dont get spanked and are allowed to get away with everything are growing up with no respect and are rude, unpolite, crude, violent and foul mouthed. Saying that though I do still believe the most important thing is to encourage our children and show them love, support, guidance and good morals

Rachel - posted on 09/20/2010

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"ever since this whole unwritten rule of no spanking has come about kids are so much worse nowadays. theres worse teenage bullying in the street, theres no respect for parents or teachers and more and more kids are violent."

I completely agree! I don't think it's any coincidence that there is a lack of respect for adults and others, or that kids tend to be terrors since the anti-spanking "movement."

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[deleted account]

My parents hit me when i misbehaved and when i became a parent i did the same but have come to realise that it wasnt working so what was the point. I either have nutty kids or spanking is not a good form of discipline.

[deleted account]

I am so tired of that "no spanking = no discipline" correlation. It's not, true, folks! In my opinion, spanking is the easy way out - true disciplie is harder. True discipline is guiding and teaching, it means not only telling your child about boundaries and consequences, but showing them. It might mean several long sessions of, for example, explaining why something is wrong. It's frustrating, it's repetetive, it's hard to find the appropriate level of interaction for your child(ren.) Hitting is the easy way out.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/11/2011

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Ok so we have an eight year old running around a restaurant,
i would hold her by the shoulders and tell her that if she does not sit down we will leave right now. if she got up again i would leave right now get a takeaway for the other kids, when we got home she would sit on the bottom step for eight minuets i would then explain to her that her behavior was not allright,
and she needed to apologies to everyone, she could then join in with the takeaway after a cuddle.
You would spank her? if she did it again spank her harder?

Rica - posted on 01/10/2011

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I don't think it is violence if it is discipline. I have no respect for parents whose children run and scream through restaurants because their parents do not discipline them. Some children will not respond to any other kind of punishment. One child I know, for example, her mother has tried sending her to her room, making her sit in a corner, taking things away, having a money based reward/punishment system, and many other things and her child is still a total BRAT. She really just needs a swat on the butt.

Bexterwhite - posted on 01/09/2011

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That is calculated and horrible.
I am so sorry that you were abused but don't you think the "rule" should be, its not ok to use violence against anyone ever!

Rica - posted on 01/09/2011

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I believe that sometimes a spanking is necessary.
Some children need to know that when you disobey, it hurts.
However, as a survivor of extreme child abuse, I feel there are certain "rules" to follow:
you should never spank out of anger, send them to their room to let you cool off first.
never use anything but your own hand to spank, no spoons or hairbrushes.
never spank for an extended period of time, or better yet, parents should set up a certain amount of spankings depending on what the child has done wrong.

[deleted account]

Great post Becky! And I'll add that I do wish people would get over this "no-spanking=no-discipline" thing!

Briana - posted on 11/10/2010

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I think it depends on the child. As you well know Nikki, spanking didn't do much for me haha. But, I have had many people argue that spanking instills in the child to be abusive (I have NEVER been in a fist fight and IF I ever hit you, Rachel, or Alexis, I never did it again lol) and learn to deal with people only in physical ways or be too aggressive. None of those are me and I was spanked.

I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do. I don't look down on someone who spanks their child (although I don't think it's very classy to do it in the middle of the aisle in the store either). I look down on the parent who says "no" a million times over while their kid just keeps doing what their not supposed to do. NOT disciplining your child in SOME way is the problem. In my opinion anyways.

[deleted account]

I absolutely disagree with that logic. Simple high school reasoning lessons taught us correlation does not prove a cause/effect relationship, and this is a perfect example. I don't believe lack of spanking has anything to do with kids, and society in general, becoming more and more misbehaved, disrespectful, etc. I think it has to do entirely with an overall shift in parenting style over the past few decades. We studied this in my college sociology classes. Research and statistics show these shifts mainly starting with the baby boom generation...more families becoming double income earning, more kids being raised by daycares, babysitters and siblings rather than mom and dad, the rise of cable tv and video games as opposed to more physically and mentally stimulating activities, and the increasingly laxed nature of society in general beginning with the 60s on through today. 

I know several people who were rarely or never spanked yet were fairly well-behaved children and have grown up to be some of the most respectful, responsible people I know. They had healthy discipline in place of spankings, and were given reasonable consequences when they did do wrong. The point is: their parents taught discipline, regardless of the presence or absence of spanking. I can also say that some of the people I know who have caused their parents (and law enforcement) the most grief in their day are the same people who have told me they were spanked constantly when they were growing up and it didn't matter one bit. The point is: their parents taught little or no discipline, again regardless of the presence or absence of spanking.
 
Spankings or not, children need consistent discipline that teaches them something, and this type of parenting is seen less and less. I know many parents who think they are great disciplinarians and don't understand why their kids are still out of control. While I'm sure some of it is due to personality and temperament, I also watch these parents swat their kids or put them in time-out proclaiming something to the extent of "Oh he's not going to get away with that!" Then a half hour later when the kid does the same thing the parent rolls their eyes and looks the other way, letting the kid know he can get away with it SOMETIMES so keep trying! 

I'm not even necessarily arguing against spanking altogether, just pointing out the faulty logic in saying society is how it is because fewer parents spank. Fewer parents DISCIPLINE all around. Lack of spanking obviously has nothing to do with it when there are lots of well behaved, polite, respectful, compassionate, law abiding people out there who were not spanked as children. To me, that argument is completely irrelevant. Especially when simple psychology shows us that other more fitting, more creative forms of discipline are far more effective...when actually used, and used consistently.  

Tammy - posted on 09/16/2010

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our dauhters are 4 and 2 1/2 and yes we do spank them. but only after they have been warned and every other avenue of discipline has been tried first. It'll be a tap on back of legs over trousers or on the hand. nothing bad but i am fed up of people making me feel bad for it. im not beating my kids, i love my kids and they get plenty of cuddles, toys, days out and treats but when they are naughty their has to be discipline. ever since this whole unwritten rule of no spanking has come about kids are so much worse nowadays. theres worse teenage bullying in the street, theres no respect for parents or teachers and more and more kids are violent. as parents we should be able to make the choice weather we spank our kids or not

Rachel - posted on 09/01/2010

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I'd like to add that Nick and I have talked about htis a lot, and it seems like kids started getting out of control when parents decided spanking was wrong. Again, we're not "spank for every single thing they do" people, but we are pro spanking in certain circumstances. I do not think it should be the only form of punishment, and I think that with any form of punishment or discipline, you have to talk with your child, and start at a young age. It's really annoying sometimes...like when we do that with Kylee and she widens her eyes, but eventually she gets it.

Rachel - posted on 09/01/2010

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I've been thinking on this for the last day trying to come up with a good response. It probably won't come out like it's in my head, but I'll try anyway.
We are very pro-spanking in our home, but not for every single thing, and we are trying to cut back on the amount of spanking because it's more than I ever intended. I think that a spanking can be good in some cases, but not in other cases. My goal in parenting was to let the punishment fit the crime, but many times, I don't think of something and I resort to spanking. If they are acting up in the store, they get a warning. If it continues, they lose a privilege (like looking at the toys), I've made them put a treat back, and if they continue, we take a trip to the bathroom for a spanking. I've been trying to do reward charts lately and giving stickers to encourage good behavior and see if they sort of get the point that they are praised when they help the other pick up toys rather than hitting or taking toys from each other. Kylee held a door open for Elijah the other day and she got a sticker for that. We've been using the time-out step more frequently as well. I will NOT spank under a year old because they just don't get it. It seems counter productive to work hard to teach a baby to be nice and gentle with their hands, then turn around and spank them for something they don't even realize they are doing wrong. I would actually prefer not to use spanking before two years old, but I've already failed at that one.
I never think it's ok to spank someone else's child, at least without their permission. While I might not have a problem with you spanking my kids if you were watching them, I wouldn't give that option to my mother in law or a babysitter.

Parenting is tough, and you have to do what is best for your child and your family, and especially with the oldest (and as the oldest, it sucks!) it's all a guessing game to figure out what works and what doesn't.

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