smack a baby?

Clare - posted on 07/14/2009 ( 365 moms have responded )

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ok there are alot of questions on here about smacking- wheter its right or wrong, but at what age would you smack a child i personnally have never hit my child and never intend to but its worrying to think that a child under a year would get smacked please dont tell me thats the case?

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[deleted account]

On the off chance you actually want an answer, yes, I had one child who got her hands smacked at about 9 or 10 months. I'd say 14 months or so is more of "the normal" minimum age for getting spanks or hand smacks. It totally depends on the individual child and what they are doing/not doing.

There you have it. I'll be going off to hell now. I can never hope to be as holy, righteous and good as those of you who do not spank your kids so I just give up. Thank you for this lesson in "holier than thou". I thought Christians had the lock on that but you guys make us look like amateurs. I bow to your superior haughtiness.

[deleted account]

I just find it fascinating how people who would never in a million years spank or smack their children are nevertheless the world's expert on how it affects a child's behavior, attitudes and happiness. So I guess the large number of moms on here saying that they spank and their kids are turning out terrific are...what? Deluding themselves? In a 1998 AAP study (American Academy of Pediatrics) they found that 90% of Americans reported that they spank their children. According to the non-spankers on COM, our kids should all be hating us, scared to death, hitting other people and looking for a boyfriend who will spank them! My kids (and all my friends, relatives and church members' kids) are somehow unaware that they are supposed to be acting this way. I'll be sure to let them know that they should be acting a little more scared of us or something. We might mess up somebody's doctoral thesis.

Marilyn - posted on 07/14/2009

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"Abuse and Correction of children are two totally different terms. Abuse is done with anger and correction is done with authority and love. Parents who do not use the 'swat' must have very clever means to correct unruly - rude children. If misbehavior goes unattended, a monster emerges because children do grow up. Babies do not understand and do explore. As they grow, they need direction and lots of it. If children do not get good direction, they will constantly be a 'headache" to their parents and to society."

Deb - posted on 07/21/2009

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Whew!!! Sitting here after reading the last few days posts! The frustration that I feel is over-whelming! First...I need to address "Everyone" that wrote about how it is "OK" to whip/spank/hit their children after their child has just hit a sibling/or another child. That sends a completely MIXED SIGNAL to the child and the parents truly believe they are TEACHING their child NOT TO HIT by hitting them back. It only teaches the child to make sure not to hit in the presence of the parents who hit them or at least for the parent not to find out. It TEACHES FEAR! It DOES NOT TEACH the child to change the behavior but NOT TO GET CAUGHT! In the moment the parent is the one making the decision not the child. We MUST TEACH our children to learn how to behave WHEN WE ARE NOT AROUND! I'm a Parenting Educator and I talk to hundreds of children that are being hit even teenagers and they all say the same thing....They do not respect their parents....they do not want to be anything like their parents...They have no relationship with their parents....they can't wait to get away from the parents...Many of them are teen girls...they end up preg. because of a lack of self-esteem from being hit over and over and looking for love, acceptance and nurturance. They find it anywhere they can because they surely haven't had it modeled from their parents. I go out shopping and find it incredible how many parents speak to their children. I was in a store over the past weekend and I heard a parent say to her young son....Well, do you want the F****** thing or not! This boy wasn't more than 6 yrs old. Then around the corner another parent hitting her son saying "if you hit you will be hit"! They don't deserve to have children if they are not going to TEACH them correct behavior with their own actions! How we interact with our children physically and verbally will have a long lasting effect on them. Did you know that over 79% of hard criminals in prison were spanked as children? What good did it do to help them make better choices. Or are you reading this and thinking maybe they didn't get spanked enough or hard enough! It is high time that we stop making excuses and model positive behavior when our children are just trying to learn how to be responsible, independant, nurturing, caring, helpful, loving. IT is time to STOP making excuses saying "I was spanked and I turned out ok" then that same person CONTINUES the abuse! IT is time to STOP gleefully bragging about hitting a 9 month old in a royal fashion like the child understood WHY he was hit. The child didn't run out in the road anymore not because he KNEW BETTER but because he was scared of being HIT again!

Amber - posted on 07/16/2009

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My husband and I are friends with a child psychologist who is a brilliant man, people come from all over the country to Phoenix to see him. He has taught us that correction is very important at an early age, so you will not have to over correct when they get older. They will already have the fundamentals needed to be corrected without problem. First do not spank...you want to teach them that they made a bad choice, if you spank them they aren't thinking about what they did wrong they are thinking that their butt hurts and the next time they do it there is fear of the punishment not the desire to make a right choice. Second... use time out as a corrective punishment. Time out is a room without any stimulating toys for them to play with. We have a playroom for all the toys so the bedrooms of our children are just beds, dressers and pictures on the wall. When they go in time out all they can to do is sit and think about what they did wrong. He also suggests using the bathroom as a time out room as well. Furthermore sometimes children just want attention whether it's good or bad, thus they will provoke you to punish them. By placing them in time out it doesn't give them the negative attention so they will learn to desire the positive reinforcement. Third... when they do something wrong the first time, for instance if they hit, don't put them in time out because they didn't know it was wrong yet. Show them what they did for instance lightly hit your arm and say "this is hitting, this is wrong, if you do it you will go into time out." By showing them the wrong act and making sure they know its called hitting (giving it a name) any child over a year old will understand. Then for the first few times they do it again just remind them that its hitting and they will go in timeout if they do it. Give them 3 chances to really understand and then start putting them in timeout. If your child is still not getting the point then put them in time out and take away a privilege ( like a toy, game, favorite movie,TV show etc.) Fourth... be consistent! If you don't put the child in time out every time they do something they know is wrong, they will rebel and walk all over you (push your buttons) consistent correction lets them know every time they do something wrong they will be placed in time out and will learn to listen and obey their parents wishes the first time asked. At first you may have to physically put your child in time out because of course they don't like it, but this will change with time. Eventually when they are old enough and they do something wrong you will just have to say "you didn't listen and obey, go in time out." It is important to do this with love and not anger. Your childs confidence is what will help them resist peer pressure. Be sure to recognize the good things they do, tell them their special, because there is so much negative feedback from outside the home that they need to be praised more by you, because no one else will.

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TealRose - posted on 03/22/2011

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Spanking IS abuse - it sure as hell abused me!  I am a 56 yr old grandmother who was spanked by hand and leather slipper as a child and from the first smack my parents lost me - they lost my love, respect and trust. I learned nothing but fear, hate and anger, that my parents didn't love me - and not the post spanking pep talk of ‘oh we love you’ didn’t mean a thing to me - they had just proved they didn’t love me by hitting me, they taught me might equals right and if you are big or an adult you can do anything and get away with it. 
No one should be hit, especially a defenceless child,  I can't hit my husband, the neighbour or his dog and children deserve the same amount of safety.
Years ago wife beating and slavery were the norm as was raping and buggering 7 yr olds in Ancient Rome! We don't do it now as it is seen for what it is - ABUSE. And hitting ANY other human or animal is ABUSE. Age doesn't matter!
I never hit my children and they are great adults. My daughter has two children too and she teaches them right from wrong and doesn’t hit them either. Discipline means to teach not to hit. As adults our children’s safety and welfare including their emotional welfare is in our hands we are the ones responsible. Hitting them isn’t teaching.

Deb - posted on 07/29/2009

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Sophie,


Thank you for writing about your "own personal experiences" regarding hitting. I believe it is very important for other parents to hear from other parents who have hit and seen "first hand" how it can teach a child to hit back or it's a game. Many of the parents who have posted on this site have said that they spank to get their child's attention and it doesn't hurt them or teach them to hit back etc... Using time-out as you are doing for a two year old is much more effective and not creating additional issues (such as resentment, power struggles, anger issues, bullying issues etc.) that spanking can cause. Keep up the good work!

Deb

Sophie - posted on 07/29/2009

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i hit my little boy when he was going through his terrible twos. i only hit him the once.it didnt work he then thought it was ok to hit me and other people. i didnt hit him hard so it didnt hurt him and he thought it was a game. i found the naughty step much more effective for dicipline.

Ann - posted on 07/29/2009

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I do not believe in hitting. I think the only thing that comes from hitting or smacking a child is the idea that physical contact is acceptable. Smacking doesn't teach any lessons; it promotes fear. When disciplining my children, I start with a warning by counting. They normally stop whatever they are doing before I can say three. If they do not stop by three, then there is a time out. If time out isn't working then a punishment may be in order. I often try to find punishment that fit the crime.

Jodi - posted on 07/28/2009

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Kelly, I agree with a law like that. Realisitically, a child under 2 doesn't necessarily understand why they are receiving the spanking.

Here in Australia, there are laws preventing the use of implements, because it is considered child abuse, and I totally agree with that too.

Jodi - posted on 07/28/2009

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Deb, thanks for your reply :)
I guess this is where my view differs from yours. While I respect your point, what you suggest isn't always possible. My personal belief is that in this situation, the most effective solution is actually a slap on the hand. Of course, the child must have an awareness that what they are doing is wrong first, but some children are far more determined than others to learn the hard way (my daughter is like that, my son much less so). If you continually use methods of avoiding the situation in the first place, how is the child to be able to determine that a particular situation is not okay (obviously as they grow older, they will understand the lesson, and you no longer need to avoid it). You may be at someone else's house, they may be visiting a grandparent, etc. Certainly, people can avoid some situations in their own home, which is why we use gates for stairs, locks for cupboards, place dangerous items out of their reach. But it would be selfish to expect others to do the same for you in their homes.

It is ok that you don't agree, and I do see the merits of what you are trying to say. But I also believe that there are circumstances where a smack or slap is the most effective way of dealing with it. Situations such as what I have outlined are not going to emotionally scar a child in the long term, and the child does learn.

As an example, my son was a classic at breaking away in the shopping centre and trying to run onto the road. Chasing him to catch him made him run faster. Yelling no or stop at him made him run faster. So one day I gave him one swift slap on the butt (he was 3 at the time). Yes, sure, it upset him. But he never, ever did it again. The alternative could have been tragic. Sure, I could have put him on a leash, I could have kept him strapped in a stroller, I could avoid any situation that puts him near a road. However, he learned to be much more responsible around the road, rather than not having been placed in the situation in the first place. I was not always the one who is with him, he may have been with his father or my parents. Yes, eventually he would have learned the lesson without the slap, but it is my view that the lesson needed to be learned there and then.

I cannot agree that smacking is abuse and should be lumped in the same category as beating the crap out of a child. I respect that you have reasons for your views (as I do everone who's opinion differs). Just as I have my reasons for mine. There are various views about methods in raising healthy and well adjusted adults (as this thread has demonstrated), and having a view as a parent on how to go about it, and differing from someone else's view doesn't necessarily mean that one of those parents is wrong.

Deb - posted on 07/28/2009

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Jennifer,
Before you are unindated with replys regarding the "Spare the rod"...please checkout all the earlier posts on that subject and All the different interpretations...; )

Jennifer - posted on 07/28/2009

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I do not think that there is an exact age to spank a child. In my opinion it depends on when the child learns right from wrong. I do not believe in spanking a child every time he/she does something wrong. But, I must agree with Laura Nonya a slap on the bottom when the child does something really wrong is ok. Even in the Bible it says "Spare the rod spoil the child".

Clare - posted on 07/28/2009

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wow i feel so bad for starting this convo its got insane! wow hope i haven't sent any blood pressures streaming through the roof! have a nice day every1 n remember we all have opinions which we clearly dont agree with

best wishes

love n light!

[deleted account]

so the results are officially in for the Canadian laws regarding spanking... In Canada it is ILLEGAL to spank a child under 2 yrs of age and over 12 yrs of age... hope this helps...

Deb - posted on 07/28/2009

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Jodi,

I've had more than one child in my home at different times (come from big family) while cooking and it still posed no problem of safety for me personally. If I had to have the kids with me in the kitchen which has happened I still cooked on the back hotplates and used the microwave and oven to cook or heat additonal food. Maybe you don't have an oven or microwave, I don't know...your kitchen arrangement but for me it just took some additonal pre-planning and I didn't have to worry about anyone reaching up if I had my back turned for a moment and be accidently burned.

Jodi - posted on 07/28/2009

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Deb, I can see your view, and I would have done this if I could have. However, there are 4 children in this family, not just one. I have to supervise more than one child (yes, the other are older) while I am cooking, and hubby isn't home from work yet. While I understand your philosophy, just choosing to not allow a child in the kitchen or cooking on the back hotplates is not an option for me - believe me, I make every attempt, but it is not always possible. Raising 1 child is actually very different to juggling 4 children's needs.

Deb - posted on 07/28/2009

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Jodi,



When my son was very small and could reach the top part of the stove I made a conscience decision that didn't take much effort on my part to never have a hot pan on the front part of the stove when he was in the kitchen with me. I cooked on the back parts. When I needed to use all 4 stove eyes to cook, my son was not in the kitchen with me. My rule of thought was and alway has been prevention and being pro-active. I was always thinking how I could prevent such an accident. It worked without hitting him or slapping his hand. When he was old enough to start cooking with me and understand there was a danger to being burned if he grabbed a hot pan I talked to him. He was never burned or exposed to the potential of being burned at a very young age.

I came back and added this just in case you need a more concrete answer to just safety in general when a situation arises that when one may not realize there is immediate danger...I'm going to use the example of....my son was about to pick up a snake in the backyard ok...(can't think of another example, so please bare with me ; )


I would have gone over to him picked him up...Kicked the snake away from him and RUN like crazy...lol and would after I stopped shaking and freaking out that a snake was in my yard...I would have talked to him about what a snake is and that they bite. I might even go so far as to find some pics of what a bite looks like so he could visually not just by my words understand that it can hurt and be dangerous. Heck, knowinig myself and you can laugh or shake your head, I will not be offended ; ). I may have even tested him with play snakes in the yard to make sure he understood when he thought I wasn't looking.

[deleted account]

here's my school of thought... If you choose to use spanking as a method of discipline, then you need to know what the laws are and the potential risk you are taking where that method is concerned... I was spanked as a child and I 'deserved' every one of them as I was HIGHLY difficult child and I would have spanked me too, frankly... I have a daughter who is 16 mos old and she also has been spanked, most recently for biting me (it really was an instant reaction, the little bum got me good)... she has also been spanked for other misdemeanors which i will not take the time to list... Bella is a VERY strong willed child and time outs and redirection/distraction sometimes simply do not work with her and yes I have talked to a professional (my Aunt has her masters in Child Psych and has taught ECE for 30 yrs)... she is also not one who spanks... I also realize that spanking is more for me than it is for her... she often doesn't cry when spanked, but looks at me and shows instant remorse for her course of action and then doesn't repeat it like everything else that I tried up to that point... mostly she doesn't repeat the offense although I she is still a human being so will likely act without thinking, as we all do occasionally... I don't feel that a spanking here and there will 'scar her for life' as I am not scarred by the spankings I received (and they were plentiful, but not as many as I probably would have given myself)... I don't ever hit her hand because the bones in a child hand are EXTREMELY fragile and are very very easily broken... bums are better and not 'damageable areas' so long as you're not wailing on the kid, just a light tap is really all they need... I fully respect that people don't spank their children and often times what needs to be done is get to the root of the actual issue and try to go at it that way... I only use a spanking as a last resort and it's only one light tap, not a few in succession... then I promptly tell her why she was spanked and then the cuddles and loving kind words of encouragement commence along with taking her away from the 'offending article' and doing something else... the reason you should not spank a child under 1yr is because they do not have the cognitive skills to understand that form of discipline (this is not an opinion but a FACT!) and as many before me have stated, children learn through exploration and we were once children too (of have some of us forgotten that, i know sometimes I forget that myself)... In conclusion, I strongly feel that as long as it's 'reasonable' and you make sure that your child's self-esteem is healthy and you are constantly building them up for very single little great thing that they do, a small spank isn't going to hurt them... short term pain for long term gain and all that... I also think that this one needs to be put to bed... Ladies, we're here to support each other, not tear each other down! If you can't handle that then perhaps you should keep your comments to yourselves or go play with your kid(s) rather than getting all worked up about something said by someone you don't know and are likely never to meet... As for using the Bible for a reason to spank your child, as a Christian, you need to PROPERLY put that into context and remember that it's written in the Old Testament which is mostly about law and not the New Testament, which is where the Word teaches about grace, mercy and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE... The Bible is written in 2 parts but is to be read as WHOLE!!! Stop making silly statements as you're making Christians everywhere cringe with your lack of insight into what's being portrayed therein... We don't need a bad wrap because you have been misguided... I suggest a concordance (Strong's is a GREAT and very very accurate one)... Happy parenting and lets work on building our fellow mothers up rather than taking pot shots at each other!

Suzanne - posted on 07/28/2009

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Yes Clare, I do think that a certain percentage of parents who choose to use some form of "spanking/hitting" as a means of discipline, will begin prior to a year old. I'm not sure if anyone has focused on that aspect of your question or not, I haven't made it through the posts.

This topic is a sensitive one, but I do believe that we should not feel trepidation about sharing our own perspective on the subject. Controversial topics tend to cause heated debates, because of the emotional aspects involved. But if the emotion can be put aside for the purpose of sharing information, then we may be able to offer each other a different perspective. That is really the purpose of a debate, To see the cup from all angles, and not just from where your seated.

If a person feels confident in their position, then why feel attacked? Simply counter with your perspective, back and forth, and as the "fluff" begins to fall away, you get to the core of the topic, that's the good stuff.

I have very strong convictions on this topic, and I'm not a proponent of "corporal punishment". I don't mind sharing my perspective. And I would hope that others who might feel differently, would freely share their opinions.

You can have a strong opinion, but still respect the right of another to have their own!

I think this sentiment gets lost within these debates.

Suzanne - posted on 07/28/2009

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Yes Clare, I do think that a certain percentage of parents who choose to use some form of "spanking/hitting" as a means of discipline, will begin prior to a year old. I'm not sure if anyone has focused on that aspect of your question or not, I haven't made it through the posts.

This topic is a sensitive one, but I do believe that we should not feel trepidation about sharing our own perspective on the subject. Controversial topics tend to cause heated debates, because of the emotional aspects involved. But if the emotion can be put aside for the purpose of sharing information, then we may be able to offer each other a different perspective. That is really the purpose of a debate, To see the cup from all angles, and not just from where your seated.

If a person feels confident in their position, then why feel attacked? Simply counter with your perspective, back and forth, and as the "fluff" begins to fall away, you get to the core of the topic, that's the good stuff.

I have very strong convictions on this topic, and I'm not a proponent of "corporal punishment". I don't mind sharing my perspective. And I would hope that others who might feel differently, would freely share their opinions.

You can have a strong opinion, but still respect the right of another to have their own!

I think this sentiment gets lost within these debates.

Suzanne - posted on 07/28/2009

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Yes Clare, I do think that a certain percentage of parents who choose to use some form of "spanking/hitting" as a means of discipline, will begin prior to a year old. I'm not sure if anyone has focused on that aspect of your question or not, I haven't made it through the posts.

This topic is a sensitive one, but I do believe that we should not feel trepidation about sharing our own perspective on the subject. Controversial topics tend to cause heated debates, because of the emotional aspects involved. But if the emotion can be put aside for the purpose of sharing information, then we may be able to offer each other a different perspective. That is really the purpose of a debate, To see the cup from all angles, and not just from where your seated.

If a person feels confident in their position, then why feel attacked? Simply counter with your perspective, back and forth, and as the "fluff" begins to fall away, you get to the core of the topic, that's the good stuff.

I have very strong convictions on this topic, and I'm not a proponent of "corporal punishment". I don't mind sharing my perspective. And I would hope that others who might feel differently, would freely share their opinions.

You can have a strong opinion, but still respect the right of another to have their own!

I think this sentiment gets lost within these debates.

Suzanne - posted on 07/28/2009

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Yes Clare, I do think that a certain percentage of parents who choose to use some form of "spanking/hitting" as a means of discipline, will begin prior to a year old. I'm not sure if anyone has focused on that aspect of your question or not, I haven't made it through the posts.

This topic is a sensitive one, but I do believe that we should not feel trepidation about sharing our own perspective on the subject. Controversial topics tend to cause heated debates, because of the emotional aspects involved. But if the emotion can be put aside for the purpose of sharing information, then we may be able to offer each other a different perspective. That is really the purpose of a debate, To see the cup from all angles, and not just from where your seated.

If a person feels confident in their position, then why feel attacked? Simply counter with your perspective, back and forth, and as the "fluff" begins to fall away, you get to the core of the topic, that's the good stuff.

I have very strong convictions on this topic, and I'm not a proponent of "corporal punishment". I don't mind sharing my perspective. And I would hope that others who might feel differently, would freely share their opinions.

You can have a strong opinion, but still respect the right of another to have their own!

I think this sentiment gets lost within these debates.

Suzanne - posted on 07/28/2009

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Yes Clare, I do think that a certain percentage of parents who choose to use some form of "spanking/hitting" as a means of discipline, will begin prior to a year old. I'm not sure if anyone has focused on that aspect of your question or not, I haven't made it through the posts.

This topic is a sensitive one, but I do believe that we should not feel trepidation about sharing our own perspective on the subject. Controversial topics tend to cause heated debates, because of the emotional aspects involved. But if the emotion can be put aside for the purpose of sharing information, then we may be able to offer each other a different perspective. That is really the purpose of a debate, To see the cup from all angles, and not just from where your seated.

If a person feels confident in their position, then why feel attacked? Simply counter with your perspective, back and forth, and as the "fluff" begins to fall away, you get to the core of the topic, that's the good stuff.

I have very strong convictions on this topic, and I'm not a proponent of "corporal punishment". I don't mind sharing my perspective. And I would hope that others who might feel differently, would freely share their opinions.

You can have a strong opinion, but still respect the right of another to have their own!

I think this sentiment gets lost within these debates.

Deb - posted on 07/28/2009

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Shana,


What would you do/say if you caught your child (that respects other people and property) chastising and smacking another younger child? When you ask why he/she hit and said what they said to the child they state to you..."Isn't that what we do when I think they did wrong"? Or would you smack your child and tell them that it's only a parent that can smack? I'd really like to hear your thoughts ; )...



Point is in all of us "do gooders" as you referred to us, is to teach respect for one another through our own positive actions. Our goal is not for children not to have boundaries and run wild to backchat or bully as you put it but to learn by positive example. We "do gooders" teach by example...to treat others how we want to be treated young and old. I don't want to be smacked when I mess up and heck...I still mess up sometimes as an adult. Do I need a smack too? I don’t mess up intentionally but I'm not perfect, you’re not perfect no one is. Don't we all want to treat everyone with kindness, respect, compassion, and understanding??? Most of all teaching good self-control when presented with life difficulties. Isn't that what all of us Parents want for our children?



The children you speak of that throw tantrums, backchat or bully have not learned about respect and more than likely have no idea what respect is. I didn’t know what respect was as child even though I was constantly being smacked and told “I was going to learn” to respect my parents. I too was smacked as a child and I know right from wrong BUT I didn't learn it from my parents hitting me or chastising me. I learned respect and right from wrong from the positive role models that I had in school who took the time NOT to hit me when I smart mouthed or bullied. They sat me down and ask me what was going on and taught me to take a look at the person I was becoming (not in shame) and by their example they took the time to show me in patient kind words and actions that I didn't have to hit someone to get their attention or teach them right from wrong. I tried believe me as a kid I did my best to chastise and bully other kids. I had learned this was a powerful tool to use force. I learned by example that is what "I could do". No amount of smacking in the beginning was teaching me respect about this world because I was angry and pissed off about how I was being treated by the very ones who were and had good intent to raise me right....



Here is some insight for you and anyone else reading my loooong post ; ) The many children that I work with who are those bullies are bullied themselves. They are trying to gain some type of control in their lives and the only way they know to do so is to do it to another child take the control. As far as temper tantrums go, depending on their ages it could be because of not being able to communicate their feelings yet and they become frustrated. It could be because they are not getting their way and are angry and they are not mature yet emotionally to express it in a healthy way. Either way, when a child tantrums especially in public, it is the parents job to remove the child immediately and once the child has calmed down they should find out what was going on. Was the child over tired from a long day, need a nap etc...if they are young? If they are older is it just they didn't get their way in a situation? The parent should find out what is going on make an appropriate response and talk to them about if this arises again what the consequences are if needed. Yes, you mentioned that an instant smack is definitely an instant attention grabber for a child. It stops the behavior instantly right? But the point is to teach our children to make better decisions when we are not around to smack them instantly. You say that it has worked for your children right? Smacking them? They have not been beaten and now know right from wrong and you can take them anywhere because of your actions of hitting and correcting them. Here is the flip side...I too could be taken anywhere as a child, I was obedient when I went out but I was always on edge and feared that I would screw up and be hit. It was nerve wrecking as a child to be humiliated by being hit and chastised in front of especially others. I became the perfect child at home and when I went elsewhere without my parents... I let out that anger, frustration on other children especially at school and I secretly resented my parent for hitting me and then think that I would want hugs afterwards or talk to me like nothing had even happened.



What is screwing up our society from my personal opinion and many years as a professional working with children and adults alike is that children do not have healthy role models nor healthy consistency in their lives, they are being left alone to their own devices for long periods of time or being allowed to play violent video games for hours and hours, actually being entertained by the graphic content of violence even laughing as they blow others away with guns/knives etc...It is not having consistent taught boundaries with healthy negative consequences, it is not being treated with respect in the first place. IF I learned anything at all from my life experiences was when someone was truly respectful to me especially as a child...respect is NOT demanded it is commanded by our own actions. So please ( no tone here ok ; ) don't make assumptions about all of us "do gooders" as you called us. We DON"T make the world a horrid place to bring up a child...We do everything possible to teach others how to have healthy relationships with their children by teaching them that true respect for another doesn't come from a smack or an unkind word.

Jaime - posted on 07/28/2009

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Thank you Lori...your example is exactly what was needed to put this discussion into perspective. It's not about calling people that spank their children abusers, its about recognizing that if kids are taught from an early age how to behave appropriately (using communication and positive parenting techniques) then they will likely carry that on when they have kids (as you did). I find that a lot of people that spank their children were spanked as children, and although they don't believe that it had any traumatic effects on them, they can't deny that the impact of a spanking affected them in some way, possibly suggesting that it is the best way to "get the point across". If parents communicate with their children and teach children about the positive and negative consequences in many of life's situations, they will be better equipped to make decisions and choices when they are not around their parents. Spanking vs. no spanking is not a pissing contest to see which side has the better methods. NO ONE likes spanking, but I can bet no one will say that they don't like communicating. It's about using discipline for its intended purpose---to teach. And as has been stated ad nauseum, spanking does not teach a child anything, it merely serves as an indicator of what not to do around parents to avoid punishment. A child that is spanked might not misbehave again, but do they truly understand why their behaviour was inappropriate or are they submissively resigning to authority based on the knowledge that spankings are used as punishment for misbehaving?

That being said, for those that feel this discussion got out of hand, it was certainly not my or anyone else's intention to deter anyone from speaking their mind or offering up an opinion. I absolutely believe that everyone has a right to speak up and that every opinion holds merit in a given discussion. What I think has everyone upset is the idea that there is judgment being passed from the non-spankers to the spankers and this is just not true. No one wants to brow beat and force viewpoints...the purpose of the comments that have ruffled everyone's feathers is to spread awareness of the importance of discipline over punishment. Discipline will work if it is given a chance and children will learn to not only respect others, but themselves above all which is where it has to begin if we want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults.

Lori Jo - posted on 07/28/2009

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I am 50 years old, and my two children are 28 and 23 years old. I was not spank as a child, and therefore, never spanked my kids. When they acted up or were out of line, I sent them to their bedrooms, telling them what they did wrong, how disappointed I was, and for them to think about it. There was no yelling, shouting, biting......



Hours later, I would check in on them and we would talk about it. I guess I was LUCKY.



More often then not, when I would show them my disappointment, and made them sit in silence to think about it, that was more effective than a spanking.

Lori Jo - posted on 07/28/2009

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I am 50 years old, and my two children are 28 and 23 years old. I was not spank as a child, and therefore, never spanked my kids. When they acted up or were out of line, I sent them to their bedrooms, telling them what they did wrong, how disappointed I was, and for them to think about it. There was no yelling, shouting, biting......



Hours later, I would check in on them and we would talk about it. I guess I was LUCKY.



More often then not, when I would show them my disappointment, and made them sit in silence to think about it, that was more effective than a spanking.

Shana - posted on 07/28/2009

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i was smacked as a child and i know right from wrong, and my children also has been chastised from toddler onwards. I can say my kids dont throw tantrums, backchat or bully. i can take them anywhere and they respect people and property. yet i see the kids of mothers who dont smack and chastise there kids and i tend to spend most of my free time away from them. I cant stand kids who are cocky and backchat. It mortifies me if my own do it to others. Its a respect thing. A boundry thing. never harmed me, or my siblings, or my mum and her siblings and so on and so forth. A smack is a instant attention grabber, i dont agree with beating but i do agree that all this dont smack your kids lark is what is screwing up society today. Asbos?? who heard of asbos when we were kids,(im 35). Its all sent the UK to the dogs, and there is only ourselves to blame. So next time you read in the paper that a kid has killed another kid, or elderly person, or even a dad who just wants his street to be safe, and the mum is in the paper saying, i never chastised my child, then u know that maybe if they had of done, they would have been more respectful. I have 2 very intellegent, witty and fantastic kids. Nothing wrong with them at all, great at school, and a pleasure to be around. And yes!! if i caught my kids swearing in fron of me or at adults i would wash out there mouths with soap. So there u go!! take my kids off me because i really do care how they are in society, and i chastise them. Man these do gooders make the world a horrid place to bring up a child.

Wendy - posted on 07/27/2009

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smacking a child if it's your child

do what is right. not smacking a child that you knock them down or abusive.

the smack is to stop a action at that time for some parents and some do it because it happened to them. you do whats right for you.

that is the good thing about choices you get to decide

Wendy - posted on 07/27/2009

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miss clare, you have ruffled some feathers in the hen house with this thread!!!! you are not even getting any good advice anymore just a bunch of agruing!!!

Wendy - posted on 07/27/2009

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miss clare, you have ruffled some feathers in the hen house with this thread!!!! you are not even getting any good advice anymore just a bunch of agruing!!!

Tammara - posted on 07/27/2009

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Well, Clare, your question opened up a lot of discussion! A good share of it became a religious discussion...which always becomes a huge debate...because everyone believes they are right. To give advice for your question from one mother to another, it is worrying to believe that someone would find it necessary to smack a child under the age of one year. There are people who would believe that smacking at any age is appalling (as you can see from these posts) and those who have ideas about what ages are appropriate. I have met many people who have sworn they would NEVER strike their child...even with the slightest "tap" or "spank" and yet given the right set of circumstances and levels of stress...find themselves in the ranks of parents who have spanked. But I don't think you were asking for advice on what age is appropriate I think it was more just an inquiry into what other mothers believe to be appropriate in general about smacking children under the age of one. I volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem and believe me, it would make most mothers sick to see what some people can do to children in the name of "discipline" or "teaching". But that's not to say that there isn't a huge difference in spanking and beating. When it comes to whether or not you or anyone else chooses to spank (not beat) their child, it is a judgment call...one that each person needs to make for themselves; based on their own individual beliefs. Not someone else's interpretation of scripture that may or may not have been taken out of context.

[deleted account]

Wow this has gotten insane. Deb there are a great many many points to your posts and I do enjoy reading them. I am going to copy and paste a few things from my post which I know Deb and I have talked through and I understand where she comes from and Deb understands where I come from. I want everyone else who has posted after me to see where I have come from on this whole thing. As to answer Dougs question my boyfriend myself and my 11 yr old play wrestle so I guess in a sense we are hitting each other but its never out of intent we just have alot of fun doing it. If my BF was to ever raise a had and hit me he would be gone and I hope I am raising my daughter the same.





This is a copy and paste from my first post here.





. I have tried time outs, she broke the door in her room with her temper tantrum. I have tried 123 magic it work for about 2 months till it became a joke to her. I have seeked proffesional help from many sorces. My daughter as been dignoised with what they call direct defience disorder. I used spanking when nothing else seemed to work and had taken MY time out and she continued her behavior. My daughter is now 11 and I get nothing but compliments on what a wonderful child I have. I have had these complemnts since she was about 4 yrs old. My daughter respects me and everyone around her.





The rest of my post is at the top of page 3 if anyone cares to read more.


Another little tidpit on my daughter. I can not raise my voice to her or she cowars or cries. It as been a long and difficult journey this last 11 years but we have made it through it with an awesome relationship.

Minnie - posted on 07/27/2009

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Karen you clearly made the point that you believe a lack of spanking is related to the 'downfall" of respect that young people display. Clearly you think that spanking is necessary and that not spanking means no discipline. Otherwise you wouldn't have made that comment. And I simply responded, because there are many mothers who choose to never spank and manage to produce well-rounded, respectful, kind, empathetic adults.



I do not believe that it is people fighting for children's rights that is creating a generation of hellians. No, there have always been people who display a lack of consideration for others. Today is no different than yesterday.

Karen - posted on 07/27/2009

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Lisa, not true- if you read carefully what I wrote, you will see that I include a smack etc as part of disciplining in general.

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2009

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smacking is just wrong. I got spankings and to each his own with that, as long as it doesn't go toward abuse, which is a thin line if you're not careful. Take a breath and walk away and come back and resolve the situation (if this is older children). I spanked my children, as well as put them on time-outs and creative punishments. But the smacking thing, is total abuse in my opinion.

Sharon - posted on 07/27/2009

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smacking is just wrong. I got spankings and to each his own with that, as long as it doesn't go toward abuse, which is a thin line if you're not careful. Take a breath and walk away and come back and resolve the situation (if this is older children). I spanked my children, as well as put them on time-outs and creative punishments. But the smacking thing, is total abuse in my opinion.

Minnie - posted on 07/27/2009

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Karen, I think you are coming from the belief that spanking=discipline, and that no spanking= no discipline. That's just not true.Both spanking and gentle discipline have been used for time immemorial. It is not a new 'fad' for parents to not spank their children. Every generation decries the younger as being out of control and rebellious.

Karen - posted on 07/27/2009

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I am surprised at how many people are completely against any form of smacking. I was probably smacked and spanked too much as a child (more than I in my wisdom thought was needed!), but it did not hurt me one bit in the long run; and neither did it any of my siblings or other people I know who got spanked. We all turned out to be happy, healthy adults. I do not have any regrets, concerns or issues about it and never felt emotionally hurt or "disrespected" in any way, because my parents love for me was clear. BUT it did teach me the very thing some people cite is a reason for NOT smacking a child, and that is to respect adults and others. One very common problems with some of you wanting to ban smacking is that you think this form of disciplining is somehow exclusive of having a lack of good communication with your children, which it needn't and should not be. Some write about smacking referring to it as "violence" and "not changing the heart" - well, I always knew why I was smacked and it sure did teach me right from wrong. My heart's attitude towards certain things and people was definitely shaped by it - and I can testify about it today. By the way, I have a great relationship with my parents, whom I respect very much.

Another thing - how do people who completely want to ban smacking explain the very obvious coinciding of the downfall of children's respect for others, and a lack of disciplining? (Just to stir a few responses...) OR how about this: How do we explain the PC thing nowadays of "children's rights" (taken too far) and the dissapearance of respect amongst children from a young age? Surely this can't be blamed on social construction or other environmental factors alone, can it? By the way, i believe it is every child's right to be loved in the best possible way - which includes firm disciplining appropriate to the occasion, which at very specific times, may include a smack or spank (I'm not talking about abuse).

I agree that there are ofcourse various effective ways of disciplining (other than smacking) too and I think these should always first be pursued, no matter what, because smacking should not be done out of a lack of self-control. However, each parent should carefully alanyse each situation in relation to the child (age, personality, needs, circumstances) to choose the best thing to do. As some of you have rightly described, a smack or spank at the right time and place, for a specific type of child, because you love them and would like to see the best potential come out of them, has never been proven to be detremental.

Far more worrying are children who in our age never get disciplined because their "rights are respected" too much - turning into horrible teenagers and selfish adults. This does not demonstrate love to them and I'm sure it's part of a much bigger problem in our society, but still part of it. We have to remember that it is also every child's right to be facilitated, in a loving way of which disciplining is a sure part, to become the best and most effective people they can be later on.

Deb - posted on 07/27/2009

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Lisa,
All the bashing in the world was worth it to read what you just wrote to me...very humbled here...in tears...a loss of words!

Minnie - posted on 07/27/2009

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Deb, I had a nice long post typed out to thank you for your time and as usual circle of moms decided not to post it.



Anyways, yes, thank you so much for all of your posts, the time you take to thoughtfully express your views, for your care of all of these mothers' children and for your experience.



My husband and I recently left a very conservative fundamental baptist church that we had been attending for the last five years. Over those last five years we were inundated with the philosophy that children need to be conquered, their wills broken, shown who's boss, and that any display of independence is actually an affront to authority. We parented our first child punitively for the first two and a half years of her life. And things were tense within our family. We never spanked out of anger, we were taught to make it methodical. But things were not peaceful and our little girl was insecure, unhappy, and I definitely could sense a very adversarial relationship between her and my husband and I.



And then our second was born, and I happened upon the forum Gentle Christian Mothers, and discovered that what I had been taught was not true, and that there didn't need to be that relationship of adversity between children and parents. I know now that I can discipline my daughter gently, without punishment, and can help guide her to be the person she will be without laying a finger on her.



Being a parent is hard, and I can definitely see how spanking is a 'quick fix' to fix the immediate problem. But I know that it does not change the heart, and I hate myself for how we treated our little girl- the lack of respect we showed her, the disservice we did her in spanking her, by showing her violence in our parenting techniques and by not actually teaching her and helping her learn WHY we do or do not do things.



My husband and I changed our child-rearing philosophy due to people like you, who take the time and care to post their concerns and the truth on the internet. So I know that there ARE mothers probably reading this, and you ARE probably hitting some touchy spots in their hearts. Maybe someone will rethink how she communicates with and disciplines her children and make a change for the better. I can say for our own family, it is so wonderful to not have that 'us and them' attitude, and to not have to suppress my mothering instincts when I violate my girls' bodily integrity in the name of 'disciplining' them. I love being able to appreciate them and their behaviours for who they and what they are and to help guide my girls through their childhood into adulthood.



If I had read your posts two years ago I probably would have responded like many of the women here have. I was not ready to hear truth. I was convinced of my own righteousness and for someone to tell me that I was hurting my daughter and doing her wrong would have definitely made me defensive and made me feel guilty. BUT- I would have needed to hear it, and it is little seeds here and there that eventually make the big change.



So yes, thank you.

Deb - posted on 07/27/2009

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Jennifer!
YES That's IT!!!



How many times I've personally seen this happen in public in grocery stores, clothing stores etc...Parent hits the child after the child hit their sibling and the whole time the parent is saying " It is NOT OK to hit, this will teach you NOT to hit your brother/sister"!!! WOW!!!

Deb - posted on 07/27/2009

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Toya!
Another Mom who understands the importance of fostering good healthy relationships and communications with their children YEA!!! TOYA!!!

Doug, is definately "One of a Kind" in my book and one of the best Parents and individuals around! He couldn't believe all the negative personal attacks that I was receiving for writing that hitting is wrong and abuse to hit anyone big or small. When he ask me if he could post on my thread...and told me his thoughts...I was like go for it! I told him you better get ready for possible "Back lash" from others who have put words into my mouth/would put words into his mouth and read between the lines instead of getting the true message that hitting anyone is wrong! It has been astounding to how angry the numerous pro-spanking posters have become. To the point they accused me of personally calling them abusers in my posts instead of hearing my views and opinions and then continued to attack me personally and professionally because of my education and knowledge in this field. They literally took the heat off of the subject of "is it appropriate to hit a baby". Instead when I voiced that violence is never a solution to teaching a child it turned into a "beat Deb into submission!" debate. They tried to find every way possible to discount what I was writing about to support positive parenting techniques and made every reason/excuse to continue to use violence to raise children! Now, after a good nites sleep, I understand what was happening....Those posters were trying to get me to think that I was doing what they "WERE" doing to me. It was attempted on numerous occasions to try and make me feel that I was personally attacking them by calling them "abusers" (FACT-I NEVER EVER stated this in any of my posts, called ANYONE an abuser) ; ). The good ole I'll confuse you to the point you don't know if your coming or going began and when I wouldn't budge, I bet a few of them wanted to "smack" me! lol YES, I'm using some humor so PLEASE don't start posting back with the "So you think I'm not only an abuser to my kids but NOW I want to abuse you rant"....





Toya thank you for taking the time to write what you did it made my day. Hopefully there are more Parents out there who will (if they are hitting their kids already)... take the time, make the time to learn more about positive parenting techniques and realize how continued hitting and using physical force can have a very negative impact on the well-being of their child. Positive parenting which is truly about teaching a child about true respect, empathy, self esteem and making good decisions for themselves when we are not around.

Jennifer - posted on 07/27/2009

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I don't think smacking is appropriate... I believe if you smack or hit a child you are telling them it is okay to hit people. For example you can't say Joe don't hit your sister and them smack him for doing so. You can't teach a child not to do something that is being done to him.

Toya - posted on 07/27/2009

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i think doug had a great point. funny or not that was the best example on how spanking or hitting is wrong. it doesnt matter if its just a tap or a full hit. its wrong and it makes the person or child feel awful. to me thats not the problem that we are trying solve. there is no reason to hit anyone for any reason. i think talking is the best method. there is also negative and positve reinforcements that you can try. usually you will see positive results and a short period of time. you had time to make them, have time to teach them right from wrong with out putting your hands on them.

Toya - posted on 07/27/2009

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I agree with clare. i dont believe that any child should be hit. we have to remember that these are our kids and if they have done something wrong then its up to us as parents to teach our children right. if you dont teach your child right from wrong who? children learn from us and if you are hitting them then you are doing something wrong! there are other ways to teach your child that the behavior that they are displaying is wrong and not with hitting. its always wrong to hit. parent or child...

May' - posted on 07/27/2009

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well,i personally feel smacking a child who's under 1 year is not ok...smacking a child serves as a deterrent and a form of discipline and a child under 1 year does not understand that..smacking in essence should be moderate and not to the extreme with the purpose explained....smacking a child who's 2 years and above is ok,it will not harm them....

Jodi - posted on 07/26/2009

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I won't be here tomorrow - I think this is way out of hand. There is no real point taking it any further.

Jaime - posted on 07/26/2009

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Jodi, I don't insinuate that others are wrong because I don't look at spanking in terms of right and wrong. I am not pushing my viewpoints either...at the end of my comment you are free to take what I have said and put it in the "not for me" pile. If I had made my comments using statements such as; "all parents that spank are abusive" or "spanking is abuse and it is wrong, wrong, wrong" then perhaps I would be pushing my viewpoint...but as I have not said anything close to that, I cannot be accused of pushing my views on others. Just because we disagree does not mean that I do not respect your views. You are a mother, you are a person, you are living a different life than I am. The whole point of circle of moms is to help, support and learn from one another. I have read everything you wrote and I have absolute respect for your views. You will notice that I have not once, nor has Deb, resorted to name calling of any kind. It is very clear that you believe that spanking is an effective form of discipline and it is very clear that I do not believe that spanking is considered discipline. That aside, the actual point of my posts is in support of what Deb was trying to get across....and she did not launch personal attacks and she did not insinuate that all spankers are abusers and she did not try to shove her views down your throat...she is trying to offer a perspective from the viewpoint of an educator on POSITIVE parenting, communication and relationships and that has somehow been lost in all of the back and forth banter. I accept that you and I disagree, just as I accept that you have considered all sides of the argument. As for your statement "no one should be made to feel wrong"...NO ONE can MAKE YOU feel anything...that is all on you!

Deb - posted on 07/26/2009

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Ok very tired here...I have ONE last post in me for the night...I'm also stating upfront I'm not responsible for the spelling nor how anyone reading this post may take it! I may also not be a "tactiful" as in other posts

Jodi,

You gotta be kidding me right...That's like saying that not Every man who hits his wife doesn't constitute abuse! What the heck???...Hitting is abuse and disrespectful, and to state an occasional SMACK may be needed AND can be done without anger??? WHEW!! I just know that the hundreds of times in public that I've seen a child being hit...that parent is NOT smiling, NOT laughing, obviously NOT in control of their own emotions and look pretty darn angry to me and looking quite frustrated to boot. I have NEVER seen a parent ( I know I know, I haven't seen you who is reading this) hit a child with a smile and a twinkle of love and respect in their eyes...I don't understand why anyone would "chose" to teach by using pain and humilation....and at this point I'm very very tired of the debate (for now) of how appropriate it may be to hurt a child in certain situations as if someone may also be saying how appropriate it is to hit your spouse occassionaly, or appropriate to hit your boss occassionly when necessary...heck appropriate to hit just any body I deem that needs to learn right from wrong occasionally
Going to bed....tired of the round and round for tonight...but will be back tomorrow. : ) Shoot forgot! I gotta go post BAIL for Doug!

Jodi - posted on 07/26/2009

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Jaime, you are suggesting I haven't considered all sides before choosing how I discipline my children. That's actually not the case. I am not saying any of the methods are wrong. You are not wrong, Deb is not wrong, no-one here is wrong. But no-one should be made to feel wrong either. I am simply trying to demonstrate how in pushing your viewpoints, you are also using terminology to insinuate how others are wrong, and it is abuse, and it is not a form of discipline. All of these are your interpretation on the matter. I respect that. But I ask that other respect mine (and others) interpretation also. I am not asking for agreement, I know that is inappropriate. I will not agree with you, you will not agree with me. That's fine. But acceptance that there are other methods that work out there without it being abusive, even if you don't agree with them, would be a happy way of saying we agree to disagree on which is right for us.

Jodi - posted on 07/26/2009

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Jaime, I am really not referring to those parents who use spankings as a primary form of discipline. I don't agree with that either, and I know why child services are needed. There is a big difference to what this thread is about as opposed to beating a child. I appreciate that your viewpoint is based on your experience. I received corporal punishment as a child too, but it was rare, only as my parents saw necessary and as a last resort, never in anger, and I never received emotional abuse, so as a result, I do not believe it is necessarily wrong to occasionally smack a child. However, I respect that many people have experienced abuse and it has affected them emotionally and mentally on a long term basis. And as a result, many have formed particular viewpoints and are passionate about them. Not everyone who smack their child is an abuser - most aren't. Most don't smack in anger. Most don't actually physicall hurt or harm the child, and the mental effect is generally more a momentary humiliation. I don't know how old your children are, but I have found that different things work at different ages. I mostly use whatever the currency of the time is. But a slap on the butt has worked for my son running across a busy road - he never did it again. The immediacy of the punishment is what was needed at the time. You can disagree, but the inability to reason with a 2 year old made this a dangerous situation. A slap on the hand for a child reaching up to the stove top with a big, sharp "NO" while I am cooking dinner. Some children (actually, my daughter in partcular) will not respond to just the "NO". To her, no is a challenge to give it another go. However, combined with a slap on the hand, it is effective.

Not everything is black and white. It would actually be abusive of me NOT to deal with these issues with a sense of urgency and in an immediately effective way. Neither action has to hurt a child, it is the shock alone that they react to.

So I understand why it may be black and white to you and others, but for many of us, there are shades of grey in between that can also be appropriate without the emotional harm that it is claimed any form of smacking can cause.

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