why do you think spanking your child is wrong?

Jodie - posted on 07/21/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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i have a 2 month old and i would never spank him. Babies don't know what they are doing, but older children do. I haven't decided if it is right or wrong. I was spanked as a child and i remember not doing things i wasn't supposed to because i didnt want to get spanked. I mean what do you do when your child doesn't mind and you've tried telling them not to something, made them sit in time out, etc. Do you just let them do what they want or is there some other way to make them behave that i don't know about?

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[deleted account]

Not spanking isn't the same as not disciplining your child. There are lots of non-violent techniques that work, often different techniques depending upon the age. You ask what moms do when time outs don't work, but I could just as easily ask you what you do when spankings don't work.

Why do I personally thing spanking is wrong? I don't think teaching a child to fear a spanking is the same as teaching them right from wrong. Hitting a child teaches them hitting is an appropriate way to communicate or solve problems. I think there are better and more effective methods, so why even try it?

Sarah - posted on 07/22/2009

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I don't spank. That doesn't mean that i don't discipline. I used to 'spank' my eldest daughter and life was pretty miserable, so i tried a new tactic and life was SO much calmer!
My daughter is WAY better behaved now than when i used to 'spank' (hate that word!)
I get annoyed when people on here seem to think that because i don't smack my kids are unruly, or constantly disobedient. They're NOT! They know there are consequences to their actions, we talk about WHY they are getting punished, what they could have done differently etc.
As for saying that someone is going to 'whip' them eventually so they may as well get used to it. That just seems like such a depressing attitude! They may well meet someone who will give them a 'lick' but unless you're letting them hit YOU back as good 'practise' for this 'lick' then i don't get your point?!
Just because you think someone will hit them eventually doesn't mean they have to start life out being hit by the one who should be protecting them.
It just seems like warped logic to me. People are most probably going to call your kids names later on in life.....so do you call your kids nasty names to 'get them used to it' ??

Spank if you want to, it's of no concern to me. I personally think there's better ways, but hey, they're your kids.

Just don't think that un-spanked kids are going to grow up disobedient or 'soft' because they won't! :)

Minnie - posted on 07/22/2009

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Because I believe in the concept of Grace.
Because I believe it's not my job to MAKE my children obey, but to help them meet a standard.
Because I believe that my children deserve every ounce of respect that anyone does.
Because I believe they have the right to bodily integrity.
Because spanking doesn't change the heart, only the immediate action. What do you do when the child is too big for a spanking, or you're not around to spank?
Because spanking teaches a child that it's acceptable to hit someone smaller than yourself if you don't like what they're doing.

Like Jennifer said, not spanking does not equal no discipline.

Kylie - posted on 07/21/2009

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I think it's wrong that parents think spanking is the ONLY way to effective discipline. Time outs and taking away toys works for us. If you implement the time out technique correctly children do behave and they learn from the discipline not just being punished with a smack from the people they love and depend on most.

Carolyn - posted on 07/22/2009

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I can guarantee those parents who will not spank their most hateful children, the world will do it for you as they get older. I would much rather shape my children as much as possible, then allow them to get beat downs by their peers through life, the difference is the absents of love from others, and the understanding that it's only to make them a better citizen in life and able to make reasonable choices. NEVER TOUCH YOUR CHILD WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY, it is only then that you don't realize your own stregnth, mother or father. Walk away for at least and hour and then return. I have even waited until the next day to address situations depending on how angry they make me. We all find ourselves whipped from time to time unless you're born with a silver spoon. So don't be foolish into teaching your child that they can get through life without ever taking a lick. They will meet someone to show them otherwise, no matter what the age.

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Karen - posted on 06/25/2011

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I didn't spank my child but twice; I generally don't think spanking is necessary, because I believe in having the child suffer the direct consequences of his or her actions. In other words, I want the effect of the wrongdoing to have a direct link to the consequences. Plus, I know for a fact that children--even babies--are a lot smarter than we assume (I used to work with researchers in infant and early childhood development). They are open to reason. Yes, it takes time to reason, but when you do reason with them, they not only learn not to do the thing they shouldn't, but it enhances their reasoning and logic skills.

The two exceptions to the spanking happened out of sheer shock and the other was necessity. The first time was when my son was six months old, and he bit down on me hard when I was nursing him! Wow, did that hurt, especially since he had teeth coming in! He didn't let loose when I yelled, so I really didn't have any choice but to slap him lightly on the cheek, which so surprised him that he finally let go. I was in a panic and simply didn't know how to make him let go without hurting myself further! To me, that's suffering the natural consequences of biting me! When you bite people, they will react very negatively! :-D

The other time was when he was 2 1/2 and bolted out into the street. Of course, the natural consequences of running out in front of a car would be to get hit, which of course no loving and sensible parent would ever allow! So I figured a good substitute was yelling at him and giving him a swat on the backside. Since this was the first time I ever did this (in his memory, anyway), it shocked him enough to get his attention, and I explained why it was very bad to run out into the street.

The thing is this: if you spank for every bit of wrongdoing, then the child gets used to it, and then you end up having to escalate into more and more spanking and being more forceful...and that can end up going across some really bad lines. If you reserve spanking for the times when there's some real danger, or when the child has physically hurt you, then the child knows that what he or she has done is the next worst thing to unforgivable.

What I did instead was to use reason and time-outs--that is, to go sit facing the corner for a few minutes so that my son could think seriously about why he had done wrong. My husband and I also eventually had our son decide what his punishment should be.

It got to the point that when our son got into a temper and did something wrong, he'd automatically clean up (if he broke something), and sit himself in a corner so that he could cool down and think. We didn't have to do anything but give him a sharp look or say, "what in the world are you doing?!?"

He's grown up now, and a good church-going guy with a good job and kind, generous heart, and I will say that he's also got a very sharp, logical, and creative mind. He's self-disciplined, and good at pursuing his goals. So I don't think the lack of spanking has harmed him any. In fact, I think that he was made to think through his actions and figure out what he might do instead made him a better person. If he's angry or frustrated, he'll go run around the block, or work on creating hard rock music, which I think are pretty healthy ways to let off steam.

Jaime - posted on 07/26/2009

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I agree with Jenifer Lawrie, Lisa Moreau and Loureen Kelly on this issue.

Kate - posted on 07/26/2009

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I only use spanking for deliberate defiance and/or dangerous situations. For example, if I tell DD not to do something and she stops, then starts up again a minute later, I simply remind her again not to do it. She is only 18 mo. so I know she will need frequent reminders and I'm fine with that. But if I tell her a couple times to stop, she looks at me and just keeps doing it -- spanking. We don't disobey. She is warned, too. If she tries to tip her newborn brother's bassinet (which could seriously injure them both), spanking.

If the punishment can fit the crime, it does. If she throws something, she must immediately pick it up and hand it to me or put it away ans she is told we do not treat our things that way. If she spills food, she must clean it up.

I believe that this teaches her best. When the situation is purely obedience/safety, spankings may be issued. Otherwise, the "punishment" is gentle and fits the crime.

Another example -- I decide before we go into a store what (if anything) I will buy her. We will talk about these items (banana, crackers, and juice are favorites). Then, with any misbehavior (standing in the cart, running away, etc.) I remind her that she must sit down/stay with mommy/etc. if she wants to keep these things. Although she may need several reminders she will stop the behavior each time the reminder is issued. Some days she requires fewer reminders than others.

Other times it works (although makes her mad) to simply sit and hold her, and tell her calmly she must stay because she did not listen. Or, I take something away (we are tandem nursing, and if she tries to unlatch her brother she is done).

Of course, paying attention to her in advance works very well. She was getting fussy and throwing a lot of fits because she was bored and not getting as much attention. I took her out for three hours, to walk and play on a splash pad and grocery shop and a day later she was still much happier and better behaved.

Save spanking for the VERY important times when nothing else works and do it right -- open hand on bottom, enough to upset without really hurting, and calmly. Remind the child what they did wrong and that you love them no matter how you discipline. Some children may never need spanking at all. But, some may. Depends on the child.

Jalarida - posted on 07/26/2009

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All my kids have had a butt whacking, but everytime was after doing something so terrible... example; tryin to cut the cats ears off with scissors! I dont like spanking, never have, but i do it. Within reason, one sharp wack on the butt is enough for my kids to stop and think. Only one of my kids Bit, i bit him back...he never did it again. None of my children have ever raised their hands to me or anyone else for that matter. I have used spankin as discipline, but only in extreme circumstances.

Each family is different, each child is different, do what YOU think is right and best to suit the situation. There is a huge difference...HUGE...between spanking a child for bad behaviour....and beating the absolute crap out of them. Im always afraid that people are raising their kids to think they can do whatever they want and get away with it. NOT in my house...i refuse to witness my boys be disrespectful to adults and society in general.

By the way...my home is filled with laughter everyday...ive raised my kids to see the funny in everything...many situations with badly behaved kids can be sorted with a little humor..... even though my son was spanked for tryin to cut ears off the cat...after the tears, i asked him "Now how is the cat gunna EAR me when i call him for dinner?" he cracked up laughing and apologised to the cat :)

Charlie - posted on 07/26/2009

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Posted by Lisa Moreau (July 22, 5:47 pm)
Because I believe in the concept of Grace.
Because I believe it's not my job to MAKE my children obey, but to help them meet a standard.
Because I believe that my children deserve every ounce of respect that anyone does.
Because I believe they have the right to bodily integrity.
Because spanking doesn't change the heart, only the immediate action. What do you do when the child is too big for a spanking, or you're not around to spank?
Because spanking teaches a child that it's acceptable to hit someone smaller than yourself if you don't like what they're doing.

Like Jennifer said, not spanking does not equal no discipline.


Thank you i could not have worded that better .

Jodi - posted on 07/26/2009

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I agree with Carolyn, in that each child is so different. Different disciplinary measures work differently for each child, but also for different situations. I believe children should be allowed to make mistakes, and once they are old enough to reason with, you can actually explain that the behaviour is inappropriate and also add that if it happens again, they will be punished by (whatever the punishment will be). I also think you need to reward positive behaviour, verbal reward (like "good girl, well done") works amazingly well because kids love our approval.



I do smack occasionally. I have smacked due to safety reasons (a kid running across a road, slap on the hand for getting into things they shouldn't), but never to hurt, I feel the shock is enough.



My son is now 12, and to be totally honest, smacking is not effective as children get older. I think there are many other methods that older kids will respond to better. My son's currency is his Nintendo, Playstation and computer priveleges, and also his sporting commitments, friends, etc. So that is what I work with.



My daughter is 4, and quite seriously, that girl is a challenge. Her currency changes every single day, so what works one day won't work the next!! Sometimes time out works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, the only thing that will work is the threat of a smack. I do warn her first (if you do this again, I will smack you), and she usually gets the message and stops the behaviour. I have rarely actually had to carry through with it. My son was never like that - he nearly always had a currency that I could use.

Andrea - posted on 07/26/2009

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I think spankings are beneficial...in the moment. I don't think they teach a child anything about behavioral choices. I have spanked my own children. Sometimes it is necessary to just get them to STOP and worry about teaching later. I think it is most effective when used calmly and sparingly.

[deleted account]

Try getting the video series, 123 Magic by Dr. Thomas Phelan. You can start using it at 2 years of age. I work with children that have been diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder and parents that have implemented the technique, say it works. The parent(s) have to be consistent. I would never spank my child. That only works temporarily; we have to train our children.

Christine - posted on 07/22/2009

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My children are all adults now but if they were doing something that was dangerous they'd certainly be spanked and told at the same time that whatever behaviour wasn't tolerated. The best advice I can give is not to threaten something you're not going to do, for example, someone I know used to say: I'm going to throw out all your toys. The child always knew that mum wouldn't do that so it was okay to do whatever they liked. With young children the punishment should be something small, just enough to get their attention really and it should be immediate, otherwise they forget why they're being punished. I used to take away a favoured toy for a day and used timeouts with my younger two. My children all learned that for every action deemed unsuitable by me there would be a reaction that would not be beneficial for them. My 4 children are now responsible, caring, productive adults that I am very proud of.

App+7mnejhu - posted on 07/22/2009

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Exactly! Teach them before somebody else does. The lesson is going to be learned much easier of it's from someone who loves them.

Carolyn - posted on 07/22/2009

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The biggest thing to remember when asking questions about children is that they all do not respond the same way to different types of discipline. For instance, I have 4 children, my youngest is 1, he is always getting into things, most that I just take away unless he is in a harmful situation such as touching the stove or pulling the table cloth down filled with utensils, then I tap him hard enough to for him to know that I am serious and it's not a game. My 5 year old may get a spanking once every other month and it's mostly for trying to hurt someone which is not tolerated, when he wants to get his way. My girls on the other hand who are 10 and 8, do not respond to time as my five year old does. Doesn't respond to conversation and half the time they ignore me. My kids only watch TV on the week ends and I don't believe in filling their room with gadgets. The older MY children get the more they test. The biggest issues we face is disrespectfulness (not tolerated), stealing, and lying so you can imagine that they get spanked at least once a week. Does it work, more effective than time out or hard labor. When I implement time out or hard labor they will be right back into the same things as soon as thier punishment is finished becaues it did them no harm. Spanking however gives me at least a weeks worth of rest. Kids will test, it's what they do, they can't be perfect all the time. The key is to find the most effective methods for yourself and your children. So don't be so quick to judge mothers like me. Your children aren't mine and mine are not yours.

User - posted on 07/22/2009

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Sierly I couldn't agree more when you say "tell them our expectation" Just because we have a rule and we know what we want unless we explain it to our children in a way they can understand how are they expected to know. That is where a lot of problems start especially when different people have different expectations, what might be alright for your kids to do at home is not always ok at nanas or a neighbors my kids were never allowed to swing on the clothes line but the neighbor thought it was fine so I had to explain to her children that it was not acceptable when they visited same went for jumping on the furniture.

Carolyn - posted on 07/22/2009

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2 month si way too young, a good time to be assertive is after one. Tapping of the hands and legs until 4, then spankings.It's not about understanding the spanking, it's about being consistant in discipline, understanding the no and not letting them have their way all the time. It should be used mostly as a last resort unless lying and stealing are involved then it gets my number one.

Sierly - posted on 07/22/2009

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if spanking is the only way, it's wrong. there are other unviolent methods we can used if children break our rules. give attention (praise,kiss,pat on the shoulder,etc) when they obey us/follow the rules will make them want to do the right things (it's the attention they're seeking). Making sure there are procedures for doing things enables children to be disciple. if there is nothing to be responsible to, they will act as they wish. tell them our expectation and how things work out will help bigger children. I think when it's a dangerous thing they do, sometimes we can use spanking as a schock therapy.

User - posted on 07/22/2009

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They have made it illegal here in New Zealand to spank your children, bloody stupid law if you ask me. I think they bought it in to stop people beating their kids but as far as I am concerned people that beat their kids will continue to do so and there is a big difference between beating a kid and giving them a short sharp slap on the butt or hand. I feel that sometimes the shock the kids get from a slap can make the difference between a sore butt and a dead kid. My middle son had a problem with running away the first time he did it he ran into the car park in front of a car I gave him a good whack and told him he was never to do it again after that he continued to run away but use to stop at the edge of the footpath and yell back to me is it ok no cars :) He is 17 now and I am keeping my fingers crossed he will run away soon as he is eating me out of house and home.

Niki - posted on 07/22/2009

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Jodie,

I would have to say that raising both of my boys we used 3 different methods (spanking, yelling, and time out). Now that my kids are 14 and 16, I have to say that I would definitely change my method to time out had I learned the technique better. As frustrating as a child gets, I believe that when you spank a child you end up doing it out of anger and frustration. When you put your child in time out it gives you a break and your child a break and you can both calm down and take a deep breath because you are about to begin the journey of who is in control (you or your child). I have to say that watching Super Nanny has given me a new meaning to how to control your child without them fearing you. I would have bought the book had they had that book when I was raising my children. Hope this helps.

App+7mnejhu - posted on 07/22/2009

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Well, that being said... I do spank my daughter, but not every time. It depends what she has done wrong. If she hits, she gets hit back(spanking). If she kicks, I pull her hair (we don't kick in my house). If she spits, she has to spit in a cup for four minutes. If she is saying bad things(name calling, etc...), i smack her lightly on the lips. If she refuses to eat her dinner, she gets to stand in the corner til she is ready to eat. If that doesn't work, she goes to bed. If she won't clean her room, I ground her FROM her room and get rid of a few of her toys. I say let the punishment fit the misdeed. But if all I ever did was put her in timeout whenever she messed up I would have a little monster on my hands who didn't respect me. Every child is different, but if they need a spanking you will know it. Oh and to those who say hitting teaches hitting- spanking a child is not going to make them hit other people, abusing them will.

App+7mnejhu - posted on 07/22/2009

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Discipline in children is a difficult subject. I was in an in-home daycare as a child and they used hair pulling and being put in the corner to discipline us. My mom tried spankings but didn't hit very hard and I laughed at her. My dad got me with a belt ONCE and I didn't try to cross him again. I am still grateful for than lesson he tought me that night. I feel that more parents SHOULD spank their kids. There are more than a few who could use a good smack to the rear. Maybe children would be more repectful to adults and their peers if they had a stronger punishment than being put in the corner. I bet that there would be a whole lot less kids/young adults in the "system" if their parents had tought them respect. You would have never have seen your grandparents mouthing off to adults or dressing like prostitutes or sleeping around in their day. You know why? Because their parents would have beat the living daylight out of them if they had.

Natalie - posted on 07/22/2009

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I am studying to be a primary school teacher, and obviously we cannot spank our students. There are plenty of other ways of disciplining kids - time out, naughty mat, no tv/games etc... as well as positive reinforcement. Rewarding kids when they are doing 'good' can be more effective than punishing them for being 'bad'. I dont think a swat here n there is a bad thing (for ur own kids, not students!) but I would try other forms of discipline instead...

--- - posted on 07/21/2009

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it is wrong because if you hit a child you are teaching them it is ok to hit and worst of all you are teaching them that the one person who is suposed to love and protect them can turn around and hurt them. I think this is a damaging and confusing message to send to a child.
many parents also spank wrong. they spank in the heat of things when they are angry and have lost their cool and they can easily go over board.
time outs are more effective, take more work but have long term good effects when compared to the immediate good effect of spanking but the long term damaging effect.

Sharon - posted on 07/21/2009

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I've seen kids do excellently and their parents never spanked. Spanking isn't the only method of discipline but it is at times effective.

[deleted account]

I think spankings are benefical only if the child understands why they are being spanked. When my children were at in their toddler stage I would swat their hands and tell them no, and I began spanking when they were older (4-5 years old).

Sharon - posted on 07/21/2009

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I don't think spanking a child is wrong. I don't believe in all out beatings but a swat on the butt can be beneficial.

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