Spanking...effective or not?

Destiny - posted on 07/17/2010 ( 135 moms have responded )

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I've been doing some psychology research on spanking and it's effectiveness but I'm wondering what real moms believe works. Please give your input.

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[deleted account]

Ino ur case spanking work half the time with our daughter. Time outs do nothing for her right now so my MIL suggested we put in the spankings for things we deem dangerous. For example right now she has a habit of sitting ontop of the dog or lying on him even when he growls at her to get off she doesn't. We use to do time outs for it but that didn't stop it so now we give her one slap on the bottom every time she does it. Sort of a reminder but only when the dog begins to growl. So far it has been working for us in helping her understand the dog is not be climbed on. Our thinking is a sharp pain from a slap on the butt that lasts only a few seconds is better then the dog biting her.

Katherine - posted on 07/18/2010

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This is the most unproductive topic ever. So far we've had at least 5 spanking threads. The same people respond, no one has different input and frankly it's annoying and insidious. Maybe someone needs to start a community on it.

Michelle - posted on 07/18/2010

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I have smacked my kids in the past but, certainly for my girls, it really didn't make any difference. I much prefer to do things without a smack - I rarely even shout as I find that if I shout they just shout back - and my youngest can shout louder than me lol. I find rewarding them for their good behaviour and taking things away from them (ie treats, computer time, certain toys, etc) until they can behave works much better. I also use time out and will tell them why they've had a time out after in a way they understand. If they shout at me now I just tell them I'm not talking to them until they stop and pretty much ignore them until they calm down. It takes a lot of patience at times but it works far better (the amount of times I've had to count to 10 to keep calm is unbelievable but I manage it). I also have reward charts with targets set for certain "long term" issues that have needed addressing. They work well too.

I'm not going to say smacking children is wrong - hitting children is wrong but there's a lot of difference between a smack and a hit. Having been through it I can fully understand why some parents do smack their children. But for me personally, the rewards and time outs, etc work better and also keeps the home a lot calmer.

Oh, I also use some of the same methods when dealing with certain adults also lol

Louise - posted on 07/18/2010

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in respect it never hurt me , i showed the ut most respect for adults. you can show love allso but it doesnt mean u dont love them u are doing it cause u love them trying to teach them right from wrong

Jodi - posted on 07/18/2010

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And just for the record.....I'd KILL for 40 minutes in time out ;P

Jodi - posted on 07/18/2010

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And again, apologies.....your comment about smacking being over and done with as opposed to time out mental torture is what I read, and I just couldn't see how that worked because in my mind, time out SHOULDN'T be mentatl torture, but rather, exactly what it is, 'time out'!! That's what I was trying to comprehend :)

More often that not, I put MYSELF in time out, LOL......

Deborah - posted on 07/18/2010

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from my first post - last paragraph

"I never just disclipline Laura, when I do I explain that I told her not to jump off the back of the sofa because she might hurt herself but she kept doing it, so I spanked her/put her on time out, I always explain that I know she found it funny, but if she fell she could really hurt herself. "

Jodi - posted on 07/18/2010

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Fair enough, point taken, I didn't see the 30 years old = 30 minutes.... because I don't see that it is relevant. However, I'll be honest, some days I'd love a half hour to calm down, LOL.



So I apologise, I misunderstood your post :)



However, I think I read into it that you smack your child and it is over and done with, but you didn't mention about smacking her and telling her why she is being smacked and what she has done wrong, or had any discussion with her as to what she understood about it.

Deborah - posted on 07/18/2010

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Jodi, age has to do with the fact that its 1 minute per year of their life. You said you were 40 so how would you like to spend 40 minutes sitting on the bottom stair.... its the same equivilant to a 3 year old spending 3 minutes there.

Time out for a child throwing a tantrum is completely different to time out for discipline, allowing a child to calm down in a safe and agro free atmosphere is not the same as punishing a child for not doing what they were told.

And I never said it shouldn't lead to a discussion, I said that Sylvia said spanking was not effective because the child learnt nothing, I simply stated that time out would be the same if you don't talk to the child and tell them what they done wrong. If you re-read my last paragraph I said you HAVE to explain what the child done wrong. In fact I said I never just displine my daughter, I always explain why I displined her and why I didn't want her to do what she was doing in the first place. This would be the same for yelling, smacking, naughty step or whatever means of discipline you choose, the child HAS to know what they done wrong and why it is wrong if you ever want them to learn anything and be able to judge in future if they think something is right or wrong.

Jodi - posted on 07/18/2010

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Actually Deborah, I am 40. I don't see what age has to do with it.

30 minutes isn't time out, that's torture. Time out, in its proper use, should be 1 minute per age. The purpose of time out is not punishment, it should be to calm down.

I have a 5 year old who NEEDS time out to calm down. She has the worst temper I have seen on a child (I have 4). Spanking wouldn't work. She needs time out, and then, when she is calm, it can be dealt with. To spank her would just escalate the situation, and actually would resolve nothing.

I think perhaps you have misinterpreted how time out works if you think that it should last for 30 minutes, and it shouldn't lead to a discussion or other interaction with the child (obviously age dependent).

Laura - posted on 07/18/2010

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Depends on the child. I was spanked & I'm fine. It's more just an embarrassment to them. It hurts their pride, not really they behinds, which sometimes needs to be done. Just not harshly. My kids have hardly ever been spanked, usually doesn't need to get to that. I give them the "look" and they know I've had my fill & to back off :) They are good kids.

Deborah - posted on 07/18/2010

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See personaly, while I use the time out, I believe it can be mental torture.



1 minute in a secluded room for every year of their life, with no interaction and nothing to do...



Now I don't know how old you guys are, but I'm 30, and I don't think I'd like to be put on the hall stairs for 30 mins if I done something my mum disapproved of.



Smacking is all over and done in a few seconds, since a proper smack doesn't hurt. Personally I would tap laura on the hand with my fingers. It is just a way of getting her attention and making her listen to me, I don't even "hit" her hard enough for her hand to turn red.



Sylvia I love that you live in a perfect world where your child will never let go of your hand to run across the road because they seen a kid from their nursery there or something, or do you just hold their hand tight enough that they can't let go?



Also time out will not teach your kid anything either unless you explain to them why they were there. Both are just a means of discipline, you need to explain why they received that disclipline and why you didn't like what they were doing. I never just disclipline Laura, when I do I explain that I told her not to jump off the back of the sofa because she might hurt herself but she kept doing it, so I spanked her/put her on time out, I always explain that I know she found it funny, but if she fell she could really hurt herself. I am a great believer in letting kids learn their own mistakes, but I draw the line at anything where she might break an arm/leg or landing on her head...

[deleted account]

I would liket to clarify what spanking is. The definition of spanking is where a child is repeatedly hit/smacked on an area of their body (usually the bottom), ie the old idea of "put them over your knee and spank them". That is NOT effective as a punishment as it results in resentment and anguish.
Smacking on the other hand is a short sharp tap either on the bottom, leg or hand and that can be VERY effective in getting a point across especially when issues of danger are concerned. Children learn by example so if you are making a point using smacking (or spanking) then be very clear what your point is. Smacking your child for hitting his sibling sends a mixed message. Smacking your child's hand when they go to touch the hot oven teaches them that touching the oven will hurt without them actually getting burned.

Having said that though neither should EVER be done in anger. If you are hitting your child in anger then it will never be effective and it actually can technically be termed as abuse.

Kandyce - posted on 07/18/2010

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Spanking works with some children. Notice I said spanking not beating. Despite what Dr. Phil says. He is way out of touch any way.
If you have a child that goes into the road no matter what you do, you have no choice to spank. If they got hit by a car you would go to jail for child neglect.

[deleted account]

Because it's a power thing. It's showing the child that "I'm bigger than you and you're in my power." and it's showing the parent that "I have more power than this child." And power corrupts.

There is no love or communication in that sort of power relationship.

Sylvia - posted on 07/17/2010

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Well, I guess it depends what you mean by "effective". (It also depends a lot on the kid.) In general, punishing kids for doing the wrong thing tends to be quite effective in the short term (i.e., they stop doing that particular thing at that particular moment) but very ineffective in the long term, since it doesn't teach them why they shouldn't do that thing (other than "if mom catches me doing that thing, I'll get spanked/put in time out/whatever"), nor does it allow them to generalize to other things they should or shouldn't do.

I can state from experience that spanking was not an effective form of discipline for me or my little brother. It taught us that we mustn't let our dad catch us doing this or that thing that particularly annoyed him, and that it was okay for him to hit us but not for us to hit each other (WTF?), but that was pretty much it :P.

However, I can't speak to its effectiveness or not from the perspective of a parent, because DH and I don't spank our DD and I don't know anyone IRL who spanks their kids either (or, at least, anyone foolish enough to admit in public that they spank their kids -- around here, that's the kind of thing that prompts teachers and other mandatory reporters to phone Children's Aid). So it's not like I can compare spanked kids to non-spanked kids in any kind of scientific way.

One thing I've noticed is that often, parents who say "but spanking is the only thing that works with my kid!" are willing to cut spanking an awful lot more slack than any other method. In other words, they are willing to spank the kid every time he (for instance) runs into the street without looking, because "nothing else works", but they are not willing to, for instance, insist that the kid hold their hand when anywhere near the street, or insist that the kid stay in the backyard rather than the front yard until s/he can demonstrate that s/he is responsible enough to stay out of the street, or to impose any other after-the-fact consequence instead of spanking -- yet the kid continues to run out into the street, so obviously the spanking is not "working" either.

Now, it's certainly true that reasoning with a two-year-old does not appear to get you anywhere in the short term. With a two-year-old, you do often have to get physical -- but you don't have to hit; picking the kid up and removing him/her from the problematic situation works just as well. The advantage of explaining yourself as you do this, however, is that (a) it becomes a habit, so that you get in the habit of reasoning first rather than hitting first, and (b) after a while, it does start to sink in: the seeds you sow in the mind of the two-year-old will eventually bear fruit in the mind of the five- or six-year-old, and they've learned a much more useful lesson than "if I do such-and-such, Mommy will hit me".

So, yeah, depends. But it's not a "discipline" technique I would ever use myself.

Rhonda - posted on 07/17/2010

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I was spanked, and thus spanked my kids while they were growing up. Since that time, I have cared for MANY children and have come to have a different view, based on alternative methods I have seen work.
I would NOT spank my kids if I could re-do it.
Instead, I would try re-directing them when they are very little.
As they grow older I would use simple words to tell them what I want them to do, rather than telling them simply not to do something.
I would have a time-out spot where the children could be alone safely (a high-chair works well for toddlers). I believe they should not be spoken to or interacted while they are in time out. (1 minute for each year-old they are.)
Before they would be allowed to leave the time-out area I would talk with them, asking them to repeat the lesson I want them to learn, such as, "Hitting hurts, I will use my words next time instead of hitting." Obviously, this will be something children will only be able to do when they are able to express their thoughts. With younger toddlers, practicing "nice touches" with the child they hit can be effective. You may have to do some role-playing, demonstrate, and help them with the action needed.
After the learning time is over, follow up with lots of affection, and reassurance that you know your child is going to make good choices because they are such a nice person.

Jennifer - posted on 07/17/2010

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i agree with Lisa. i couldn't imagine purposely causing my son physical pain for the sake of teaching him a lesson when there are other, more loving ways to teach him.

i also agree with jaime...there is a huge difference between punishment, and discipline, and that spanking teaches fear.

i was never spanked. my parents taught me logic, and how my behavior effects the world around me and that was all that was needed. it taught me how to make good decisions simply because it was a good decision, not because i was afraid of what my parents would do to me.

Samantha - posted on 07/17/2010

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Spanking is very effective....I haven't spanked my daughter because she is so young but only do it out of love not out of anger.

Jodi - posted on 07/17/2010

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Personally, I find other methods more effective with my children. I have spanked, and I just think there are other methods of discipline which work just as well, if not better.

Lyndsay - posted on 07/17/2010

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I definitely think that spanking, if done properly, is effective. If you use it is your one and only go-to discipline method, then no it is not going to work. But if you reserve a swat on the butt for really, really bad behaviour or situations where you mean business and you want your child to tune into that right away, I think it works wonders. I rarely ever spank my son, but on the occasions that I've done so he's been put in his place rather quickly.

I'm also a child psychology major and, as a mom, I don't think that all of the book stuff directly correlates with real life.

Jaime - posted on 07/17/2010

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NOT effective! I feel the same way that Lisa does. Kids don't need to be punished...they're not criminals. Kids need to learn discipline and be disciplined. If parents truly want to acquire effective means of discipline, then their actions also have to reflect self-control and the understanding that our job as parents is to guide our children by way of communication! Spanking teaches nothing but fear and in my opinion it is an abuse of power.

Lisbeth - posted on 07/17/2010

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Exactly Lisa- I really believe that to raise a well rounded individual you need to show them love and not that I am bigger than you so you have to listen to me or else.

Minnie - posted on 07/17/2010

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Oh, I suppose that one can create a little robot that jumps everytime you command, but that's not my goal as a parent.

I choose to nurture a trusting relationship with my daughters, and to create compassionate free-thinkers. Our relationship is based on mutual respect.

Gretchen - posted on 07/17/2010

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I believe in spanking and at the same tome to teach them respect for their parents...Also explain to them why they are being punished.... I have not come to this point yet with my son, but I believe a simple "time out" is not very effective - from what I have noticed with my nieces and nephews. I was spanked as a kid...I think I turned out ok too...

Deborah - posted on 07/17/2010

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Personally I was spanked, and I think I turned out ok.

I have on occassion spanked Laura, but I found that she would hit me and tell me she was smaking me, so I don't do any more. Every time she hits me I can't help think "monkey see monkey do"

Lisbeth - posted on 07/17/2010

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I don't believe it works there are better parenting methods. Like showing love.

Katherine - posted on 07/17/2010

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Is this research? If it is you will need permission. email Herna-herna@circleofmoms.com



Thanks,

Katherine

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