To spank or not to spank

Lola - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 242 moms have responded )

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Upon reviewing some of the questions and replies to the questions I found it interesting to see the underlying debate about whether parents should spank their children or not. There are very strong feelings for both sides. I was raised by the belt and it worked. I dreaded getting in trouble and I greatly appreciate dicipline when I got out of line. When we were older, my mother joined a group called "tough love" which only seem to make things worse. They told her to stop spanking and start grounding or do time outs and such. When this happend I notice a VERY different behavior in my siblilngs (3) and I. I felt like I was getting off easy and rebelled a lot more. I do belive in spanking, however, there are certain circumstances that it should not be done, such as when you are angry-never hit out of anger that teaches a child to hit when angry. I explain the difference between a bad consequence for actions and hitting out of anger to my oldest, he grasps this very well, and so did I when I was younger. There also needs to be some constent boundaries and rules, if I do this, I get this as a consequence. It should never be left to whatever mood the parent is in at the moment. People are telling me spanking is wrong, although it isn't the majority of the parents I talk to. I just look at how things are going in the world today and see that the dicipline of old is being lost and i think it shows in how peopel behave today but that is a whole new topic anyway, I thought I would get some opinions on this topic.

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Amy - posted on 12/16/2008

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Spanking doesn't work when done in anger, out of control, with your hands (hands are for love NOT hitting) or because you want to manipulate your child to behave for your selfish ego. It does work when done due to willful and direct disobedience, with an attitude of loving / control, and with an inanimate object such as a rubber spatula. Some experts on this subject are Dr. David and Maxine Broom from Zimbabwe. When my husband and I put into practice their very practical tips on this subject we saw great results! BTW We have seven children and when I am out in public with all of my children I often get compliments on how well behaved they are. :)

Bernadette - posted on 12/16/2008

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for me personally, spanking is too easy for people to use wrong. the way its been explained here it seems like a carefully calculated, not too hard, not too soft, at a specific time and location.....yeah right.

Jennifer - posted on 12/16/2008

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I believe that when we physically discipline our children, we are sending the wrong message- that it is okay to hit. How can we expect them to abide by that rule, when we don't? I have 2 children, and when one of them deliberately breaks a rule, it sometimes makes me angry. If I were to spank them, I would be hitting them not to teach them a lesson on consequences, but for myself, out of anger.. I find it hard to believe that there aren't other parents out there like me who also find themselves angry when their kids are acting up. Most people I know don't have enough self control to take a 30 second breather to calm down before administering physical discipline, so they too, would likely be hitting out of anger. If we expect our children to know that hitting is not okay, we should not be doing it to them.

Tracy - posted on 12/16/2008

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Lola, you asked for people's opinions on a topic that most of us view as black and white. It is silly to complain that the responses are judgmental and biased toward one side or the other. People who view spanking as hitting and unnecessary violence toward children are simply not going to buy into the "okay to spank" mindset. If you want opinions, that's fine--as you can see, everyone is more than ready to weigh in--but it's unreasonable to ask for them and then complain that you don't like the tone or the content.



As a psychotherapist and someone who "survived" spanking as a child, I can tell you that spanking is never the BEST option, and in my home is never an option, period. Hitting begets pain, fear and usually more hitting. Hitting is hitting, no matter what you call it. Normally I try to respect and understand the unique cultures we all come from, because there is some validity to everyone's perspective. However, the line for me is hitting or otherwise abusing children. Although CA WIC law is soft on this point, I feel obligated to point out that anyone witnessing any kind of violence toward a child can anonymously call Child Protective Services and report that violence--not to be a jerk and make life miserable for someone, but because you are seeing a violent act being committed. If I saw someone hitting a child in public, you can believe I'd be watching carefully as I pull out my cell phone. JUST as I also would if I saw a grown man hitting another grown man...or a woman...or a dog...or a giraffe, while we're at it.



Regarding not hitting in anger--who hits a child when they are not angry about something that child has just done? Because if that's the case, you're saying that people (or maybe just you) are hitting their children when they are in a reasonable, calm, rational and loving state of mind. Personally, if I'm in that state of mind, I'm not going to turn around and hit my daughter, and I don't know personally anyone else who would. And none of our kids are in prison, or hurting others, or breaking all the rules. So there's something about your argument that doesn't seem to hold true.



Speaking of which, since when is it not okay for kids to break some rules? How else do they learn independence, and learn from mistakes? The whole point of a child growing up is to learn how to be their own person. Hitting a child in order to effect full and total BLIND compliance with what I determine to be the rules seems very, very unreasonable, and damaging beyond belief. What am I teaching my daughter if I do that? That all rules are to be obeyed without question, and mistakes are punishable with violence. It makes me very sad even to contemplate. I like my kiddo the way she is. I don't want an obedient little robot; I want a child who values obedience because she recognizes the value of obeying in a particular circumstance.



Learning to be a disciplined human being is important, and it is also important to learn to think for yourself; to question that which is unjust; to define your OWN values and morals within the context of your culture, and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You teach a child to fear, and I'm fairly certain that although they will still learn good lessons, they may have a harder time learning other, more important things.



Hitting your child is, to many of us, the lazy way out. There are much, much better ways to keep your child safe, help him understand right from wrong, and all the other things kids need to learn.



There are tons of free and low cost ways to learn about more humane, loving methods of disciplining your child. You can start at your local library (free). You can take a parenting class from your community education catalogue (free, sometimes small fee). You can have open minded (free) discussions with other parents--on Circle of Moms! You can talk to a therapist (very effective, but not free)!! :-)



I am always surprised at the number of parents who are willing to take what to me and my peers is the thoughtless route, which is to take advantage of your superior size, knowledge and power over your child to bully them into doing what you want them to do. I think that's part of why "non-hitters" are so apalled by hitting--it's seems so blatantly cruel, the sort of thing that a school bully or a very angry, frustrated person would do when he fears his weaknesses being exposed. Sorry, those of you who believe in hitting your kids, but the rest of us know something you don't--hitting is always wrong and always some form of abuse.



I think a big part of the misunderstanding between hitters and non-hitters is that first of all, being open to another's argument means facing your fear of having to assimilate some of what they say, and secondly, recognizing hitters really don't believe they are being cruel or abusive or bullying. They really don't. They think it's the most loving way to protect their child from what is sometimes a cruel world. The thing is, we have some proof that hitting isn't effective, and NO proof that hitting benefits kids, no matter how much ad hoc evidence anyone claims to have.



By the way, I deliberately changed my language from "spanking" to "hitting" for what I hope are obvious reasons...

Tracy - posted on 12/16/2008

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I did not read through every post but what I wanted to say is I commend the parents who have well behaved children. Whatever you are doing is working for you so as long as you are not abusing or neglecting your child, you must be doing something right. I have a 3 year old son who is really struggling with good behavior. Luckily his preschool is great, otherwise we would have recieved the boot by now. I am not a supporter of spanking, however I wont lie, I have spanked my son. To be honest though, one of his issues is hitting other children and I believe by spanking him all I have taught him is to hit more so I don't spank him anymore. Time outs don't work for him either. If any of the mom's that have such well behaved kids have some tips, I am in desperate need of some.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/16/2008

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I must admit that I haven't read ALL of the posts on this page. I will use my 5 kids as an excuse. But I did want to say a couple of things to Monica. First of all, my kids know very clearly the difference between hitting and spanking. We always spank on a covered bottom. Once, I accidentally missed and swatted my sons leg. He immediately said, "Mommy! You hit me!" I apologized to him for my mistake but it cleared up any concerns I had about whether he understood the difference. We do use a combination of punishments that we feel fit the offense. Our purpose is not for punishment but for training. The one thing that concerns me about time out is the message to the child that if you are bad you must be separated from your family. God says that nothing can ever separate us from His love and I hope my children will know that the same is true of my love. In light of both of these concerns, I feel that my responsibility to train them in a way that will lead them to the best life possible is worth the risk. A big thing that we all as mothers need to accept is that we will never be perfect. I can not judge you, but accept that we are all in the same boat. We all love our kids and will do our best for them but will undoubtedly fail in one area or another. Don't make the mistake that I made in thinking that because my 4 year old could make it through the grocery store without event, that meant that I was doing everything right and should insist on everyone doing things the my way. Being a mom is so discouraging at times. We really need each other to keep on going.

Jennifer - posted on 12/16/2008

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I can't say I agree with it but I can't say I disagree with it. It's a tough call. I haven't had to spank my son but I can't say that I never, ever would. I think it would all depend on the circumstances. I've seen a girl I know hit her 3 year old repeatedly for nothing really. Just for him being a 3 year old. And it makes me angry and sad for the little guy. So mabye I won't ever hit my son, but I maybe I will if I feel it would get my point across in an extreme cases.

Natalie - posted on 12/16/2008

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lola i said IF I HAVE TO TELL HER 5 TIMES THEN I WILL TELL HER 5 TIMES i didnt say i had to do it 5 times she understands very well thank u very much...so by u spankin ur son wen he touches a hot stove ur jus makin him scared that if he touches it u will spank him..now as wen i tell my daughter no dont touch it she knos she is not allowed..i dont want my daughter to fear me im sorry this is jus me..i need my daughter to trust me especially as she gets older i want her to come to me if god for bid she is in trouble not fear me..where as i have that kind of bond wit my mom..i can tell her anythin..n growin up it was like that too..i hardly hid nethin from her..

User - posted on 12/16/2008

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It's as simple as this. There is a HUGE difference between a spanking and a beating (not a "fine line" like others have said). If you spank so hard that you leave a mark, then it's too much. It's all up to you. Forget what everybody else has posted. You use what works for YOUR family. Spank or don't. It's your CHOICE.

[deleted account]

Oh, another thing...it might be helpful to include the definiton of spanking as "Spanking is defined as the open handed non-injurious physical discipline on the extremities or buttocks of a child for the purpose of modifying behaviour". Some of us (including myself) have the tendency to define it as abuse without blinking an eye.



Now looking at research, it is quite controversial. Some suggest that spanking creates a gap in the relationship between parents and child, that it teaches your child to hit when dealing with a problem, and that some kids adopt the 'I'm a bad kid' attitude. It often questions parents by asking "If spanking works, why is your child still 'misbehaving'?"



On the other side, some research has included 'violent families' in their studies, which alter its results. Also, research suggests that spanking is most effective between the ages of 2-6 and when done in a 'loving manner', a child's negative behaviour can be modified on a short-term.



So who is right? I truly believe it is subjective. What works for me, may not work for you (and vice versa). From previous posts, I don't understand why people are so forceful with their views in attacking others. This is a forum to express opinions and not change others' views. It is surely a controversial topic and thank you for all the insight!

June - posted on 12/16/2008

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up on reading most of these comence i must admitte i do smake but only and i mean onmy when nesersary, i try very much to disapline them but taking away or grounding them till they learn but i have a 14 year old who like to think she is twenty and knows better than me or anyone else, and thins i donot tolerrate, so i am sorry if i upset anyone but they dont live in my house and i do have 4 children and the small ones have got to the point where they seem to be coping and this i will not tollerate, so once again im sorry if i put anyone nose out of joint, but i live by my rules not there and i was brought up by my mum who took no shit of anyone and was told to do as we were told, and i have soooooo much repect for her even now and she is in her 64 and im 41 , so there we go,

[deleted account]

As parents, we have to do whatever works with our children. I am fortunate that my son has always been a calm and understanding boy. From an early age, we always exposed him to dangerous situations and told him what his actions should/should not be (ex: I would take his little hands close to the oven door until he felt a bit of heat, and I would explain that the door was hot...he never felt the need to touch it).

However, things changed when my daughter was born. She was colicky for 3 months and with an average of 3-4 hours of sleep a night, I was darn cranky. My patience was running low, and I did not have the time/patience to explain things any longer. I noticed a steep decline in his behaviour ... being defiant, not listening, and at times rude. I have no idea how many times he went to the naughty room. It later dawned on me that he was simply trying to get my attention and get 'his mommy' back. As soon as I changed MY behaviour, he changed his as well. It has been smooth sailing from there...even through the 'terrible potty training' era.

Someone posted earlier that kids do not show respect for authority....being a teacher...I agree with that! But when I investigate the child's environment and his/her circumstances, I begin to understand.



To all parents that spank: it is your right to discipline your children they way you desire, and I am not reprimanding anyone for it. But it's not my cup of tea. During the 'colic' stage, I remember 'losing it' on my son (who kept on peeing all over the place thinking he was Tarzan) and I yelled so loud that to this day I still recall him being petrified by my actions. I vowed never to again ... and I haven't since.

Lola - posted on 12/16/2008

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Liz,



I have noticed when my eldest son got older (he is four now) I didn’t have to spank him anymore. He can be disciplined pretty much by sending him to his room or showing my disappointment in his behavior. It is rare that I his behavior warrants a spanking (usually when he is in his room and he starts kicking the walls and doors, I will go in and warn him and explain that kicking the door is not okay-he can yell in his room all he wants and throw a fit, but he can’t kick the door and be destructive). My son doesn’t like it when I yell either. In the past I found that I was yelling a lot and nothing was being accomplished, my son still wasn’t listening. So I tried to yell less, explain more about choices having good and bad consequences. This works a whole lot better then yelling.

Lola - posted on 12/16/2008

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Natalie,



To answer your question, no I don’t think my 14 month old is too young to spank. I am not sure how you picture it when someone says they “spank” their child but I usually give him a light swat on the bottom (it is also padded and doesn’t hurt every much he just does the fake cry). He gets the point. He is to young to explain it too, but he understands that he isn’t supposed to be grabbing something. This helps especially when he is trying to reach for dangerous things (like if I am cooking, he used to try to run in when I had the hot oven door open) he wanted to touch it. Anyway, I was a little surprised when you said you had to tell your daughter 5 times sometimes to stop doing something. Is that in the same day? When I spank my son he might attempt it once more but he when he does, I say his name firmly, then he gives me that innocent “I am not doing anything” (testing the boundaries). He has never done it more then twice in a row. He might try again on another day but when I say his name he stops and moves on to something else. Eventually he stops altogether. We have these very old cookbooks that are kept in a drawer he can open. He used to try to grab them and ripped one of the pages one time, but after a week or so he gave up on that and I haven’t have trouble with that in over 2 months now. I can see your reasoning for the spanking seeming to be the same thing as telling her no several times. But when I tried this with my son, he basically kept trying to do it over and over again. He didn’t see a good reason why he shouldn’t and when I moved him to another room he would just fight me to get back to what he was doing. So I find the swat and the harsh tone (when saying his name) is rather affective.

Julie - posted on 12/16/2008

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I think after a certain age spankings don't work. My 7 year old gets more out of a lecture of something taken away. She laughs at me when I spake her, she thinks it is funny. Although my son that is 16 months understands a tap on the bottom or slap on the hands. And of coarse I only do this after all else has failed.

Maria - posted on 12/16/2008

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Well coming from a home where a spanking was like a beating way out of control. I now as a 39 year old mother of 3 do believe spanking is needed in some situations. 1-2-3 spanks on the bottom is all you need for children under the age of eight. As they get older you can start take items away phone, music players, video game and so on.

Tammy - posted on 12/16/2008

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NO HITTING KIDS, THATS IT! why even ask, anyone who hits kids should be locked up! Anyone who believes in hitting should be hit by someone bigger then themselves!

[deleted account]

Wow...what a forum! I was raised by the belt and in my opinion spanking does not work. It is a short solution that will in turn create long term problems. Like some people have already commented, these children will 'fear' the consequences, and not really 'understand' them. It's a 50/50 draw! We have opted to use the 'naughty boy' room for my son. We count to 3 for him to change his behaviour, and if he persists, he will remain in that room for 3 minutes (his age). When he comes out, we ask him why he was placed in time-out, and ask for an apology. Kids are quite intelligent and we should treat them as such. They will model the behaviour that they see. I surely don't want my children to use violence whenever they feel they have to solve a problem. Giving rewards or taking them away are just as effective. In short, I live by the following poem...



Children Learn What They Live

by Dorothy Law Nolte



If a child lives with criticism. He learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility. He learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule. He learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame. He learns to feel guilty.



If a child lives with tolerance. He learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement. He learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise. He learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness. He learns justice.



If a child lives with security. He learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval. He learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship.

He learns to find love in the world.

Natalie - posted on 12/16/2008

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i dont think tough love is the only way to go..n tough love isnt necessary spanking neway..i was not spanked my brothers werent either n they are fine..n they listen to my mom wen she says somethin of cuz there r days wen they are a lil outta control but she jus takes somethin away from them,,i think tough love is jus bein hard on someone..n i dont think in my case a 16 month old baby needs tough love they jus need love ...i think my daughter is to young to be gettin spanked n i think some ppl spank their kids at a age where they shudnt be gettin spanked..i duno my daughter respnds well to the tell her no until she stops technique..maybe a 14 yr old who did somethin wrong needs tough love n not spankin..like not goin out for a few days or takin somethin they realli like away n stickin to it not givin in

Lori - posted on 12/16/2008

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I don't believe there is anything wrong with spanking but it is not the answer for every situation. I only spanked (one firm tap on the bum) my children when they were younger and it was more to get their attention when they were doing something really wrong. Once they became older I found if you just sat them done and spoke to them (about their behavour and what they had done and why they did it) then dished out their punishment and stuck to it, they learned from their mistakes (some took a little longer). Parents need to spend more quality time with their children, really listen when being spoken to, and don't talk down to them. Being open with your children and letting them know they can talk to you about anything and you will answer them truthfully goes a long way. Let them know if they have done something wrong and lie to about it they will get it in alot more trouble then if they are honest. I have three daughters 16, 14 and 12 who are very polite and respectful young ladies(have been told by many that this is true) to their elders, peers and those younger then them. Don't get me wrong they still get into trouble but kids will be kids and will always try to push the boundries.

Rachel - posted on 12/16/2008

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I wrote about this topic for an assignment at school. Reports show that most moms are actually in favor of spanking. There is a fine line, however, and spanking and beating are two totally different things. Discipline has gone by the wayside as time has gone on and kids are showing us the results. Tough love is the only way to go.

Liz - posted on 12/16/2008

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My kids hate when I yell, so I when i ask them to do something and they don't do it the first time, the second time I have to ask I tell them "I've asked you twice you nicely, next time it will not be nice" Or the 1-2-3 threat always works, we have a naughty chair they have to go sit in if it gets to 3. My kids have gotten spankings mostly when they were little and throwing tantrums, it seemed to snap them out of it. They are older now so grounding works better.

Natalie - posted on 12/15/2008

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ok so u guys know from previous posts of mine if u read them i dont spank my daughter n i am not guna spank her..but i jus wana kno somethin some of u z who are spankin ur kids..u dont think some of ur kids are too young to be gettin spanked?im jus curious cuz my daughter is 16 months n even if i believed in spankin i think she is too young to be spanked thats my opinion..wen my daughter does somethin wrong i tell her no n if she does it 5 more times til she understands no then i keep doin it for example..say she touches somethin shes not suppose to i simply take it from her n tell her no n put it back where it was n then if she does it again i do the same..plus i feel like this is teachin her she cant touch it mommy sed no n i can put it back where it was witout havin to rearrange all my things ...i think its the same as if u spank a child becuz jus say i spanked her n told her no n then she went to touch it again n i spanked her again..thats y to me there is no point in spankin..i think there are other ways to discipline kids..=)

Missy - posted on 12/15/2008

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Hi! My two cents are this: The root word of discipline is disciple which very simply put means to teach. If as we grow are children we are not teaching them we can never correctly discipline them. So, I am a "spanker." But I never spank "in anger" and I ALWAYS follow up with an explanation of what the events were that led up to the consequence and then discuss the behavior that is expected immediately after the correction. Meaning, I take the time (after we've hugged for a minute) to have my daughter try "it" again encouraging her that I know she can make the good or right choice. Then I praise her like crazy for doing that thing well. She has always done it too. So, that's what's working for us for now, hope that helps.

Lola - posted on 12/12/2008

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Barbara,



Thanks for the info on the tiger trainer. I never did hear the whole story. Personally, I never trust animals (because they instinct driven). I have had several instances where family dogs had started biting, etc. Growing up, I did get the “don’t smoke” speech, but I never did it, not because of my parents disapproval but because I never saw any good purpose for doing it. I think it depends a great deal on the person and their personalities and habits and since we are all different we perceive things differently. I like to hear stores about how other people experience things. It makes a little more sense to me about you ending your participation when your child exhibits bad behavior. In some situations I realize I do this but there are times when my four year old (in the testing the boundaries stage) will do things just to get our attention. He get jealous sometimes of his baby brother, so to compensate I make the effort to try to spend more one on one time with him so he doesn’t feel left out and I also try to get him helping out to “take care” of brother. Thanks for your thoughts

Amber - posted on 12/12/2008

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i stand by the spell check comment. re-read your posts...each word. you'll see what i mean. i'm done on this post, so don't bother replying to me--i won't see it.

maybe if i wasn't spanked as a child i wouldn't be so hard-headed. i feared my parents instead of respecting them.

Megan - posted on 12/11/2008

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Hi! I have a 10 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and a 1 and a half year old boy. We use the 1,2, 3 magic method. Where you count to three as a warning and on three give a swat. We have used it with all our children. My daughter now responds well to losing privileges, etc. We havent' spanked her in years. My 4 year old is very much in a testing phase. He will get to 3 about once every couple months, just to see if we will still be consistent. The baby mostly just gets a firm No! and a smack on the hand. My sister and I were spanked, a lot. I don't spank nearly as often or as harshly as my parents, but live and learn!

Tracy - posted on 12/11/2008

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Thanks Barbara, I got what you are trying to say. I don't like the " well i was spanked and turned out fine" arguments as justification. it's like saying "Well my mom smoked/drank while pregnant with me...," or "we never wore seat belts...." "I never wore a bike helmet when i was a kid" Etc... and " we turned out fine" - yes, you probably did. BUT many others did NOT - there are decades of research on child development. We KNOW that smoking and drinking are bad for a fetus, that seat belts and helmets save lives... just because "we survived it" doesn't mean it didn't put us at risk. and certainly doesn't justify continuing the behaviors. research has proven there are better ways to discipline than hitting.... all of you posting that got hit and turned out great... ask yourself this did you turn out great BECAUSE you were spanked? is that the defining action of your parents efforts? I'd guess not. They were probably caring and concerned and supportive and had high expectations that you were expected to meet. We all do the best we can with our kids. but if we don't take new information into account, we are destined to repeat our mistakes.

Barbara - posted on 12/11/2008

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Tracy- I really liked your second post. I've been attempting to express some of those same viewpoints, but have been unable to do so as concisely as you have managed. Very nicely said!

Lola- Thanks for the clarification between consequence and punishment. I get it now. And I will refrain from using tigers in any future analogy. I sometimes forget that not everyone has spent years of their lives studying their behavior, and have some misconceptions about them. BTW, Roy Horn (the magician you referred to in your post) was not attacked by his tiger. He fell in front of him during an A to B behavior. The tiger carried him by the neck to the B spot to get his food reward, incidentally puncturing his neck in the process. If he had been bitten in the neck during an actual attack there would be more than just the little puncture that there was. Sorry for going on, but the guy is a good animal trainer that got unlucky in front of a crowd and I feel that he needs a little vindication.
Anyway, I think that I should explain what I mean by "ignore the bad." It's not that I would let my kids kill each other in front of me without stepping in, its that I'm not going to give a big reaction to behavior I don't want to promote. An example would be that I didn't ever start smoking, even though I kind of wanted to. The reason why wasn't because I thought I would get into trouble. Actually I knew I wouldn't. But I knew my parents didn't like to associate with people who smoked. It's not that they refused to befriend smokers, they just were less likely to want to hang out with them again. They held them in a mildly palpable disdain that was evident to us growing up. They never gave me a "don't smoke" speech, and they didn't need to.
Some of my friends smoked like chimneys any chance they got, and were in terror of their parents whooping them if they were caught. Yet they persisted. Why? I believe it happens when parents create an adversarial relationship with their children. If that is the role they are given, to be at odds with their parents, then that is what they will be.
So, if my son does something that we don't like, then we end our participation. That is what I mean by ignore the bad. We give as little attention to bad behavior as we can, and focus on the positive. I hope this helps to explain my point of view a little more clearly. (Or maybe I'll get lucky again and Tracy will say it better for me!)

Lola - posted on 12/11/2008

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Tina,



Aubry didn’t interoperate it incorrectly per say. The very fact that it is “open to interoperation” means that different people will view it in different ways.



Interpretation One: Rod is meant to spank



In it’s original Hebrew ,there are five passages that refer to disciplining with a “shebet” (in English this is called the “rod”) There are several interpretations. The first being the rod is a wooden stick, stout club, staff or tree branch. The rod was also used as a symbol of authority to show a king’s power, and instrument of miracles Ex 4:20, 7:9, 12:19f talks about the “rod of God” used for disciplining people (including children) also see (Prov 3:11-12 Prov 22:15) ; Heb 12:5-11)



Proverbs 23:13-14 is speaking about using the rod for beating. It was customary for shepherds to use staffs when guiding and creating boundaries for sheep and the rod to not only discipline sheep but enemies of sheep as well. Psalm 23:4 also says “thy rod AND your staff, thy comfort me.



(Prov 23:13-14) King Solomon said “Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beat him with a ROD, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” Other passages in the bible (Colossians 3:21) says “since god would not approve of child abuse, if follows that whatever instrument is used for spanking, should get the job done without inflicting INAPPROPRIATE or unnecessary damage to the child’s body.”



Interpretation two: Rod is mean figuratively



Proverbs is a book of poetry (which often uses figurative language) Prov 22:15 refers to a rod of correction (meaning non-violent) method of correction. Prov 23:13 says “if thou beat him with the rod, he shall not die” we all know if you beat a anyone severely enough they can die from this. Exodus 21:20 talks about a man being punished if he beats his salves. The word “Shebet” could also mean “God’s authority”



Proverbs 22:15: "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."



It could go on. Each person will decided for themselves how to raise their children. There are great arguments presented from both sides on this page. In the end everyone will just decide for themselves the best path to raise their children.

Lola - posted on 12/11/2008

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Amber,



I was in no way speaking to adults as if they were four, that is just how you took my message. It is okay to have strong feelings, just be careful how the messages are worded (as tone is hard to judge, point taken from reading both our messages). The negativity was seen the tone in your message started sound critical when you said “I love how people try to justify it though..” and “btw Spell check” and then you follow with a comment about the mom putting the kid outside being “freaking great. I picture a very sarcastic tone when you are writing these and they come off as harsh.

Tracy - posted on 12/11/2008

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I think it's interesting that anyone would want their children to fear them. i can't imagine why anyone would want that. IMHO I think the problem with society is there is no RESPECT for authority (parents/teachers/etc) and no fear of the consequences.
If your child fears you, they will not confide in you when there is a problem or trouble. If your child respects you and knows you are there to support and comfort you, but fears DISAPPOINTING you, you will have a child that comes to you for help before that happens.
Respect must be a two way street, you teach respect to a child by modeling it, towards them and towards the other adults in their lives. the same way you teach manners -- by using them. You can't spank a child into respecting you.
I'm a teacher too, and like Megan, I can always tell the child that gets spanked or hit at home, but NOT because they listen better - but because they are the ones hitting the other children. Aggression teaches aggression.

Tracy - posted on 12/11/2008

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There is a big difference between a spanking and a "whooping " or beating. A swat on the bottom can be effective when used for major issues and not for every little thing. my 11 year old has been swatted (one spank, bare hand, on diapered bottom) when he ran into a street, and when he tried to grab something off a hot stove. In both cases it made such a strong impact he never did either again. HOWEVER.... using anything but your hand, and hitting in ANY way that leaves a bruise is over the top and is the definition of abuse in many states. being struck with a belt, paddle, switch, etc - is abusive. That's not an opinion. it's the law (at least in IL)

There are MANY alternatives to physical discipline. The key is to start at a young age, and to be CONSISTENT. If you are dealing with young children ( toddlers and up) i strongly recommend the book 1-2-3 Magic. it's easy to read and very helpful. In 10 years i think i've actually reached "3" once.

Natalie - posted on 12/11/2008

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Lola-i know you had stated before that you had started this thread so you could get other point of views on the issue.i am just stating my opinion and saying no matter who tells me they spank or dont spank their kid(s)im not going to change my mind.i know it is ok to disagree...and my last comment wasnt towards you..it seems like in some of these posts some mothers are pushing the issue of saying if you dont spank your kids they wont grow up the right way..etc..which like i said before is not true me and all of my brothers were not spanked and we are doing just fine =).i agree if a kid does something wrong they need to be disciplined but again discipline does not have to mean getting spanked.my daughter is 16 months and even as she gets older i am not going to spank her...i am doing and will do the best i can do for her just because i dont spank her doesnt mean she is going to get away with everything and grow up having no respect...

Tina - posted on 12/11/2008

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Aubry read the bible and interpret it correctly, the bible uses spare the rod, spoil the child as an analogy for discipline. It does not literally mean to hit your child, it means to correct your child with a discipline. If you are going to sit here and claim the bible says verbatum to spank your child, you do not know how to interpret the scriptures.

Thank you.

Megan - posted on 12/11/2008

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Whether you believe the Bible or not was not the point I was trying to make, I was simply stating why I believe in spanking (in earlier posts) and why I wished I had been spanked as a child. As long as you feel in your heart that you are doing the best you can by your kids in how you raise them, care for them, 'discipline them, etc, then that is great! As a Christian, I know I will be held accountable one day for how I raised my children. Although no mom is perfect, I believe I am doing the best I can for my children. They are not abused in any way, but totally the opposite! They know we (my husband and I) love them with all we have and would lay down our lives for them were it necessary. They are our pride and joy in life. We do all we can to provide for them and see that they grow up in a happy, healthy environment - our Home. Everyone must raise their own child/children as they see fit and as they feel is the right way. Thanks again for allowing me to share! Best wishes and Merry Christmas to all!

Amber - posted on 12/11/2008

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you might want to refrain from speaking to adults like they're 4. i wasn't negative, just my opinion.

Lola - posted on 12/11/2008

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Natalie,



In response to your comments. It is okay to disagree. Not everyone has the same perspective and the point in this thread wasn’t to make people “change” their viewpoints. I just started it because I like to learn what other people think about the subject.



Amber,



Please refrain from negativity, being harsh only makes people angry and get defensive. This usually means they won’t listen to a think you are saying. Thank you for your view point. The only comment I wish to respond to at this time is the point about their being laws against spanking...Just because there are “Laws” that doesn’t make it right or wrong. A good example of this from the recent election is Prop 8 and the whole gay marriage. People are still fighting that one way or the other. Which side is wrong? The answer is neither. That topic, like this one is a matter of personal opinion. I think spanking is okay, you don’t. Neither one of us is right or wrong. It is a personal choice we all make and our comments should be respectful of others viewpoints.

Natalie - posted on 12/11/2008

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amber-yea i hadnt read that one til u mentioned it..that is a lil extreme lol..and this is to aubrey ok abuse n spanking is different..but i chose not to spank my daughter and jus like i sed be4 noone will change the way i raise or discipline my daughter..so even tho u say the bible says is ok isnt goin to change my opinion on the matter..i dont kno about the other momz but it def isnt changin mine..

Amber - posted on 12/10/2008

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the first comment was to everyone & 2nd was to 'nerida' up a ways in the thread. she talked about putting her kid outside if he hit the cat. i was just reading through this earlier and was absolutely amazed at some of the stuff i was reading. absolutely shocked. i guess we all have different ideas of what being a mom is. i agreed with the posts of yours that i read,though.

Megan - posted on 12/10/2008

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Actually, Shakespeare said, 'Spare the rod, spoil the child.' The Bible does say, 'He that hateth his son, spareth the rod.' I ,as a child, was not spanked hardly at all. I honestly wish I had been. It would have been so much better and easier for my life had I been made to learn a valuable lesson. I pay for it dearly on a regular basis. This is not to stir up any anger or cause a heated debate...it is simply my viewpoint on how I wish my parents had given me spankings as a child instead of going through life and having to learn SO many things the hard way. Thanks for allowing me to share!

Julie - posted on 12/10/2008

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I think it depends on your state of being when you spank. If you are calm and in control verses angry and out of control. I believe the Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child.

However- I don't believe this permits beatings per say.

I think the world today is full of the work of our enemy and most of all we want to teach our children to accept they have done wrong and then to repent.

How to bring this about is often difficult because we humans are all about "self" and especially children.

Our daughter who is now close to 20 years old - was so strong willed that taking things away from her- rarely worked and time out worked when she was very small..spanking worked although admittedly some times it was done while angry and out of control.I wishe I could say we were good parents however we did lose it. I am hopeful that whatever damage we parents do while parenting that God fixes what we have done wrong and that we can repent to Him and our children when the time is right. Parenting is the toughest job in the world and it is one that we never really retire from..I have a 30 year old- almost 20 year old and a 14 year old. I will be 50 next month. I find the struggle of parenting though to be one we must continue to seek the Lord in all matters and do what is best for each of our children. Each is different. My 14 year old son is so compliant that all I have to do is change my tone to one of dismay or preturbed or angry and he still may tear up and feel so terrible..He still is slow to come with a "sorry" so most of all please hear repentence is what we what to see from our children. For they will do wrong again just as we do.

Amber - posted on 12/10/2008

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i love the mom that locks her kid outside for hitting the cat...HA! 4 years old and you lock him out?!? that's freaking great...hopefully it's snowing and he's just barefoot & in jammies. lovely. locking a kid outside in oregon. some people should just NOT procreate.

Amber - posted on 12/10/2008

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if you want your children to respect their bodies, shouldn't you? how does hitting a child teach them anything about the real world? it's a ridiculous practice and there are laws against it. i love how people try to justify it though...tell yourselves whatever you need to make yourselves feel better--they are your children, do what you will with their lives. btw--**spell check** is an awesome tool...you should check it out.

Natalie - posted on 12/10/2008

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ok lola fair enuff. i agree voicing our opinions is good..im jus sayin the way i discipline my daughter is not guna change reguardless of who thinks it is or isnt a good idea..i chose not to spank my daughter..she is still young but i am not guna spank her even as she gets older.i was not spanked growin up n i grew up jus fine...but again i am not against or attackin any mothers who believe in it..i jus dont agree wit ppl sayin if u dun spank ur kid(s)they wont grow up the rite way..

Lola - posted on 12/10/2008

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Natalie,



The debate for me is just to get other view points on the topic. I helps to gain some new ideas or perspective. It isn't necessarily going to change how I would choose to dicipline my children. But it is good to voice our thoughts to see how other parents feel about the same issues. This is what we as parents do on a variety of issues to get new ideas or to test my ideas with others. It helps us learn or it reinforces what we already belived.

[deleted account]

People are going to do what works for them. I think many of us were brought up with it being within a normal parameter of what is acceptable. I have never spanked my kids and choose not too. I think that when you spank/hit it models to them how to hit. I don't think most parents handle spankings when they are calm so to say there is not anger involved then you would be a special case. I think for many it could lead to a loss of control and border on abuse. I have found even yelling can be abusive to an extent. More than likely the kids that if the kids are out of control all the time and time outs mean nothing are more than likely here has been a lack of structure as well as lack of consistency. I am a mom of 2 and a teacher and cannot tell you how powerful those things are. But like I said people will do what they want to.

Natalie - posted on 12/09/2008

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ok i mentioned this before..im not for spanking..i cud read all of these over n over n personally its not for me..everyone has their own outlook on it..n everyone has the rite to treat their kids the way they want wen they do something wrong..if u wana spank ur kid wen they do somethin wrong that is ur business.but y is there such a debate goin on?who is neone to tell neone how to discipline their kid or kids?jus becuz a kid doesnt get spanked doesnt mean they r guna grow up bein bad or doin wrong things n vice versa..

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