What *IS* child abuse??

Kate CP - posted on 01/26/2010 ( 160 moms have responded )

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So many different takes on this one. I just want to know how y'all feel about this. See, some people think that any kind of physical punishment (swats, spankings, etc) is abuse. But some think that it depends on HOW you use the physical punishment (where, when, what you use, etc). Is calling names abuse? Is yelling abuse? Have you ever been accused by any one (officially or not) of abuse? Opinions, please! Oh, and lets keep this civil ladies. I know it's a hot-button topic, but I want to keep it clean. :)

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Sheriez - posted on 02/02/2010

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In my opinion abuse refers it when you actions or feelings are allowing your child to feel neglected abandoned or hurt both physically, emotionally and mentally. Yelling is abuse but we do it so often it comes second nature. I try not to to my daughter because I understand how she would feel, calling her dumb, stupid n ugly is emotional and mental abuse but spanking is punishment but beating with a stick n other objects that can injure a child is abuse.

Gloria - posted on 02/02/2010

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I was raised during a time when a swat on the rear for bad behavior was ok. But this was years ago before society looked down on it. I think you need to look at the law and know what is permissible today. When you see a small child being pushed around by a large giant of a person or screamed at over and over, that is abuse. Shaking a baby is abuse. The question is how to dicipline without harm, yet let the child know that his action is not acceptable. I feel that it is important to allow the child to choose if he wants to be punished.He then learns that there are consequences to his inappropriate action. I used to tell my child when he had done something wrong. If he refused to listen, I would count to three. This gave him time to think about it. If he still refused to stop or listen, I took something away from him like a favorite toy (telling him he would have it back the next day) or I removed him from the activity. If he yelled at me, I told him he chose the consequences, not me. I did not ever back down or give in to his wishes regarding my decision. I learned that being consistant and persistant was the best way to handle dicipline. In this day and age I guess my mothers dicipline would be considered abusive, though I deserved every spanking I received. "Spare the rod and spoil the child, does not hold up in our society today. Love is always the answer. Love your children and pray you are guided through their growing years with joy and happiness.

Krista - posted on 02/02/2010

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"Being bossy" is child abuse? Seriously? And "bad facial expressions"?

Come on.

Seriously.

Dianne - posted on 02/02/2010

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When the child controls the mother instead of the other way around sometimes you need to use the words BECAUSE I AM THE MOM AND YOU ARE THE KID and possibly giving your child the LOOK (of disapproval) is definitly NOT CHILD ABUSE but care and concern for the child
there are way too many children out there totally uncontrollable because some mommies seem to think that you can reason with your child as you would an adult
some people even think that they can do this with their pets and wonder why they have no control of the situation
After all, YOU are the adult

Natascha - posted on 02/02/2010

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Spanking your child or beating your child. Spanking your child to me is not abusive, but if your beating you child than thats abusive. And then you have to see you got old school parents, that used switches of trees.

Kate CP - posted on 02/02/2010

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Wait...you think a "bad" facial expression is child abuse? So if I frown at or give the "mommy look" to my daughter I'm abusing my child?

Tammy - posted on 02/02/2010

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Abuse is any form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and I'm sure there is more. Any form of hitting, spanking, or negative contact to a child is physical abuse. Yelling, being bossy, controlling, hurtful words, bad facial expressions or negative comments is emotional abuse. Explaining to a child in a positive way will help them to understand things better so abuse is not needed.

Sandi - posted on 02/01/2010

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I think the fequency counts towards being abuse too. If you spank regularly or scream your lungs out then it's just a reaction without thought or meaning.

My daughter is only 10months and too young to understand actions and concequences. But when the time comes, for example if she ever runs out into a road, that will result in a spank. It's not about causing pain, it's more about shocking her so next time she will recall what happened and think twice. If spanking was an every day thing then it would no longer have the shock factor which makes it pointless. And if it's pointless you mayaswell not do it in the first place.

Just my personal opinion.

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Never hit a child in the head or stomache! Right below the diaper on the back of the leg, sends the right message. And 1 time is enough!

Kelly - posted on 01/31/2010

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I feel that when yelling becomes degrading and name-calling and hurst the child(ren)'s well-being or self-respect, it is abuse. As for spanking, I believe if you leave a mark on the child, it becomes abuse. I swat my kids on the bottom, but nowhere else. They respect me more for disciplining them and they are not out-of-control.

Brandi - posted on 01/30/2010

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I am a child care provider and we are always taking classes on child abuse. Child abuse can be emotional, physical, and sexual. Name calling and putting a child down is emotional abuse, physical abuse is spanking with a belt ( spanking on the bottom as long as no bruises appear is not against the law), and sexual is obvious. Touching private parts, showing children porn, and penitration is sexual abuse. Depriving children proper care is child neglect, for example not sending the child to school in proper clothing to fit the weather, or not feeding a child. Adequte shelter can be seen as child neglect as well. I am a natural yeller and yes it can been seen as emotinal abuse depending on what I am saying. A lot of people dont think of emotional abuse as sever s the others but it can cause children to have low self esteme, withdrawl problems, and self worth problems.

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Abuse is mental and physical. When ever I have to scold my three-year old i'm very careful to say that the behavior is bad, not him. Also, i'm a firm believer that a smack on the bum never hurt anyone. I remember my father saying "this is going to hurt me more than you." At the time I didn't understand but now I do. Unless the situation is dangerous, I grab him if something is about to happen, I usually stick to a typically format of punishment. Start with 1-2-3, if that does not work, go to timeout, if that does not work I'll give swap on the bum or a swat with a towel. That usually gets his attention. But it hurts me so much to do it. One thing I never do it act out of range and this is when a child can easily be abused. Also, a swat is never multiple swats. One or two usually work well. You never have to repeatedly hit someone and you never should. Also, if he is being a total pain I'll tell him that mommy needs a timeout. This will give me a few minutes to think things through so that I can talk to him.

Gaone - posted on 01/30/2010

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spanking a little aint abuse at all, but if you over do it then it is abiuse, calling names and yelling insults is definitely abuse and when the grows up he will do it thinking tha it is ok to do it, nothing wrong! let us help our babies grow knowing what is right or wrong. talk to him and make him see his mistake before yuo can spank a little, and maybe spanking wont be necessary at times. learn to weigh th wrongs. when a baby does right show him he has done wrigt. it works.

Jane - posted on 01/28/2010

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Child abuse can be both physical or emotional. The child that is constantly put down, told he is no good, not as good as peers or siblings is being abused just as much as the child that is beaten locked in cupboards and other forms of torture best not gone into. A smack on the bottom or legs is often necessary but this is hardly abuse if it is not misused. Children still need guidelines and without a guiding adult to take them in the right direction and teach them proper behaviour they will grow into social misfits. I feel that in our role as teachers of the next generation we should treat them with the respect we would expect them to show us. We would not scream at a friend and tell them what a nasty little sh-t they are so why would we do that to our child. In a lot of ways we seem to have swung from the children being to tightly controlled in the seen and not heard days to the opposite where children are allowed to dictate what is happening by screaming, temper tantrums and general running amuck in public. I think we need to find a happy medium. when in doubt think... how would I feel if these were somebody elses children and if the behaviour cant be controlled take them out of the situation until they are able to behave appropriately. HOw often do we see tired children being dragged around shopping centres miserable, unhappy often screaming and annoying people around them - a form of abuse in itself. Small people need their routine and if they are due for a nap then they should be in the appropriate place. In the end, if you can look at your treatment of your children with a clear conscience, that you havnt lashed out in anger, frustration or unfairly and that you have acted with love and respect then I dont think there is too much too worry about. After all Parenting is the hardest job in the world and the one that we cant learn at school only by the example of our parents and the people around us.

Roxanne - posted on 01/28/2010

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Child Abuse is any action that takes a childs sense of safety away from them.

Dianne - posted on 01/28/2010

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Child abuse is anything that will repercussions on the childs later life
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL ABUSE has longer lasting repercussions than an occasional swat on the behind to get their attention they will remember being called STUPID, FAT, UGLY, USELESS, HOPELESS etc far longer than a swat
I do not advocate beating a child or anyone for misdemeandors or minor abberations but sometimes the only way to get their attention and keep it seems to other people abuse
as a mother of 5 and grandmother of 12(+2greatgrandchildren) I have a super great bunch of kids that are all extremely well-adjusted and we all have a great deal of lovve for each other and the rest of the world in general
Good Luck
Di

Jessica - posted on 01/28/2010

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First, every State/Country has its own laws regarding what is considered abuse. If bruises or marks are left it is abuse according to code in most places that I am aware of.



I am on board with the bottom or back of the hand. Open hand 1-2 swats. That being said unless it is an immediate response to an immediate danger (reaching for something hot etc.) spanking should be the nuclear weapon in the discipline arsenal. As has been previously stated by others when children have parents who are loving, caring, interested and involved an occasional swat is not going to damage them. Also, as previously stated, the consistency of the parenting is very important. Kids need consistency from their caregivers that it how they develop the knowledge and understanding that their world is safe and that their needs can be met.

Yvette - posted on 01/28/2010

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A very big subject. There are different stages of a child's development where different disciplinary measures are appropriate. We must remember that the goal of discipline is training. Parents must teach and train and model what is acceptable, appropriate behavior. Godd parenting requires great focus on the part of the parent. Modeling correct behavior is foundational. We should look at our own behavior and conversation to see what we are teaching by example to our children. We must also be sure that we are giving adequate instruction and teaching to children, that is age appropriate. A child a few months old who is learning to walk and reaching for everything can be taught to respond to the word "no". It requires teaching, eye contact. This takes time and energy on the part of the parent. Teach the child to respond to his name being called, not YELLING, but in a conversational tone. They are to look at you when they hear their name. Practice by calling their name and gently moving their little face with your hands to look at you. Once you have their attention, then give simple instructions like come here or stop, or no. This takes time and repetition... and focus on the part of the parent. As a child grows older and their understanding matures, there should be swift, controlled, measured discipline for purposeful disobedience. Not for childishness. Children spill things and make mistakes. When a child knowingly disobeys they should be dealt with quickly and calmly. It is never appropriate to unleash our frustrations on the child. Because behavior is affected by physical health, it is important to be sure the child is getting proper nutrition and proper rest. Children need to learn aboout having "down time"...time to just be quiet. Reading to them is an excellent activity. In most of our lives, we have far too much stimulation. This can certainly contribute to hyperactivity, in children and adults. Often, a few changes to bring simplicity and order into our lives helps not only children, but Moms as well.

Rachel - posted on 01/28/2010

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I feel that everything you mentioned is child abuse kate, smacking, hitting, spanking, smacking fingers, calling names, screaming and yelling, I know children can be frusterating sometimes, but we as parents expected that! So it hurts me to see parents overly loose their tempers or overstep boundaries, what did you expect when you were having a child!? Theirs always another way to discipline your children that doesnt involve any of the above!

Jackie - posted on 01/28/2010

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each state as there own definition of abuse and each state has there own way of assessing and investigating alleged allegations of abuse.



also remember there is another form of "abuse" which is child neglect, the lack of appropriate care, which in my experience can be just as harmful to a child. unfortunately, it's harder to see and less talked about except in it's extreme forms, such as "failure to thrive" for non-organic reasons.

Kevin - posted on 01/28/2010

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Abuse is anything that hurts your child physically or emotionally. If you hit a baby or child, deny them food, leave them in dirty diapers or clothes, ignore them when they have a need. Also, if you yell at them, call them names, deny them love, leave them in a crib all day and avoid touching them. When you are upset with your child and they are under 3 it is best to take out your frustration on a pillow, throw a wet washcloth in the sink or tub, go in your room and close your door before you yell--do not direct your anger or frustration at your child. Also, if you are at your wits end call someone to help you, either by talking to you or coming over and helping with the child. Put the child in a safe place while you gather your composure.

Remember children are small, fragile beings with just as small and fragile minds and emotions. They are used to having their needs met by you because they couldn't meet their own needs.

To avoid abuse take care of yourself and give yourself some time for yourself--even if it is just using the bathroom alone. Also, remember that these children were sent to you because you had special abilities to meet their personal needs.

Lydia - posted on 01/28/2010

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Fair enough Mel...I think you could be right but I have no experience with people over 7yo...except my own when a smack was far less effective than seeing my mum cry!

Mel - posted on 01/28/2010

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I just read your comment Lydia I kind of agree and kind of disagree. I think it depends on he age as to whether it has to hurt for them to learn a lesson. Since my daughter is a toddler she usually just needs a smack for shock value rather then to hurt, because hurting her would just upset her and I would only do that if really needed but generally its such a light smack that she wouldnt feel it, but she knows it means shes naughty because we ave taught her to connect the word. When they are older I think they need to feel it to learn a lesson so it needs to be much harder

Lydia - posted on 01/28/2010

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Most people I know swat on the bum if they feel the need to swat at all. Hitting on the back on the hand can damage tendons so is not a good place - smack the palm if you are going for the hand. I prefer the calfs - we smack her on the bum all the time when we are playing so if she gets it across her calfs she knows shes in trouble. To the people who dont believe that smacking doesnt need to hurt to be effective I have to emphatically disagree. I have smacked my child and she cried because she was in trouble - I then tapped her bum harder than I smacked her to *comfort* her afterwards. The context of the smack is the most effective part of it - they get a shock and realise they are in trouble and that is what upsets them. Although I also understand that this is not always how it happens...

Patricia - posted on 01/27/2010

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Let me just say that I personally think it's child abuse NOT to swat a kids bottom when they need it. However, squaring off with your kid in an all out fist fight: definitely abuse. Name calling: definintely abuse!! And smacking a kid just to prove your bigger: definitely abuse. The problem really lies in the fact that there is no such thing as reasonability and common sense anymore. If your kid isn't absolutely sure you love them and want nothing more than to protect them, then yes, what you are doing is probably abuse.

Tanya - posted on 01/27/2010

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most people know what is or isnt abuse, if you dont know what abuse is then there's a problem. if a punisment would bother me "make me feel like a horrible mom or like i did some thing wrong" then i would NEVER use that punisment on my children or anyone els children. you just have to trust your gut and treat your children the way you would want to be treated.

Laura Renae - posted on 01/27/2010

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I personally do not spank my kids, unless nothing else works. I put my kids in the corner, or ground them from things before we will resort to spanking.

Krystal - posted on 01/27/2010

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hi i dont really agree on any sort of smackin/spanking, yelling ect but thats only because of wat happened in my childhood, me in myself could never smack my child even if its out of diceplin, i would just feel so guilty. im also a nursery assistant so i was taught in trainin to do other ways of diceplin, my son is only 8 months old so at the mo he does not understand what diceplin is. if someone is using smacking/spanking in a way that is not hurtin the child and using it correctly (the way the law tells you) i guess its not soo bad. but i just dont see the point in it as there are other ways of diceplin that do actually work but you have to stick with it as no dicepline works over night lol. but i guess that how other people dicide to diceplin their children is their choice. :)

Melissa - posted on 01/27/2010

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I agree with Krista, the bum and hand are acceptable. Basically anywhere you cant do permanent damage.

Krista - posted on 01/27/2010

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My own opinion (for what it's worth) is that the only acceptable places to spank are the bum and the hand. (And the hand would just be one quick swat accompanied by a "No!", not an actual "spanking"). The hand would basically be used for a deterrent-type spanking, while the bum would be used for a punishment-type spanking.

I'm over-analyzing this, aren't I? I probably will wind up never laying a hand on my child, for all I know.

Jane - posted on 01/27/2010

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I think the butt in most circumstances but a slap on the hand if they are touching something they shouldn't be (stove, knife, things like that). When they get old enough to know what words they should NOT be using a slap on the mouth COULD be the best way to stop the child from saying the word . I don't think there are any circumstances that would warrent a slap on the legs or stomach (unless you miss while they are trying to get away from you). If a parent leaves a bruise I consider that abuse, then the parent is hitting to hard. Any object other then your hand I also consider that to be abusive behavior. My biggest problem is when parents hit their kids on the back of the head...for some reason this really gets under my nerves. My husband did this to our 13 year old son once & I was so mad! of course I had to wait to vent until my teenager went to his room & told my husband I'm going to start hitting him in the back of the head everytime he says something I don't like (on some days this can be alot LOL!) & if he hits me back I'm taking the kids & leaving...even though I actually said this I am laughing while I'm writing this.

Sarah - posted on 01/27/2010

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It's a tricky subject i think.
While i don't think that people that give their kids the occasional smack (by that i mean a tap on the bum or whatever) are abusing their kids, i really don't see the point in it.
I've seen a lot of women on here say they spank/smack out of love not anger, and that they don't do it hard. The few times my parents smacked me as a kid, it definitely wasn't out of love, it was out of frustration as i was being a little madam and nothing else worked! It also hurt!! What's the point of hitting if it doesn't hurt??? How is that going to achieve anything? I pat my daughters bum playfully, it doesn't hurt, it's not meant to, she doesn't think she's done anything wrong. (hope that makes sense!!)

Here in the UK, you can smack so long as is doesn't leave a mark. I think IF you must smack your kids, it should be on the bum.
I also think if it's a daily occurrence, if it's done NOT as a very, very, last resort, then it is bordering on abuse.

Kate CP - posted on 01/27/2010

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Well, I have to ask again...IF a child is to be swatted/spanked, WHERE should he be spanked? Rear end only? Are the legs okay? What about hands or stomach?

Reminder: I'm just asking for opinions. I don't know of any one who may be abusing their kids so I'm not asking to figure out if I should call authorities. Also, I'm not looking for advice on disciplining my daughter...we seem to be doing good so far. :) Just opinions, please!

Diane - posted on 01/27/2010

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NJ DYFS informed me that you ARE allowed to strike your children. However you are NOT allowed strike in a manner that will scar or mark them. My ex-husband hit my kids and my niece and the school called them. also verbal abuse is often worse than the physical abuse. it leaves no marks but scars forever. they believe what you say about them and i agree if you are recieving satifaction or pleasure from it, or if the child cant understand or doesnt know why they are being diciplined it. is abuse.

i've raised five and i have found that a rubber band workes wonders i popped my son with one only once: after that the fact that i had one on my arm or could acquire one almost anywhere tended to keep him in line in public.

Krista - posted on 01/27/2010

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Okay someone explain the feeling behind spanking, why does it work. What lesson is taught then. I'm not asking for the answer because then they know it's wrong, I'm asking bottom line, what clicks in the child's head to stop the behavior?




It's aversion therapy, basically. Like Lydia said, they make the mental association (sometimes consciously, sometimes subconsciously) that action X leads to unpleasant sensation Y. That's why with younger kids, spanking is only effective if it's done as soon as action X takes place (i.e. reaching for something dangerous). It shouldn't be done out of anger, but out of that quick moment of immediate fear for the child's safety, with the child being told immediately afterwards why the spanking took place in order to reinforce the learning.



A lot of parents let too much time elapse between the behaviour and the punishment, or they spank for generalized "bad behaviour", which is ineffective, particularly with younger children, because then the kid has no freaking clue why they're being spanked. When they're older, and can reason, at that point time can be left to elapse because the parent can explain precisely which behaviour brought on the spanking -- and ideally, the child should know ahead of time that behaviour X will bring on a spanking, so that it's not random and unpredictable. That's when kids start to fear their parents -- when the spanking is either excessive or erratic. But if it's rare, and the kid knows WHY it's happening, then no, they don't fear their parents any more than any other kid would.



Unfortunately, though, a lot of parents will spank for things that seem like bad behaviour, but was just kids being kids, because they didn't know any better. As an example, I was once spanked by my dad because I put my wet sneakers to dry on the electric register and turned the heat up all the way so that they'd dry faster. They wound up catching on fire and if we hadn't been home, the house could very well have burnt down. But in retrospect, it wasn't fair to spank me for that, because I wasn't breaking a previously established rule, or even misbehaving. I was just being a kid. And even with that, Dana, I can't say "Oh, I was afraid of my parents." I loved my parents. But there was definitely a fear of consequences -- that whole "I can't do that! My mom would KILL me!" fear.



Like I said, though -- it's a gray area. And I may or may not choose to spank. We'll see. But there are excesses in both types of discipline. Some parents spank too much or for the wrong reasons, and yes, that can be considered abusive. And some parents are too worried about their child liking them and their form of discipline consists of "Don't do that, dear.....that's not nice." They're not doing their kids any favours either.



The entire point is to teach a child what actions are undesirable and that performing those undesirable actions will have consequences. Some people choose physical consequences, some do not. As long as the child's physical and emotional well-being are not harmed, then we cannot say that one method is superior to another.

?? - posted on 01/26/2010

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Susanna Chase

If you suspect a child is being abused it is not your job to investigate or Judge the degree of abuse. It is to simply report it to the police , local childrens service, local doctor/nurse, social worker, Teacher or School principal or head master. If there is an immediate risk to life call the emergency services in the USA it is 911 in the UK 999 In Australia 000 and ask for the police !!! Dont ignore child abuse. Report it everytime!!!!!






This is dangerous. Jumping on the destruction of a family over a single incident, is more destructive than that 1 spanking. If you seriously suspect abuse, yes. BUT "it is not your job to investigate or Judge the degree of abuse" and "Report it everytime" could very much, very easily, SO EASILY cause the destruction of a happy, healthy and beautiful family just because someone "suspects" abuse.



A spanking is not abuse. Using spanking as a last resort, or utilized in an age appropriate way is not abusive. Even 1 spanking out of anger is not abuse. If I knew someone spanked their child out of anger, I would talk to them about it and I would try and help them. But 1 spanking is not abuse and it definitely would be harmful to a child, family or a parent.



Repeated spankings out of anger even twice, is too often and that parent needs someone to intervene and tell them that their behavior is unacceptable and try to get them help.

Lydia - posted on 01/26/2010

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I consider any action used to cause pain (physical or emotional) to be abuse. Although there is no grey area if the intent is to cause pain - there is the grey area of those excessive (and therefore very subjective) actions where the intent may not be to cause pain but does it nontheless (eg shaken babies etc). By this definition smacking is not necessarily abuse because many people dont smack hard enough to cause pain but the action taken in context lets the child know that they are being punished for unacceptable behaviour - just my opinion though. Same goes for yelling.



Edit to add:Dana - smacking works the same as any other negative response (such as time out). The child learns that for action x the response is y so if y is undesirable then dont do x. It isnt an instant fix - no punishment is but it has greater shock value than time-out and so some children respond to it more effectively (although not all) Same goes for positive reinforcement - if y is desirable then do x.

Susanna - posted on 01/26/2010

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If you suspect a child is being abused it is not your job to investigate or Judge the degree of abuse. It is to simply report it to the police , local childrens service, local doctor/nurse, social worker, Teacher or School principal or head master. If there is an immediate risk to life call the emergency services in the USA it is 911 in the UK 999 In Australia 000 and ask for the police !!! Dont ignore child abuse. Report it everytime!!!!!

Cheers:)

Dana - posted on 01/26/2010

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Okay someone explain the feeling behind spanking, why does it work. What lesson is taught then. I'm not asking for the answer because then they know it's wrong, I'm asking bottom line, what clicks in the child's head to stop the behavior?

Melissa - posted on 01/26/2010

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Well i was spanked as a child and i dont remember the anger my mom had, i just remember what i did wrong and i never did it again, which is the point. I agree not to spank out of anger. All children will act up, but when the behavior starts to get dangerous, I think its important to let them know just how severe it is, and maybe thats the only way they can understand.

[deleted account]

Katherine, you are right. That is why spanking can be dangerous, because most people do it out of anger and frustration and there is no consistency with how and when it is used. Spanking must be consistent. Meaning the child knows that if they do a certain action/s they can expect a spanking. Not a spanking today because mom is at the end of her rope and no discipline tomorrow because mom has checked out and a little yelling the next day. That does not work. That is when kids become afriad. They don't know what to expect from mom and dad and that causes insecurity. You can say the same with any type of discipline/punishment. The same goes in a classroom. Obviously you don't spank in school but when teachers are wishy washy (its okay to whisper today but tomorrow the whole class will miss recess because of it because teacher is losing it) the class is not easily managed.

So the point is don't spank out of anger. If you have a tendancy to "lose it" then spanking shouldn't be something that you do.

Katherine - posted on 01/26/2010

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This is what has me stumped.....the point of spanking is to teach a lesson right? But most people hit out of anger and frustration, not out of 'love'. Why hit if you aren't angry? That makes no sense to me. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Discipline means to disciple, so where does spanking fit into that?

Melissa - posted on 01/26/2010

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By afraid i mean they are scared to be near you or afraid to speak to you, because they dont know what your going to do. As long as you give a spank after they have been bad they know thats why. It teaches them "hey i dont like to be spanked, so i wont do that again", just like when they do something good you reward them, so they will want to more good things. I think its a form of discipline, but only when nothing works. Thats what my parents did and i turned out fine, and had a very happy childhood and I love and respect my parents, and always will

[deleted account]

Dana, I was spanked as a child and I never feared my parents. I've always had a good honest open relationship with them. I think it is the manner in which a child is spanked that makes the child afraid or not afraid. I knew that if I disobeyed, fought with my sister, etc. I would get a spanking. Spankings were not sporadic or administered during anger or while frustrated. I also knew that my parents loved me and were always willing to give hugs, kisses and words of praise.

Dana - posted on 01/26/2010

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But, when you are spanking your child that is the outcome, that's why it works, they are afraid of you, they are afraid to be hit again.

Melissa - posted on 01/26/2010

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This definetly is a hot topic and there are so many opinions. I feel that spanking is appropriate when used in the right manner, like if he is about do something to hurt himself or someone else. I feel that when a child becomes afraid of you thats when its turned abusive. You should never make them afraid of you or make them feel bad about themself. To me thats abusive

Dana - posted on 01/26/2010

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On the parent who does it. lol :P Just had to throw some humor in there.

Dana - posted on 01/26/2010

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I think it is abuse ANYTIME your child feels unjustifiably put down or hurt. The key is being intelligent enough to know when it's justified discipline or not. By discipline I mean a stern talking to, never hitting. Unfortunately some parents, it seems, expect too much from their children. You are there to teach them and nurture them, not beat a lesson into them whether it be words or physically.

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