Jodi - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 26 moms have responded )




I just read on another community that a mother lets her husband "hit lightly" their 3 month old baby to get her to stop crying. I think this is INSANE!!!

I've never seen a child (especially one that young!) stop crying when they get spanked. It hurts to get spanked, and what is the normal reaction to getting hurt? Crying!! Parents can say all they want that they spanked them to teach them to stop crying, but i think it's the parents taking out their frustration and anger because hitting a child is obviously not going to make them stop! Of course everyone is going to get frustrated countless times while raising our children, but I think there are other options to dealing with it.

I don't believe in spanking children no matter their age. In my opinion, when you spank a child when they are misbehaving it teaches them that it's ok to slap someone if they are being bad. So why do you think children hit other children or even mommy and daddy when they are arguing with them? Plus they think "Hey, I don't like when I get hit, so I bet this person won't like it either." That's just my opinion.

Anyway, I have never, nor will I ever hit my child as a form of punishment. Just curious of how many parents spank their children, what age you think is appropriate to start spanking, and how it's working out for you! Thanks!


Mary - posted on 03/25/2010




Maybe I'm simple, but I just can't see where spanking my 16 month old would accomplish anything, other than scaring her and making her cry. Like Esther, I just can't see it being an effective disciplinary tool until after the age of two. I have a feeling that my husband and I may differ on this...he grew up in a houshold where spanking was used, and I believe all 3 of his sisters have utilized it as well. My parents rarely, if ever spanked.

It's not that I believe that it is necessarily abusive...I'm just not sure it is the most effective means of discipline. What really shaped my perspective on this was, silly as it may seem, my dogs. Both boys are rescues, but one is a pit mix that was abused. He was 4 when we adopted him, and had never lived in home/family environment. He had A LOT to learn, and some real anxiety and fear issues as well. Smacking him was NOT an option, and never will be with this history. I was able to train him without EVER resorting to physical punishment...and he is an amazingly obedient, well behaved dog today.

It made me realize that physical discipline is not necessary, and can sometimes be counterproductive in teaching good/desirable behavior. I realize that this may seem stupid to some of you, but it left me could I spank my child, if I won't do that, and have not needed to, with my dogs? I can't justify it in my head or heart, so I'm thinking we will fall in the non-spanking camp here.

[deleted account]

Most people view spanking as an overreaching method for specific types of behavior or to enforce other methods of discipline. I have found an occasional spanking warning to be an effective overreaching method. Usually the warning is sufficient. Occasionally I have to follow through, but not often.

I tried for months to implement time-out and I followed the experts way of doing it. I had him in time-out with a crash helmet on at one point. Often my boy would self harm and bite himself if we removed privileges. I tried other methods that he flat out refused to comply with. I even visited the love and logic website and most of it didn't work.

One day I followed through with a spanking warning. It worked. Now time-out lasts only 5 minutes at the most because he knows that he must comply, he also deals better with having privileges removed and implementing natural and logical consequences has become more realistic.

Most people who spank wouldn't condone it for a 3 month old. Cherry pick the worst examples if you like to prove your point, but I don't think I'm a lazy, abusive parent at all and most people agree with me. My parents were not child abusers either and I'm not emotionally scarred by the spankings I got as a kid.

Charlie - posted on 03/24/2010




I am completely against spanking ( or any act of aggression against a child ) its barbaric and archaic , what that man is doing is abusive , there is nothing a 3 month old could do to warrant such behavior and the mother is just as much at fault , it goes to show that there is obviously something wrong with the parents ,whether they are tired , frustrated whatever they need to sort their own problems out and quit taking it out on a helpless baby .

Tah - posted on 03/24/2010




i do spank, i have a 12, 8 and 3 year old. It works for us i dont immediately spank i do other things, when i tried timeout it was like a breather for them to think of other things to do when it was is a last parents spanked and none of us has ever thought it ok to hit all willy nilly..I think hitting a 3 month old is abuse..i mean..come on..3 the cops...

Carolee - posted on 03/24/2010




When my kid attempts to do something dangerous, I spank. I start spanking when he understands what I mean when I say "no" or "stop". I also use time-outs. Basically, I use what works for us in the situation(s) we find ourselves in.

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Rosie - posted on 03/27/2010




i spank, but spanking a 3 month old is beyond ridiculous. they can barely see let alone understand why their daddy is hitting them. i don't feel there is a certain age-i'd think at least 18 months old-at least thats when i knew my kids understood certain things, and even then at that age it was only for dangerous situations.
i have recently come to the conclusion (took me long enough though) after 3 kids that spanking simply doesn't work very well for us. i don't think it's abusive, but what's the point of inflicting some type of harm no matter how minor on my child if he isn't learning anything from it. my bio-dad beat us so i know what abuse feels like, someone spanking their child (not in anger) is not abuse, and it completely lessens what i went through to put it in the same category.

LaCi - posted on 03/27/2010




"My son was over a year old when I could tell he was being naughty to see what would happen and he thought it was funny. "

Lucky duck. That started when mine was about 9 months old, which is when he started getting swats on that big cloud of a diaper, but not SPANKINGs like, that he could feel. Up until 9 months he pretty much listened to "no" if I said it firmly, once or twice. But once he started walking really well he was pretty defiant. Usually he listens though, he typically only gets a swat on his diaper if he doesn't listen after 3 warnings or if he does something that could potentially hurt him, after which I sit him down and explain myself. He doesn't understand the explanation, but he does understand the seriousness and that I AM trying to get something across to him. It's actually been really effective.

Lea - posted on 03/25/2010




3 months old is way too young to be spanking. My son was over a year old when I could tell he was being naughty to see what would happen and he thought it was funny. So I would warn him, and if he did it again I would give him a time out or a tap on the butt. He learned pretty quick that when he was told to stop doing something, he would stop. I also did my best to use distraction and redirection, and even explained why he couldn't do something in simple terms. I think that a multifaceted approach to discipline is best. But there are those times when a kid is just testing you, and you have to let them know you are serious and you are in charge. A little infant doesn't do this, though. Those parents are abusing their poor baby.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/25/2010




I would definetely class spanking a 3 month old abuse, how is that discipline? A three month old doesn't understand why they are being hit therefore cannot learn from it unless out of FEAR not respect.

Tah - posted on 03/25/2010




you never want to spank when your pissed off....i never thought it was ok that if i was mad, even growing up, then i could hit the person i was mad at. If they know better and it has been explained not to do then a swat on the bottom is how we deal with it and it works....for us...

Shelley - posted on 03/25/2010




My husband and i attended a parenting course when we were having our first child where we came across and follow a dicipline plan.

STEP 1 Verbal (Tell the child what you want them to stop or what you want them to do)
STEP 2 Warning (Warn the child of the consequence)
STEP 3 Removal (Remove the child activity or object sometimes not applicable)
STEP 4 Isolation (For our young children this is stand at the wall with hands on head
older children to their room
STEP 5 Smack (used as a last resort or in dangerouse situations)

This begins at 15 months prior to that a swat on the hand or time out in the high chair is enough. this works well for us as it keeps us on the same page. The kids don't get confused and everyone is calm.
to smack a 3 month old is rediculouse. i have only had to smack my 2 year old occaisionally isolation is usually enough. dicipline is an important part of parenting abuse is never ok

Charlie - posted on 03/24/2010




Thanks for not taking that the wrong way , it was a genuine question out of curiosity , i guess that's where we differ personally i think any physical contact whether controlled or not is an act of aggression Spanking , hitting , whatever people call it are all the same to me , just different degrees of the same action .

Jocelyn - posted on 03/24/2010




My husband spanks our son, but I don't. I have on occasion smacked him on the bum, but very rarely. He's one of those kids that you could beat with a stick and it's wouldn't make a lick of difference in his behavior! But I would NEVER smack a 3 month old!!! That is just pathetic and disgusting. A 3 months all the poor baby knows is that mommy/daddy is hurting them and they don't know why.

[deleted account]

Hitting from anger and in violence is different from spanking. Spanking is done under control. It is a consequence. And I only do it when she knows better. Never while teaching.

Charlie - posted on 03/24/2010




How could you have known not to hit when you now hit your child ? Perplexing .

[deleted account]

I spank, but I am so very careful with it. I think the issue with spanking is when parents do it out of anger or as a last resort when they are frustrated and don't know what else to do. When my daughter misbehaves, if I feel anger rising, I walk away. I don't want to yell because I believe that give the child the upper hand and lets them know you lost control. I don't spank when mad.

Here is an example of how I do it: Daughter rears back hand to throw a toy. I say, "if you throw your toy, you will get a spanking." If she throws the toy, I will pop her on the leg. When she stops crying I'll say, "you got a spanking because you threw the toy." Then we hug and kiss.

I believe the BEST way to discipline is to be consistent and follow through, no matter how you chose to discipline. My daughter no longer will throw toys and if she starts a tantrum, I usually only have to say she'll get a spanking and it will stop. She knows that I mean what I say.

That being said, I've never spanked hard enough to leave a mark or hurt her. And she usually only gets one spanking a week in a typical week.

I actually preferred time outs as a kid because I like to be by myself and think. So those were ineffective. Spanking is what worked for me. And I knew not to hit!

And I agree that 3 months is way too young to spank. The baby is crying because that is the only way he/she can communicate.

Ez - posted on 03/24/2010




I am not a smacker, mostly because I think it is an ineffective teaching tool. I know many friends and family who DO smack, and that's their call to make, but it's not for me or my child.

Smacking an infant, or even a young toddler, is just sheer stupidity. It shows a lack of understanding of child development and lack of self-control.

[deleted account]

Of course there's no excuse reason for spanking a 3 month old. It sounds very dangerous too. Where's the debate?

Caitlin - posted on 03/24/2010




I don't believe spanking a 3 month old would work, I think it would make things worse. When my daughter was that old, and she cried and I got to my wits end, I found the best thing to do was to put her in her crib safely, and leave the room, and go take a shower. The shower would calm me down, let me vent (my showers are max 10 mins long - not an hour or anything) and it prevented me from doing anything to harm my child - spank them, shake them. Every parent is going to wish at times that their kid would just quite it, but self control is very important.

I've never spanked my 16 month old, there would be no point. I use "time outs" which at the moment I don't think she understands, but they keep her from repeating the behaviour and one day it will click i'm sure. I have swatted her hand a few times if she was grabbing for something she's really not allowed and she doesn't listen to "No" (she's a little devious thing, I say "NO!" and she looks at me and smiles and keeps doing it - just to test me). I think that someone that is willking to spank a 3 month old baby is dangerously close to shaking a baby to make them quiet, and it would frighten me!

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010




Well my youngest is nearly 2 and i've never spanked her.
I've tapped her hand once, which made absolutely NO difference to the situation.
I have smacked my eldest on the bum a handful of times, i'll admit.
I use time outs, the ''naughty step'' worked like a charm!!
Hitting a 3 month old baby is the dumbest most pathetic thing i have EVER heard.

Seriously, i'm not completely anti-smacking if it's done with a common sense approach as a last resort, but as Esther said, under 2, it's just completely unnecessary.

Esther - posted on 03/24/2010




I think spanking a kid under 2 is sheer insanity. Spanking a kid over 2 (if not done out of anger and without any "instruments") I don't think is necessarily abusive, but I do think it's ineffective and wrong. I was spanked occassionally when I was a kid and although I remember several specific spankings, I don't remember what I did to deserve them. I don't doubt for a second that I did something, but clearly the message the spanking was supposed to teach didn't stick since I don't remember that part of it. I won't spank my son. I've never even been remotely tempted to and I don't think I ever will be. It's just unfathomable to me to lay a hand on him. Let alone at 3 months for crying. INSANE!

[deleted account]

I was raised in a home where spanking or spanking w/ a belt was the only punishment. I was never abused, and I think my dad only did what he knew from his parents. So when I had my children(who are 2 &3 1/2), the only thing I knew was spanking. I started out spanking, and everytime I spanked I felt so guilty. So over the last 6 months I've really though about the whole "spanking" issue and decided that it isn't the right thing for my family. I think I was only promoting anger when spanking, and teaching them to hit. I've noticed a huge difference w/ my children's behavior. They listen much better b/c I'm going to their level and explaining why they can or can't do something. My dad is having a hard time excepting the fact that I don't believe spanking is a "good method" haha !!!

I don't however think that if a parent spanks a child they are abusing them. If that's how they choose to discipline then that's business. I can say I was spanked and yes it hurt, but I never was abused .

September - posted on 03/24/2010




I don't believe in spanking any child much less a 3 month old baby! That is just straight up nuts!

Lisamarie - posted on 03/24/2010




I have never agreed with spanking/smacking, my children are 3years and 8 months and I think it is definetely wrong to smack a baby, that is just ridiculous and could be considered child abuse, IMO.

My hubby does believe in smacking from a certain age, we have had numurous conversations about this and have tried it with our 3 yr old daughter after she turned 2, I could never do it properly or consistently because my guilt. (My hubby was smacked on the butt with a wooden spoon when he was growing up!) Anyways, it didn't work for her and she did start hitting me back so we stopped and put her in her room for 3 minutes.

I would never dream of smacking my 8 month old and I don't think we'll be using that again. In my opinion a mother who can do it without guilt is doing it purely for their own sanity and loss of control.

?? - posted on 03/24/2010




We don't do spanking here. I have tapped my sons hand but as a way to bring attention to my hand (think of someone tapping you on your shoulder to get your attention - like that). And I did slap his hand once, because he was going for an open wire that his grandpa had left exposed. If he had grabbed it, it would have elecricuted him. I had a friend who grabbed her kids hand and broke his fingers so I just slapped his hand away from it. (I wasn't aware that it was exposed, I thought his grandpa had covered it up but he didn't tell me it was exposed - he got quite the earful for that.)

I've told anyone and everyone that has watched my son that hitting is unacceptable in any way, shape or form. And I've told them that there will be consiquences if they do touch him in such a manner.

We PLAY spank him by tappin his diapered butt and sayin "pank pank pank" and he laughs at us and runs... I'm pretty sure I've accidently stabbed him in the ribs harder while tickling him than the spanks he has gotten on his bum while playing lol

I think he's still too young for spanking anyways, he's only 17 months old, so we'll see how it goes. I don't think spanking will work for him though anyways, he listens pretty well so I think communication will be more effective than physical punishments.

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