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Thread: Does anyone else disagree with spanking?

  1. #1

    Default Does anyone else disagree with spanking?

    I think spanking is an extremely poor way to discipline. There are studies that say that it actually makes behavior worse, it teaches the child that hitting is an ok way to solve problems, and it damages the child's self-image. At least those things were true for me. Spanking guidelines say never to spank in anger, but if that was followed then spanking would never happen because once the parent has calmed down they can usually find a more appropriate way to correct the behavior. I could go on and on, I wrote a paper on this for my English Comp class lol.

  2. #2


    I don't see anything wrong with it, although it doesn't work with every kid or every situation.

    When I was a kid, I didn't get spanked a lot, but the deterrent was always visible, the redwood board with the finger notches leaning in the corner of the kitchen.

    I spanked my kids as necessary, although it wasn't very often.

    Looking back on it, there is a big positive to spanking as opposed to other cajoling, guilt-tripping methods like grounding, the naughty chair, thoughtful (and deadly boring...) talks. That positive is closure. Do something bad, take your spanking, the incident is done and over with for all parties. Move on. Except that you have a certain Pavlovian stinging memory associated with certain behaviors.

    The deterrent didn't work as well for my younger brother. He got the stick fairly often. #2 grandson is kinda the same way. He likes attention, and doesn't seem to understand the difference between good attention and bad attention. Daughter never spanked him, son-in-law does. Unfortunately, son-in-law is deployed for long periods of time.

    P.S. I should note that #1 granddaughter has never been spanked and never will because she is perfect. Of course she is only 1, and I don't have to deal with her 24/7
    Last edited by Maxx; 02-Dec-2014 at 23:20.

  3. #3


    There is spanking and spanking.

    I have nothing against a quick and not too hard slap on the butt (or a few of them) and for the child (up to some age of course) it may be more understandable and (from my own and my childhood friends' experiences) often preferable to long talks and "psychological" ways of punishment. Only by parents and not by someone like a teacher of course.

    When it's too hard, with too much anger, too frequent, or beyond some age, then I agree that it is unacceptable and can harm the child's personality. Luckily my own parents never used that. My mom usually let go of her anger through very loud screaming instead, which I personally could also have lived without

    Note: I don't have children.

  4. #4


    It has it's places really. I was spanked a few times as a kid for being a little brat, and I think I turned out okay.

  5. #5


    I believe in hand-spanking on the butt only. No "rule of thumb" switches (though that law was for husband hitting wives) or other tools, no hitting elsewhere but the butt. I was trained this way and I have never hit anyone (no children). I believe that the lack of this kind of discipline may have lead to many of today's societal problems (e.g. bullying).

  6. #6


    There is tons of evidence that spanking is harmful psychologically to a child.

    A child mind can't register the difference between discipline and trauma and a child who is disciplined with physical force registers that much the same way someone who has gone through a trauma does.

    I deffinitly disagree with it, you may think it works but all it does is reinforce the belief that violence can be corrective and before you say "I was spanked and turned out fine." I'm sure you are, except for the the fact that you think it's totally okay to hit a child but not an adult or an animal.

    With as much scientific and psychological evidence proving the damage acts of violence in early childhood cause I don't see why any parent would use it.

    It's also safe to note that while you might see it as discipline and not violence, your child's brain does not.

  7. #7


    I don't agree that parents should spank their children for any reason. There are a lot of other discipline methods for parents to use that don't include harming their child. Time outs, ignoring temper-tantrums, lectures (that don't include just screaming at the child in anger, but they actually explain what the kid did wrong in a way they can understand), and taking away dessert rights or toys for a period of time are just a few that I know will work with most children.

  8. #8


    A child's brain can be very unpredictable.

    Once, my little brother was being spanked with a little twig. Not too hard, but it broke during the process. My brother's reponse was something like: Don't worry mom, when we go out to park tomorrow, we'll get a new one. He certainly didn't mean it sarcastically (was too young for that). He apparently didn't understand that he was being punished and treated it as a game. But again, the spanking was not hard at all.

    As adults, we should not think we always understand what and how children think.

  9. #9


    The way spanking is used is the main problem with spanking. I'm sure a lot of us have seen the video of the Texas judge who was beating his daughter with a belt. He actually said at one point in time, "I will spank you in the face if you don't listen to me and get on the bed!" That shows a complete ignorance and misunderstanding as to what spanking is and how it can be used properly.

    First rule of spanking: don't ever do it in anger. If you are attacking a child to release aggression on your part, then it is violence. If you are going to spank a child, you have to be sure to put yourself in a timeout first to ensure that you are rational when you perform the punishment.

    Second rule of spanking: Communication is key. The child should know before s/he requires discipline that there will be consequences for said child due to infractions that could include spanking. There should be set rules in place and a set number of spanks for the infraction. The child should be lectured in a calm and clear voice on what they did wrong, why it was wrong, and why they are being spanked. The child MUST understand this.

    Third rule of spanking: Show them compassion. I'm assuming many will see this point and scoff at the fact that I would consider anything related to spanking as compassionate, but I legitimately feel that getting the punishment over with quickly with a spanking is preferable to constantly taking independence away from the child via grounding and removal of things. Granted there is a place for grounding and time-outs depending on the age, and I wouldn't spank a child under 4 nor would I spank a child for any minor infraction. But I've known many kids who would have things taken away from them so constantly, that they would either adapt or just start getting into bad habits to keep them occupied. You can think your kids going to be a perfect little angels while they're grounded, but they will keep themselves busy, and sometimes that could lead them to more trouble if you've constricted their leash too tight.

    Anyway, that rant aside, the reason I say show compassion in your spanking is that you should reassure the child that the punishment was done to make sure the child grows up the right way and that you still love them. A hug after the spanking and a verbal reassurance should be just as necessary as the beginning communication. If the child perceives that you are only hurting them to hurt them then that is what causes violent reactions in people. But if it's done properly then it can be a very beneficial tool for child-rearing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Shran View Post
    I don't agree that parents should spank their children for any reason. There are a lot of other discipline methods for parents to use that don't include harming their child. Time outs, ignoring temper-tantrums, lectures (that don't include just screaming at the child in anger, but they actually explain what the kid did wrong in a way they can understand), and taking away dessert rights or toys for a period of time are just a few that I know will work with most children.
    Regarding the methods you brought up: Time-outs I'm all for until about the age of 10. By then groundings would've taken place over the time-outs, essentially making an extended time-out. I would probably give myself more time-outs than the child so that I could approach the situation rationally.

    Ignoring temper tantrums: Yes I agree, any type of immediate reaction would be fueling the fire. If I were to spank a child for throwing a temper tantrum, like say in public, it would be after we got home when the child and I have both calmed down and I talked to them about what happened, why it was wrong and what their punishment is.

    Lectures: You brought up an excellent point about not just screaming in anger, but that should be the principle for all forms of child discipline. It should always be constructive and rational and I believe that spanking can be used constructively and rationally. You can still emotionally abuse a child far worse by yelling at them constantly than you would spanking a child every once in a while. But both can be just as devastating if used in aggressive violent measures.

    Taking away things: And what if the child persists in something like say, a temper tantrum? How many things do you take away from the child before it becomes too much? I would argue that if people constantly rely on taking things away, the child could possibly get attachment issues with certain items. I knew one kid who would hoard snacks and desserts in his room because his parents would send him to bed early without food or take away certain food privileges. Granted that's a bit extreme from taking away dessert (which not every family has or needs) but spanking can be portrayed as extreme as well when it's not used appropriately. I know another kid who constantly got pretty much everything taken away from him at one point in time because as he was so grounded from everything so often it almost set him up for failure. He now has major trust issues and hoards a lot of things.

    All in all ANY method can be misused when the grand scheme is not taken into account. It's like when my brother went vegetarian to get healthy and ate nothing but PB&J sandwiches for a week. He forgot the whole point of the diet and focused on the restrictions and steps rather than the purpose. Same with child-rearing. If people try to follow steps without having insight into why they're doing it, or how to properly do it, then they will make mistakes no matter which path they follow. They may yield different results, but I can almost assure they will be negative if looked at in the small picture rather than the big.
    Last edited by BigKid25; 02-Dec-2014 at 22:54. Reason: Some of my sentences weren't grammatically correct. Some probably still aren't.

  10. #10


    I think when used reasonably it's fine. I can add my story of being spanked very occasionally and as far as I can tell, turned out ok.

    There's a tonne of studies for and against, and I truly believe most are bullshit. Human psychology, of which we understand very little of to begin with, varies so wildly and is so hard to measure or draw statistics from in any meaningful way that any study just gets biased towards the answer the people conducting it are looking for.

    So that said I tend to go for personal experience and personal observations of others. To that end:

    - lots of people were spanked as kids and turned out just fine
    - lots of people were spanked as kids and ended up with all kinds of problems later in life
    - lots of people were not spanked as kids and turned out just fine
    - lots of people were not spanked as kids and ended up with all kinds of problems later in life

    And from that I draw the conclusion that spanking when done reasonably is one of several discipline styles with its own set of pros and cons, which like every other disciplinary technique can claim a number of success stories and failure stories.

    I do strongly agree that the other "alternative" discipline approaches arn't much better as far as the potential for harm. A lot of them just trade physical for emotional damage, and like spanking, sometimes it causes problems, sometimes it does what it's supposed to do and creates a negative association to "bad" behaviour while not leaving residual trauma.

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