Sound Off! How Do You Discipline Your Children?

06/16/2009 at 09:00 AM ET
Celebrity Baby Blog Sound Off

Comments by Gwen Stefani started a bit of commotion in the comments last week, when the mom of two mentioned she’d never spank her children. While some agreed, some claimed the practice was effective for their particular parenting situations.

While families remain torn on spanking, we want to know how you deal with your children when they misbehave. Do you use time-outs? Raise your voice?

Here’s your chance to Sound Off: Tell us how you discipline your kids.

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Bella Mama on

i agree with Gwen.. i too would never strike my children.. there is no need to and it isn’t right..

Mary on

This may anger a lot of people if that’s the case but the way I try to keep a peaceful household is to not scream and hit my kids. It brings in negative energy that stays for a long time so I calmly figure out what the problem is. An example, one of my kids hits the other. I don’t spank because that would be silly, “don’t hit your sister, come here so I can hit you!!” I figure out why there was so much anger one thought they could hit the other and solve the problem, then I solve the problem and tell them we don’t hit and go on my way. I hate screaming and I don’t feel good spanking. I have been known to do both on rare occasion and like I said, it dampers my day and theirs and I just want a peaceful household.

Michelle on

Oh please, “strike” a child? It’s not like you haul off and slap them at random. You set a time and place where a spanking will take place, you talk about WHY they are getting this punishment and if done correctly – they will think twice in the future about whatever wrong doing they are contemplating because a) they don’t want to disappoint and b) they don’t want the punishment.

I was spanked as a child and I lived to tell about it. I don’t have any crazy emotional scars and quite frankly, I respected my parents and their disciple. Which is more than I can say for a lot of children these days. Most of which I have no desire to be around.

Brittany on

I don’t have kids. But from watching siblings, cousins, and aunts. It seems to me that:

1. Consistancy is the most important thing. What you can’t do today you can’t do tomorrow and so on and so forth.

2. Shouting only creates a match of who can talk the loudest. A firm calm voice is the best way to go about it.

Michelle on

I must say though… I highly respect someone like Mary who wants to keep a peaceful home and not have yelling and such. And in all honesty, I respect whatever your disciple of choice is… as long as you actually do it, and your children are respectful! And as long as YOU respect that some people choose to spank. If you want others to respect your choice not to spank – you should respect those who choose TO spank. That theory could actually apply to most everything.

Monia on

We use the 1-2-3 Magic system where you count to three and if the behavior does not stop, my daughter gets time out. It has proven very effective with my now 2 year old. We started around 20 months and she got the point quickly after a few times. Now I very rarely have to count to 3, the behavior usually stops at 2. I know every child is different and sometimes it seems like nothing works but I do believe that you benefit more from not spanking/hitting. My parents used spanking and it only created resentment/fear in my brother and I, not respect.

Ellen Smith on

I was spanked frequently as a child – my father had an unchecked temper and since it was acceptable in the 1960s to spank your child, he took full advantage of it. I do not hit my son because I know from personal experience that it only creates distrust between a parent and child. I was determined not to repeat the mistakes that my father made. When my son was younger my husband and I used time outs. I am happy to say that he really does not misbehave to the level where we feel the need for any extreme punishment, except perhaps a verbal warning that we are displeased with his behavior or actions. Consequently, I have a much closer relationship with my son than my father did with me. Hitting is never the answer, just a temporary release for a frustrated parent or caregiver.

Diane on

My children are both adults now so I know how our parenting choices turned out. My dd is an outstanding teacher and mother of two sons and my ds is in the military and a student.

When our children acted out in less than positive ways we tried to ignore things as much as possible and let them work through the situation their own. When it was possible we got down on their level and talked to them in a calm, quiet voice and reminded of what was needed in that circumstance. We tried to notice and compliant positive behaviors and role model positive behaviors at all times. Of course it varied greatly by age. Often very in tune parents can circumvent situations by taking preventative measures before meltdowns or negative behavior happens. As they get older we believed in a natural consequence method as much as possible only intervening when safety was a major concern. The earlier we can allow our children to make their own decisions and work through situations the better of they will be. Hitting, yelling, belitting and puinshing rarely teaches anything. I also think limiting the times we have to say “no” is a big positive.

Aprille on

Michelle I completely agree with you, I sit and explain to my child why she got the punishment she did. I also got spankings as a child and this may sound harsh on my parents but I sometimes even got spanked with a belt. I turned out just fine no scars and no negative feeling towards my parents. We didn’t have a negative household my brothers and I actually look back very fondly at our child hood. All of us are good people with a steady life and steady families of our own.

Diane on

I agree with Ellen – I’m a child born in the mid-50’s and spanking was a norm. I grew up to mistrust my parents and resent them and still do at some level even today. I also learned to lie and cover my tracks really well. Thank goodness that trend stopped with my geneation in my family. My only brother and his spouse never lay a hand on their children, I didn’t with mine and my dd does not with hers.

In several industrialized countries around the world spanking is illegal – it would be a wonderful thing if that were the case here in the US…hitting a small child just because you can is not acceptable to me and I will never respect anyone that does it. We don’t go around hitting adults when we don’t like their behavior what makes it OK to hit the smallest members of our society?

actualsize on

Whether spanking works or not is sort of a moot point for me, because it will work for some and not for others just like any other form of discipline. Really, my main problem with it is purely ideological; I just don’t like what it represents (someone with authority physically reprimanding someone smaller). Whether it is an effective deterrent or not (still up for debate) is really irrelevant if you have an ethical problem with the punishment itself, which is similar to issues like capital punishment, I suppose.

Yes, I know spanking’s fairly minor in the scheme of things, just a quick swat usually, no marks or lasting pain, and it gets through to the child quickly. All that aside, I can’t imagine ever physically reprimanding a child and feeling good about it.

In case anyone gets up in arms – no, I’m not saying spanking is in any way comparable to capital punishment, I’m just using it as an analogy.

Mom of 3 on

We have three kids. One has Asperger’s Syndrome (whoo–talk about stubborn and strong-willed) and the other two are very calm “easy-going” kids. We have used the 1-2-3 Magic method with great success with all of our kids. The most important thing with discipline is know what and how you plan to punish with various offenses and be certain that you and your husband/partner/even teachers are all together on it and stick to it. Kids do test and manipulate–and if they can tell that Daddy or Mommy is a pushover or doesn’t always stick to the rules, then they will take advantage of it. Most kids bask in praise. We really praise them when they are doing well and behaving well. When they don’t, we discipline pretty much according to the 1-2-3 Magic method (no emotion, no talking, time-out after a count to 3.) My husband and I always said if any child is about to seriously endanger themselves or another, then we’d use a quick, instant spank as a punishment (imagine being in a busy parking lot and your three-year-old is about to dart into traffic–counting to 3 and a time-out isn’t the instant “NO–NEVER” you want to send to your child), but we’ve never had to. Every time we exit the car, I explain what behaviour I expect of them and they do it.

Karyl on

I did a lot of research now that we have a little one and are trying the 1-2-3 Magic method as well. Our son’s now 20 months old, and the book recommends starting discipline this way at 2 years old. We figured he’s close enough so we started counting recently and he’s starting to get the hang of it. I think it’s important they know their actions have consequences, and I agree with the authors saying when a child hits anybody, it counts as 3 immediately and they get a time out–when they start harming others, there’s no 2nd chances. Won’t be fair now, would it, if kid gets a time out when they hit people but parents can hit them? Anyway, that’s just my view–I grew up getting spanking and I absolutely hated it. Some kids I know got too much spanking and I will try to avoid that route if I can………..

emilyc on

O.k. I have to weigh in here. I absolutely do not believe in spanking! I believe that spanking is a knee jerk reaction of anger and frustration by the parent. Children are people, let’s not forget. It is not acceptable in our society to hit another person just ’cause you are angry, so why should it be alright to hit a child. I believe that spanking creates fear and mistrust in the relationship, I don’t think anyone intentionally wants that with thier children. I understand that sometimes you just get so frustrated that you want to hit, I have a two year old and have wanted to spank him, but I make sure to control myself because I know nothing good can come of it!

Keltie on

I do time outs and a modified 123 Magic.

I don’t believe in spanking my child because my child looks to me for love, he looks to me for security, he looks to me for protection and he trusts me. Spanking him is not showing him love or providing him security and protection. And it certainly doesn’t foster trust.

XOXO on

I yell a lot! I cant stop it I am a very loud person! (lol)

What is this 1-2-3 method and when can I find out more about it? My daughter is a great kid, but she does like to push me sometimes and even though I have not had a reason to spank her yet, and dont know if I will ever, I do yell a lot. Please let me know more about this 1-2-3 method, I would appreciated. Thanks🙂

Leah on

Michelle – AMEN!

I was spanked as a child and yea, when it happened, I deserved it. I wasn’t cowering in a corner,terrified of my parents. They would spank me as a last resort typically or to emphasize an important point. My husband was one of 4 kids and he too occasionally got a spanking – and imagine, we’re both relatively normal…not about to turn into serial killers or anything.

Whether a parent chooses to spank is a personal decision and quite often I think it happens before you’ve made a formal decision. Does it make you a bad parent to spank – no I don’t think so. There is a vast, vast difference between spanking once in a while, if necessary, versus beating and abusing a child.

I personally think too many kids who probably should have been disciplined more and weren’t have now been let loose on the world. Take a look at Spencer Pratt sometime…think that guy should have been spanked a time or 2?

jaQ on

my son and daughter are very different. ages 6 and 3. my boy has always been extremely well-behaved and mellow, even in utero- lol while my girl has been his opposite from the get-go.
i can’t see any way to get through to her. have tried it all. her father spanks, and she listens to him. i’ve tried it, it breaks my heart, and it doesn’t even deter her. i just don’t know what to do about it. she’s a beautiful, wonderful child. lately, we talk, and when she’s doing something, i stop her and say, “do you want to be a good girl, or a naughty girl?” and usually she will think about it and say, “good girl.” but that only works if i catch her in the act of something. if she sneaks off, which she’s fantastic at, no consequence can prevent her doing it again.

i am a peaceful person, and growing up, i was raised by my parents, and also partly by my father’s parents (born 1916 and 1922~ happy 93rd birthday today, grandpa, btw!!) and dad and grandma NEVER yelled. i am equal parts my dad/grandma and mom. but i sure don’t think much of yelling. my step-dad does it, and i’ve always felt it’s a power trip, can’t stand it.

i don’t judge anyone for their type of discipline, or whatever else they do in parenting. and i’d appreciate not being judged. we are all just doing our best. am i wrong for not really knowing what’s best right now? i haven’t figured out something that REALLY works. i feel like, by posting here, though, i may get yelled at, and that’s kind of sad. we’re all moms, going through similar things.
hugs to all of you tired mamas, and your beautiful kids!

BeenSpanked on

I know in my personal experience, and those of my two siblings, had my parents tried to stick us in time out, we probably would’ve laughed. We needed firm discipline because of our firm personalities. My best friend, however, got maybe 2-3 spankings her whole life. It really is up to the child, but for me and my husband, we’ve talked about it and we do plan on spanking our children when the situation calls for it, because ultimately, whatever sort of discipline is put in place is for their benefit. I find it kind of funny how people feel if you spank your children, then you must be in an out of control rage and it’s done in a last resort effort to subdue your children, but I think for most people (there are exceptions) that simply isn’t true. Very rarely did my parents ever spank us when they were actually still upset, and we never needed more than one. I honestly don’t see the harm in that, when it’s done properly.

mari on

I was spanked as a child and I love, trust and respect my parents. I wasn’t whipped, beaten, etc. Just a swat or two on the behind to “get my attention” Spanking can be effective if administered properly and in an appropriate context. There are circumstances where it is inappropriate and ineffective, such as with any type of behavioral disorder spanking should never be used.

I don’t think spanking should be used all the time for any undesired behavior because then it loses it’s effectiveness.

I don’t use spanking as a “knee jerk reaction” as described in an earlier comment. It is usually administered after two warnings and with an accomanying punishment (like toys taken away or no cartoons).

Katie on

XOXO, the 123 book is called “1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12” by Thomas Phelan. I used it with my now 10-year-old DD with a fair amount of success, and I actually still “count” her when she needs it! I have never spanked her [though I’ve certainly been tempted! :)], but I admit I do yell. I know I shouldn’t but sometimes my temper gets the better of me. Oh well, I’m a work in progress as a parent! I now have a 6 month old son, so I’ll have to start all over again, hopefully learning from my mistakes.

Brandi on

We do time out corner. My husband has it easier than I do, he has a mean look he does and the girls just stop whatever they are doing.

Bella Mama on

i just see it as it’s not right to go off and spank or hit someone if they make you mad or if they do something that you do not like, then why is it ok to hit your own child? Makes no sense to me.. I parent how I choose…

Bella Mama on

lol.. Brandi my mom had the “look” down pat.. I think I do too!!

XOXO on

Thank you Katie, I will look for the book🙂

Ellen Smith on

As a follow up to those above who say they use spanking as a last resort and that their parents never spanked them while they were still angry – I think that is the exception to the rule. Most parents I see out in public who undertake spanking their children seem totally out of control (even more so than the children they are supposedly disciplining) and they are definitely at their wit’s end. I think that while there are many strong-willed children out there who are probably a challenge to their parents, with proper parenting skills and good structure these kids can be controlled without spanking. Spanking is rarely performed by a parent after they have “cooled down,” but rather is done in the heat of the moment. Again, we have to question who is really out of control at that point.

anna on

Spanking is done by clueless parents who are not educated enough to know a better solution. Spanking will never work: if it worked you wouldn’t have to do it more than once. Don’t subject your children to physical and emotional pain. Being spanked or hit by your parent is the ulitmate humiliation. And I agree with a previous poster that you would probably never let anyone else hit your child, so why do it yourself. Spanking is childabuse. Don’t do it. One hit or spank starts an endless cycle of more of the same. It will never end.

brannon on

Thank goodness! The other post was scary – huge amount of people hitting their children. Made me want to cry! This thread looks much better!

Fifi on

I feel that spanking provokes fear in the child so you’re fearing them into not doing something you don’t like. As opposed to the time-out that maybe makes them not want to do something because time-out is boring. I don’t know but I don’t like spanking.

Evie on

I am not a spanking fan. At all. My mom spanked and she used it as a vent for her anger rather than as an effective means of discipline. The spanking has had a lasting effect on my relationship with my mother and my own self confidence. That said, as some commenters have suggested it is possible to use spanking responsibly (though I’m still an advocate of finding other means). I will not spank my toddler. But that’s not the main thing I wanted to say.

I actually want to comment on a different issue: expectations of when children need discipline, especially in public. I agree that children need boundaries and discipline, but I do not believe that the examples in the other thread of undisciplined children all merit the wrath commenters bestowed.

One commenter complained that a mother let her daughter lick the meat case window. Big deal: children explore with their mouths. Maybe that mother trusted her kid’s immune system, and wanted to let her kid encounter the world as it made sense to the kid. Doesn’t sound to me like that kid was hurting anyone.

As for kids flinging sugar packets in a restaurant and being noisy, here too I say it’s probably not a big deal. A restaurant with sugar packets on the table is not exactly where you go for your fine-dining experience, your late night date night experience where you might legitimately get annoyed at a kid ruining the ambiance. Sugar packets tend to be your Denny’s type family-friendly restaurants, and therefore a kid being a kid is a perfectly normal thing to expect to encounter. Maybe that mom knew her kid was already being pushed past the over stimulation limit. Maybe she cared more about her kid’s needs than she cared about whether some other diner minded hearing a loud kid, and she decided to let her overtired kid play and explore while gently reminding the kid about inside voices.

I hate how the culture views children — “well behaved” and “disciplined” in most people’s minds seems to mean “a kid who never makes any noise or messes when in public.” That is just not a developmentally appropriate expectation of young children. Kids are just learning about how to behave in public — they aren’t yet masters. They do not have all the tools of empathy and self-control that they’ll gain as they get older. The culture should be more friendly, tolerant, and supportive of young kids. (And this is one reason CBB rocks so hard: through this site, little kids have gotten A LOT of exposure and I think it helps with a general trend toward seeing little kids as people, with their own particular needs, rather than as subordinates that should be seen not heard.)

In saying all this, I am not arguing AT ALL that kids should get free reign to do whatever they like in public (or at home). Clearly, kids need to be guided and taught how to behave appropriately, and they need to learn that some behaviors have negative consequences. But I am saying that they also need a little tolerance and indulgence from their parents and from people around, especially when they are in places (like family restaurants, grocery stores, or even airplanes) where it is appropriate and necessary for them to be.

The attitude that kids acting out a little bit or doing kooky things need “a spanking” or some other form of firm discipline drives me nuts. It seems like it privileges “obedience” to a very limited standard of behavior over expressiveness, assertiveness, engagement with the world, and the ability to learn to regulate their own behaviors without being “told” what to do.

Rach on

Being Caribbean and Christian I was spanked regularly.I think its pretty much the norm there and everyone would always say “spare the rod spoil the child”. When my parents came to Canada,a person in my brothers class had told the teacher that my mom had told him if he ever left the schoolyard again,she would spank him.The teacher called CAS and they told my parents that they could spank us with reasonable force,but it had to be their hand (my mom’s spanker of choice happened to be the wooden spoon).Needless to say, we all got spanked once in a while when the situation was bad,but my parents tried to find different ways to discipline us.I remember they even got out tapes and stuff from the library and all these parenting books etc.

I will say,sometimes we preferred when we got spanked because as soon as the spanking stopped,life became like the military. School was done at 3 and we had to be home by 3:15,3:30 at the latest.And to keep us out of trouble we were involved in a lot of things. My brother who was the worst behaved child always pinching and fighting etc, was put into the Navy cadets,which totally helped reform him for a while. We had swimming, sports, church things etc, so most of the time, we were too tired to make trouble.After school, we were allowed to have a healthy snack and we had to help around the house,then it was straight to home work.We were allowed to watch tv for 2 hours a night and then after that, we were allowed to read for 1 hour.My parents thought that children should not watch tv past 9:00 so that was our bedtime.The computer was “only for schoolwork usage”, so we were rarely on it.

The main form of punishment was to read and copy out things from the many different encyclopedias that we owned. That is what I blame on my knowledge on so many different odd things lol. My mother was also a master of “the look”. She would take one look at us when we were acting up anywhere and we would know to stop otherwise we would get a smack as soon as we got into the car.

We were allowed at anyone’s house and most events that kids weren’t allowed to because people said we were well behaved kids.As we got older we wanted more independance and of course we got ourselves into stuff like almost all kids do.I think what matters though is the outcome.I moved out at 17 for more independance.By 19 my mentality had changed in such a way,you would have thought I was 40.I was getting married and putting myself through school and working.I think parents should understand that disclipining your child whatever way just teaches most kids to be smarter and not get caught. What matters is the values that you instill in your child because once we smarten up, that is always what we revert back to ~

Mikey on

Mari – you are totally correct. Sometimes it’s just a quick butt tap to get their attention, particulary when it’s a toddler hell bent on something dangerous. Spanking should not be used in place of all other forms of discipline, but rather saved for when it is really needed, otherwise it won’t mean anyting.

Jennifer on

To me spanking is reactionary, even if it is done when a parent is cool, calm and collected. As such, it will not be very effective because you are reacting to a situation. True discipline comes with teaching and teaching is proactive – so if you tell a child what is expected of them in a situation and what will happen if they diverge from the expectation (i.e. you will hold my hand while crossing the street, or we will not cross the street and you won’t get to go to the park) has much longer lasting effects than hitting your child.

I am also amused by the semantics of this debate. Yes, spanking is hitting; it is the purposeful infliction of pain on someone, and most people consider the purposeful infliction of pain to be abusive. I was never spanked as a child, nor will I spank my children (I have 4). If spanking was an effective deterrent then it would only have to be done once, and that is just not the case. My children are well-behaved and polite. Yes, they test us and try our patience but that is all part of them growing up and learning who they are and what their place in the world is.

Also, alot of the examples people are using as evidence of lack of discipline (i.e. licking, playing with food) are actually lack of manners, and those things (like disciple) are modeled by parents. So, kids with bad manners = parents with bad manners or who don’t care.

jessicad on

I personally would rather hurt my daughter’s feelings by a spanking hard enough for her to remember not to do something again but not too hard that it actually causes physical damage, than have her hit by a car because she doesn’t listen to me saying no, or screaming 123. My daughter is stubborn, even at such a young age you can tell a huge difference in personalities. I try being calm and reasoning with her, she does not listen at times and will look at me, laugh, and continue doing what I’m telling her not to. I’m her parent, her authority figure, and I’m responsible for keeping her alive and making her a well rounded individual. We can be friends when she’s an adult, but right now she needs me to teach her right from wrong, sometimes she listens to no, others not, which is when I choose to spank her, and it’s only in situations when she puts her life in danger. If she’s just being loud or throwing food on the floor of course I don’t spank her for that, I get on the floor and show her how to pick it up and make her help me clean up her mess and tell her to lower her voice, you have to find a good balance. I remember when spanking became such a big deal, and it’s because other people felt it was their business to step in. I don’t judge people who don’t spank, as long as your kids are happy and it works, great for you!

Anna, it’s really rude and shows no class to call a mother uneducated and clueless for her parenting choices. And again, spanking is NOT child abuse. By your theory I take it you’ve only had to use your methods once, since if spanking worked you’d only have to do it once right? That makes absolutely no sense…

All I know is that kids have changed so much in the last 20 years, and when you think about all the things that we do differently it just makes you wonder.

Morgan on

jessicad said it for me.

JMO on

There is a huge difference between spanking your kids and beating your kids and people have to know the difference. I don’t think anyone should have to resort to spanking/hitting because a child should be very clear of the consequences ahead of time. If your child is not responding to time out’s, removal of favorite toys/games, loss of treat etc. then obviously the parent is doing something wrong that the child isn’t responding to that kind of discipline. However, kids are all different and some really don’t respond to certain discipline.

For instance as a kid my mom had no problem smacking us with a wooden spoon or puttin pepper on our tongues for back talk. But it really only took one or two times to get the message across before we knew that our behavior would warrent HER discipline. As my mom would stand there discipling my brother and I she used to say I had the face of, “if looks could kill you’d be dead!” where my brother would be bawling on the floor like a baby. Both of us got the same discipline but responded in two different ways.

However I can say at this moment I have no ill effects from it. My mom and I are best friends. And as a person who raises other peoples kids I can def. see the difference in children who are disciplined and those who aren’t and each parent does it differently. I can’t say what I will do as a parent myself but I’m not fully against a smack on the butt or hand if it’s the final last resort. Especially if I am preventing my child from hurting themselves or someone else. But remember there is a fine line between beating and smacking and I think people have ot know the difference.

If you find yourself having to spank your kids all the time you truly need to look at your parenting and why your child is behaving the way they do. I don’t believe that all kids will respond the same way. And some truly will go with the time outs but if they’re anything like some kids I know then sometimes it’s just not going to work.

There is nothing worse to me then seeing kids who disrespect their parents. The other day I was in a store and this little boy kept punching his mom in the stomach and telling her, “I want to go home now!” The mom just smiled and said, “we will” and continued shopping while her son hit her. I personally felt like grabbing the kid myself but then I thought, no the person who needs to be grabbed is the mom who is allowing her son to get away with this awful behavior. It’s about taking control from an early age and instilling a bit of fear in the kids and lettin them know that mommy and daddy is boss….I think it’s parents at times who need the spankins for allowing their kids to get out of control!

kai on

brannon, my thoughts exactly. that other post was SCARY.

evie, VERY GOOD points:)

Samantha on

Read “How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

I have no need for spanking. That will not create anything but sneaky children and erode my bond with them.

JMO on

oh btw the one little girl I watched would get her hand tapped if she did something that may cause a dangerous situation for her or someone else (with permission from parents of course)…other then that she responded well to time out’s…infact would put herself in them (mostly to get out of cleaning up)! Right now the rules are if you whine and cry you have to do it in your room until your ready to come out and talk to me without being upset. But mostly at 4 all you have to do is tell her once to do something or not to do something and she pretty much listens. Her parents have followed the same rules and she’s a GREAT kid!! All this with hardly any taps. I know it’s corny but I do try to follow the rules of super nanny when it comes to my nephews and I really thought it was all a joke myself but it can actually work!!

But like I said I’m not against kids getting a smack if it needs to happen. I do agree that kids are a lot different today then they were 20+ years ago and it does make you wonder sometimes. There was never a day growing up that child would EVER lay a hand on their mom or dad and now it seems like every time you turn around there is a child bossing around the adult instead. Pretty sad.

stormdan on

I don’t think that spanking is inherently wrong or that it is child abuse, but we won’t use it in our house.

I wanted to mention, as someone else above did, that spanking with an object IS child abuse. In most areas in the US it is included in the legal definition of abuse. It is NOT ok to spank you child with any object other than your hand.

Holly on

jessicad said exactly what I would have said. Very well put. I am a loving, responsible mother, with only the best interest for my daughter in mind when I discipline. I am neither uneducated or clueless; thank you very much.

tara on

I do not and will not spank my children. In the adult world hitting someone is called assault, even if it’s just a little slap, look it up. Spanking is unnecessary, there are other methods to discipline your children. Time outs work for my daughter. My son is only 1 so I am not sure what is going to work for him. I also use the 123 method if she doesn’t comply she does get a time out. Consistency is key here. Don’t tell your child no and then let them misbehave anyway just because it’s not convenient to punish them. Also, pay attention to your children. Many kids act up because they are bored or want attention from their parents. Sorry, but I think spanking is archaic and ineffective, not to mention downright mean and abusive.

I was spanked as a child and I remember all of it, especially when my mother spanked me out of anger or when my father used the belt.

Mrs. R. on

My daughter is 2.5, and I have found that when she is doing something immediately not OK (like throwing a toy), letting her know what the rule is will stop it from happening again usually. If she is in a defiant mood, then an immediate small time out (less than a minute) works great, OR I will have the toy take a time out.

When we’re having problems with whining or random crying, then giving her a warning and a count from 3 to 1 usually stops the behavior in its tracks.

Thankfully, my daughter is not a difficult child. She’s highly verbal, and I do think that being able to specifically talk to her about right and wrong and the rules of the day or situation makes a huge difference. My friends with kids who are ‘unruly’ tend to be my friends whose children are much less verbal. I truly think that the kids act out because they can’t SAY what they want.

celeste on

Rach- could have been talking for me.! my parents are also caribbean an me and my siblings were raised the same way. how a parent chooses to rear their child is their choice but spanking worked for me and my siblings and none of us are crack addicts or abusers. we were strictly disciplined and it worked. we were not beat we were spanked. if we could not hear we would feel. and its not as if we were harmed. my mom also had a cou cou stick that that was a close friend:) and we knew why we where being spanked.if we were told not to draw on the wall or leave the block and we did. we got a lash for not listening. and once we were lashed it was over.
being caribbean raised an it being in our blood we also were privy to the methods that were also mentioned by rach, the copying out of the encyclopedia and writing lines and standing in the corner with our hands in the air. my parents got real creative and it did not harm the relationship we had with our parents. it made it better because we knew that they were our parents not our friends
we also were not perched in front of the tv. we had a certain amount of time allowed an that was it. we could have timed our bedtimes come sunday by the wonderful world of disney!!! if we didnt catch it at 6pm too bad we were not catching the later one. it was bedtime. we had to “hoover” aka vacuumn and help out
my parents taught us discipline and from some of the posts i read were a bit ignorant in acting like people that spanked are monsters. its a choice and if i am blessed to have children i will incorporate spanking and other forms of discpline. being raised this way is what we knew and respect. and i think spanking is a fine way. just as the 123 approach,the timeouts an lines an standing with your hands in the air my mom liked that one and i tell you it worked
we must just respect peoples choices to discipline as we see fit! as its no ones business how one person decides to discipline THEIR child.

Sarah M. on

Spanking is an issue that people will NEVER see eye-to-eye on, I think. Every kid is different, though. Time-out may work great for some kids, but others will laugh at your face as your sitting them down. Some kids a ‘look’ will suffice, others will turn right around and continue what they were doing. Counting works for some, not all. Some kids, nothing works but spanking. (Spanking, not abuse.)

Jessicad – I totally agree. If they run out into the street, they need something that will make them realize that what they did could actually hurt them very seriousally, if not kill them. (The same with touching a hot stove, messing with a light socket, etc.)

JMO – If the way a parent is disciplining a child isn’t working, that doesn’t always mean that the parent is in the wrong. Sometimes, yes, the majority of the time, maybe. But sometimes, it’s just that one kid who will ONLY respond to spanking, and NOTHING else.

Working with children for 10 years, I’ve seen it all. From babysitting, to day care, to nannying for my 4th family (current). You can tell the difference with children who run the house at home and the ones who are given boundaries and expected to abide by them. One of the consequences that some of the children get is spanking. Yet, when mom and dad got home/picked them up, all I saw on their faces was pure joy at seeing the parent. I’m not comfortable spanking children in my care, but have been told by a few parents that it was okay if I did. (I wouldn’t have a problem spanking a child of MINE, though, should the need arise.) I count, then time-out, then loss of a privilege. And make sure to let the parent know when they get home what happened and how I dealt with it. Mom or dad can deal with it as they see fit after that. The family I nanny for now, we go see a mutual family friend in a nursing home once a week. In the car on the way there the first time, I gave them my expectations on their behavior. I told the boys that the FIRST time they weren’t followed, we would leave. I would be embarrassed for us and sad for Cleo (the woman we were visiting), but we would still leave, no argument or debate. They have NEVER not followed my rules there. (I made sure the rules were ok with their parents, too, of course!) Kids need rules and boundries to turn into well-rounded adults. Otherwise you have kids now, who expect to get what they want, right when they want it, exactly how they want it, and have ZERO respect for anyone but themselves.

Sherri on

Spanking or not… I see WAAAAY too many PARENTS obeying their CHILDREN these days… But, I suppose they’ll be GREAT FRIENDS with their kids one day, right? The kids will be crappy adults… but, oh well…

Michelle on

The 123 method reminds me of something my husband and I saw in a store one time. The kid was doing something he/she wasn’t suppose to… and we could hear the mother saying “no Timmy, put that back, you’re not allowed to play with that – I’m going to count to 3. 1… 2… Timmy, mommy said put that back, it’s not a toy. 1… 2… Timmy, that’s it put it back now. 1… 2…” I don’t think we ever heard her get to 3. We STILL laugh at that mother to this day.

Sarah M. on

Not only that Sherri, but then the kids with have kids, and the wonderful *sarcasm* tradition with continue. Great, huh?

Lis on

I completely think a light spanking is fine – only used as a last resort or in the event of a dangerous sititation. But I really am facinated by the 1-2-3. For those of you who use it, it sounds like it works! I think that will be my plan: use the 1-2-3, then a time out. If that doesn’t work, then probabably a little spanking.

I don’t have children yet, but this is just another thing that will be stored in my brain for later years! This is why I love CBB so much! I have learned so much from the posts of others. Thank you everyone!!!🙂

Leah on

Sharri – you hit the nail on the head. It doesn’t have to be spanking, but just normal discipline!

I am part of a moms’ group locally and there is one mother who on more than one occasion has commented on how strict I am. This particular mom doesn’t believe in discipline and her kids run wild (just yesterday at a playdate she twice had to chase him out of a busy street – he’s 3). At lunch they were climbing all over the table, spilling stuff with their FEET (ew) and she just laughed it off. “Kids will be kids” she said.

Now – if spanking is done by “uneducated,lazy” parents, then this lack of discipline must be done by the geniuses, right?

rose on

I would never put a hand on my child, my dad screamed and some of the words were absolutly uncalled for. I didn’t get spanked on the butt, but in the face.

melania on

I thought I would never be in favor of spanking (and I’m still not), but what discipline works best depends on the child. Our first 2 children responded to time-outs and having privledgs taken. The 3rd child does not. She will just say “fine, I don’t care” and sit in time out forever and then just go do the same thing again. Everything is a battle with her. She only had a spanking once when she opened the car door on purpose when we were driving to the beach. She is only 7, but we just don’t know what to do. She is really mean to her friends, but for some reason she has a ton of them. She says horrible things to my husband and me. She just acts so bratty that it is embarrassing and misses out on so many things because of her attitude. I just don’t get her at all. I’m praying that it is phase that she’ll outgrow with the right support.

Karrie on

My little guy is only 2, so we don’t have a ton of expertise to offer in the punishment and what-works field. I can really only talk from my only experience as a kid.
My parents are two different people and approached discipline in different ways. I love both of my parents very much – neither one of them ruined me for life in their approaches, but I’m glad I had the mix of both of them as a kid and now as a parent to learn from.
My mom was a big comforter. If I was sad or hurt at all she wanted to rock me and sing to me and give me a big kiss on my boo-boo. But when I was in trouble I got slapped in the mouth or screamed at. And she was very inconsistent and argued with me alot when I was a teenager (would have been tough not to, I was hard to deal with). And her big response to my complaints was ALWAYS ‘because I said so.’
My dad, however, had a different approach. I did get spanked by him, probably less than 10 times in my life. And he never hit me in any other way than those times. And I do remember alot of those spankings – but not because I was mad at him and he scarred me for life – because I hated more than anything the feeling of letting my Dad down enough that I got a spanking for it. Typically when I did something wrong my dad would talk it out with me, figure out why I lied or hit or whatever I did, and he would send me to my room to think about it (no phone or tv or computer in my room to entertain me back then!). And his method was great. He was very consistent – only spanking me when I did something that could have permanently hurt me or someone else, VERY rarely. I am close to my dad and I learned from his example – I’m trying to do it like he did it. I love my mom, she is very nurturing, but her punishment methods didn’t work as well as my dad’s. I had such a great relationship with my dad that I really never wanted to let him down – which was enough to keep me on track most of the time.
Will I spank my son? Maybe, I’m not sure… but hopefully NEVER out of anger, and only when he has done something that could permanently injure him or someone else. Otherwise I really want to talk him through things, so he LEARNS from the situation – learns how to work through it in his own mind.

Holly R. on

Spanking is a hot button issue for a lot of reasons. The biggest one, for me, is the abuse factor. I AM NOT SAYING ANYONE WHO SPANKS IS ABUSIVE. I am saying that as a person that survived child abuse, I have found that it feels wrong to me.

I view myself almost as an alcoholic. If I spank her one time out of anger/frustration, I’ll spank the crap out of her for everything soon enough. It’s not something I feel I can handle without really harming her emotionally, if not physically. And I feel I also do myself harm if I hit her.

My daughter is three years old. She says “please”, “thank you”, “no, thank you”, “I’m sorry”, “excuse me”, and other polite phrases. She is relatively calm for a young child. And she knows to clean up messes she makes. Yes, sometimes she lays on the floor in public places. Sometimes, she might even lick something that some would consider dirty. I have also had battles-of-will with her in public. But in every situation, I try to look at every angle. Is she tired? hungry? overstimulated? understimulated? Before I jump to disciplining her, I try to correct those other things. A snack, a change of scenery, something to do, a time-in (cuddle in a quiet place).

The one thing I demand of my child is respect. And to me, respect is earned on both sides. I cannot expect my child to respect me, if I don’t respect her. She has boundaries, wants, needs, and limitations. I need to respect those, just as I would expect someone to respect my boundaries, limitations, and needs.

I parent her, and so does my husband, in ways that we would want to see her relationships with others play out in adulthood. Would we want her husband hitting her if she did something he disapproved of? Would we want her boss yelling at her for forgetting something? Would we want her to hit someone she was managing if they messed up? No. And it’s not a perfect system, but no one is perfect, and what we do works for us.🙂

Peeved Michelle on

Yes, there is a difference between spanking your kid and beating your kid. There is also a difference between recreational drug use and drug addiction. It doesn’t matter what the difference is, neither one is doing you any good.

Brandy on

I have been known to raise my voice at my son but I do my best to reserve that for times when it is necessary (like the time he broke away from me and almost ran in front of a car in a parking lot). Typically losing priviledges works the best with him. I have spanked him but in his almost 4 years I can count the amount of times on one hand. If he acts up, doesn’t listen, etc. he will lose a priviledge and/or get a time out. He HATES time outs so they are surprisingly effective. He doesn’t like to stand still.😉

I, however, completely respect whatever parents choose to use as discipline for their children. I swore I would never spank my son, but have needed to on RARE occasion for various reasons. However every parent and child is different. As long as you are not truly injuring the child, you need to do what will work.

Anonymous on

I never comment here but I thought I’d share my bit.

I don’t have kids, I’m still pretty much a kid myself, I’m in college. My siblings and I were hit by our parents. Both my parents were born and raised in asian countries where it was the norm to beat your child. I’ve been to their homeland and have seen people beating their kids with sticks outside their front yard with people walking by like it was nothing. Both my parents were hit as children, and therefore so were we.

My parents knew nothing of time outs, or grounding. the only thing they knew was to hit us. There were times I didn’t feel safe around my parents, especially my father. They weren’t alcoholics, they just couldn’t control their anger. At the time it was the most terrifying thing ever, to see my dad go into a rampage and knowing what was coming next. It actually didn’t stop until my sophmore year of high school.

I hated, and absolutely resented my parents for hitting us. None of my siblings or i were close to our parents but since the hitting has stopped and I have gone to college, I’ve been very close to my mom. My dad now uses verbal insults and threats, and sometimes a hitting would be easier to take than those words.

I don’t consider myself to be an aggressive person. I do get angry easily, and find myself wanting to hit someone myself, but I never do. I still fell like i am very angry at my parents for what they did, but in a way I am grateful, grateful they pushed me as hard as they did to do well in school, practically scaring me into it. My sister does have he same anger issues as my dad though, and is in too many ways just like him. My brother is on the other end, where he got very depressed. I’d like to say I would never hit my kids. I hope I will stick to that.

Laura on

In New Zealand, if you spanked your child, you would be at risk of being prosecuted. It’s illegal here; that’s a law that’s currently under a lot of debate and is causing all sorts of problems.

Personally, I would hope that I would never resort to smacking; my parents didn’t smack us as children (I think my brother got spanked once and my dad felt so bad that he’s never forgotten it), but it’s really none of my business how other people raise their own children – as long as they aren’t going to extremes.

JMO on

LOL @ Michelle’s comment!! It’s so true. I hear that all the time from parents or parents talking to their kids like their infants is another pet peeve of mine! If you give no stern voice how do you expect your kid to take you seroiusly??

And I’m a believer that both parents have to be on the same page w/ discipline. My brother and his GF are not. One is a softy who gives in and doesn’t do much in the way of disciplining and the other prefers to yell and scream or hit the kids if they’re not listening. The kids are completely confused. But when I have them all I have to do is give them the “look” and they know I mean business. When you can discipline by just giving a deadly glare then you know your on the right track LOL🙂

Anon on

“Spanking or not… I see WAAAAY too many PARENTS obeying their CHILDREN these days… But, I suppose they’ll be GREAT FRIENDS with their kids one day, right? The kids will be crappy adults… but, oh well…”

Thank you sherri. I mean really. Most parents don’t take joy out of it. I know parents who put their kids in time out to enjoy a glass of wine in peace. Also, someone said something about instilling fear into a child. Whats wrong with fear?? I think a little bit of fear is good for everyone. We have it for a reason.

When will people realize that blanket statements are never ever correct? Stop judging other peoples parenting methods, if you stepped out the box you might not be so impressed with your own.

jessie on

i don’t know what method i’ll use when i have kids but all the methods are flawed to some extent. we can argue that spanking doesn’t work because you have to do it more than once, but on the other hand timeout and 123 methods also don’t work because you have to do those more than once too. it’s just about finding a method that works for you

melody on

Spanking your children because you were spanked and “turned out fine” is not a legitimate reason to spank. Most of us also did not have car seats as infants and toddlers and are still alive–doesn’t make it right. Some of our mothers smoked cigarettes while pregnant with us and we are okay–doesn’t make it right.

Regardless of whether or not you see spanking as abuse, there are other tools to discipline that work better. Why not use those?

Rachel on

I have two sons, ages 2 1/2 and 1 year. We are definitely in the “terrible twos” and some days I feel that all I do is discipline. My oldest child is very strong willed. Usually, I give him a warning first, and explain what will happen (time out) if he does it again. If he does it again, he goes in time out for 2 minutes. He goes to time out with no problems, and sometimes he even puts himself in time out. I have spanked him before, but can count the number of times on one hand. I don’t think there is anything wrong with spanking as long as it is not a daily occurance and is used when your child does something that could hurt himself or others. I think too many parents want to be their children’s friends, instead of their parents. Discipline is important. Children need to know that they are consequences for bad behavior, and also, rewards for good behavior!

Dickie on

Please do not compare a spanking to a beating. That minimizes the suffering and pain a child feels from a beating. That said, constant spanking is probably not the answer. I was spanked about a handful of times. I do not have any specific recollections as to whether I felt humiliated or resentful. Clearly, nothing that stayed with me. What feels worse in retrospect are the verbal insults. And there were only a handful of those too. I agree with a spanking on the bottom to get a child’s attention when they have done something that could have been dangerous.

Liv on

Michelle, I agree with you. Also JMO, I totally agree too, love ‘the look’.
I was spanked as a kid and turned out fine. I think it is completely acceptable to spank a kid who is misbehaving. Spanking is different than hitting. Also like the others said you explain why it is happening and kids learn quick. I do use time-outs though which work great. So I would rarely have to spank.
It seems the ones who have been spanked and are against it were spanked the wrong way Ex. with a belt or because their parents wanted to vent and did it more randomly, which I do not agree with at all.

Cara on

I think it is fascinating that our society has laws against violence and assault when it is adult-adult, but we are allowed to “spank” our children, who are beings needing the most understanding and unconditional love of all. Every misbehavior of a child is a teaching opportunity to be a kind and respectful person of integrity. The kids that people think are spoiled from not getting a “spanking” probably do have parents who do not set boundaries, but we can certainly set boundaries with our children without using force. I think people who spank their kids will pay the price later.

Brina on

I don’t spank my kids, though I have no particular objection to it as long as it isn’t done in anger. My parents spanked my younger sisters and I but never hard and never in anger. It worked on my sisters: they rarely got in trouble because they knew what was in store. It just caused me to rebel even at a young age, so they tried other things like time-outs, no TV, grounding and even writing essays. So I guess it really all comes down to what you’re comfortable doing and what disciplinary tactic will even work on your child (if your child seems to need a spanking everyday, you might want to try a new method). I use time-outs, and now that my oldest son is almost seven, I can use no TV. I don’t yell, but then again my parents didn’t either until I started as a teenager so we’ll see how I do with that.

Anon on

The majority of the world incorporates spanking in their disciplinary measures. I can assure you that some of the greatest minds the world has ever known were spanked. Spanking I’d say up until 30, was a common practice in all american households. Not saying it happened everyday, but it definitely happened in most peoples childhoods. There are Nobel peace prize winners who’ve been spanked!! People are just looking at spanking at what happens to recipient of spankings through such a narrow scope.

Amy in Oregon on

I don’t spank my children either, we have a warning system. They receive one warning and then the second warning includes counting to three and if the behavior continues then time out is given and time out does not start until the child is silent. Time outs last as many minutes as the child is old.

Sarah M. on

Melania – I understand where you are coming from with your daughter. My 10 year old brother is the same way. Nothing works. He is beyond disrespectful, disobedient, snotty, lazy, etc. And everyone comments on these things regularly, so it’s not just siblings not getting along. Partially in his defense, he lives with my dad and I, he isn’t biologically related to my dad but he is my brother’s guardian, and for the first 5 years of his life had NO form of discipline whatsoever (with my mom). The state would never let him go back to my mother, so unless he was with my dad, he’d be in foster care. We’re still trying to find something that works with him. Sorry I can’t help, but I can sympathize.

Holly R. – Your situation is a whole other matter. You were actually beat as a child, most people aren’t. So I can see why you make the choices you make with your daughter.

Anonymous – I would think that you are turned off by spanking because it was used wrong with you. What you have described in your childhood does sound like abuse, to me. Spanking should NEVER be the only thing used. More if they are doing something that could seriously harm them or others around them.

JMO – I agree that all of the caregivers need to be on the same page. But not just the parents. Babysitters, nannies, teachers, anyone who would ever be left in charge of the children by themselves.

brannon on

Suddenly feeling horrified for a lot of children. The reasoning for hitting them is even scarier – bc I was, bc Nobel prize winners have been, bc they are not my friend, bc they should scared of me. I have seen nothing yet that justifies hitting a small child. Teach them people. That’s your job. To love and teach.hitting does neither. –

jennifer on

sometimes it looks like i am not disciplining my child at all, but we have found (through much trial and error, lol) that distraction and consistency are our best tools for dealing with our son. i HAVE spanked my son on more than one occasion after he turned 18 months old but it has been very rarely and i am sad to say not really a discipline tactic, but something used when i was at the end of my rope and had lost my patience. it doesn’t work. he is the epitome of the phrase, “it will just teach them that hitting is okay”. i have been known to yell on occasion and that too is fruitless. it makes him laugh. many people, even my own parents, say they are amazed at how well-behaved lawson is and how well he listens (to me, not necessarily his father who can be inconsistent). i reply, “well, it took me 2 1/2 years to figure it out!” LOL (lawson just turned 3)

Anon on

Don’t be dense. My point wasn’t that Nobel peace prize winners have been spanked so everyone should be spanked. My point was that people have this very warped view of what happens to children who have been spanked and they’re wrong. Spanking doesn’t mean you’ll turn out resentful, abusive, or fearful. If you choose to spank doesn’t mean you’re uneducated or lazy. And I don’t understand people who can try to dispute that spanking works in some cases. Maybe not for YOU and YOUR child, but for some its effective and this forum is full of testimonials.

SH on

Anon, you said what I was going to say. People spank BECAUSE Nobel Peace Prize winners were spanked? Give me a break! I’d also like to add that if you choose to spank your kids, it doesn’t mean you don’t LOVE them and TEACH them EVERY DAY the same way YOU are doing if you choose NOT to spank! Do you think that people who spank their kids once in awhile are just going around every day beating up on their kids and not loving them, hugging them, kissing them, reading to them, bathing them, cooking meals for them, feeding them, and playing with them EVERY DAY?? MOST people who spank thier kids (in the right way) take care of their kids and love them JUST AS MUCH as you love yours. Get off your high horse.

Anna on

Spanking is equal to abuse in Sweden and hence illegal. I think it should be the same in all countries. We don’t solve conflicts among adults with violence (well, we do in some ways as we still have wars, but we don’t really want to); why should we do it when we’re with our kids. That’s not what I want to teach my children at least. There are other ways to discipline children, i.e. with words and other parenting methods. I think it’s strange that we’re still having this discussion in the 21st century.
/Anna in Stockholm

Christian Mom on

http://www.geocities.com/cddugan/RoyLessinOpenLetter.html

THAT kind of spanking is the EXACT kind of spanking recommended in the “Christian” book “Shepherding a Child’s Heart.” TERRIBLE! It’s the most popular “parenting” book in the Christian market right now. SICK!!!!

Run, run, run if you are church shopping and they use that book. (Or the book by the Pearls) (Or the “Christian” book by the Ezzos-author of Babywise)

If you are a Christian, you do NOT have to spank! Everyone who is a Christian does NOT spank.

Instead, check out:

Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids! by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (Paperback – Sep 17, 2002)

Parenting is Heart Work by Joanne Miller and Dr. Scott Turansky (Paperback – Oct 27, 2005)

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes…in You and Your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (Paperback – Oct 17, 2000)

Home Improvement by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (Paperback – Aug 31, 2007)

Grace-Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel (Paperback – May 17, 2005)

Raising Great Kids for Parents of Preschoolers by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend (others in the series for older kids) This is the workbook that goes with the general book.)

Families Where Grace is in Place by Jeff VanVonderen

Biblical Parenting by Crystal Lutton (Paperback – Mar 2002) includes a Bible study on the rod much like the one I did about a year ago. Danielle, are you reading this? Is there as much debate in the Jewish community about spanking as there is in the Christian community? I’ve tried to find the answer, but couldn’t.

I do not pretend to know the above authors’ official position on spanking. I just know that I found the above books VERY helpful in creating consistent, firm, AND gentle discipline.

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes…in You and Your Kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (Paperback – Oct 17, 2000) is a VERY popular book among non-Christians as well. They do a seminar on it.

Kris on

I loved someones earlier comment about how children explore with their mouths and that somehow letting a child lick a glass case was a good thing. My mother is a teacher. In this past year they have had a lot of children going into the bathroom and destroying them by going poop and then rubbing it on the toilet handles, so tell me is that letting them explore their world. I see a child putting their spit all over public property the same way as the children at her school. I also got an occasional spanking when I was little and as others have said it was a last resort and my parents would explain why it was happening. I believe as others have said that spankings when done right and sparingly does give children a healthy fear of their parents, which is needed. Now a days we have to many children that don’t have that.

Jennifer on

I guess I have trouble understanding how any parent would want to hurt their child purposely. You can argue endless about the difference between spanking, hitting and beating, but the ultimate result is hurting a child and I will never see that as an acceptable thing.

Kendra Mason on

I’m 15 and me and my boyfriend are proud parents to a 3 week old baby girl named Autumn Olivia Marie Carson. I know I’m very young to have a baby but I’m responsible and mine and his parents are helping with everything and our agreements with disciplining our daughter when she is older is that we are gonna be easy on her unless she does wrong.

Kristen on

I don’t believe hitting or spanking works or is appropriate. I think both are the result of an adult tantrum and obviously don’t set a very good example. How many people have spanked their children when they were feeling happy or in a good mood? I’ll bet not many.

Shannon on

I understand the URGE for a little spanking here and there, but it is out of anger. I have beenand wanted to do it. When we spank we are only reinforcing the fact that when something does not make us happy we resort to violence. I know that my 2 year old son becomes aggressive when he is angry and I am trying to teach him other ways to deal with his emotions. So if I spank him later when I am angry, I am negating everything I do for him the rest of the day.

Vixen on

This is a very interesting debate. I agree with Karrie that what I remember about being spanked as a child is not hurt, or humiliation, but a strong sense of having done something bad enough to be smacked.

I also think that part of the problem is the issue of interpreting what smacking is. I would like to suggest that actually the point of smacking is that it doesn’t really hurt. It is not the point to discipline through pain but the physical act of giving a child a rap on the bottom is a means of shocking them into the realisation they have done something wrong. I don’t remember pain from being smacked, nor was I ever afraid of my parents whom I have a great deal of respect for. What I WAS afraid of was knowing I had gone too far and a smack might be the outcome – I was afraid of the consequences of my actions.

In my opinion these days there are too few consequences for people. Prison seems no longer to be a deterrent because there is no longer any social stigma attached to doing wrong and being imprisoned for it. Fear of the consequences of doing wrong is a successful deterrent for some types of people and in extreme circumstances I believe that smacking is an acceptable means of making it absolutely clear to a child that their behaviour is unacceptable.

I would start with warnings/timeouts etc, but there may come a point when they have to realise the severity of what they may have done. I agree that talking to your child is vital, as is explaining what has happened, but children are physical creatures, and to expect them to understand complex verbal explanations is asking a lot of them.

So in conclusion whilst I hope I will never have to spank my child , I would be prepared to do so if I felt it was necessary. Never in anger, never with the intention to hurt, never repeatedly and never with anything other than a hand, but I hope I would have the judgement to make the right decision about when it might be necessary.

Shannon on

I certainly understand the URGE to spank a toddler. Toddlers are frustrtating!! But I know that when my 2 year old is angry or frustrated he acts out by hitting or throwing. I am trying to teach him alternatives to that. I feel that if I hit him when I am frustrtated, I am only negating all of the hard work I put in the rest of the day with him the to do the right thing when he is upset.

Shannon on

Oh. . . and important to know. I was VERY afraid of my parents and them finding out things I had done wrong. And spanking was not their method of dicipline.

babyboopie on

I never have and I never will spank my children. With my son, he was a very strong willed child when he was younger, but I used time outs of 2 minutes and ignored him until he stopped his bad behaviour and praised him when he did, and for me it worked. He never repeated those kind of behaviours again. He is now 4 years old and well behaved. You do not need to spank, I think it is disgusting and immoral to do so, how could you do that to a child that you carried and gave birth to? The child is a small human being who make mistakes and need to learn from them, just as the same as adults. It’s like saying you should smack adults when they do something wrong! I am pregnant with my second child, due in November, and obviously I don’t know what she or he will be like but I will use the same disciplinary methods I used with my son. If that doesn’t work, I will find another method without any form of violence. Any mother who spanks her child needs help.

DevinsMom on

I have read every one of these posts. People are certainly on their high horse from both sides of this issue. I do not want to get on a high horse, but it is hard not to. My bottom line is there is enough violence in this world. We all talk about not wanting our kids to be exposed to it, how out of hand it is etc, etc. Hitting is violence. I don’t care how hard you hit your child, it is violence. If I punch my coworker “not very hard” I am still doing the wrong thing. As a 6th grade teacher in an urban setting, I know that I spend every single day trying to help my students overcome their urge to solve EVERY problem they have with violence. It is a HUGE issue in my classroom and very often is an obstacle to teaching the kids who DESIRE to learn. Seeing this daily, it is a no brainer to me that I do not hit my child. If I do not want him to grow up and hit people, where is the rationale behind hitting? I do not want to judge people and do not judge friends who spank, but when we start raising this question in this type of forum, I feel free to voice my opinion. Bottom line, you are teaching them that adults can hit when they think it is justified. That is not true in the real world. AND, they are just kids, learnign and growing with you as a role model. It is your job to teach and guide them. If you are not trying to teach them in any other way other than hitting, I am sorry , you are not doing your job.

jessicad on

I’m really tired of people of saying parents who choose to spank are uneducated, child abusers, or lazy etc etc. If you have children who respnd to other methods, great. Some simply don’t. I wish mine did more often than she does, but she is her own person, I was like that as a child and this is my karma:) Don’t feel sorry my daughter either, trust me she is loved and thriving so much for her age and I would die for her in an instant if I had to. Of course it hurt me the few times I’ve had to spank her, and I know it hurts her. That’s just part of life in my opinion, I can’t protect her from every little thing, she is going to get hurt sometimes. I do not beat her, there is HUGE difference, as I said in the Gwen Stefani post if you’d like to work with me a day or two at the hospital you will see the disgusting and heartbreaking difference between spanking and actual child abuse. you’ll think people who spank are angels in comparsion to what some people do to their kids. So please stop with the immature remarks like that. I’m not saying your method is wrong, so I expect people to show the same respect for those of us who choose to spank. We’re all different, and so are children. What works for one may not work for another.

DevinsMom on

It is funny, people choose only to respond to the over the top comments like people who hit are uneducated or child abusers. I do not think either of those things. I think we just need to address the fact that other options need to put out there for all of us. I think every type of parent could use help and methods that help us deal with the pressures of a toddler and teach them how to behave and deal with their emotions at the same time.
What I do not see anyone responding to is the fact that when you hit your child, you teach your child that hitting is a way to deal with problems. It is not. So why do we continue to hit our children???

Anonymous on

Sarah M. – Abuse would probably be the right word actually. I just dislike using it because it sounds so negative. Hitting and screaming were the only things my parents knew to do. I see most my aunts and uncles who live in the country my parents were born and raised in use the same methods my parents did my cousins. It’s the norm for them to beat their children with sticks and scream insults at them. The teachers are still even allowed to hit kids with rulers in school and it really saddens me.

Ashlea on

Give me a break, “Spanking will emotionally scar a child for life” is just stupid and wrong. If you choose not to spank your children, that’s great, as long as they are disciplined in some way and they grow up as a respectful and responsible person. But will you please lay off people who do choose to spank. And yes there is a proper way to spank. First, spanking is not “hitting” your child. Of course you should not haul off and smack someone in the face or punch them in the chest. You should not do it out of anger or use foreign objects to hit the child with, and you should be calm about it, not screaming and yelling. You spank them and tell them why they got spanked and ask for an apology, them hug them and tell them you love them and want them to learn how to behave properly. Have you really ever seen a 4 year old having a screaming and kicking tantrum? I’m sorry, but simple saying “Hey there, can we please calm down” while using your nicest voice and gently patting them on the back is not going to work. A pop on the butt with your hand can be very effective at getting an unruly childs attention. Can you honestly tell me that you do not see a huge change in our kids today? There are so many rude, disrepectful, and wild kids today because mommy thinks it will dampen their spirit to get a spanking. Whatever! The person that does not discipline their child and leaves them to do whatever they feel like actually hates their kids. To love a child means to take the good and the bad and do things to help them in life. Leaving a child to their own devices just sets them up for a very difficult adulthood where sometimes we don’t always get what we want.

Laura on

I’m with Gwen on this one… There are plenty of ways to discipline children without resorting to physical violence.

Anon on

What I do not see anyone responding to is the fact that when you hit your child, you teach your child that hitting is a way to deal with problems. It is not. So why do we continue to hit our children???

I was spanked and NEVER learned that lesson. I think people aren’t addressing you because if they were spanked and appreciated it in hindsight, obviously they too have learned a different lesson than what you think they’ve learned. A lot of the ‘pro-spank’ parents have said they don’t disagree that spanking is not needed for every child. However for some it definitely is(i was one of those kids) and the some of anti-spank parents want to acknowledge that.

I think that a lot of parents have different definitions of the words ‘well behaved’. I know parents who spank and don’t spank that consider their kids ‘well mannered’ but frankly in MY eyes they’re a hot bull in a china shop mess.

Anon on

“Can you honestly tell me that you do not see a huge change in our kids today?”

Oh pishposh…the kids today are soooo “well behaved” *eye roll*.

Ashlea on

Ok Anon,(don’t you love how the most opinionated people hide behind anonymous titles?), if you wish to comment about other posts lets make sure you understand them first.
“Can you honestly tell me that you do not see a huge change in our kids today?” That is to imply that kids who are not desciplined, like a lot of kids today, are NOT well-behaved. The older generation of people that are around 50 years old or more seemed much more respectful of their parents in general than the kids being raised today, and I think it has to do with the fact that our parents parents taught them that there are consequences for every action. It annoys the heck out of me to see kids running and screaming in public places disrupting everyone else while their parents sit back and smile and tell people “We don’t believe in spanking”. Well, whatever else some of these people are doing isn’t working either.

Anon on

This is all anonymous, Ashlea so don’t kid yourself. My name is Elzbieta if it makes you that much more comfortable. Anyway, I put “Well behaved” in quotes for a reason and had you read my other posts on the subject(the two that right next to yours) you’d see that I have no qualms with parents who choose to spank.

DevinsMom on

I think people aren’t addressing you because if they were spanked and appreciated it in hindsight, obviously they too have learned a different lesson than what you think they’ve learned

I am certainly not asking to be personally addressed. I am wondering why people only respond when prodded to do so by name calling. I am wondering when others pose a question, not just myself, it does not invoke a response. I guess I was just hoping for more give and take in the responses, not just a single post from people. But in retrospect, it makes sense for this type of forum as it is not a true blog. Saying that I perceive the lesson learned by you and others differently is an interesting point. And I suppose it is true that there are many adults who do not feel that hitting is OK b/c they were spanked. I do wonder how many learned a different lesson than you. And spending the early part of my teaching career in pre-school, I know that many kids that age do not differentiate between “good” hitting and “bad” hitting. If they see it a lot, they do it a lot. That is the developmental stage they are at. So for a good deal of time in their lives, many do learn to hit when frustrated. I do not want my toddler hitting others. So really, I am not criticizing people who spank, I am asking if it is really necessary. I know I specifically spend a large part of my time trying to teach my son not to hit when he is frustrated, but to find other outlets, and it is hard. I still stand by my statement that I feel if I am spending so much time trying to find other ways to deal with his disappointment and frustration, I would only negate that hard work by hitting him.

actualsize on

Can you honestly tell me that you do not see a huge change in our kids today?

I’d be interested to know how you’re able to draw a direct link between the increase in misbehaving and decrease in spanking. A lot of things have changed in the last 50 years, and spanking is only one of them. To say one caused the other is erroneous in the extreme.

So to answer your question: yes, I do see a huge change in kids today, but that doesn’t mean I think bringing back spanking as a common punishment will be either effective or ethical. Many, many other things would have to change for kids to behave the way they did in the past.

DevinsMom on

Well said actualsize.

boggin828 on

For those who say spanking taught them to respect, FYI, FEAR is not RESPECT.

boggin828 on

Also, in regard to the change in children today, I see strong children today with extreme emotions (good too). I see loved children who maintain good relationships with their parents and respect them as adults.

I don’t see damaged, scarred adults who are unable to show emotion because they were locked up in boarding school and hit with a yardstick. My parents NEVER laid a finger on me. We have a great relationship. I respect them and feel so lucky to have grown up in an environment where I felt safe from harm. I know my parents are protectors.

I was also disciplined. Seriously disciplined with the loss of privileges and learned work ethic by earning privileges back through chores. I am now a successful entrepreneur. I am confident, happy, healthy, and do not suffer from any stress disorders. I am the only woman I know with NO self image problems.

Too bad my parents didn’t spank. Oh, and I WAS a hellion as a child! That’s what kids do.

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