Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: To Spank or Not to Spank?

03/24/2011 at 01:00 PM ET
Courtesy Elisabeth Röhm

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her role as Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order, has a busy 2011 ahead of her.

The actress, 37, can be seen on the big screen in the upcoming films Chlorine, Transit and Abduction, and can be found online on Facebook and @ElisabethRohm on Twitter.

In her latest blog, Röhm — who is mom to 2½-year-old daughter Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — remembers her dating days, her parenting dealbreakers and wants to know your thoughts on spanking.


Long, long ago when I was still a swinging single girl, I remember going out on dates with a mission: to find out if the guy of the month was ‘the one.’  I recall bringing up ever so gently — or not so — subjects surrounding the future of my fantasy family and watching these guys’ faces tighten with the fear of commitment as they’d try to politely answer my innocent but leading questions, without getting in too deep.

I may have been doing it subconsciously, but I was not the kind of single girl, future wife and mother that wasted my time on a guy that didn’t share the same fantasy of having a family. I’d ask horrible questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” “Do you want to have children?” “Where will you raise your family?” “Do you believe in open marriage?” “Will you raise your children religiously?” and “Would you ever spank your child as a form of discipline?”

Particular answers would have been major dealbreakers, so I felt I was doing everyone a favor by saving us all a little time and heartache. I got my answers time and time again as I went through the dating process. Keeping it light and simple wasn’t my forte because I knew what I wanted — and that was a family. Until Ron, I may have scared a few men with my straightforward approach.

When Ron and I started to date, I performed my usual ‘feeling out’ of the marriage and children issue. He didn’t run scared and he still doesn’t scare easily. I’ve gotta tell you ladies, it was so refreshing. We were off to a good start! Thankfully, he was as eager about the whole ‘future’ thing as I was. On our romantic dinners, he’d entertain my probing questions with heartfelt answers and allowed me to fantasize with him on our future together.

He handled it all with such grace and as time went by he emerged as the family man I had always dreamt of. That is … until one terrible night when the subject of spanking came up. Not the adult version! The kind that some parents feel is a useful tool in laying down the law.

Now, you must understand why I always seemed to be bringing up this issue. For me, I knew that it would be a problem and so I’d find myself seeking that answer time and time again. I was shocked when Ron said that he absolutely had no problem with the idea of spanking — but only if it was necessary. For a couple that had only been dating for several months, it was surprising that dinner turned into World War III.

We talked and debated for hours until I finally realized that I wasn’t going to be able to bend him to my will. This guy, who I really liked, was clearly not ‘the one,’ it seemed. Just like on those previous dates when the guys’ face would freeze with fear of commitment, my face obviously tightened with the same look. Ron could see that this was a losing battle. I was never going to agree on the matter of spanking. Not letting it go, because ‘the one’ never lets you go even when the going gets tough, he said, “I could be wrong. Let’s take a poll and call a few people to see what they have to say.”

I was so prepared for the challenge as we walked to his car that night. Thinking to myself, “I’ll show him. My friends would never spank their kids.” I was going to teach him a thing or two about childrearing. We piled into his Bronco, pulled out our cell phones and let our fingers do the talking.

I recall putting this friend and that friend on speaker phone as we took the poll of their opinions on the subject of: to spank or not to spank? As the hours continued to pass, it was debated with about 10 different men and women. I recall it as clear as day. As you can imagine, it was a heated debate of which both points of view were emotionally discussed by parents and future parents alike.

At the end of an exhausting night, we both agreed that spanking was not the ideal response to the naughty outbursts of children; making it once again a possibility for our relationship to grow to that next level. Ron ended up winning the role of ‘the one’ and we happily moved onto our future together. And not once, not even when he has been pushed to his limits by Easton, has he ever spanked. In fact, he is, as they say, ‘putty in her hands.’ She’s his girl and it would never cross his mind.

However, the debate amongst friends goes on and spanking is one of those issues every parent who does it or doesn’t do it, feels very strongly about. I still, of course, sway heavily to the side of non-spanking methods of discipline, while I have several friends who swing to the other side of the pendulum. Even when the behavior has been wildly disobedient, I simply will not rule with that type of reaction. It’s just not for me.

I recall being at the mall once shopping with Easton. She had absolutely no desire to be pampered with a shopping spree (can you imagine?!) 😉 and instead wanted to explore and run free in the mall. So disobedient — she threw herself down on the floor, ran around the store, tried to run out of the shop’s door to escape into the mall. She was a hot mess!

My friend who was with us said, “I’d give her a spank and put an end to this if I were you.” I responded, “No way. I would never.” She just raised her eyebrow as if to say, “Don’t let that girl run you.” We ended up leaving the store and the mall instead, based on my theory that it was punishment enough to remove her from the environment she seemingly couldn’t handle. Not to mention I was thoroughly done with the little scene myself.

Of course, I have other friends who would never consider spanking, like myself. But I have friends like the above mentioned who absolutely would lay down the parental law with a little tough love. And so the subject remains open and hotly debated by both sides.

I was once with a dear friend of mine who is a fabulous woman and has two fabulous daughters. I’ll never forget being at her house when one of her daughters ran into the street after her mother had urged her not to. My friend ran up to her 4-year-old and twisted her ear to pull her close so as to impress upon her that running into the street was absolutely not okay. Her daughter was bawling, screaming and exaggerating, “You hurt my ear. I can’t hear. You hurt me.”

It was the most frightening scene, both the running into the street and my friend’s reaction to the event. For the record, her daughter’s hearing is, of course, fine and she’s never run into the street again. Her mother intended to scare her straight — and she did.

My face must have tightened because, as I said before, this kind of discipline is such a dealbreaker for me. She could see that I was overwhelmed by her method. However, she stood firm in her beliefs and we’ve agreed to disagree. Her girls cuddle with her and feel safe with her, which is obvious when I’m with them. Whatever they are doing their family seems to be working for them.

After Easton created another public spectacle, I gave her wrist a firm tap. It just didn’t work for either of us. I told a friend about my experience and she wisely said, “To each his own.”  Both of us, with our different parenting methods, agree to disagree on a frequent basis but we don’t judge each other on this touchy matter. However, I think the debate should still go on and that we should all learn from each other what we can.

What I love about you, PEOPLE.com readers, is your willingness to be honest, open and opinionated with each other as you discuss these blogs. I open this week to a respectful and non-judgmental discussion regarding your different methods of discipline.  Please share — what’s worked for you, what hasn’t, have you changed your minds along the way, where do YOU stand on the subject: to spank or not to spank?

Courtesy Elisabeth Röhm


— Elisabeth Röhm

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martina on

My son is only 2.5 and has never done anything to warrant spanking. Neither my husband nor I were ever spanked as kids. Parents are so much bigger; I imagine it would be scary and humiliating for a child to be spanked. On the other hand, I met plenty of parents that were spanked as children and turned out just fine.

Nancy on

What works for my son is to take away his favorite toys for bad behavior with the ability to earn it back.
I was spanked with a wooden spoon as a child and with an open hand and it only served to make me more angry and fearful of my parents.

Nancy on

Martina, I think most children my age have been spanked and turned out fine, however I think it has a lot to do with how they are spanked. When my dad came at me, he was angry and spanked me not as a discipline technique, but as a very angry punishment. It taught me to fear him.

miche on

Aww, I just love these pics! They are both so cute!

Lady on

I’m not gonna lie…..I spank. At least I used to! :o) My kids are pretty much grown (17 – girl & 9 – boy). I didn’t have to spank often, but I did spank and I did it when they were little because that’s when it’s most effective. It worked so well, that I now only have to count to one (1). I tell my kids, let me get to two (2) and see what happens! :o) God Bless them, I never have to get to two (2). Seriously!!!

I think it’s important for each family (parent) to do what’s most comfortable for them, but for me, a pop on the butt (or hand…depending on the degree of the offense) was all I needed to do when they were young and while I know no kid is perfect, my kids are soooo darn close! :o) Misbehaving is something my children wouldn’t dare do (and that includes my 17 year old who is a beautiful teenage girl…..thank you Jesus no typical teenage attitude…..she KNOWS that would NEVER fly in our house!) simply because from day one we let our children know that there were/are severe consequences for misbehaving and it stuck!

Good luck to all you parents out there. To spank or not to spank is totally up to you and I do not judge either way!!! Just know that it worked for me! :o)

Brooke on

For all of you stating before that Elisabeth set up and put in staged pics…..These lovely pics are clearly Elisabeth’s way of telling you to “Suck It”

Tee on

I do not have children but I spend a lot of time with my five nieces and yes, I spank them when I need to. My sister and brother in law spank and we have their full permission and encouragement to discipline in the same manner.

Spanking is a hot button issue and because of that, I don’t tend to talk about it. You asked, though, so I’ll tell you that I do not believe in spanking in anger or for every little offense. In this house, direct defiance or disobediance are big offenses and that is what we usually spank over. We believe in first time obediance and don’t tolerate the girls ignoring instructions.

We are blessed to live in a country where parents have the freedom to choose how to discipline their kids. (within reason) If ya’ll found that you can discipline Easton successfully without spanking, all power to you! It sounds like ya’ll are raising a precious little girl!

sdr on

For me, the bottom line is I would never want my 3 year old daughter to hit another child. So why would I hit her? She mimics everything I do! A small child cannot differentiate a spanking (i.e. a forceful blow meant to be linked directly to bad behavior) from any other kind of hitting.

There are plenty of ways to be firm and forceful with time outs without resorting to hitting. I try to parent with ‘do as I do’ and the beauty of that is that it elevates my behavior too.

JM on

as she rightly pointed out this is often something that people feel very strongly about and i do too. very very strongly. to me, violence breeds violence, if you spank your child you are teaching them that in certain situations it is ok to physically hurt someone else. i would hate to think that my child thought this.

i have 5 children and have never spanked them. we have never had major discipline issues just very clear rules. we use timeout a lot and it works! it really really works! make them understand what they did wrong, why it was wrong, ask them to apologise to you (and anyone else they may have upset) and move on. seriously my kids have never had problems in school with discipline either, because they understand WHY certain things are not allowed.

i react very strongly if i see another parent spanking their child because it is a horrible thing to witness. the excuse “it’s just a little slap and barely hurts” is not really an excuse. you’re supposed to be the adult and role model, so set an example. otherwise your kids will think that in certain situations violence is ok.

i realise everyone has to make their own decisions but it bothers me that there are still some parents who think that two wrongs make a right is a useful teaching philosophy. your kid hits their sibling you tell them off and spank them – does that make any sense to you? because it doesn’t to me.

many of my friends who were spanked as children say the same thing a previous poster mentioned – sure in some situations it taught them not to do it again but it also taught them to fear their parents. i would rather my kids stop doing something because they understand it is wrong than because they are afraid of me.

🙂 anyway, sorry for the rant, i did say it was something i feel very strongly about.

Tieraney on

Is it just me or is her daughter huge for 2.5? Mine is almost 5 and looks the same size! Not trying to be rude or anything, just curious. She sure is a cutie though!

Rachel on

My two younger brothers and I were also spanked as children. It was mostly done by our dad, my mom did not like doing it. I agree with Nancy, it depends on how a parent does it. My dad would not over do it, he was always serious when he would, and would explain to us why we were being spanked. He also would always follow thru with what he would take from us ( i.e no more trips to McDonald’s, this would kill us!).

Needless to say, we were not spanked too often. My parents like to boast today to younger parents that we were very well behaved children. We NEVER threw tantrams at public places, like so many kids do today.

I have a 6 month old son now and my husband and I plan to use the same methods my parents did when he is old enough. However, the world has changed so much , I hope they still work!!! I think taking away McDonald’s trips is no big deal to a kid today as opposed to taking away their XBOX!!!

Laura on

I live in a European country (in Scandinavia) and here it is illegal to spank. And I wouldn’t do that anyway, ever.

– A mom with three kids (1, 6 and 8)

Toya L. on

I, as well as my siblings were also spanked and it didn’t make ANY of us to be violent or violent towards other children. I choose to SPANK not BEAT my own children but it’s rare that I have to and just like my mother was complimented on how well behaved her children were & I am too.

My children HAVE NEVER, EVER *with all capital letters* acted out in public. I see children in restaurants, church, grocery stores etc… running around, throwing full blown tantrums, screaming at their parents and wonder, “How can a parent not have control of their child”? I guess all parents and children are different and what works for some may not work for others. To each their own.

Barbara on

I never had any problems with my first two children. Then along came the third one who challenged everyone from birth. He was swatted once on his behind, but only when he put himself in danger. He was hyper-active and a handful for all. As a grown man now, he is an excellent father, and firm with his daughter when needed.

Hea on

I would never knowingly hurt and certainly not hit a child. Never. If it were to happen it would be a reaction out of sheer terror. I can deal with children without inflicting physical and emotional harm to them and i pity those who can’t. I truly do. No matter how you spank you always violate your child and you teach them that it is okay to hurt people because you are mad or because you think they did wrong.

I am grateful that spanking is illegal in Sweden. It has been for a long long time.

N.S on

I’m from Ireland, and I think it’s much much less acceptable here. I do not spank, and do not know anyone who does. I have no friends or family who were ever spanked as children. It’s not normal here, and I am very thankful of that. I would be horrified to see a mother here lay a hand on her child to scold them.

Alice on

I don’t feel strongly about it. I wouldn’t want to do it if I could avoid it but I don’t think it’s wrong either. I was slapped as a child and spanked on one single occasion that everybody but me remembers, and I turned out fine, others weren’t and they turned out fine. It doesn’t really matter.

By the way, removing the child from the environment won’t teach them to behave. I’m not saying spanking is the solution to that, but until you’ve raised every child you can’t know.

Jillian on

I would never, ever, ever spank my child. It is something I am strongly against and so is her father. We did discuss this prior to having children. He was spanked as a child and it affected him. He never understood why he would be spanked for doing something wrong, but then was told not to hit his brother. My parents never spanked any of us.

My daughter is very young but as she gets older, we will still never ever spank her. There are so many other ways to discipline a child then to spank them.

jessicad on

I was spanked as a child, too much in my opinion. Not that I think my parents were terrible, I just think they could have been a tad calmer:) I used to say my rule on spanking would be ONLY if my daughter put her life in danger, like running out in the street etc, but the one time she did that at 18 months old I spanked her and felt such overwhelming guilt that I can’t do it again. The thing is, my gut reaction to anger has always been to hit or throw things and I believe it’s because I was spanked and shown that’s just what you do, even now my daughter is 3 I feel the urge to spank her and I have to fight it. I know I won’t ever spank her again and I’ve found other methods for discipline, which work most of the time! 🙂

Kids will do as they see and of course many people were spanked and turned out fine, meaning they are functioning members of society like myself, but behind closed doors I have struggled with reacting to anger my entire life, and I don’t want my daughter to go through that.

I try not to judge other parents who choose to spank, your child and your choice! Discipline is a tough subject, I’m also someone who thinks kids today get away with too much and need more consequences, but for me personally spanking is not an option.

Catherine on

There is actually research out there by doctors and psychologists that indicates spanking is not effective for punishment, and that it can humiliate, shame and confuse children (children are told not to hit.)

I encourage parents to use guidance instead of corporal punishment. Time-outs (a la Jo Frost on the Supernanny) are very effective, because there is: 1. a warning given; 2. an age-related time-out (e.g. 3 minutes for 3 years old) 3. a follow-up explanation for what they were doing that was unacceptable and why it was unacceptable; 4. an apology given by the child (teaching empathy) and 5. hugs and/or kisses (showing that you dislike the action NOT the child.) It works, but you have to use it consistently.

Ashley on

I think spanking is very effective. I was spanked by both my parents. Enough to scare me At the Time and therefore be effective but I would never consider either of them violent people and have never been just plain scared of them. They are extremely loving and affectionate parents so the spanking up until age Maybe 4 years was an effective method and I imagine I will use it in the same way when I have my children.

Luna on

I do not believe in spanking. I couldn’t bring myself to hurt my babies (yeah only one is technically a baby but still). Plus, how do you tell your children not to act out in physical violence and yet hit them as punishment? I vowed when I became a parent to not be a hypocrite, so I don’t smoke, drink (when the kids are around), and I try my hardest to practice what I preach.

I follow what I call the Supernanny parenting technique. Yes, I use the naughty chair. And you know what? I have never had a public tantrum. There have been tiny incidents, but never anything that couldn’t be dealt with right then and be done. I get told all the time how polite and well behaved my children are and I firmly believe it’s because we have a firm set of rules that must be obeyed. There are consequences (like the naughty chair, taking away toys, etc.) and there are rewards. But I would never condemn anyone for their parenting technique, because it’s what works for you. Sorry for the rant, I just feel strongly.


“He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes” (Proverbs 13:24) and “Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell.” (Proverbs 23:13-14)

J on

Oh yes, that’s clearly the case Brooke.

Perhaps after all the comments last time, she wanted to post a non posed photo. It’s nice that she has more class than you though and chose not to tell us all to “suck it”.

Sara on

I was spanked twice as a child. Once my each parent, and they both clearly did not enjoy the experiance. But the threat of it happening again was enough. My parents leaned a lot towards washing your mouth out with soap for swearing or putting stuff in garbage bags if it wasn’t picked up in time. My brothers and I were very visual learners 🙂 Grounding never worked. We were locked in our bedrooms with our electroics taken out for like an hour, but it drove my parents batty to have us in the house. We are all respectful adults now, so whatever they did worked pretty well.

However, I was a smart mouth teen girl. And my mother and I fought tooth and nail about every little thing – clothes, hair, friends, my room, etc… I was slapped quite a few times for a few things I said. I learned to step back if I was going to say something bad. It never really bothered me until I saw her crying because of a fight one day. That set me straight and worked better than any slap. I’m still a smart mouth and sarcastic, but I think before I do now.

Laura on

jessicad I completely agree with you. I was spanked as a child and my parents didn’t spank a ton or make me fear them BUT now as an adult, I do want to hit when I’m angry especially when frustrated. Thankfully, I never do and stop myself before that happens. But it is very hard. And I do believe I learned that from my parents. Which of course was NOT their intention. They are very loving people and I really was a fairly good child growing up.
So when I have children I do not plan to spank. I like the idea of the time outs and rewards.

Kelly on

Growing up my brother and I were spanked only once by my Dad, and trust me, it hurt him more than it hurt us. It was to show us that he was the boss .. not us! My Mom had the “stare” that would just stop you in your tracks! We both knew not to get in trouble with Mom – and yet she never spanked!

I have swatted my daughters butt when we was between about 2 1/2 and 5 because it worked. I would lead her by the hand down to her room and on the way reach down behind her and give her butt a little spank! It never hurt her, she did cry though only because she got caught and in trouble. After 5, she understood reasoning believe it or not and we could talk to her about what she might have done that was not acceptable. She is a great 23 year old today and has no issues with her childhood! Hitting and spanking are two completely different concepts!

HarrysMom on

I swatted my son’s tush when he was young, but only if he was really acting up. I only had to spank him a few times and now have a very well adjusted, happy, well behaved 11 year old, but more importantly he respects authority. Children crave boundaries, they want to know where they stand.

Charley on

I don’t spank my child as a rule, however, when she was 2.5 years old she yanked her hand out of mine in a parking lot and ran into the street, how the driver stopped is a miracle to me, and that poor man, had to acutally sit in his car for a few minutes to regain his composure, he was white, at the probabilty of almost having run over my child, and it wouldn’t have even been his fault.

You know what, not my proudest mommy moment, but I spanked her, hard and more than once. Do I regret this? NOPE, because you know what as soon as I pushed her into her seat, I cried and cried, and my hands were shaking…guess what better her cry now then I cry later, and she NEVER did that again, NEVER…at 2.5 years old she had no concept of death or serious injury, what did she know, Mommy spanked her ass…she is now almost 7 and I have never spanked her again…

Leslie on

People who don’t spank their kids, don’t get respect from their kids PERIOD! Telling them “not to do this or not to do that” will get you no where in disciplining your child. I see parents that do that and just shake my head because the parents look so frustrated because their kids DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM!!! I have time out time for my daughter and there are times where i need to spank her and she understands NO MEANS NO!

gigi on


Colossians 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.

Mark 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.

Magnolia on

I’m impressed that you have actually given a fair representation of families who *do* spank. There are millions upon millions of people who spank their children and the kids are alright. Loved to pieces, in fact.

I spanked all of my kids when they were young. Looking back, I probably could have handled outbursts more judiciously, I suppose. But, I did what I did when I did it and non of them are serial killers, violent or out control adults.

As a grandmother, I probably wouldn’t spank. But, I’m old enough to know that most good-willed parents are doing the best they can. As long as you have lots of love, forgiveness, tenderness, grace and mercy to go along with that rod, I’m okay with it.

Jenny on

I totally agree with spanking as discipline (I hate the word punishment, b/c they are two different things!) I have to agree with the Bible when it says that to “spare the rod is to spoil the child”…yes I am waiting for all the flack I am about to get b/c I threw Scripture out there, but so be it, its my belief and I stick to it. The thing about spanking is that there is a difference in spanking in anger (punishment) and in spanking to show them that you are not going to allow their behavior because it harms them or someone else (discipline).

I was spanked as a child when needed but it was always explained to me why I was getting the spanking and I do the same for my 2 kids, if I am going to give them a spanking I explain why. I have to disagree with her on the whole “my friend hurt her kid b/c she pulled on her ear” because that mom was simply reacting quickly to get her child out of harms way, sometimes we have to react quickly b/c of danger. And to take her daughter out of the mall b/c she was throwing a fit and saying that was discipline enough for her daughter to me is funny, her daughter got exactly what she wanted: to leave, to me that is just taking the easy way out for the parent b/c it can be embarressing.

This is just my opinion, no one on here is gonna change anyone elses mind b/c we all feel so strongly about whatever side we lean more too. I do think also that parents that have super compliant kids dont ever see why someone with a strongwilled child would need to spank sometimes, I have 1 strongwilled child and 1 more compliant child and the strongwilled child definitly needs more discipline! Also, for the record I do not using spanking for discipline everytime…there are alot of ways to do that and spanking is usually my last resort.

Linda on

This will not go over well, but I personally believe that spanking is lazy parenting. Because it is really really REALLY exhausting to have to restrain emotion and try to deal with a child, who is childish by definition, and to hard to find a way to reach them through words and deed. It’s hard.

Not all parents, but many who I see spank do it because they are just plain tired of telling their child to do or not to do something, or they are scared, or angry or whatever. Maybe in some exceedingly rare cases, it works. But I don’t think it would work as well as the alternative and my friends who were spanked were overwhelmingly the ones who acted out later and harbored more resentment against their parents in their later years. It’s easy when they are young, but deep down, those memories are there. And they deserve to be there.

Jennifer on

This lame, liberal crap on not spanking tees me off. I was spanked as a child and learned damn quick to not act out in public, in church, etc. I have grown up to be successful woman, happy in her life and career. I don’t have kids but if I ever did I would sure as heck spank them.

Jan on

DON’T SPANK! This is my opinion, a mother of four boys and 9 grandchildren. Spanking is a form of physical abuse, it doesn’t teach anything but fear and that hitting is okay. It is much better to take the time to talk over the situation and teach the difference between right and wrong. Also, being denied something they like to do or have is much more effective. Believe me, I learned this the hard way. My parents spanked and I started to, then I realized I did not like what it did to my boys, so I stopped that behavior. They turned out just fine.

Love, patience and understanding are better teachers than physically hurting this little person. All my best for a wonderful life with your precious daughter.

Tonia on

My dad rarely spanked me and when he did, he cried. That more than anything made me not want to do the wrong thing again. My father is the most loving person in the world and not violent at all. He is my hero and I am not scared of him and never have been. My step-mom on the other had, ABUSED me, unbeknownst to my father. There is a difference between spanking and abusing a child.

I don’t feel spanking should be used when you are angry or to inflict pain. A swat on top of your clothes is not a physical pain. I am not my child’s best friend or partner in crime. I am their parent. If my child acts immoral such as cheating, stealing, etc…then they better be scared when I find out, no matter what the punishment may be. I am their mother and as a mother I want to raise a child who learns that offenses such as that are not tolerated.

As far as European society goes….when I see the youth there they always appear to be rioting, acting out and causing trouble…maybe there is a correlation of their lax upbringing.

Jen on

I think different children need to be disciplined differently… Parenting is a learning process and you see what works for your family. Spanking did not work for my sister- she would simply give a “thats all??” look to my parents and go right ahead. Time-out, however, was a punishment for her because she could not stand being quiet and still. I, on the other hand loved time-out, I would simply sit and daydream.

Tonia on

To the post above. Psychologist also say rapist and child predators can be rehabilitatd. Why don’t you ask the victims how that worked out for them? These “doctors” provide their expert opinion to get these multiple offender creeps out of jail and on the street and then you think they are the last word on how best to raise a child?

Halley on

I’m not a spanking mom, I really, really dont go for physical discipline, but if my kid ran out into the street, I would probably bend his ear as well. Lifethreatening situations demand I have his absolute and total attention, and that he remember it, always. For anything smaller than that (which is absolutely everything) other methods of re-direction or guidance work better, in my opinion.

marie on

I definately spanked, on rare occasions, my 2 kids. First, it had to be a serious reason, one that if the behavior continued might lead to danger (ie: running from the car in a parking lot) Second, I ONLY spanked them when they were in diapers. That way, the spank wasn’t really felt physically, but emotionally the child got the message loud and clear that their behavior was NOT acceptable.

Sorry Elisabeth, but leaving the mall because she was being a hot mess, only reinforced her behavior, in my opinion. When my son did something similar, I went out of the store, and buckled him into his car seat, and let him have his temper tantrum and just settle down. (I stood outside the car by his window. I knew if I was IN the car with a raging tantrum, I might just have one myself!). When his fit was over, and he was calmer, I asked him if he was ready to behave in the store while Mommy did her shopping. He was calmer, and I was able to go back into the store and do what I needed/wanted to do. If I had left and took him home, he would have just learned that behaving badly will get him home to his toys faster.

Once my kids got out of diapers, we stopped the spanking. By then, they were old enough to understand consequences (throw toys around the house and the punishment is that you lose the privilege of playing with them for the afternoon) Time outs, and taking privileges (tv, book reading, etc) are great lessons for them to learn. It helps set the stage for later in life, when bigger consequences happen. (ie: in school, not studying for a test means a bad grade on that test.)

celeste on

My children are grown now and I did spank. If I had to do it again and had the knowledge that is out there now I would never spank the way I did. I do believe children need firm discipline, guidance and consistancy No means NO and if you say they are grounded or you are going to take it away you should stick to your guns. My children love me but I look back and wish I would have not spanked them because to a degree it does cause lasting effects. It is usually not a neccessary tool of discipline. a little swat on the hand for an electrical socket might be necessary.

Tabitha on

I don’t spank and don’t beleive in it. I can’t see how we can ask children not to hit and then hit them ourselves – this doesn’t teach them anything. I also believe that people tend to end up spanking when they are angry and that to take your anger out on a child phsyically is unnecessary and show’s that you have lost control. Children want to please and words and time out work for me. I think you can’t really use spanking as a child grows because as they get bigger they might decide to hit back when they think we’re in the wrong – and why shouldn’t they?

Ann on

I have a 14 yr old son and a 2 yr old daughter. I do believe in spankin. I did spank my son when needed and did it when he was young. I beleive after the age of 7 yrs old I did not need to do it anymore. I do believe you have to do it without being angry and even without a other people around so they won’t be ashamed. I would explain why he was getting it and made sure he understood. He has turned out to be a great kid. As for my 2 yr old I am going to practice the same thing. I only hope it works, Girls!

M on

loaded question. I was totally against spanking before I had kids, but I found that especially between ages 2 and 4 a swat was the only way my children understood I was serious/the only thing that got their attention. Taking toys away? Big whoop. They couldn’t have cared less. Time out? Doodah, doodah, these dust bunnies in the corner are the most fun things they’ve ever seen! My second child in particular would laugh hysterically every time we tried to discipline him- he is almost four now and still does. I’m a family counselor, and what the politically correct media doesn’t tell you is that all spanking studies have shown that the negative effects of spanking are offset by maternal affection and reflection after the fact.

That said, a few years ago I decided to ask myself every time I got the urge to spank whether I was doing it in calm discipline or anger. More often then not I did not like the answer I gave myself, so I pretty much stopped spanking. Plus, I felt guilty when I did it and unhappy with the mixed messages I was sending, and I believe first and foremost in following your gut when parenting. I can’t say I’ve never spanked since, but it’s very rare and I sincerely apologize to my children if I do lose it.

If you do spank, you just need to look at your children’s faces to know if you’ve crossed a line. My children have never once looked remotely afraid of my husband or myself. If your child fears you or runs in terror when you threaten a spanking, you should probably reevaluate your discipline technique. I also think that if you choose to spank, it should only be used in the serious situations and after trying EVERYTHING else.

One last thought. I find things like washing a child’s mouth out with soap or screaming at the top of your lungs at them far more barbaric than spanking. You have to know your child, their temperament, and what works for them. I only have to look at my oldest daughter (5) when she’s misbehaving and she will get embarrassed and apologize or send herself to her room- she is naturally a people pleaser and I know that spanking would be damaging to her. My son is impossible to get through to or upset in any way, so my husband does swat him occasionally if he does something serious like run in the street despite our warnings. My youngest is 18 months and has obviously never been so much as swatted, and she won’t be. I’ve learned from my mistakes with my older children.

Denise on

She gave her daughter exactly what she wanted by “removing her from the environment”. Score one for the daughter. Her daughter just learned how to get her way – by acting disrespectful and out of control. She stopped her shopping trip to acquiesce to her daughter.

When I grew up, I had to be part of my parents world and whatever they did, I had to do. These days, parents revolve around what their kids want to do. I also think it’s ignorant for people say (and think) that spanking is violent or the same as hitting. “Violence breeds violence”. Oh Pu-lease! Of course, some parents out there cannot control their anger, but when done right and appropriately, spanking can be the best deterant for a child. Especially a strong-willed child. Lucky you who have perfect children who have never acted out in public! I agree that spanking isn’t for every situation but my husband and I don’t take it out of the “arsenal” either. We use it when and only when it’s necessary. Face it, there are some situations where their actions that are unacceptable. We do not ever “strike”, “beat” or “hit” our children. Spanking is for the buttocks only. Why do you think we have “extra cushion” there?

I am not saying all kids need to be spanked. It only took once or twice for me to learn the lesson and not to push my parents. Not out of fear but out of RESPECT! I never feared my parents when they spanked me and respect them now for spanking me when I deserved it. I understood the reason and the lesson to be learned. There are boundaries that kids must learn in order to be responsible adults and as parents, it’s our responsibility to teach them, by whatever means necessary. And trust me, they’ll be taking care of you before long and you’ll want to make sure you did your best – whatever means of disciple that may be!

Lisa D. on

My mom hit me to get me to conform to her idea of how I was supposed to behave. I remember the feelings I had. I was afraid of her. I had a knot in my stomach as she pulled in and for the next hour she got home just waiting for her to find something I did wrong which would be followed with a slap or a sound beating (yes, it left bruises).

When I started having kids, I decided that I didn’t want to be like that. I have spanked my son once when he crossed a very busy street, not using the crosswalk, while cares were coming at him. He was about 7 years old. I promptly broken down in tears and found it hard to stop after I spanked him.

To this day, I may bore my kids to death with a long lecture of why they should or shouldn’t do something, I do what I can to set the best example I can and I try to be as involved as they let me, but I will never raise my hand in anger to any of them.

It is working out pretty well. My 20 year old came and stayed with me, coming from a house that hits and now she does not agree with hitting to solve problems. My 17 year old son and 16 year old daughter are fairly easy to manage with words. Still to this day, I do not have to resort to hitting. There is no need for hitting. It causes one not to trust and it is harder to love someone. I will not be the one to take that from a person.

JW on

I was when I was a child and yes I would. My sister and I turned out great. It has to be done with love and not out of anger which some parents need to learn.

The mall example in the article says a lot. The daughter didn’t want to be in the mall so she threw a temper tantrum and guess what? She got to leave the mall. Score one for the kid. I don’t see any discipline or guidance there. Just total manipulation by a kid.

mrcat on

A good spanking never hurt anyone. all of you out there who think it ruins their creativity need a good spanking yourself. There is a difference between a spanking and a beating, but all children need discipline which most lack today. Ever wonder why there is more problems and crime today than there use to be?

nettrice on

My father once told me that he should have spanked me as a child. I’m the oldest of five and the only one who was never spanked. Three of the five dropped out school and had kids before age 18. Two have been incarcerated and another has been jailed for violent behavior. Go figure!

As the only kid never spanked I observed a lot. I lived in fear of my father until I realized he would never hit me and, then I felt safe to challenge him/his violence (towards women) and protect myself. Those early lessons have been of great benefit to me as an adult.

I am on the fence regarding spanking. Kids have different temperaments. You only had to tell me not to do something once or twice but other kids do not listen well. Some kids like to push adults buttons and engage in power stuggles with their parents. These kids do not learn to respect others and are a terror in the classroom, or in public venues.

mommytoane on

Hmm. I didn’t read over any other comments. But I have to say, I think there is a line between *Spanking* and *Beating* a child. To me a spank, is a harmless swat to get the attention. Funny tho, how people are sooo against spanking, but think NOTHING of swatting their child’s hand when they grab at something wrong. Essencially, its the same thing. You are spanking your child’s hand, vs their behind.

Have I ever spanked? Yes. Is my child any less of a human because of it? No. As a matter of fact, shes a sweet, intelligent little girl. Shes so secure in her own world that she has the confidence to be who she is. People that meet my daughter and talk to her are amazed that shes only 8 years old, and they all say the same thing. Shes smart, shes confident and shes very mature.

So. Did spanking her harm her? I think not. When I look over and see the confidence, the sweetness and the sunshine comming out of my child, I know very well that I have done my job thus far as her parent. My job is to guide her into the right direction. To build her confidence, and to teach her the rights and wrongs of the world.
Read the poem “Children Learn What They Live” By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. Its a decent poem.

But as far as spanking goes. No. I dont see a darn thing wrong with swatting a child to get the attention. I dont believe in pulling a child’s pants down, and beating their little behinds till they are red. But to reach over…swat them gently once and get them to see you and hear what you are saying, isnt wrong. I would much rather swat my child and say NO to touching fire, than let her get burnt.

JM on

Tonia, are you for real? you must live in a very very small world and know nothing about europe (not to mention the difference between countries in europe). are you one of those people who doesn’t know that france is a country? and can’t find oslo on a map? sorry, but you sound ignorant. “As far as European society goes….when I see the youth there they always appear to be rioting, acting out and causing trouble…maybe there is a correlation of their lax upbringing.” – i have to laugh at this comment otherwise i’ll cry at the shear stupidity.

leslie – do you understand the difference between fact and opinion. my brother and i were never spanked as kids and have a HUGE amount of respect for our parents and never had any problems with discipline in school or any behavioural issues. and my kids are very respectful i am often told by teachers and other parents how polite and respectful and tolerant they are. because, my husband and i do something, shock horror, that is called parenting. lashing out it the easy option. taking time to teach children takes more energy but ultimately has greater rewards, not least the reward of knowing you didn’t behave like a total hypocrite in front of your child.

tell me, do you tell your kids not to hit others? if so you are a hypocrite, no two ways about it…

Liz on

My sister and I were not spanked often as a children but if we really went off the deep end we were and never would we have ever thought to hit someone just because we were spanked. I’m not sure where that reasoning comes from. Nor would have I ever thought of acting out in public. We were normal teenagers without the craziness some of my friends got into.

I was very clear that my parents were my parents, not my buddies. Buddies can come later in life but when you are kid growing up, you need your parents to be the parent. I don’t think the problem isn’t spanking or not spanking, I think the problem is too many parents seek their self esteem from being “liked” by their child. Be sure you are spanking or not spanking for the right reasons.

megan on

IMO Respect and a good guilt trip work FAR better than spanking.

Stella Bella on

Jennifer, you said it better than I ever could. Thank you.

I spank my daughter for deliberate disobedience, mostly when she is putting herself in physical danger. Is spanking fun? No, it’s definitely not my idea of fun. Being hit by a car or mauled by a dog would be much worse, though, and that is what I’m working to prevent.

Brian on

I have 3 children and used spanking as a method of discipline with each one. They are now 13, 15 and 17 and are the most wonderful, SELF-DISCIPLINED, long-term-thinking kids that I know in their age-group (imagine that, I think my kids are THE best!)

To be very honest, I have never heard of you before. I have never seen you on TV or in a movie as far as I know. I have never posted on People.com before, but I do it because I feel so strongly about the subject.

The biggest problem that I see with spanking today is the way that parents use it. It is often used out of anger or frustration (or raw fear – as was the case with you friend whose child ran into the street). It is used as an alternative to your real responsibility as a parent which is not to “discipline” your children, but to “train” them. The most important aspect of training is to take the time to explain what your child has done wrong (and what they have done right, when the opportunity arises).

One problem with children is that it is very difficult to get their attention, especially if you are attempting to explain to them that they have done something wrong. This is how I used spanking.

It is true that spanking is a very serious method. It is one that can be very dangerous if not used properly. It can be humiliating if done in public. It can be outright child-abuse if done out of anger or in an unmeasured fashion.

Here are some rules that I had:

Always go to another room than the room or area in which the bad behavior took place. This allowed me to be sure that I was not administering the spanking out of anger. It allowed me time to gather my thoughts as to what I needed to explain to them about their bad behavior (Clearly what WAS the bad behavior – was it that they at the cookie, or was it that they disobeyed a direct command from you that they were not to eat the cookie.) and to explain to them what the long-term consequences are to that type of behavior (when they were old enough to understand long-term consequences).

Don’t leave the room until it is clear to them that YOU are not mad at THEM and that THEY are not mad at YOU. They need to realize that the problem was not you being mean. The problem was their bad behavior. They have no reason to be mad at you. You also need to be sure that they do not think that you are mad at them. You are not disciplining them to avenge your own feelings or honor, but to make them a better person. Sometimes this would happen immediately. Sometimes this would take a while (meaning minutes) But I would continue to explain to them that I loved them and that they needed to realize that the only reason the spanking was necessary was their bad behavior. It was amazing how I could feel our relationship and their character grow as they changed their attitude from anger to remorse and acceptance of my unwavering love for them.

I only gave spankings for what I considered serious offenses (lying, direct and intentional disobedience, blatant and serious unkindness with intention to hurt someone else, etc.) Once they learned my ultimate authority as their disciplinarian, it often just took a look and a word for them to feel remorse for what they had done.

I was far from a perfect parent, and I’m sure I am not hitting all of the important points of training your children, but at the very least, I would recommend reading a book by someone who recommends spanking as a valuable method of training your children in a loving manner.

N8'smommy on

Never spank. As the parent we are supposed to protect our children from harm. How then can we spank them? What kind of message does it send when the people they trust most in their life hit them? I would never harm my child.

Laura on

Now these photos are more like it! I doubt, as Brooke says, that Elisabeth is telling us to “suck it” with these more candid pics. If that were the case, she wouldn’t care and would just continue with the staged photos. These ones are much nicer and natural. A woman can actually be more beautiful when she isn’t playing a glamazon! Bravo!

Cindy on

I was spanked, and spanked my own, on occasion. I never agreed with spanking. But not all of us have loving co-parents or financial freedom. Stress and or desperation in the midst of kids going wild sometimes allow for an immediate response that may not be the desired one. My children all turned out wonderful as I and my siblings have.

However, my daughters have chosen not to spank their children. My grandchildren too are turning out great. Spanking or not spanking is secondary to love, parental dependability, availability, and reliability.

Ashley on

I was spanked as a child and while I wasn’t fond of it at the time, as an adult I appreciate why my parents did it. However, that does not mean I am huge on spanking my six year old son. In fact, I avoid it and can count on one hand how many times I have spanked him.

My mother-in-law was the one that really put things into perspective for me. She said that when her boys were little, she saved spankings for the big stuff. If they ran out into the road when a car was coming, that got a spanking. If they caused injury or did something dangerous, that got a spanking. How can a child appreciate the punishment if it’s done for every little minor infraction? It’s more meaningful if it’s done out of love and fear and they know that mom only does it when she is afraid for them. My husband is the sweetest and most tender hearted man for it…and I couldn’t ask for a better father to our son.

stopit on

First of all, before you discipline a child, make sure that they understand what they did wrong and weigh what your role (if any)was in the behavior. Once the child knows explicitly what is expected of them and what is not acceptable you have to set up the punishment system based on the child. Spanking should only be at the end of the list. Some kids are cool with time out, some with a talk or confiscation of things. But some kids need something they can feel. Growing up spanking was earned by our behavior and we knew what we had to do to get it. It was our choice on whether or not to risk getting a spanking. As long as the child is compitant and knowledgeable about the their “options” a parent should not feel guilty about a spank every now and then when warranted according to your set standards.

You are the parent and untill that kid gets to the age of 18, you are the the infinite ruler of their life and disrespect and disobediance is unnacceptable.

You don’t have to spank but you do need to be in control untill they are old enough to take the reigns themselves. You can’t allow a child to chase you out of stores, restaurants and social engagements for too long, you’ll be miserable and never get anything done.

Josie on

When I was a kid I was spanked…I can’t even remember a specific incident though…that’s because it wasn’t abusive. It didn’t traumatize me in any way.

What it did was keep me in line. When my friends were up to no good, and I said, “Uh-uh my mom will kill me”…I didn’t mean she would actually murder me…I just didn’t want to get spanked!

Kids today need to have a HEALTHY fear of their parents…they’re completely disrespectful and completely out of control.

Parents now are wusses…doormats…spineless.
They give up control of their house to children!

I know I’m generalizing, but I see it all too often!

Stephanie on

I have two children – 2 and 4 – and as wildly different as night and day. My son, 4, has never (even in the “terrible two stages”) been difficult to instill a sense of wrongdoing or misbehavior in. If he senses any disappointment from me in his behaviour, he crumbles in remorse. My daughter, on the other hand, is not like this. She is my challenge – has been from birth, oddly enough. Strong willed, unyielding, she cares not if she offends, hurts or humiliates. While not frequent, there are certainly instances when we have used spanking – calm, thoughtful, unemotional spanking – to let her know that her behavior was not ok. Each child is different … each parent equally so. The ultimate goal is to have our children grow up to be responsible, respectful, considerate adults.

Etsy on

I’ve spanked very occasionally- one swat on a clothed bum or a swat on the top of the hand. It did the trick as a last resort. I don’t condone it and think it is a good way of disciplining, but it worked for me at the time. My kids don’t hit each other or others, so they haven’t ‘learned about hitting’ from me.

I fully agree that there are better ways to disciplining than spanking. The only type of discipline that I don’t ‘like’ is when parents remove the child from the environment where they are behaving badly….meaning that this only seems to work when there is no sibling present or other children in the group -otherwise they ALL end up getting punished….leaving the mall, for example (a time out is different).

I am thrilled that discipline is being discussed though, as it seems that there are so many kids who are in need of some limits and a large number of parents who are completely unwilling or unable to set them.

Cari on

I don’t see how leaving the mall in the above blog taught the child anything. She didn’t want to be there in the first place, so by your leaving, it just showed her that if she wants something throw a fit or misbehave and she gets it.

I was spanked as a child and have no emotional scars from it. I now have a daughter of my own and haven’t really decided how I feel about the issue. I think personally for me it would be hard to spank my child. I think time-outs and other punishments will work for me, I think the key is following through with those punishments are key so the child knows the rules when out in public.

grammaJ on

As a grandmother I know there are much better ways to refocus a child and I don’t mean with a cookie or piece of candy. It takes patience which many of this generation doesn’t seem inclined to have. Spanking/hitting, call it what you may, but violence only begets violence. If you hit, they merely learn to hit. They have energy that needs to be released. Learn when to take them someplace. If they are tired or hungry you have set them up for failure. Set down your smart phones , stop gossiping with your friend , know when enough is enough and pay attention to your child that only too soon will not want to be seen with their boring old “Mom” in the mall.

Connie Watson on

I didn’t spank when I had only one child either. I spanked very rarely when I had 2 and now that I have three I spank sparingly but I do spank. Time outs are our first option and when you have only one child you have more time and sanity to choose your discipline technique but when sibling rivalry enters the mix it changes everything! Kids constantly hit, pinch, kick and bite each other. Its a normal experience and a way in which they are expressing themselves because they are too young to have the words or impulse control to stop themselves. For some kids time outs don’t work and removing favorite toys mean nothing. Your discipline techniques have to be tailor made to each child. A spank on the bottom (and I say spank, not whipping, hitting, punching) which likely has a good diaper padding on it sometimes registers more than other techniques.

Hea on

You can never have full control over another human being. You are not supposed to. Not even your own child. Why can’t people get that through their thick skulls? You can’t beat kids into obedience because you think you have to control and punish public tantrums. Your kid is a human being, their own individual, and it’s OK to get angry even if your two!

k on

My brothers and I were spanked as children as well as all my cousins. None of us have anger issues or anything of the sort, we are all happy functioning adults of society and most of us are happy parents, and discipline the same way our parents did. We were all explained why we were being spanked and we all grew up in a very loving house hold close to our parents. None of us were “scared” of our parents, but we all learned boundaries. Most of my friends spank their children, and I spank my nieces, but there’s always explanation, form of apology from the child, and unconditional love, and in my experience the children that are spanked behave better than the ones who are not.

I feel that I had more respect for boundaries and acted better than the friends I had growing up that didn’t get spanked. My parents ALWAYS got compliments on our behavior, and I feel that honestly it’s because we knew better. Taking things away from me didn’t matter, because I could do whatever it was when I got home from school and waited for my parents to return home from work.

Also working in retail, I’ve seen a lot of children throw temper-tantrums and I feel that it’s obnoxious to allow your children to do so and then say wait to we get home or we’re going home, because you are giving into the child, I have watched a mom tell her child warnings and while the child continued to disobey, the lady politely excused herself with the child, took her child to the restroom, and when they returned her child was extremely obedient and apologized to ME for her behavior. whether it was a stern talking to or a spanking whatever she did worked and I support that 100%.

I believe there is a difference between SPANKING your child and BEATING your child. I also believe that you raise your children the way you want, but I will continue to use spanking.

Jana on

Ok, this probably isn’t going to be a popular post, but oh well. I see a few people mentioned that they were afraid of their parents because they were spanked and they didn’t want their children to be afraid. A parent is an authority figure, the first you encounter in life. If a child cannot listen to nor respect their parents, they will not learn to to listen to or respect other authority figures in life. I feel that a little fear is a good thing…If a child isn’t afraid of the consequences, what is there to prevent bad behavior. Children cannot be reasoned with like adults can, and we need to stop treating children like they are just little adults. They aren’t.

Our job as parents is to prepare our children for the real world and to show them that severe actions have severe consequences. The more they get away with, the more they will try to get away with. My child did not respond to time outs…Sitting apart from everyone and being quiet wasn’t a big deal to her, not really a punishment. She would get timeouts, warnings, talking to, but most times the only thing that got through to her was a firm swat on the behind. It was always a last resort, but it worked. She hasn’t been spanked in years, because she learned early on what would be tolerated and what wouldn’t.

I don’t agree with just removing a child from a situation they don’t like (the mall incident she referred to). Doing that gave her exactly what she wanted, and put her in control. It is basically telling her that all she has to do is act out enough, and mommy will give up and give in. I had one bad experience at a store, took her outside and told her that she’s going to have to do a lot of things in life that she doesn’t want to do, but that doesn’t mean she can act out and told her that if it continued when we went back in, she’d be punished when we got home. She knew I would follow through, and the grocery shopping was finished without incident.

I agree with Liz…We need to parent our kids, not be their friends.

Cari on

I think the previous post is unreasonable to let your child dictate your life. I believe that a child needs to learn to behave in all situations. Bending to your child’s every whim just teaches your child to be spoiled and gives them a distorted world view.

I do agree with you that parents should be more attentive, get off their smart phones and play/pay attention to their children. It annoys me to see a mother at lunch with their child and they are talking on the phone or texting. Engage your child in a conversation, spend some actual time with them. I feel a lot of acting out and misbehaving comes from lack of attentiveness from the parents. Notice in the blog above they were at the mall with the mother’s friend. The possibility is there that the child was feeling ignored and acted out….not to say this was definitely the situation in this case.

Indira on

I think it’s a little ridiculous to believe that a debate like this could be “non-judgmental”.

Tara on

When spanking borders physical harm, then no, don’t do it, but when my girls misbehave and do not respond to other consequences, I use spanking as a last resort. I don’t like it, mostly because I know it could have been avoided with the time-out and whatever other consequence, but a little spank to get their attention if they’re not listening, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Geez, I think God even does it with me. Sometimes, I get on a train of a unhealthy thinking pattern and bam, I’ll run into a wall or something and I’ll go, “Oh yeah, God, I hear you, I need to stop where my thinking is going. Thank You, God, for getting my attention and forgive me for letting my thoughts stray in that negative way.” There’s nothing wrong with a momentary way to bring someone into the present moment and make them aware of their behavior, especially if they may be putting themselves in harm’s way!!

I would rather sparingly spank my daughters on the rare occasions that it is warranted and have her be aware that sometimes there are physical consequences to wrong behavior, ie. drinking and driving and getting into an accident, then have her run through life all willy nilly thinking that bad behavior will go unpunished.

Just my thoughts, I have no issues with not spanking if you can find an effective way to discipline, and there are many, I just use it when I feel it is absolutely necessary for out-of-control behavior.

Kara on

I was spanked as a child but very rarely. My parents were really strict with us and we knew when we received a spanking we had completely disobeyed the rules. I don’t suffer any emotional scars because of it. However, I do not spank my own child. I expect to be respected and it honestly has never crossed my mind. He isn’t an angel by any means but a little “chat” with him seems to help more than anything.

JA2010 on

For me personally, I don’t believe that spanking is the right thing to do when disciplining a child. Time out seems like a way better option for me. I realize how bad kids can get sometimes but just because you are frustrated, don’t take it out on your child.

Name Withheld on

In the state of NJ, spanking is considered physical abuse, even the smallest of spanks. If a child notifies an adult, any adult, DYFS steps in immediately. Think twice about spanking.

Todd on

I think spanking has far more negative potential than most spanking supporters seem to acknowledge. Some pro-spanking posts here strike me as being quite cavalier. I think sometimes, in some situations, spanking might be ok, but I am troubled by the “it’s no big deal” attitudes toward spanking. Spanking may not have significant long term effects on some individuals, but the message being delivered is mixed, leaving potential for long term damage that has been well documented by researchers.

I personally am against physical discipline in child rearing. I have no doubt that it is highly effective in producing immediate compliance and results, but comes with potential long term negative consequences. Parenting is exceptionally difficult and tiring at times, and physical discipline can be temptingly when one is feeling overwraught. Hopefully we can find the strength and reserve to use more positive ways to guide our children when our emotional reserve is running low.

Jen DC on

I was spanked as a child and turned out generally ok. My temper was bad to begin with – spanking never increased my anger issues there.

The thing about it is, you can’t spank willy-nilly if that’s what you’re going to do. The rules have to be clear and the child old enough AND mature enough to understand them. Punishments have to be clear as well PRIOR to the offense – it does no good to punish someone for something they were not aware was going to earn such discipline. It’s not fair and the child will likely retaliate in some fashion when faced with what is, in fact, an injustice against them. Furthermore, you cannot spank from a place of anger or fear. If you are that angry that your first instinct is to hit and not explain, YOU need to go sit down somewhere and calm down. Send the child to his/her room to think about why you are so angry and what they could have done differently to avoid this outcome. My mom was great at doing that.

I was spanked often because I was daring. I’d do anything at least once. I was a little firebug, I had problems with authority, with doing my homework (“gifted and talented” meant that my classes were too slow for me, but being in the Catholic school system, I couldn’t move ahead as quickly as I might have wanted), with practicing piano… But my mom was good: She explained things to death BEFORE getting her few licks in and she was never angry (except once, when I ran!) when she spanked me.

By the time I was 10, it was all over. She never quite realized that her disappointment was the worst punishment I could receive, and I definitely didn’t tell her. But I learned what my limits were and, more importantly, what HER limits were with my behavior. Taught me to keep my tongue behind my teeth until I left home.

I was never afraid of her because she spanked me and I never got the idea that it was ok to hit others because I was spanked. Spankings were too tied to whatever rule I’d broken for me to get that idea; things were just too well explained for me to come away with an assumption that I could hit other people and get away with it.

Anyway, beating a dead horse here, it really depends on your child. If your child suffers in the wake of your disapointment and has a tender heart, spanking is probably not for him or her. However if you have an incorrigible hardhead like myself for whom only a physical manifestation of disappointment will work (until a certain stage of maturity) then spank away! But never, ever in anger and never, ever in fear. Because that’s when people lose control and lapse into abuse of their children. And be sure to explain WHY the spanking is coming.

I hope all of you going through child-rearing without spanking are successful! But I tell you, more of these screaming, tantrum throwing brats out here could use a few minutes in the bathroom with my Mom.

Josie on

…And that is the problem today…

Children in control, parents in fear!

K.W. on

Spanking means that the parent is at a loss for what else to do and that they need to step back and take a time out….aren’t we always telling our kids not to hit? If so – how on earth is spanking okay??

Kitty on

We’re talking about whether or not it is okay to hit a child. You can call it “spanking” and make it sound cute, but it’s about striking a child. The basic lesson is “We do it my way because I’m bigger and I’m allowed to hurt you.” That’s not a lesson I wanted to teach my children.

The fact that spanked children don’t grow up to be ax murderers doesn’t justify the practice. Many of them grow up and hit their children.

I have never understood how any one can coldly, “for their own good” hurt a child. And to strike them in anger is just wrong.

Hannah on

Before I had children I was 100% pro spanking. I mean really, I was spanked and I turned out “fine”.

And then I held my new baby daughter in my arms…And I continued to hold, nurse, rock, cuddle and love that little girl around the clock for three months. I had poured all that work into growing a strong bond and attachment, and I started to think: “How could I ever hit her??”

But what impacted me the most, was 3 months into motherhood my SIL coming out about an eating disorder. Very severe, her body was shutting down. She was dying and that’s the only reason she told what had been going on for years and years. While in rehab, it came out a lot of her issues stemmed back to the spankings she received as a child. I grew up with my husbands family (DH and I have been best friends since we were 4)…I lived down the street and was over there all the time, I remember when almost all of his sib’s were born! I knew how discipline worked, it was very similar to how it was in my house. Nothing weird: you disobey you get a spanking. The thing is, some kids are more sensitive to spankings…They process it and internalize it differently. For my sister in law it made her so anxious she began to battle bulimia at the tender age of 8 or 9.

I remember listening as my SIL share her struggles, I was rocking my 3 month old baby and imagining it was her sharing this with me in 15 years. I knew I had to protect her. I knew she was sensitive and could very well struggle in this area. I realized I couldn’t chance wounding her. After much prayer, scouring the Bible, reading parenting books (Dr Sears has some great information!) and talking to a lot of gentle-grace-based parents. We’ve realize it’s not mandated in our faith, and we will not be using punishment at all.

http://goybparenting.com/ (I have nothing to do with this website, it’s just been very helpful) is a great resource on how to focus on discipline (TEACHING) instead of punishing. The author points out that it’s not about spanking, not spanking, time outs, what have you…It’s about getting off your butt (GOYB) and teaching: consistently!

I also found the book “ScreamFree Parenting” and “Easy to Love Difficult to Discipline” and “The Discipline Book” to be the 3 books that really helped me kind of formulate a parenting plan for my daughters (yup we have 2 now!).

Oh and my SIL is doing much better, she still struggles (don’t we all?) but she’s very open about her journey and seems to be in a much better place. She’s healing.

Tarat3232 on

I was spanked as a child. Like other posters it was for danger situations OR (when I was between 5-7ish) as a reminder that I was behaving like a toddler and would be treated as such. It worked.

That said, I think that spanks should only occur after the parent has stepped back and checked whether they were acting out of anger or not. Once as a nanny, my charge crawled around the corner and found an uncovered plug that an older child had uncovered. I turned the corner as he stuck his drooly finger into the light socket, ran over and smacked his hand out of fear. 10 minutes later, he smacked his own hand and said “Bad Zach.” I cried, because I had NOT handled the situation appropriately.

BabyK on

I see nothing wrong with spanking, we were spanked as children and turned out fine, but I also see nothing wrong with NOT spanking. Some kids are actually worse than others and need a more severe punishment in order for the lesson to take hold.

But parents, if you don’t believe in it and try it, (much like the author who gave her daughter a “tap” on the wrist), your child will basically look at you and laugh! Either believe in it and stick with it, correctly, or don’t do it at all. It just gets too confusing to the child when you try it and don’t fully follow through with it.

Anonymous on

You always hear about how those who were spanked turned out fine. Sure. But the bigger factor is – why exactly are you spanking your child? Is it really helping? I have a 5 1/2 year old daughter and sure, somedays she tests our patience. BUT – I will never spank her. Yes – I was spanked as a child and I had my mouth washed out with soap…but I really cannot see the purpose in spanking. It was the good old traditional slap across the bum intended to make us stop the undesirable behaviour. Hmmmm… It doesn’t make the child feel better and I would hope that the spanking doesn’t make mom or dad feel better either! So when the situation is a LOSE – LOSE situation, why engage it in?

Eva on

Firstly, if she was a single gal “long long time ago” how come they had cell phones to get in a car and start calling right away? (I know it doesn’t matter, just saying..)

Me and my brother were spanked as kids. I don’t see how that’s any more humiliating than any other form of punishment, standing in a corner in time out is humiliating. Spanking is about causing pain so that the child associates whatever action they just engaged in with pain. It worked on us, we didn’t misbehave as teens, we’re doing well in life, both have higher degrees and are successful in our professions.

My niece is 3.5 now, and she’s a pill. Sweet as anything, we love her to pieces, but she’s an only child and she started slamming doors in our faces in anger when she was 2. And mind you, my brother and his wife are very calm people, they don’t engage in any such behavior, never shout or fight, very loving, affectionate couple. They recently moved on to spanking after nothing else worked. It works to a point – at least she’ll stop doing what she’s doing in that moment. Her personality is very intense, they have problems with her in school as well, professionals can’t handle her either. I guess the only way to see if spanking works or harms is later on in life. It’s not fun for parents though, I know my brother’s heart breaks every time he has to slap her butt…

Anonymous on

Spanking has been taken to all kinds of levels, but the Bible is clear. To spare the rod is to spoil the child. If parents would discipline their children in the proper way, (not spanking in anger)there wouldn’t be any question as to whether or not to spank or not. Also, to say that a child would smack another child as a result of being spanked is rediculous. At two they can understand and litle sting for misbehavior. To allow your child to go in to a public place and allow them to throw themselves on the floor kicking and screaming and not discipline them is what is wrong with this country. Oh let’s just removed them from the situation because they arent’t getting their way. Yeah that’s the right answer….NOT. I was abused through the fostered care system, and there are just some reasons why God didn’t allow some people to have children. But once God decided to bless you with them, He has instructed us to train them up in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. Do people like to spank their children? No, but it is a necessity in raising children that don’t become self-centered and spoiled. Think about what is in the best interest of your children , not what looks good in today’s twisted society. Also, I would never live in NJ. Think about it….is it any wonder that NJ has the one of the highest crime rates in the country. Can’t imagine why that could be.

CanGirl on

I was spanked as a child and I always felt humiliated. I don’t have anger issues but I wish my parents had used other parenting techniques to deal with my behaviour.

I don’t spank my now school-age children. I never ever have. They are as well behaved as any in their peer group. We have always used other non-spanking parenting techniques quite successfully.

I applaud the mother who left the mall when her child was having issues. That child was telling her mother with her behaviour that the excursion “was too much” for her. A good parent will watch and listen to his/her child’s behaviour and give her what she needs. Children have needs too. It is very self-centred parenting to only feel that your own wants are the only important ones.

NT on

Amen, Josie! I was spanked as a child…and I remember all of my friends saying, “I’ll never spank my kids!” Pfft! I have a 16 year old daughter and 14 year old son who were spanked. Time outs didn’t cut it. And I see many of their friends now who got the parents who didn’t spank them, and they’re wild animals….because they know that nothing is going to happen to them.

I wish anyone not choosing to spank luck…when these kids are young…the temper tantrums or running into the street are cake to deal with. I’d be interested in a revisit of this issue when this kid is a teenager!

Toya L. on

I also think that people are mixing up beating with spankings. We NEVER hit in anger and always talk to our child before spanking, I haven’t had to spank in well over 18 months because they haven’t done anything that warranted a spanking.

JM- people who spank their children are hypocrites if the spank but don’t allow them to hit others? LOL there is a big difference. So are the parents that watch rated r movies but don’t allow their kids to; or go to bed whenever they want but enforce a bed time for their child, or that drink and eat whenever they want but don’t allow their child to drink or eat sweets before eating their dinner *in fear of ruining their appetites*, or the ones that are not married but fornicating but don’t allow their children to do so, or the ones who can go on any website they want but limit their child from doing so are hypocrites too? I mean because if there are parents that do the above but don’t allow their children to could they not be called hypocrites?

Sophia Adelisse on

I believe you should redirect your child, but when redirection or time out do not work, a light spanking is ok. “Enough to alert, but not enough to hurt” is my motto.

Kate on

Spanking is for lazy, abusive parents. It’s not a solution to anything. That’s why you have to keep doing it.

Sara on

There is a HUGE difference between spanking and beating. Spanking is a form of discipline. My mom told me, “If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t have done it. I did it because you needed it, not because I wanted to. I did it because I love you enough to give you what you need, even though it was hard for me.” If it is done out of anger, then that is crossing a line. There is nothing wrong with spanking. If my kid is in the middle of the store screaming his head off over nothing, I’m going to discipline him for it. I am NOT, however, going to hit him because he is making a scene. Difference.

Brandy1921 on

If you can’t teach your children right and wrong without violence then you shouldn’t be parents.

Vanessa on

There is NEVER any reason to be violent toward ANY child. You don’t want your children to fear you – you want them to respect you. How can any adult justify hitting a child? It is just WRONG. You can teach your children without abusing them. Take the time to talk to and explain right from wrong and let the punishment fit the crime. So glad I live in a country where spanking is ILLEGAL.

NeeNee on

I’m sick of people seeing spanking as a way to teach violent behavour. I’m sorry but simply spanking a child for what ever wrong doing will not harm them or bruise them for life, nor will it cause them to want to go beat the crap out of others.

As my mom once told me, I drive a car, I get to have babies, i can do a lot of things because I’m the adult, and you are the child, therefore we are aloud as parents to do things and let our kids know that it’s wrong for them to do those same things as us.

They can do whatever once they are grown and gone from home. I use spanking as a last resort or for outright defiance. I had the living hell beat out of me as a child for the least infraction and yes, I was scared too death of both my parents and grew to have no respect for them at all but, their idea of ‘spanking’ was to leave belt marks or switch marks and bruises. They also made sure they hit us enough times as to the point where they could no longer swing at us, so yes, in regards to the way my parents ‘spanked’ that was totally wrong.

I however, used an open hand across the buttocks, or a smacked hand or a lil smack on the bare leg if they were overly acting up.

Sarah on

As long as children have not been in an abusive situation, I believe spanking is a valid disciplinary measure. It should not be used as the first resort, though, or even for all issues. For instance, we would immediately spank my daughter (3 bare handed swats) if she did something dangerous like run out into the street. Also, if she ever kicked or bit us (fortunately a short phase), she got a few swats. General brattiness, however, resulted in a time out followed by a discussion about why she was in a time out and what needed to be changed.

For us, the most controversial discipline we did was related to bedtime. For over a year, she refused to go to bed — meaning she would get up every 10 minutes until 2 or 3 in the morning. After a couple of weeks, we asked for advice and ended up having to tie her door shut (as soon as she cried herself to sleep, we undid the rope and it was never fastened when we were asleep). Everybody figured this would only need to continue for a couple of weeks, but when we tried to phase out of it, she would open her door, demand that it be tied, and slam it repeatedly until it was. It was only when she got sick of diapers and was informed that she could not wear underwear to bed until she was old enough to sleep with the door untied that she finally complied.

Natalie on

Do I WANT to spank my kid? Nope. But I will if I have to. Simple as that. Who the heck has 48 minutes to site doen and explain to children every little thing? Come on! I told you to stop, you didn’t, you thought you were slick, so you got a spanking.

Way too many bad children out there these days to let them run the show.

Jennifer on

I am a stay at home mom with my 2 year old little girl. We are extremely close and have an incredible bond. I have spanked her on a couple of occasions. I believe you should let a 2 year old be a 2 year old. However, we as parents are responsible for teaching our children respect as well as the difference between right and wrong. I mainly try to praise good behavior and take away privledges for bad behavior. I allow my daughter to express anger, frustration, etc. However, once she crosses the line of being disrespectful or does something dangerous I discipline as I see fit which may or may not be spanking. It depends on the severity of the behavior.

I don’t believe in spanking in anger or spanking and yelling at your kids in public. It just makes the parent look like an idiot at that point.

Denia on

Well we all know no one raises a spanking hand to Suri Cruise, but there is a difference between spanking for effect and beating your child. If your child runs into the road in front of a moving car, ,…are you just supoosed to hug him or her and say it is okay the car was going too fast…

Jodi on

I think Natalie’s comments above are bang on. No one WANTS to spank their kids…but when the actions warrant it, then do it. I think a lot of people don’t have the ability to differentiate between spanking and beating. There is a serious difference. Kids learn violent behavior from beating, not from spanking as a form of discipline.

As a teacher I see everyday how out of control kids are because far too many parents are more interested in being their kids’ friend rather than being their parent. Perhaps if more children were actually disciplined our youth would not be so out of control. I find that most parents that use methods of discipline, other than spanking, tend to be much more lax in maintaining their chosen form of discipline. They tend to “let things go” rather than keep it up. Kids thrive on consistency–and whatever form of discipline you choose, you need to do it consistently.

Kathy on

I am the oh so proud parent of 2 incredible children. I never touched them in a physical manner to “punish” them. Thats the ineffective lazy way to parent. It also teaches …get pissed you strike out….

It sucks when you say no and they dont care. So you give time out. Not fun for you but is much better than hitting. When they are older and they are going away for a weekend and you make plans also. REALLY sucks when they skip school during the week and you have to ground them for the weekend and they dont get to go to some party. And neither do you…..

Parenting is so hard. You have to almost be selfless. Spanking is only teaching the child to hit when you dont like something. It takes little time. Where as timeout gives your child time to calm down and talk to you about how his actions effect not only him but you.

andrea on

I don’t want to…I won’t like it…but I will. I would NEVER let a child run me out of a store because I can’t control her. no way. I was spanked as a child, when I deserved it, I am in no way traumatized and I love my parents to pieces and I NEVER resent them for spanking me, and trust me I never pulled a scene on my mother because I knew better. I understand you not wanting to spank but I think you have to be more firm I really doubt there was any real disclipine is simplying leaving the store…she didn’t want to be there in the first place.

Tammy on

We never discussed it ahead of time but as we had children, neither me nor my husband could ever bring ourselves to hit our children. We were spanked or whipped as a child and we both feared our fathers. I did not want to raise my kids to fear me but to respect me. We have raised three beautiful children, now 16, 19, and 21. Until they were teenagers and found out through their friends that not spanking was odd they just thought everyone was raised the way they were. They were shocked to hear that spanking was acceptable. Their reaction was funny. They are not prefect children, but I did expect prefection. They are good children. I find as they get older they consult with us a lot more than my friends kids do and I think it is because of the respect. I used to write a contract with each kid and they would decide what their disclipine would be. It was so easy cause all I had to do is tell them to check their contract then apply the correct punishment and let me know what it is. I had so much fun with this! You have to be creative and stay 2 steps ahead of them and that is hard sometimes but it is not impossible.

Anonymous on

Spanking is lame and lazy. Small children can get into dangerous situations because it is natural for them to be curious and not understand boundaries. Point blank they need to be watched constantly and that is not their problem. Spanking a toddler for running into the street is ignorant because it does nothing but frighten the child and they have no idea what they’ve done wrong. You cannot begin to reason with most children until around 3, so why punish them when they are not doing anything to be spiteful but only figuring out the world? Maybe they are afraid of you or afraid of getting hit again….Not super positive.

Mall shopping with children? Do so at your own risk. Use the internet to shop or get a babysitter and let the kids be kids. They want to be in a sandbox not a stupid mall. If you do take them and they act crazy, just leave as Ms. Rohm did. Cesar Milan is the dog whisperer and he doesn’t even spank the dogs and he gets them to behave – Why would we spank our children??? I saw a child being drug out of Target by his father and his father had the, you are in deep trouble look and the child was wailing a true frightened desperate LOUD plea for his mother…It made me sick to my stomach and I looked at my son and thought, I may be far from perfect, but you will never be afraid of me – You will always look to me first as your protector and never someone that may bring you harm.

Apologies if I have offended spankers – I mean no disrespect, only my humble, albeit strong opinion. I respect different strokes for different folks, but I firmly do not respect the physical and emotional aspects of spanking on children who cannot defend themselves and often cannot communicate properly.

Hannah on

Oh and for those who say that spanking is commanded in the Bible. Mainly Proverbs 23…That book isn’t meant to be read literally. If so than why aren’t all the “good” Christians going out and beating the fools on their backs in the market place? Or cutting their own throats for gluttony?

http://greenegem.wordpress.com/2010/10/23/spanking-and-proverbs-part-1-context/ (a great look at context and why it is so important to understand when reading scripture). It breaks my heart that millions of children are being spanked in the name of Christ…I’m sure it breaks His heart too!

Jessica Scruggs on

I do not have children yet, but I was never spanked as a child and so I don’t plan on spanking my children either. My boyfriend of 3 years, however, doesn’t see anything wrong with it if the child has done something to warrant the punishment. I prefer to take away something that the child enjoys or use time out instead of physical punishment. Perhaps I would feel different if my parents had used spanking as a form of discipline for me as a child, but they didn’t, so that’s just where I stand.

Jasmine on

I’m 57, and spanked both of my children. Not frequently, but with the conviction that I was doing the right thing. If I could take back one thing in my life, it would be raising my hands to discipline my children. They’re both wonderful, loving adults, and we have a great relationship.

Nevertheless, I’ve apologized to them both. Violence is not the answer- and yes, spanking is violence.

stephaie on

I grow up with parents who spank me and now I am an adult I think spanking a kid is a waste of time. Wend the hits wear off the child will go back and do what ever he or she get hit for. There is a saying you make your child but you don’t make there mind so punishment is a better alternative than the strap to me to each is own.

JMO on

Kids were alot more respectful and obedient back when I was growing up and we all got spanked (mind you I think I can count on one hand the amount of times I got spanked). That’s because our parents put the fear of God in us so we didn’t challenge them! We knew it was there way or the highway. Sorry but that’s what’s wrong with kids. Many I know do not really respond to the whole time out methods. I also know some who could careless if they had nothing to play with. But I just feel parents today are more willing to let their kids get away with things. Like I love when I hear parents in a store go, “Now sally mommy told you not to touch that I’m gonna count to three and you need to put it back. 1, 2, I’m gonna get to three and you better put it back. 1, 2, Sally what did mommy tell you!

Or the one’s who constantly do time outs about 15x a day in a chair! Sometimes your child needs a jolt to make them realize that the behavior is not acceptable. I was spanked and I have no ill effects from them. I would say I didn’t enjoy it but it made me realize that to avoid them I needed to listen.

I certainly don’t think spanking is the first option. But an option it should be. And there is a HUGE difference between a smack on a butt and a down right beating!!

I also think kids respond differently to discipline. One child may not really care about spankings and still continue to be bad while another gets the message clearly the first time.

So it’s up to each parent in what they choose to do. For me spanking is def. not gonna disappear as an option in my household. But lets just say it’s something that doesn’t really ever happen either. Only when they are putting themselves in danger it happens as a quick reaction. It’s not something that we enjoy doing but if need be it will happen.

Jillian on

I am mother to a 19 month old daughter along with my partner (another woman). There isn’t a lot my daughter has done to warrant serious spanking, but I am all for a person’s right to chose how to discipline his or her child, within limits. A swat on the butt (diaper padded or otherwise) with a firm no is NOT, in any way shape or form, child abuse. A swat on the hand when a child endangers him or herself (hot object, sharp object, etc) is NOT child abuse. I do not believe that spanking encourages violent behavior in ANY way if it is done with explanation and love and NOT in a moment of anger.

My parents always sat us down and explained why our behavior was unacceptable, explained that they loved us, and explained why we were being spanked. They never spanked in anger or in the “heat of the moment.” None of us grew up to be violent, ill-tempered, or maladjusted.

Not everyone is going to agree on the “right” way to raise or discipline a child, as evidenced by this blog. But that doesn’t make one way any better than another. A parent can do everything “right” and a child can still turn out to be ill-tempered, and just the opposite.

The one thing I find incredibly important is that in households where there are two parents, those two parents must agree on discipline, so that there is not one “good” parent and one “bad” parent and one that always undermines the other.

I find that at this young age, a time-out chair (equal to age in minutes) is more effective than anything else I’ve tried, but I also think that with each stage, discipline will probably need to be adjusted so the punishment fits the “crime.”

Joie on

I have to disagree with some of the posters when they said that she gave in to the child when she took her out of the mall and went home. We do that with my boys. They both LOVE being out of the house, even in a mall, but if they miss behave they get a warning, and if they keep up, then they get taken out to the car, or taken home depending on the weather and bus routes. It has happened once, with my 4 year old and that was enough now if he is acting up we just give him his warning and he calms down. It has happened with my youngest, and so far so good. My husband and I have been complimented on our parenting. And we have not spanked our children. They have their moments but what child does not. My oldest also has lots of aggression, his frontal lobe is not fully developed, so I believe that if we started to spank he would act out even more. But that is just my opinion.

JMO on

also let me add that peole say spanking on teaches kids to hit. My brother and I once again (spanked) never laid a hand on another child nor ever got in trouble for picking on other kids (bullying). I think some of you live in fear of your children hating you for doing it. I also think parents put these perceptions in their own heads that if they spank their child will be more misbehaved or act out in violence. You can’t really have those perceptions when you never really seen it first hand.

Daisy on

Living in the buckle of the bible belt, I know lots and lots of parents who spank. I have 4 children, ages 23,19,8 and 8 months, and I haven’t physically disciplined any of them.

I don’t hit people that I love, and that is a feeling and knowing in my heart that will never change.
People say that spanking isn’t hitting, but to me, it is. (look up the definition of the word, “spanking.”)

My kids know I have expectations, and when they did anything that made me disappointed, we would sit and talk about it, and usually the fact that they hurt my feelings with their behavior was enough to make them not want to do it again. Once they were old enough to start to reason, I would just talk to them like the little human beings that they were/are.

When they are too little to understand/talk with me, I just physically pick them up and redirect them. (like Elisabeth did at the mall).

Maybe I’m just lucky to have 4 easygoing, laid back tenderhearted kiddos. I don’t know, but I just know that nothing they have ever done has made me think, “Man,I can’t believe he just did that. I really need to hit him to make him think about his actions!”

My cousin actually spanks her twins as a punishment…..for hitting each other! “We do NOT hit!” she will say, as she is wailing away on their bottom. I guess it works for her?

Jen on

I don’t spank and never will. In a society when we tell children that you don’t solve problems by hitting or causing someone pain, it seems ridiculous to confuse them from the get-go. What “hurts” my child is having privileges taken away, toys put away, and other things that are his currency at his age.

My husband and I don’t believe in it and my parents didn’t either. We were taught what to do (or not do) through teaching and example and that’s a gift that I plan to pass on to my children as well.

Sammy on

I am 100% opposed to the spanking of children. It would be an absolute deal-breaker for me in a relationship. Luckily for me, my husband is also opposed to corporal punishment, but I would not hesitate to end any relationship where my children ran the risk of being manhandled by an adult. It is cruel and ineffective.

Meg on

If you spank your child, and then they go to school and hit someone else, how do you tell them they are wrong? As parents we love them the most, but feel it is okay to show them (even if it is slight) physical pain if they do something that we feel is wrong. Now if they hit a kid at school and hit a kid they don’t really like who did something wrong, how can a parent as a spanker tell them it is not acceptable to hit another child. I could never lay a hand on my kid. It makes me crazy. We soothe them like crazy when they fall and get a skinned knee, because we feel sad they are in pain, yet someone may choose to spank their kid, causing pain on purpose? Crazy!

Karen on

Nobody can say with certainty how they will discipline their kids, until they are put in a position to have control over their kids. I read lots of books before I had kids, and knew how I was going to discipline…until I had kids and none of that worked. I know plenty of kids who respond to time outs and taking things away and threats, but mine don’t. My 5-year-old is too old for spanking, but I think the only reason she will respond to threats now is because she was spanked. My 2-year-old gets spanked on occasion when she blatantly defies me and nothing else works.

Nobody likes to spank their kids. It’s not lazy and it’s not abuse. We just all do what we have to do and we should help each other, not judge each other.

Jillian on

“People who don’t spank their kids, don’t get respect from their kids PERIOD”

I was never spanked as a kid, nor where any of my siblings. Or were any of my cousins. And all of us had respect for our parents as children and adults. So, there goes your theory!

Farrah on

I grew up with parents who spanked. They did not spank for anything but the most gravest of offenses. I myself don’t remember ever being spanked though I know I must have, but I was a very submissive child. My brothers were more defiant and received spankings much more often and it would terrify me when they did. I would hear it and their reaction to it and it would terrify me. I knew in my heart even as a child that it was wrong. I want my son to trust me and to know that I am always here for him and that he can always come to me with anything, even when he has made a mistake. He may be scared of what privelege I will take away or what manual labor he will get as punishment, but I never NEVER want him to be scared that I would physically hurt him. How are they supposed to trust you, feel safe with you and know that you have their best interest at heart, or feel they can come to you with mistake when they know you are going to hit them. The whole idea just doesn’t compute to me. Having said that, my parents spanked and all the us kids have turned out just fine and we all have great relationships with our parents.

jc78 on

My husband and I were both spanked as children but we don’t spank. I think the notion that it is okay if done in loving correction is very nice, but I would have to be really angry to hit someone and I don’t think that when you are in a blind fury is the time to practice spanking. It wouldn’t be done in a loving way–it would be because I’m enraged and I don’t want to touch my children in that state.

Kristi on

I was spanked when I was a kid by my mother.My dad was “putty in my hands” growing up and he never spanked me.I deserved every one that I got and more.I know that I will spank my child but not for all the same reasons that my parents spanked me and my sister.I think spanking should be the last resort.When all other forms of punishment have not worked then I think spanking should be used.But there are some things I think spanking is the consequence for no matter what.Lying would be the first thing. If someone will lie to you they will steal from you cheat you and have no problem with it. Think about it when you get into trouble what’s the first thing you would do to get out of the consequences? Lie. If I teach my child not to lie then they have no other “out” for wrong things like stealing or cheating.When I was younger and would contemplate disobeying my parents I would think about what I was going to do if I got caught.Lying was the worst thing ever at my parents house so when lying was the only conclusion I came to for getting out of trouble I just wouldn’t disobey my parents because I knew the consequence was going to be severe if I lied to them.Repetitive smart mouth to parents or authority figures and direct disobedience are the other two things that I think deserve spanking from the get go. By direct disobedience I mean you stand there and tell the child do not do whatever and they stand right there and do it, I would spank my child.

Denise on

Don’t spank! I have a twelve year old who has never been spanked. I have NO regrets about not spanking. Further, I’ve managed to screw up in other ways, but not with physical violence.

By the way, I don’t have a problem with dis-respect from my child. And, I don’t encourage blind obedience. I like a child who thinks for herself and even feels free to state her opinion when she disagrees with me.

For those who claim children of yesteryear were better behaved, I’d like to see evidence that spanking has played any role in encouraging positive behavior. Americans spank in the same large numbers they always have. If children are more outspoken these days, it’s not because of gentle parenting.

Bravo to you for choosing non violent parenting methods!

Jane on

I’ve been a minister for many years and have raised now-adult children. I have counseled several families on this subject.

Raising children without hitting them (and spanking is hitting, no matter what it is called) is complicated work, and it can take time to find out what works. I understand the desire to impose the seriousness of running into traffic, but removing a 2.5 year old child from a store when she is out of control and taking her home (or anywhere else) is completely appropriate and laudable behavior. Just what would we hope to gain by hitting our 2.5 year old daughter in order to try to get her to stop?

Finding ways to get through to our children is sometimes tough work, but we signed up for it. One night our daughter (now grown, then 9) was angry at being sent to her room and sneaked out of the house, riding her bike several blocks in the dark to her friend’s house. The friend’s father called us, and we were horrified. My husband, angry and at wit’s end, went into her room and removed every single Hanson poster she had from her walls. I think she had about 50, so it took a bit of time. We then went and picked her up. She was told she could have them back in a year. She never ran off again.

Nikkie on

Spanking is an issue with just about everyone I know. Whether you spank or not is totally a personal decision. However, I do not feel that a “spanking” has to be hard/harsh…it can be as simple as a light swat on the back of the hand.

I have three children 16 & 13 year old boys and a 14 month old girl. Each child has responded differently to discipline, so I feel that you have to do what works with each of them. I do differ from Elisabeth though in that I WILL NOT and have NEVER left a restaurant/public place because a child of mine decided to act like a hethen! I have taken my kids out in public since they were weeks old in order to socialize them and so they will know how to act in public. There is a place and time for every behavior. I can say that my youngest son is the ONLY one who has ever thrown a fit in public and that lasted only about 5 minutes and the people around me felt sorry for me and not for him. I did not give in, I did not spank. I let it run its course and he knew that I had things to do. Like I said, each child is different and how you handle them will be different.

Happy Parenting! It truly does take a community!!!

Jenn on

I can not and will not teach my daughters that it is not ok to hit and then turn around and hit her.

If its not ok for her, its not for me!

Anonymous on

I have 3 kids who are all different. Two of them are sensitive to people with raised voices and anger, so I did not have to spank them much. (Only in situations like the street example). The other one didn’t care how upset or strongly I said no. She did what she wanted. A firm spanking (after I was done with any anger) with a long hug afterwards was the only way to shape her into a person people would want to be around. It wouldn’t have done her any favors to do otherwise. I have a friend who believes as you do, and it worked okay for the first son, but the second son is a monster and continues to spend a lot of time at the principle’s office and resents being told what to do because he has never been held accountable to good behavior. Kids resent having their toys taken away, yelling, and time outs. We are not going to be their friends, we are their PARENTS!! What a spoiled generation we are creating!!

Annie on

It’s a matter of choice to spank or not to spank a child.Especially if they act out in public.Time out might be the best solution,and please teach your cild manners.

camille on

I can give a point of view from a child that grew up in a home that firmly believed in spanking as the form of discipline. Overall, I was a well-behaved child, but I did have my share of spankings. I grew up in a Christian home, and my parents chose to follow the Biblical approach on discipline. As an adult at age 29, I understand and respect my parents even more for the time that they took to stop, notice my behavior, and do something about it. As a child, of course, I did not appreciate the spanking. Many envision a spanking as an angry parent slapping a child with their hand or some device. In my home, this was not the case. If I was dishonest, disrespectful, or disobedient- I was sent to my room to think about what I had done, and this was usually followed by a spanking. Every time after I was spanked, my mother and father would sit down with me and tell me that they did this because they love me. Of course, I would not be over it and inside, I would be upset with them but ALSO UPSET WITH MYSELF. It would make me aware of guilt for my behavior. I never understood the love they were talking about until I was older, and it gives me even more respect of my parents. I am thankful that I was spanked because it “groomed” me into the person that I am today. I will definitely use this form of discipline in my home, but only out of love for my children- even when there will be temptation to get angry.

Jamie on

I think that regardless of whether you as a parent believe or don’t believe in spanking, every child is different and not every child will respond to spanking (or not spanking) the same as others. If you believe in spanking, that does not mean it will be the most effective method of punishment for your child no matter how lovingly you administer the spanking. For some children, spanking is the only truly effective method (and i’m not talking about spanking them hard when you’re angry. I’m talking about sitting down once you’ve cooled off and explaining to them why they are recieving the spanking and making sure they understand that they did something wrong and that’s why they are getting a spanking) and for others spanking only makes them angrier and ends up setting you a few steps behind in the behavior category! Every parent needs to do what they believe in as long as they are consistant with it!!!!

Sade on

There is a story that my mother tells… She was shopping with my sister and I…. I was in a Carriage and my mother was looking at snowsuits.. . My mother turned around and we were both gone and she had the moment that every Mother fears both of her children gone… My sister had hid us in a clothing rack…When my sister reappeared my mother spanked her right there in the store as a lesson not to do that again whether it worked or not you’ll have to ask my sister.. my parents saved the spanking for the big things running into the road.. And whether or not I will spank is hypothetical at this time as I have no kids… but it probably be for the big things like my parents… in the end spanking is up to you…

Darla on

There is no such thing as “spanking”. Parents use the word “spanking” so they don’t feel bad about hitting their child, when in reality, spanking IS hitting! It is child abuse and any parent who dares to lay a hand on their kid should have their child taken away from them.
It is NOT alright to scare a child or use physical force. What makes you think its OK to control your child’s life 100%? Let kids be kids! No wonder kids are growing up so fast these days. Children aren’t angels all the time, they tend to go into fits, they misbehave, they cry and scream, SO WHAT? Why did you have kids if you can’t deal with childish behavior? Don’t expect your child to act like an adult!
It seems to me that some people are just extremely lazy and do not have the patience to properly discipline. The kids are not the ones at fault for acting like KIDS, the parent is at fault for being a lazy parent and not handling the situation correctly!
I’m not saying that children shouldn’t be disciplined, but once in a while, they should be allowed to act like kids.

I was hit as a child, and it did NOT work with me at all. I was scared to death of my father, and I grew up to be a very rebellious teenager. When I was about 13 years old, I stopped listening to my parents completely. My grades were horrible, I was moody and started fights to them, I insulted them, etc. The reason I acted out in this manner is because I wanted to have a sense of control, which I had taken away from me when I was a child! I greatly regret that I rebelled so much during my teen years, because my actions definitely put a negative impact on my young adult life, but the only reason I acted this way is to anger my parents. This would have never happened if I had never been hit! And no, my father did not hit me hard enough to break bones or leave bruises, but it DID scare me and damage me emotionally. I am now a very insecure person and have trouble connecting with other people, and it is all due to the abuse I endured as a child. Not ALL kids grow up like me, but SOME due, so why would you hit a child knowing it could damage them for life?
I HATE when people say “I spanked my children and they turned out just fine!”. That is NOT an excuse. Every person is different and handles situations differently.
For example, not ALL rape victims end up having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and many of them go on to live completely normal lives, but can you imagine the outrage if a rapist said “all my rape victims turned out just fine!”?

Cece on

I have to leave a comment. Kitty – You don’t spank in anger or hatred toward the child. No parent wants to physically harm their child. If you are spanking out of anger then you need Anger Managment Classes. DUH! If you know what the meaning of LOVE is, then you know that spanking sucks. As a parent you don’t want to do it, but sometimes it’s the best solution to the problem. I was spanked as a child and yes I respected my parents during the teen years and still do. As a parent – I have a 5 year old, I can count on one hand the times I had to spank her as a form of discipline. But, you know what, it didn’t kill her, she loves me just the same. Does she listen? Yes, better than most 5 year olds that are given the time out solution at home. I am always complimented in restaurants, etc how well behaved my child is. I thank my parents for this – beating butt does make an impression. Your kids will thank you for it later. The parents that don’t spank their kids, their kids are the BULLIES in school. Here’s a scenario for you..Sam and Brad are playing together. Sam takes Brad’s toy. Brad’s upset and he knows that the worst thing will be that he will go to TIMEOUT. So, Brad hits Sam with a stick and poor Sam needs stitches. Meanwhile, Brad goes to TIMEOUT. Fastforward 15 years. In college on spring break, Brad gets mad at a friend and pushes him off a balcony towards the pool. The friend hits the pavement and dies. Brad goes to jail for involuntary manslaughter for the next 10 years. Is that what everyone calls good parenting because little Brad didn’t get spanked but went to timeout? Bravo, good parenting.

Sophia on

Niether I nor my brother were ever spanked as a child, but all my cousins were. I remembered being scared of my aunt becuase she would come after them with a wooden spoon. After awhile, they expected getting spanked and would just take it and go back to what they were doing. My parents were more patient with us and we never acted up in public. When I have kids they won’t be spanked.

Amy on

I feel like spanking is definitely warranted in certain situations. I can’t remember ever getting spanked more than a few times growing up, but that’s probably because we took my parents seriously when they said they were going to follow through with a certain punishment.

For example, my dad says that I acted up in a restaurant once when I was little, but he told me that if I kept doing it, we’d be leaving. Apparently I kept throwing a fit or whatever, because he put the money for the bill down on the table and took me out of the restaurant, even though we hadn’t gotten our food yet. And he says that was the last time it happened.

Niche on

When I was pregnant, I made up my mind about my parenting plan… Vowing to never spank as punishment. But as my son has gotten older (5 now), spankings have been a part of his upbringing for more serious offenses. The point is, we cannot always be our children’s BFF. We’re not supposed to. And a little fear is honestly what children need in order to reinforce that there are rules and boundaries that can’t be broken or crossed.
When you give a child free reign over their life, you ask for problems in the long run. They need guidance and structure and sometimes a swat on the bottom.

Candria on

Every family is different, just as no two children are alike. I was spanked as a child and am glad that my parents taught me discipline and respect of myself and others. If spanking is used when a child is young, the child listens to, and minds their parents in most cases and do not need physical discipline as they mature. One thing I can’t stand is a threatening parent who does not follow up. The child thinks that the world revolves around them – and they are in for such a rude awakening. The Bible says “spare the rod and spoil the child”- children need discipline and limits so that the tail doesn’t wag the dog.

p_cine on

Why are you asking anyone for their viewpoint? You are not OK with it, full stop. It is not a discussion point.

I just say that because this post strikes me as odd. Do you really want to discuss your views?

I personally share your viewpoint, as it happens, and I force myself to understand that parents who hit their children are not going to move beyond the acquaintance ring. It’s a baldly honest thing to say, but avoiding thinking all the way to a conclusion is avoiding looking it in the eye.

Theresa on

Having raised three children and now the Grandmother of five I can’t understand the need to cause physical pain to anyone you truly love. Discipline and consequences are certainly important in raising children to be kind, caring and decent human beings. However I do not believe spanking is productive and if you did a poll of prison inmates I believe you would find 100% of them were spanked!

Sarah on

I think it is very apparent that spanking should never be the “go to” discipine approach. However there are times when nothing else works. As a mother of three it is a last resort to pull my children in line. This has not caused them to be more violent, nor did it cause me or my 4 brothers and sister to be more violtent. One swap always does the trick when they got too far out of hand. For those of you that have a better method, please share, but my kids are constantly complimented on their good behavior and their healthy zest for life.

Miss Ann on

Wow.. no glamour shot this time. I bet Easton is always doing ‘something’.

erika on

i didn’t think anyone spanked their kids anymore. do they?

one of my kids has sensory processing disorder and can have crazy, violent meltdowns that go on and on and on. i have a lot of techniques i use to calm her down but i can’t imagine spanking her.

i think every parent does what they think is best- and all kids are different. my oldest has special needs that my youngest does not- and responds to things so much differently than my youngest.

at this point, though, i cannot imagine spanking my child. we do time outs/time-ins, and talking and holding, and it works really well for us.

i also have found that talking in a low voice has a much bigger effect than talking loudly to a child. they seem to listen to the quiet, close whisper so much more than raising my voice.

e on

being on the receiving end of spanking is a frightful and painful existence. Sure, some kids seem “better” for it, but what about the ones like me who wake up from nightmares about spanking their 6mo old because their own childhood of spanking has come back to haunt them. All the excuses one tells themself over the years, like I deserved it, I was a rowdy kid, fall by the wayside and you;re left with a fractured parental-child relationship and an inability to cope with or appropriately deal with negative emotions without physical violence. Hands are not for hitting. In my moments of utter incontrol and spanking pre programming, I have hit my child, and that is what he remembers and he’s called me a bad guy for the very few times I’ve snapped and not been able to reel it in. I can’t undo that from his memory as much as I want to. He’ll always know for as much as mommy loved him and did everything for him, she still whacked him because she knew no other way and it hurt him terribly.

Leah on

My husband was also the same, he said he could go either way with spanking. Because I did my masters in counselling he said he would trust whatever I had learned from my training. Some of my favourite books on the subject are Hold Onto Your Kids, he talks about putting kids in a ‘time-in’. Dr. Neufelds belief from his research is that you need to sit next to them for a time out. This allows them to learn that they are taken away from what they were doing, that was probably fun, but they are not taken away from you. When you leave them in a time out it plays on their anxiety of wanting to be back with you, instead of them learning that their behaviour takes them away from playing. He explains time outs are a form of shunning. We see this with teens, you have to do what the in crowd does you are shun, left alone. You don’t want to teach kids to behave based on their anxiety of being excluded and left alone. His book explains it better than i can.

Does my son misbehave, heck yeah, but I also believe that I should not expect him to be a quiet little adult. He is a kid and just as I get very frustrated, hurt, sad and angry so does he. He does not get a time out for getting emotional because I don’t give myself or my husband I time out when we express our emotions. I tell him he can get frustrated, but he can’t hit, or throw toys. Then we work on ‘what CAN we do when we are frustrated’ verses just telling/teaching him that his emotions are not valid or real and need to be shut down. I want him when he is older to know what he is feeling, to be okay with it and to be able to communicate it. His future wife will thank me. It is a longer road, since I am sure spanking is quick, however parenting, like marriage takes lots of work and time. No quick fix. I also like the book “how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk”. Hope this helps

Michele on

Love and Logic all the way. Best parenting philosophy in the world! And no spanking required.

Check them out!

Erin on

As someone who has survived spankings from loving parents AND physical abuse at the hands of another relative, I can tell you that there is a HUGE, MONUMENTAL difference between the two. Love being the main difference.

My brothers and I never hit other children because we were spanked. We knew it was wrong, and there would be consequences if we did hit someone.

That being said, I hope parents realize that every child is different, and one form of punishment might not fit all. No parent is ever going to be perfect; parenting is a learning process, and it takes time to find out what works for your family.

Emily D on

I have to say that I am not a parent so I truly cannot judge, but can share how I was raised. I was spanked, although very few times and I can recall each one. They all involved behavior on my part that could have been very dangerous- i.e., pushing my brother off of a swing. My father was calm, never angry and did explain why I received the punishment. For me it worked, like I said, it was very few times and only in circumstances where my behavior could have resulted in serious injury to another, not something simple like lying or watching a forbidden tv show.

That said, it is each parent’s right to decide whether or not to spank and how to dole out discipline, within reason. And for each child, there is a different solution- some respond well to “disappointing” their parents, others need something more serious. Unless you have been in another parent’s shoes to see what they have and have not tried or you know for a fact that spanking or other physical punishment has a detrimental effect on their children, don’t fault them for what works in their family.

Anonymous on

If a child runs into a street I think spanking is necessary to scare them so they don’t do it again. In all other instances I believe talking to the child or a time out is better than spanking. In situations where a child puts their life at risk, a spanking or scaring them straight would be necessary.

erica on

are you kidding me? Choosing not to spank is news? There is no reason and no excuse and should be no rationalization for ever hitting a child. Give me a break.

Sarah on

I tried a smack in the early days and it just creates the battleground situation. But this way is the common sense way, tell the child exactly what you expect from them, if they do slip into the “crazy monkey”, make it quite clear if you do that again and don’t listen, we are going to leave, most important thing is the follow through, turn around and march straight out of that mall! I only had to use this a couple of times, and he soon learned that he was going to miss out. At home if he really crossed the line, a warning “if you do that again, I will take your …. away”.

laylousha on

I believe in spanking on some occasions, not all. For example, the incident with your friend’s daughter running into the street. I would have reacted the same way as your friend. I believe that I would rather have my child hurt a little, but be afraid to do it again from the fear of having another spanking, than get seriously injured someday. I feel other methods require repetition to some extent, and that’s fine with a matter such as the incident at the mall. But running into the street requires immediate attention, and I feel the quickest way is a spanking.

The reason I believe in spanking is because as a child I was brought up spanked, as well as my sister, brother and cousins. Due to the fear of getting spanked we would all REALLY obey our parents and every word they said. With time, and as we grew up we started to understand that what our parents spank us for was for our own benefit and self improvement. And this obedience and respect for our parents has made us what we are today, which I am proud of. So I never look down or feel hurt by my parents for having spanked us when we were little. And actually, it gives me, my siblings and my cousins something to laugh and talk about now.

Kai's Mum on

Go ahead and spank your child if you want to teach your child that:
1. Violence solves problems;
2. I can hit you because I am bigger than you;
3. I can hit you because I love you;
4. How hard I will hit you depends on how frustrated I am and less about what you just did;
5. You should be afraid of me.
All of the research informs us that spanking does NOT work. Use timeouts instead. Imagine if you started a new job and every time you did something wrong, your boss spanked you! How would you feel???

Holiday on

I have 2 young kids 5 years and 10 months old. I have NEVER once spanked them and I never will either. Its not right to tell your kids they cannot hit anyone, but then a parent smacking them is fine. Nope we dont hit in our family.

cari Rosenbaum on

I grew up getting spanked. In fact my pediatrician told my parents his little rule for spanking… no less than 10 swats and no more than 10 or then you are abusive. We were only ever spanked when absolutely needed. I have never felt afraid of my parents ever, or felt abused by them. I knew that they loved me regardless of the discipline they chose. They showed me they loved me in many ways and one of those ways was through their discipline.

I have 3 children. My oldest never needed a spanking, he was a pleaser and a kid who still strives to be the very best he can be. But my other 2 have needed a spanking once in a while. I actually followed my parents rule of the 10 swats. It worked for our family. I constantly have people come up to me and tell me what great examples my children are, whether we are in a restaurant or at a game or just walking in the mall. I do believe it is because they were disciplined, not always with a spanking but sometimes just with a firm voice. Spankings are not a punishment you can hand out lightly. I do believe there is a time and a place for them but also my oldest never needed one. Each child is different and you should discipline accordingly. On the other hand I have nephews who were never spanked and they are holy terrors. I would never let my other children ride in a car or go to a party with them, because they have absolutely no boundaries. Their father and my brother tried to spank them when they were little but their mother was very adamant that they not be spanked. They are now paying the price for never taking the time to show their boys how much they loved them by disciplining them. I am not saying a spanking was the answer but they surely needed some consequences in their young lives.

I do believe it is a personal choice but for me and my family a little spanking once in awhile never hurt any of us. In fact I asked my kids about this subject and they have never felt afraid of my husband or me or felt unloved because of it. In fact thank you for the thought provoking conversation I just had with my children. I realized again and again how lucky I am to have the great kids that I have. I’m thankful every day for them.

Alli on

To say that a parent that doesn’t spank doesn’t have control of their child is not true at all. I was never spanked by my parents, and I could probably count the number of timeouts I had on one hand. I have a great amount of respect for my parents, never got in trouble in school, never misbehaved in public, and very rarely got in trouble at home. My sister is a little bit fiesty, but she was never spanked either and is overall a very well-behaved kid (she’s 11 now). There are plenty of parents out there who raise well-behaved, respectful children without spanking or screaming at them. I don’t think that kids should fear their parents; they should respect them. If your kids are afraid of you, why would they come to you when a really big issue comes up later in their lives?

Erica on

Look, I am not a parent yet so I really can’t speak from that POV. But as a well-adjusted, emotionally healthy 25 year old who was spanked on rare occasions, I can say that even as a child, I never once doubted my parents’ love, devotion or respect for me. My older brother was never spanked because he was an eerily well-behaved kid naturally. I was not and neither was my youngest brother. Believe it or not, we are *both* glad we were spanked! We were aware what would happen if we did something very bad (like have a public tantrum) so we didn’t push those boundaries. Nor were we violent with each other…to the contrary, we wrestled for fun but never, ever fought in earnest with each other or anyone outside the family.

I think people need to realize that there is no one way to parent. If you personally don’t believe in spanking, that’s fine. Whatever works your family. But just because you disagree with it does NOT make it abuse. Painting in broad strokes like that would be similar to saying that every parent who refuses to spank lets their children walk all over them…neither argument is true, so don’t generalize.

Brooke on

My sister and I were spanked as children and turned out fine. We both plan to spank our kids should they need it but I am of the opinion that if you are firm with your child and teach them that NO means NO that you won’t have to spank them at all. My best friend has a 3 year old daughter that she swore she wasn’t going to spank but she has now decided she IS because her method of timeouts isn’t working. Again, I feel that it would if she were more consistent.

Jillian on

Cecelia, you said, the parents who don’t spank their kids, their children are the bullies in school. Ummmm….no! Not even close. I wasn’t spanked and wasn’t a bully. I know a few kids who were spanked an were bullies. So you are very very wrong. When you make a statement like that, you should really have facts to back it up.

To those saying you don’t want to spank your kids……well, don’t!! Pretty simple. I don’t know a single person who has or does spank their child and all of the children I know are respectful and well behaved. I never understood the thought process behind inflicting pain on your child for being bad. I couldn’t imagine hurting my child and causing them physical pain regardless of what they did. I must stop. It’s actually upsetting me.

Liza on

I’m sorry but any type of spanking is child abuse and it is about time that people realised this. Would you spank an adult if they didn’t do what you wanted them to do? I don’t think so!

My children and all my nieces and nephews have never been hit. There is no justification whatsover for hitting a child under any circumstance.

Eugenie on

I was regularly and violently spanked as a child by both parents. It was usually done when they were furious and angry, and not as a strategic discipline style. I still remember how angry it made me as a child, feeling so helpless.

I later turned into a bully at school and hit other children. Luckily I grew out of that and learned of other strategies to deal with angry or helpless feelings. Even now as an adult, there are rare times (once a year maybe) when I feel like hitting my husband (of course I never do) when we are in a huge fight. I know that it is absolutely unacceptable and never would lay a finger on him, but my point is that I still have the occasional flicker of an urge, even now as an adult with better impulse control. And I can’t help but wonder if the “spankings” I regularly received, all the way up through my pre-teen years, really negatively impacted me.

I had no role models to show me how to deal with anger in appropriate ways. Luckily, as I grew up I had other adult mentors that I learned these skill from and so I haven’t had any interpersonal anger/rage issues as an adult. I think that if it is illegal to smack another adult, it should definitely be illegal to smack a little kid and I don’t understand why the law is different. There are so many studies showing that physical punishment is NOT effective in changing behavior. Why do some adults think their “way” is somehow better even though years and years of psychological and social psychology studies have shown the negative impacts and/or lack of lasting change in behavior? It makes me sad that so many people are just naive and ignorant on the issue- including my parents, who just didn’t have any other coping mechanisms or parenting skills to draw upon to discipline a child. It’s too bad our society doesn’t do a better job of teaching these skills to children (i.e. our nation has a huge bullying problem) and adults (child abuse is rampant).

nina on

I has nothing to do with opting for individual parenting methods which work for some and don’t work for others. I don’t know why we are even having this debate. Spanking is wrong and unethical period!!! It is physical abuse! Is it difficult to control yourself, especially when your parents spank you when you were little? Of course it is! But is it a right thing to do it to anyone? No, it isn’t.

I think it is a pure exercise of power over the weaker one in the game and the lack of self-control on part of the parent. The parent’s physical strength is no match to the child’s, so it is extremely cruel to do something to them, where they have no chance of defending themselves.

But let me ask you another question: Is it OK if a husband hits a wife just because she didn’t do what he wanted her to or she did something he didn’t want her to do? No, it isn’t. It is physical abuse. But it happens because the guys is physically stronger and can do it. He can overpower the woman because of his pure physical strength. I think child abuse is even worse because while an abused woman has a chance of running away, as she is an adult, a child doesn’t have that chance. Instead, the child is faced not only with the punishment but with such a turmoil and confusion in his/her head because those who should take care of him and love him unconditionally are hurting him. Don’t let me even get started about learning and imitating, and so on. As I said, that’s not the issue…it is just wrong, and while we can certainly explain why it happens, we cannot justify it!

Tami on

This debate has so many parallels with a hotly debated controversy in the dog rearing world. The “dominance” theory says that one must physically and mentally dominate their animal, keep them submissive at all times, and correct them physically if they dare challenge that absolute authority (even if the “challenge” is as benign as greeting their owner too enthusiastically). According to this theory dogs are happier if kept in submission. The other theory, positive/reward based training, says that one must actively teach the dog how to behave in the world, because they aren’t born knowing the rules, and deal with unruly behavior by witholding treats or toys or attention.

The people who advocate spanking as a way to teach kids to “respect their authority”, or to “show them who’s boss”, just smack of dominance theory to me. As though they need to teach their children a lesson by proving their own dominance.

I know this is not true of all spankers – the people who have commented about spanking only once or twice to drive home a serious point about endagering life spring to mind – it’s the people who say things like “a parent is an authority figure, the first you encounter in life. If a child cannot listen to nor respect their parents, they will not learn to to listen to or respect other authority figures in life” – they’re the dominance theorists, in my mind.

Totally agree with the poster who said that children, like any other human beings, aren’t the possessions of the adults around them to control. A parent’s job is to teach them how to successfully live in the world by guiding their behaviour, teaching them how the real world works, and how to develop their own self control.

dsfg on

Wow, Cece, I’d love to see some source citations for your “facts.”

Did it ever occur to you that many children fear timeouts more than they do spankings?

Lise on

In Denmark it is illegal to spank a child and you can actually go to jail for doing it, but there are still people who do it. The general attitude in Denmark is that it is not OK to spank a child. I would never spank my child because I don´t think it helps. I think the best way is to talk to your child!! And occasionally give them a timeout:-)

laurie on

i don’t believe in spanking for any reason

Kat_momof3 on

I’ve spanked… with my oldest, it was what worked best with him… until he was old enough to actually have time out be effective with him. Heck, it was usually just that I had to spank him to get him to sit and stay in time out. With our second son, spanking also was very effective in the younger years for times when getting hurt would have been the natural consequence… but for things like time out, he would react almost as strongly to me pretending to spank him… so that’s what I did.

With my daughter… well, raising your voice, spanking, they just don’t work. She is very sensitive and emotional and all that those things do is get her more out of sorts and raging harder (unless it is something like running out into the street… for some reason, the times she did that, she didn’t blow up when I promptly swatted her bum and told her that if she got hit by a car, it would hurt a lot worse)… time outs are different with her, too… where my sons can spend the 1 minute per year of life and then come out fine and immediately having finished contemplating where they went wrong, my daughter takes up to an hour… and corners/a spot isn’t enough… she wraps herself as a burrito in her room (no tv or toys being used) and when she DOES finish, she then wants to sit and have a lengthy talk about it… until she AND I feel that she can truly do better in future. Logical consequences also work best on her, while they also test our patience as she is stubborn and will push and push the issue till you are tempted to give in. It is sometimes hours later, or even the next day, when she will come and admit you were right and she was wrong, and ask for guidance.

I guess what I’m saying is… you do what works… and spanking should never be done in anger, so if you can’t control your temper, then it shouldn’t be an option.

Rosa on

I was spanked as a child. Spanked is putting it nicely. My parents loved me, but they were young and dealing with their own issues, while trying to raise me, and sometimes I got the brunt of their frustrations. My son, was a big surprise. I hand’t planned on having kids, let alone raising a son on my own. I knew that I didn’t not want my son to live in fear, like I did. (I was a very good kid, because I was afraid not to be.) My son, God bless him, is the most strong willed, stubborn, opinionated person I’ve ever met. Except for me. I thought that spanking would be a part of the way I handle his discipline. But honestly, it doesn’t work for him. I can’t tell you how many times he’s said “that didn’t hurt”, or “you missed.” He sounds evil, I know. But he is a very sweet boy, very compassionate, very loving. He just has this…. other side, to him. Anyway, I’ve had to find other means of discipline. Spanking has it’s place, but with some kids, it just doesn’t work. Apparently his backside is as thick as his head. ;0)

Melanie on

I hate that if you hit another adult, it’s assault. But in the guise of spanking, hitting a child is a parenting choice.

It’s wrong, and people who do it absolutely do not understand the cognitive and physiological development of their child.

Katie on

All I have to say is – look back at the time period when people regularly spanked. People in general had a lot more respect for each other. So I don’t believe that it causes people to be aggressive. I think that lack of love, involvement, nurturing, etc, are more likely to cause a child to be aggressive than anything.

We do spank, but only for outright disobedience. Children also have to learn to respect authority. Not all children need spanking to do this but when you’ve tried everything else and it doesn’t work, in my opinion it is better to spank (not with anger) than to let them defy their parents and learn that they can get away with that. In the long run, you are doing them a favor by doing what works. If it doesn’t work for your kid, then by all means – don’t do it.

singlemomonthego on

As a single mom, with a beautiful 5 year old boy, spanking has been the rule. And a necessary one! We are speaking of spanking here, not beating, nor a drawn out emotional guilt trip.

The punishment is the spanking and the conversation which follows, explaining why their behavior is unacceptable. This meting out of punishment is quick, to the point, and primarily harmless. For most kids it’s embarrassing, which is the point.

As a child I was put through long, drawn out guilt trips which served to fuel a dysfunctional self hatred that grew into a serious problem. I would have preferred the quick spanking, followed by an explanation, with lots of hugs afterwards.

Marie on

I was spanked as child and vowed to do differently with my children. Looking back, I see that my parents didn’t know better but am glad that I could learn differently. Following Dr. thomas Gordon’s “Efficient parenting” tools, we have a house of discipline but no punishement: no spanking, no time-outs, etc…Today, my eldest is an honour student and was accepted in the top college or our province and my youngest is following in the same steps. More importantly, we have a peaceful household in which self-displined is taught.

Heather on

I have to say I do spank when the behavior deems worthy of that kind of discipline, however I use the method of taking things away and sending my son that is 8 years old to his room. I will say in the whole 8 years of his life he has been spanked a handful of times.

I feel it all depends on the child some children have different temperments and if you simply speak firm to them they correct the behavior, however other children are very head strong and will do exactly what they want. I would say if you have exhausted all other avenues and the taking things away have not worked, then maybe a spanking would be the eye opener for the child to let them know that your the adult not them.

One RULE I always do is never spank or do any kind of punishment until I have calmed down enough to be reasonable. What I mean a punishment should be something with in reason of the behavior. ex: my son as this habit of back talking when asked do something he doesn’t want to do. So he knows if I have to ask 3times he will lose the video game previlage for the day which is an hour in the evenings, and if this continues he will lose the next days time as well. Once he realized I meant what I said he knows come the 3rd time. He usally jumps. That’s something else I feel strongly about is say what you mean and mean what you say. I have friends that say things and then don’t follow up so the
kids still behave the same way and don’t learn there is a consquence for choices they make.

My son is not an angel by any means but he knows there are good choices and bad choices and each has a consiquence for each.

lena on

I’m one of those people that don’t feel strongly about it. I would rather not spank my child, but I reserve the right to do so if it is needed. There is a difference between spanking and abusing. I know friends who spank their kids every now and then and it has not made them fear their parents, they love their parents very much and are actually the kids have some of the closest relationships I’ve seen to their parents.

They respect their parents, they don’t fear their parents. Of course like every kid they are hurt and angry when they get punished, but they never ever ever doubt that their parents love them.

kids these days are able to run a little too wild and are taught that everything is open to negotiation. Just looking at our education system we see how well that’s turned out.

However, I think spanking should only be for younger children, if they’re at an age where they can follow verbal directions, there’s no need to spank.

lena on

I think most of us don’t plan on spanking but will do it when it’s absolutely necessary.

Something life-threatening like running in the street I will not scold my child,I personally think that would just teach them that I don’t like it, not that it’s dangerous. I will absolutely spank them or pull their ear. I would rather my child think I hurt her for a moment than be responsible for her getting killed.

Kacey on

I’m glad other people have commented on the fact that Elisabeth gave in to her daughter (once again!) by leaving the store when her child would not listen. I don’t necessarily think “spanking” is good, but sometimes a small swat on their diaper-clad butts can help enforce your words. But by letting her daughter decide what she will or will not do only shows who is in charge. I love my kids and am proud of the fact that they all knew pretty much by the age of 3 that when I said NO, I meant NO, and when I said STOP, it meant STOP. But from the time they were walking, if they didn’t listen, they got a single swat to their bottoms, and they would listen. None of them were ever hurt physically or emotionally, but they quickly learned that public tantrums in particular were not acceptable.

They are all teenagers now, and we have talked about their “swatting” – none of them feel any resentment toward me, and know that I never hurt them, and they agree that sometimes all it took was that little un-painful swat to get them to stop. Some commenters above say that hitting is lazy parenting, but I TOTALLY disagree. Giving in and letting the child make the rules are signs of a lazy parent. Children need rules and if they know they can get around them by having a tantrum they will do it.

Elisabeth, stick to your not-spanking if you feel strongly about it, but learn some way to discipline your daughter. I look around at children in malls acting out like your daughter did, and all I can think is, so I wonder who is in charge there. Like it or not, you are a parent and you have to set guidelines so your child will grow into a respectful child, teen, adult. Giving in all the time just shows her that she can do whatever she wants, and teaches her how to manipulate you.

jw on

I always find it interesting when a first time mom with a young child tries to shove their view on everyone else.

Spanking, NOT beating, is a personal issue and I do believe its something some random celebrity should be deciding for anyone.

In our family is used very sparingly. I have three sons, guilt does not work with a hoard of boys, I can tell you that. They do have respect now, but when they were younger you bet your butt if they ran in the road they got spanked. A slap on the butt hurts a whole lot less than being killed by a car. We only used it to stop dangerous behavior.

As someone who was physically abused as a child I swore I would never spank, but I found that certain situations called for it and that a spank was not abuse.

Also for those throwing out the bible verse, speaking in terms of biblical times, the “rod” was used to guide not hit. So don’t use that as your justification for beating your child.

As with all parenting choices, that are not endangering a child, people need to mind their own business and stop judging.

Toya L. on

EVERY single person on this post that have painful memories of being spanked sounds to ME were being abused/beat in the guise of being spanked, there is a BIG difference. I worked at a daycare while I was in high school and my first year of college; all kids disciplined like the comments above from time out? LMAO Yeah okay, I have to go feed my unicorn. I can tell from SOME comments who have unruly brats and are plain out lying.

Toya L. on

I really have to say kudos to ALL the adults/mature people who have commented thus far!!!

ajj on

I can count how many times I spanked both of my children (now ages 23 & 14) on one hand. I NEVER did it out of anger – it was done after an offense was repeated and other various forms of disapline did not work. They were warned they’d be spanked if they did it one more time (it was usually the 3rd time that earned the spanking). I never spanked before the age of 3 either – i wanted them old enough to understand my words. Honestly I think my oldest was spanked twice and my youngest once (both are boys).

They are great kids (then and now) respectful and very giving kids – we believe communication is the way to work thru anything – we’ve always talked about anything and everything and nothing is taboo – if you take the time to really know your children and work with them spanking can for the most part be avoided IMHO.
Good luck!!!

Heather on

There are times when the pain of spanking for both you and your child, is far less than the pain of learning a lesson the hard way. It will be much worse to be hit by a car than to be startled w/ a spanking that gets their attention. When my 1 yr old wouldn’t stop biting he learned very quickly when we started biting him back. It sounds awful, but after the MANY methods to correct this didn’t work and he was hurting other people, this was the way we could teach him what he was doing. He understood that biting hurt because we showed him. I have never spanked my child when it didn’t hurt my feelings as well. I’m not trying to protect me though, I’m trying to teach my child the lesson of consequences until they reach an age where there are better ways to teach. You can’t ground a toddler and you can’t take away their ipod. Some kids don’t need a spanking, but I feel like you can spot a kid that doesn’t get spanked a mile away because of their horrible public behavior. My kids learned pretty early on that it does not end well when they throw fits. I haven’t spanked my kids in years now because their behavior and age no longer warrants it. There are now better ways for me to handle their care…and I feel like my kids love and respect me even though they were spanked.

Kat on

I’m very on the fence about spanking. I don’t want to, but reserve the right to have it as a last ditch option. As a child I was swatted if I did something bad that need an immediate response. It didn’t hurt, it got my attention a lot faster than words would. I was only ‘spanked’ once, and seeing the effect on my father hurt worse than any soreness of my backside. I never feared my parents, only having them disappointed in me.

The reason I’m on the fence still is a have a good friend with a monster child, that is often dangerous with his little sister. They believe in talking it out, which he ignores, and I often wonder what a spanking might have done to get his attention.

Jen on

Discipline your kid how you see fit and **** anybody else’s opinion. I chose to spank my kids, my best friend saw it as something akin to the torture in a war camp. We both now have respectful, honor roll, football playing sons :o) Everybody parents in a different way. That doesn’t make one way better or wrong, it is what it is…YOUR way.

Dani on

People kill me with the “time out” stuff! When my three year old snatched her hand out of mine and ran across a busy parking lot, I SPANKED HER! Yes, I sure did. Three swats to the bottom. And it wasn’t because I was pissed, it was because I wanted her to understand that was not acceptable behavior! Putting her in time-out would have done nothing but have me burying my child. I have three children and have spanked them all. I am proud to say that I have three children who don’t FEAR me, but they respect me for showing them who is in charge in our house. I can take my children ANYWHERE without them cutting up and acting out on me. I was in Wal-Mart and this child was running her mom ragged, all the mother said was, “When we get home, you’re going in time-out”! Are you kidding me? I asked the mom is that her usual way to discipline, she said yes. So I asked, does it work and she said not really, but my husband doesn’t want her spanked. I told her, tell your husband to take her with him then… Give me a break!

Jen on

I believe in spanking NOT beating.
A spanking is like a swat in the tush. I don’t believe in removing a child from the ‘situation’ because they are acting up.
How will you ever teach your child the appropriate way to behave at the mall, church or restaurant???

I am a mom to a 7yr old and 4 yr old. Both are very well disciplined and respectful little girls. They rarely get spanked because we don’t spank for every little thing.

Other things that we do: if they are fighting over the same toy and can’t resolve the problem on their own, we put the toy in time out. It works every time.

A on

I have a 9 month old daughter, and I have already had this discussion with numerous people in my family. My parents spanked when I was little, but It was something my behavior rarely invited. But what I’ve noticed over the years is that, while I remember nearly everything I did that made my parents tell me they were disappointed in me, I do not remember a single thing I did to warrant being spanked. I’ve carried the lessons with me from the serious talks my parents gave me, but spanking just left me afraid and humiliated. My dad’s family all believe in spanking, and there were lots of grandchildren. My sister and I were the only two my grandfather would babysit by himself, because we listened and didn’t break things. Even as a kid I noticed that the more my cousins were spanked, the less they seemed to behave. It seemed that eventually the fear wore off, and with it the incentive to behave. I don’t know what will happen in the future with my baby, but my husband wasn’t spanked, so I don’t believe we will be doing it to her. But what I don’t understand is the pervading belief that spanking is the only way, or the best way to make children behave. Spanking doesn’t guarantee well-behaved kids.

SAL on

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Every parent has their own right to choose how they will discipline their child. No one is going to change anyone else’s mind on the matter. But, I have to say that everytime I read a blog post by this woman, she sounds soooo holier than thou. Like every decision she makes for her daughter is the best one in the whole wide world.

Hi on

I’m a firm believer in the Bible. “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” I believe as parents it’s our job to train a child in the way he should go. I have a 8 month old daughter, and when she gets old enough to understand it, I will spank her when she needs it. I do not agree in spanking out of anger. I was spanked as a child and I NEVER threw myself down on a floor anywhere for any reason in a fit of anger. All of my brothers and sisters were spanked, all of my cousins were spanked. Not a single one of us EVER had a public or private outburst of this kind. There’s a reason for that! I belive you can hurt a child MORE by not spanking them and teaching the valuable lessons. And I belive it’s selfish to withold punishment because it’s hard for YOU to apply it. Spanking it’s for YOU, it’s for the benefit of the CHILD and to allow them to grow up fit-throwing and re-arrange your life when they do throw a fit is selfish and irresponsible.

Alicia on

There is a difference between spanking and hitting. I was spanked as a child and so were my parents, my grandparents, their parents, and so fourth. The world has changed clearly but if your child doesn’t listen time after time and it is for their own good then I believe they should be smacked on the butt (and I dont mean bare butt, a half dozen times till the child is screaming).

Hi on

also, to JW who said “Also for those throwing out the bible verse, speaking in terms of biblical times, the “rod” was used to guide not hit.” not sure where that opinion comes from, but the verse is Prov 13:24 and it says “he that spareth the rod hateth his child”…the word “rod” is the Hebrew word shebet which literally means “a rod used to strike for chastening.” The Bible was written in Hebrew/Greek you can’t translate it with a western mindset. This is why people get SO messed up w/ Scripture…they want to put their “own” ideas into it instead of reading it accurately!
The Bible is VERY specific about parents using physical disipline as a form of punishment. It does NOT advocate abuse!

Victoria on

I used to be spanked and down right beaten by both of my parents growing up! I remember once playing outside in my neighborhood and forgetting the time. I was 6. My dad had went out to look for me but couldn’t find me. I was with other kids from my street. When I returned home I got a really bad beating and I didnt even understand I did something wrong.
Considering my upbringing and that fact that spanking can very easily grow into abuse I oppose it firmly! My son is very young – 15months so there has never been a reason to spank and I have never been is a situation to need to feel like he needs to be spanked. I feel that spanking makes a tantrum worse and doesn’t solve the problem in the long run!

Jenn on

I do not believe in spanking as a form of punishment for children. I do not spank my little one instead I rely on time-outs. My daughter goes to time-out on her own and sits for 3 minutes. I do not have to put her in time-out by force as I will tell her to go and she does. Once the time has been completed, she gets up, we so over why she was in time-out then I hug her. I have found success with this as the unwanted behavior is usually corrected. I was hit as a child and made to fear my parents. I hated the “walking on egg-shells” fear!! I have seen other parents/family members who spank their children and have seen that these children act out more. They seek attention and approval not a spanking. I do not see how spanking will make a child understand why they should not do the unwanted behavior. Do you spank them then explain to them why the behavior is unwanted? Do you spank them when they hit another? I do not judge those who choose to spank as a form of behavior modification but I do feel there are better and more productive ways to teach and mold a child. One last thought……those who do spank….as yourself if you have honestly never spanked your child out of anger or just because you were having a bad day? Spanking for discipline can often lead to spankings just because you are frustrated. Love your thoughts on the blog and have really enjoyed reading your thoughts and insights! Way to stir up a “hot” topic today!! Good for you!

Mandy on

I was 11 years old and would NOT stop harping on some issue (long forgotten). My mother asked me very nicely more times than I could count to stop. I continued to talk back to her. “Enough” she said. Well I wouldn’t stop. From out of nowhere she popped me on the arm with a pink Goody hairbrush. I will never forget it. Then she looked me in the eye and said “I said ENOUGH”. I stood there with my mouth hanging open. More wounded ego than arm. But it was a clear lesson that I was not to talk back to my mother. That day stuck with me and I never talked back to her ever again. Ever. I am 34 years old and we often laugh about the “pink hairbrush”.
There may have been other times I was spanked but I don’t remember them. My mother says she maybe spanked me three times in my whole life. I am quite sure I was deserving of many more. For me, the threat of being spanked was enough to stop my behavior. But every child is different. My brother could have been spanked from here to eternity and it would not have bothered him a bit or made him “mind”. Punishment to him would have been to make him sit down and read a book as he hated to be still. I almost think it depends less on what the parents want to do and more on the child and what works best for him/her.

AbsD on

I was spanked as a child & I NEVER felt humiliated, abused or scared…. let me be clear – i didn’t like it… it hurt. But my parents were great at making sure my action and the subsequent punishment was understood. I was never left wondering why my Mom reeled back & laid one on me… it was always explained (of course with the “this hurts you more than me”). My Mother was SURE to lay the spanking on the bulkiest part of my rump (not the top – which is the most sensitive, or just under which would be my legs). I would get 2, 3 or 4 swats depending on the severity of the offense and although it stung, it NEVER left a mark. My Mother was an uber kind, loving & gentle woman, so I understood at a young age when I was spanked it was because my transgression had to be addressed. To this day, my Mom & I have a very close relationship… she is one of my closest friends… NOW… she wasn’t my “friend” as a child… she was my Mom. I am a perfectly well adjusted adult now & plan to use the same method with my children.

Jenna on

@ JW If what you got out of this blog was this woman trying to tell you how to parent your child, then you have very poor reading comprehension skills! She clearly stated that spanking is something that is not for her, but she is not telling other people how to parent. She said it is the choice of the parent… so not sure where you are reading that she is telling people what to do.

Anyway… I believe that a parent has the right to decide how to discipline their children as long as it is not taken too far… Every child is different to begin with… so a conversation and time out may not be a method that works on one child but does work on another. Some children need something more to get the point across. Personally, I want to avoid spanking at all costs. Exhaust all other options before it has to come to that… but with that said… there are times where it might be necessary. In the blog she mentioned her friend with the child running into the street… that is a dangerous situation and in cases like that, a swat on the butt or hand might be more appropriate for them to understand that they can get seriously hurt if they do not listen and run into the street. On the other hand, if my child was acting out in the store I would remove her from the situation as well… My mother did that with my sister and I and we didn’t act out in the store again afterwards because we realized we wouldn’t get anything if we left all together so better to behave than to throw a tantrum over not getting your way. My boyfriend believes in spanking… we have actually had many debates about it… Hopefully if we plan to have children in the future we can come to a mutual understanding about if and when we will spank our kids.

Shelly on

Well, I should not have read the comments this early in the morning!

I am angry with the posts that state I am a lazy parent or that I have no parenting skills because I choose to spank my 4 children (9,8,5,3). I was spanked as a child (as were my 3 sisters) and we are fine. Even with my dander up now my first impulse (if you were in front of me) would not be to hit you to vent my frustrations!! So please STOP with the whole children mock what they see their parents do, because I’m sure some of you drink or smoke or swear in front of your children and think nothing of the fact that they are watching. I guard my behavior around my children and spank them when necessary, they understand why they are being punished and know that no matter what I love them. I believe the problem with some children today is that their parents are too afraid of not being their friend!! My job as a parent is not to be their friend BUT to train them to be a respectful, caring, supportive, loving and hard-working adult. While they are young I am the authority and things will be my way (or dad’s way) if they choose to disobey then they will have to deal with the consequences. I think that too many parents have taken away the consequences and agree that this is one of flaws of society today. It never ceases to amaze me the disrespect that other children show towrds adults today (or even to their peers). My children are learning to respect others and themselves and if it takes a spanking every now and again to make that happen then so be it!

I wonder where all these temper tantrum throwing children learned it from? Does it mean that because they know how to do it they learned it from their parents? No, same as spanking – all children have the urge to hit to get their way – they just have to be taught how to interact with others. BTW when I see one of your kids throwing a temper I look at my 4 and use it as a training tool – my words to them “don’t ever even think about it!!!”

I may not win parent-of-the-year or anything, but my kids will grow up and be a productive part of society – not as someone who thinks thay they deserve more than they work for.

BeeBee on

Have I ever spanked a child to discipline them? NO. Have I ever swatted a child on their behind to get their attention? YES.

In life and death situations, you MUST get your child’s attention. You MUST show them that this is serious. This is different than anything else you could ever do. Because I do not spank, those swats SHOCKED him. He stopped crying, stopping throwing his fit, and stared at me with his mouth open. Then and only then did the discipline start.

Later, my 5 year old told me that those swats did not hurt. I told him that I knew they didn’t hurt. I was not doing it to hurt him but to get his attention. He said “It worked.”

As a parent it is not just about using discipline to teach children right from wrong. The punishment must fit the crime. If you place your child in time out every time they do something wrong, you are teaching them that every action has the same consequences.

Time out for hitting another person will eventually teach them to not do it again. Time out for running into the street and almost getting hit by a car will not teach them they may not be here to do it again.

Jenn on


Your “theory” is ridiculous!

Neither my brother nor I were spanked as a child (nor were we ever grounded for that matter). My parents took away privileges. The larger the offense, the longer we lost the privilege for.

And yet, my mother can not recall a time they had to leave a restaurant or some other place early because of behavior. We were very polite children (“yes please”, “no thank you”, etc etc). and did not act out at all in public.

We grew up to be two successful adults, with a lot of respect for our parents.

I do not spank or hit my daughter. She is 2.5. Her behavior in public astounds people because she is so pleasant and listens so well. At home, yes, she tantrums sometimes, but she is also polite and affectionate and follows the rules at home…all without us hitting her!

Adria on

Parents know their children. However, I do believe in corporal punishment. The bible says “spare the rod, spoil the child,” but it also tells parents “not to bring your kids to wrath.” Spankings/whippings work b/c a child will remember not to do whatever it was that caused them to get the whipping/spanking in the first place. It’s kind of like the law of the land: punishment should be commenssurate with the crime. No a kid should not be spanked for minor infractions, however, running around in a mall as if s/he have no home training should be met with a swift hand. I am a product of a household that spanks and, as an attorney, have defended children who’s parents should have spanked and/or spanked more. Like I said earlier, parents know their children. Some may adhere to a talking to or having things removed, but what works for one may not work for another. My husband and I have 2 children and they’ve been spanked. I actually believe that if more parents were active in their parents lives, then juvenile delinquency numbers could fall. Children these days are spoiled and feel like they are entitled and should have their way. We dont subscribe to that fallacy. Spanking, as a form of discipline also shows the children that they are loved and truly defines taht line of demarcation. I may get pinged here, but I think corporal punishment should be re-instituted in schools and levied by the principal. Some of us may not be too old to remember that at one point if we were disciplined by others and it was told to our parents, the kids were usually disciplined at home too. The village helped raised the child…..

.ips on

I absolutely agree with the commenter who said, “I would never want my 3 year old daughter to hit another child. So why would I hit her?”

Hitting is NOT allowed in our house. Ever. It is not okay with me to enforce that rule with my kids unless my husband and I are sticking to it as well. I don’t want to teach my kids “you can’t hit, but grownups can.” It’s just not part of how we choose to discipline our kids.

I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but I’ve witnessed several occasions where a parent became so angry/overwhelmed by their child’s behavior that they choose to spank so THEY would feel better. Taking their anger out on a much, much smaller child who was not allowed to defend himself/herself. That’s absolutely not okay with me.

Sarah on

Growing up I was spanked regularly as I was quite naughty and prone to pushing the envelope 😉 It never taught me anything except that if I pushed mom or dad far enough, they would lose control and resort to lashing out at me physically. As I grew older and immune to the shock/minor pain associated with spankings, I actually preferred being hit to other “real” forms of punishment like losing phone or TV privileges or being grounded. Whack, whack, whack and a spanking was over…no big deal. B/c they hit me, I feared my parents growing up and as I result, I hid a lot of things from them. To this day they are the absolute last people I go to if I have a major problem. In short, I have ZERO respect for either of them. If that’s how parents want their kids to feel about them, spank on!

I’m sure this statement will ruffle a lot of feathers but I really don’t care. Spanking = lazy parenting, plain and simple. Firm rules & boundaries enforced with consistency (THE KEY!) are all that is needed to keep children in line.

Toya L. on

Preach BeeBee,
People on here make it seem as if the parents who spank, spank for trivial things like their child’s bedtime is 9:30 and they are still up at 9:33.

I’m sorry but I remember one of my daughters at the age of 2, had a key and was getting ready to stick it in the electric socket & I swatted her bottom. Somehow I don’t see explaining how dangerous that it was or giving a time out would have been as effective. Did she ever do it again? Nope

Karen on

Hello — I read this post with great interest. The immediate result of striking a child is fear and pain. Long term result can be (and often is) physical problems including back and kidney health issues, not to mention emotional trauma. “Disciplining” children typically escalates parallel to the experience of adult domestic abuse victims — it escalates! We, as a society, must put an end to physical abuse of children — this is domestic violence. Spanking a child is assault – period. If you were to strike an adult, you would be arrested for assault — yet, why do we tolerate this for our beloved children?

Lynn Provencal on

It is really very simple…if you spank a child, you are teaching that child that hitting is how we solve a problem.

The above is factual…Personally, I don’t understand how any adult could physically harm a child. What many adults don’t factor in when they are angry at their children, is that children don’t have the ability to think on an adult level. I see it all the time, adults expect that children should be able to reason as we do. The brain is not fully developed to think, respond, reason, etc. until somewhere between age 22-25. A child may know something is wrong, but to be able to reason beyond that and say to themselves…”I had better not do that,” is not something their brain can process. Parents who hit the very precious beings that look to them for protection, are in my view, monsterous…and truly should not be raising anyone. The other behavior I see quite a bit in public, is the mean, harsh tone and words parents use toward their children. I will never understand this kind of parental behavior, but what I do understand is that these children are not being raised in the loving, caring, protected environment that every child deserves. In turn, how does this kind of verbal or physical abuse shape these children’s lives? I think we all know the answer to that.

Joyce on

All you wonderful parents out there….

My Irish Mother I can not remember
her hitting me until I mouthed off at her when I was 15, when my nose started to bleed, I saw part of her soul bleed.

On the other hand, when I was 6, my Father held me off the ground with one hand and beat me with his belt with the other, 10 or 12 times…for what???? I do not know. Happened a lot.

Now the purpose of telling you this…Yes I am a normal,good citizen.
But I have had to endure years of therapy. I am still on expensive drugs for depression. Do I hit any human on this earth??? God no!!!

Toya L. on

@ .ips
Does the “do not want to enforce rules that you and your husband aren’t sticking to” only apply just to hitting?

I mean do you go to bed at the same exact time as your kids do? Or watch all g-rated movies just because your kids do, on the whole basis of not wanting to allow your kids to do something you aren’t sticking to?

barza on

Spanking is a form of domestic violence and should be outlawed in the United States. Just as it is not ok for a husband to hit his wife, it is not ok for a parent to hit (i.e., spank) their child. Under any circumstances. There are many other ways to discipline/set limits for a child. Often, when a young child is misbehaving, it is because they are overstimulated, hungry, tired, bored, etc…Try talking with them to find out what is wrong, when that does not work, giving them a brief time out. Always explain your feelings to them, and listen to theirs with kindness and compassion.

Toya L. on

I actually preferred being hit to other “real” forms of punishment like losing phone or TV privileges or being grounded. Whack, whack, whack and a spanking was over…no big deal.
I was mostly a loner and have ALWAYS loved to read since I can remember *still do* so losing phone or tv privileges and being grounded would have been nothing to me. Stay in my room without the phone or tv or couldn’t go anywhere? Yawn, I did that anyway no big deal.

Try talking with them to find out what is wrong, when that does not work, giving them a brief time out.———
LOL that’s what I see the parents with hollering, throwing tantrums, screaming brats do at stores. I suppose it does work for some though.

karen on

William Allen Asher, aged two, gazed at his lovely mother, Elizabeth Montgomery. Then he opened his mouth and took a man-sized bite out of her. “Mom,” a girl who brooks no nonsense from any member of her thriving family, prompltly gave son Willie his first real spanking. Then she put him to bed and, dead to his howls of protest, stalked out of the room…Said Liz with a tilt of her chin, “Believe me, that spanking did not hurt me as much as it did him. I don’t go for halfway spankings, no matter what child phychologists say. That child had been asking for it for some time and, let me assure you, he picked the right Mommy to give it to him, square on his sweet little bottom.
William grew up to be a fine young man with a RESPECT for people.

Hea on

It is NEVER necessary! Why do some of you say that? USE YOUR WORDS!

Gaia and labans mom on

I have had many lighthearted hilarious conversations with adults recalling times they were spanked. Ive never met anyone traumatized. I don’t agree that spankers are teaching their kids violence. If spanked and not spanked children ended up so differently then we’d be able to pinpoint them as adults. I was spanked a few times growing up,most notably for accidentally walking away from home without telling my mom when I was seven or eight. Another time because I had clearly ignore my mother’s rules for a week when I was eleven. I am bnot a violent person, I am highly verbal and have never hit anyone. My husband was never spanked and in his youth he had no problem getting into fights with other men. Now he’s a father and a man but, some of you would think he had been beaten at home the way he carried on as a teenager. Today he doesn’t always agree with spanking but he much more open to it.

My son is too young to spank and his nature is very quiet and agreeable. I can already tell he’s a people pleaser and wants to be a good boy. My daughter is like my husband to the T. She is wild and loves to dominate people and will if you let her. Shes got a willful and huge personality.She willing goes to time out and has as nap time. If we take away a toy she’ll play with anything else. She simply enjoys being incorrigible! BTW I adore my daughter I think she’s clever, lovely and hysterical but she’s got a sly streak in her! Thus far we have only spanked her twice and it proved very effective but I felt awful. I don’t think spanking your child is anymore lazy than putting your child in a room until “they’ve learned their lesson”. Sometimes that recap conversation does more for the parent than for the child.

I ask what is wrong with a parent being dominant over their child. I’m sorry but we aren’t equals! Its my responsibility to raise them! I see too many kids who think theyre on equal footing with mom and dad. I’m raising my kids to be equal and better than me if I think I have to spank to do that, oh well.


WOW! Well I am not violent and I was spanked as a child. I have spanked my child when needed and he is not violent but a very nice wonderful,respectful child. Spanking breeds violence????…Just like guns kills people,people dont kill people. Just like McDonalds makes people fat,people dont make themselves fat. WOW Thank goodness we can each decide for ourselves.

Carol on

Elisabeth, congratulations on your beautiful, adorable daughter. Congratulations on your relationship with Ron and your question. I applaud your searching for answers yet encourage you to trust not only your intuitive perspective but also your intellectual perspective. You KNOW that intellectuals debate this issue. Often those less educated and aware do.

Let me cut to the chase: I am an Early Childhood Development specialist. Spanking is punitive. It is never “discipline.” It cannot be discipline for there is no true learning involved with this, other than “it is okay for a bigger person to hit a smaller person.” Spanking is punishment. Period.

Here’s another awareness: There is one thing that every prisoner in every jail has in common. Each of them was spanked. Being ‘hit’ when one is too young or too small to defend him/herself is abuse. Physical abuse. A line in the sand must be drawn.

I decided as a little girl that I would never spank a child of mine. My husband and I have a son who is 21 years old. I promised him I never would and I have kept my promise. So has my husband.

Please know that parenting is about teaching. Parenting is about awareness. Children who are two can’t have their temper beat out of them. I encourage you and others to read up on child development and understand why a child’s behavior manifests in the ways it does at certain ages. It’s called “growth” and growth is never easy.

Thank you. Best wishes.

emilyc on

Alvin Poussaint, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School:

“Researchers have also found that children who are spanked show higher rates of aggression and delinquency in childhood than those who were not spanked. As adults, they are more prone to depression, feelings of alienation, use of violence toward a spouse, and lower economic and professional achievement. None of this is what we want for our children.”

Lilianne on

No one method of discipline can guarantee well-behaved children. What makes a well-behaved child is parents TEACHING that child about boundaries, limitations, how to solve conflict, and how to be kind. There are people who have said that spanking is lazy parenting. Well, that may well be but giving timeouts can also be lazy parenting. The key is to be consistent and firm with kids from the very beginning of their lives. There are just too many LAZY parents today period.

I run a daycare in my home and none of the kids here get spanked at home and I don’t spank here. BUT..because discipline at home is not firm or consistent it doesn’t matter WHAT I do here because these kids just don’t behave. I can take away going to the park, stand them in corners, separate the offender from the other children, put them on a naughty chair..etc. And none of it WORKS because they all have lazy parents at home who don’t care if little Matthew lies through his baby teeth, or tackles little Robert because he wants the toy he has. They don’t care if little Mary pinches the cheeks of the other kids HARD because they said something she doesn’t like. They don’t care if little Lucas kicks the other boys in the groin because he thinks its funny to hear them yell and fall to the floor. YES, these are all issues I have personally dealt with. So even though I give time outs for these behaviors, take away privileges, etc. It does not MATTER because at home their parents can’t be bothered to look away from their BUSY lives to actually PARENT their kids.

Liza on

Darla- t is disgusting comparing rape to spanking in th first place… WoW.

” What makes you think its OK to control your child’s life 100%?” Don’t parents try to do that in some form or another? I teach my kid manners, to respect others, respect the planet, why school is important. Am I controling their lives(yes) and I am not ashamed about it. I would hope that most parents are doing so.

Why did you have kids if you can’t deal with childish behavior? Don’t expect your child to act like an adult!
It seems to me that some people are just extremely lazy and do not have the patience to properly discipline.

-I had kids because I wanted to impact a sweet little life. My goal is to raise a healthy beautiful adult soul. My goal is to raise my child into an adult.
I have patience because I teach 25 plus kids each year. I have done my research and have decided to fit spanking or hitting(to you) in my discipline methods. So it irks me when people use the term lazy because I look at all resources to find what is best for my daughter. You may not agree with it but it isn’t lazy parenting.

-What I find lazy is people who don’t discipline their children. People who are afraid that their kids aren’t going to like them. People who are afraid to be parents. I spank my child depending on the behavior and it’s the correct way in my eyes. Just because someone doesn’t spank it makes them a better parent is LAUGHABLE. I don’t get my kicks from spanking, I don’t because I feel it is Right.

-I have a healthy, gifted boy, who NEVER hits anyone, and his teacher has nothing but wonderful things to say about him. As a parent I think my methods are working so far??? So it means that I should have my child taken away from me, really, wow!

Sara on

My daughter is only 8 months old so obviously she hasn’t given us a reason to discipline her yet. I was spanked as a child but my husband wasn’t. Neither of us are opposed to it, though. I never feared my dad after he spanked me. I just learned that neither he or my mom were going to accept my brothers’ or my misbehavior. The only times he would spank us was when it was really major–disrespect towards him or our mom(like cussing at them) or stealing(we never did that again after the first time!). So, for my husband and I, we wouldn’t spank our daughter just because she refused to pick up her toys or she decided to throw a fit because she was tired of shopping. Hitting, biting, pinching, disrespect towards us or any other adult, etc… would warrant a spanking for her.

J.J. on

Though I firmly don’t believe spanking is the way to go to fully discipline your child, but I think it should be the last resort that one needs to seek into when coming across extreme situations. I learned that spanking can result into emotional and physical issues at times, and can strain relationships b/w the parent and child if used at unappropriate times. It happened in my family where some of my cousins were spanked/beaten for some of the most ridiculous reasons, like not being able to get an A in a class or not being #1 or top of the class…it just made them hate the parents due to the narrowmindedness and stupidity posed. But for reasons where it can result in youself or someone else getting hurt, it should be the way to go to prevent any disaster, like for running in front of car and such, or any other misdemenor. I spanked for one of those reasons, but it never impacted me that much and did not effect me in any way. Normally a good lecture or warning will set my brother and I straight haha. Yea, spanking is not a bad thing, however there are disadvantages to it as it can affect your child in one way or another if used for the wrong reasons…but it can be effective for reasons that right and appropriate as it will have the child understand the consequences without any emotional impact.

Alix97 on

Fear does not equal respect. Children should respect their parents, not fear them. It is possible to instill respect in your kids without scaring or hurting them. And spanking your child teaches him/her that hitting, under some circumstances, is acceptable. Physical aggression is NOT okay, especially when it is perpetrated on someone smaller and weaker than you -someone who you are supposed to love, nurture and protect from harm. Any rationale for spanking is just that – a rationale.

Cindy on

I was spanked as a child and I believe i turned out great. I know my parents love me, it was never over the top and I am sure I deserved it every time. I’m not opposed to it when it is warranted, and well deserved. I’ve had to smack my 5 year old sons bottom a few times, but never more than that. Time out has always had more of an effect on his behavior than spanking. MUCH more. However, time out in our house is him standing with his nose “on the wall”. Not really touching, but this actually came from the fact that at our old house, I had furniture in every corner, so I couldnt say “go to the corner”. I had to say “put your nose on the wall”. He knows he’s in trouble when he hears those words. Now that he’s getting older we usually just send him to his room.

Cindy on

Also, I usually warn him with the 1,2,3 technique. I have NEVER, EVER gotten to 3. He is usually moving to do what he is told by 1. I forgot to mention that my husband and I are both military and my son actually enjoys doing “push ups” or being “in the front leaning rest” (push-up position) as a “punishment”. And before someone degrades me about my push-up punishment, there are tons of martial arts places and sports teams that use this is discipline.

Gaby on

I was spanked when I was a child, mainly by my mum; dad only did it once, and I believe it hurt him more than it did me. However, my mom only did it over something really big and she only used her hand, otherwise she would just send me to time out or pull my ear. With my younger brother she only spanked him once but she would send him “to the corner” a few times a day, my younger sister hardly gets disciplined, my parents scold her but that’s about it (I think she needs a harsher punishment than scolding, she has too much of an attitude for a 10 y.o). I’m 22, not at all fearful of my parents. To this day I adore them, and miss them terribly (specially my mummy), since I’m away at college. I’m not a violent person whatsoever, I don’t think it’s right to hit people. I believe that the only children who grow up to be violent adults are those who experienced physical abuse as children or saw their mother’s being physically abused.

As far as spanking my children, I don’t know. Like I said I’m 22 and still have years and years to go before I have children. But I would give them a pat on their bum or wrist if their disobedience gets to that level. Otherwise kids should understand with a timeout, and an explanation of why they are being punished and the consequences of them being disobedient. But spanking with a belt or anything else is taking it too far for me.

dsfg on

“We are speaking of spanking here, not beating, nor a drawn out emotional guilt trip. ”

????????? Um, if it’s not beating then it doesn’t hurt . . . And if it doesn’t hurt than how does it punish?

Annib on

I was spanked as a child and am very thankful for it (for those of you concerned, I never feared my parents nor had problems hitting other children).

As some of the other comments have stated, I think it really depends on how parents use it though. My parents were careful to use it only in extreme cases, always warned me first, and most importantly they never spanked me in anger. It was only if I refused to heed their warning that one of them would take action. Unlike many of my friends, I’ve always had a great relationship with both my mom and dad – even when we are in disagreement. While I agree with the article that different styles of discipline work differently depending on the family, I also know that there are a lot of bratty kids out there who could probably use a spank. Of course, at the other end of the spectrum, there are certainly people who completely misuse spanking too. This is tragic and can be debilitating for a child. But I think it’s important to recognize that spanking, when done correctly, is not a form of child abuse. I remember when I was a kid one of my friends told me that her parents gave her a time-out. Having never had a time-out before, I was shocked. She was forced to stay in her room? That was like prison! I remember being happy I never had to do that. As long as parents manage to discipline their children effectively, but not abusively, I think there should be freedom and an openness to a variety of styles of discipline. I don’t think it has to be a heated debate…

MissMiggles on

I don’t know, I was spanked as a child by my mom (my dad never laid a hand on us three kids in anger), and I think I turned out just fine. I didn’t have to be spanked often, I was the “good” kid. My younger brother had many a wooden spoon broken on his butt. My mom didn’t like doing it, it hurt her as much as it hurt us, but we learned to listen and obey.

My daughter is only 4 months old so I haven’t had to use any disciplinary tactics yet but I am not adverse to spanking or swatting … I think I lean more towards the swatting angle. I know a lot of families that don’t use the spanking method and try to reason with their children … and it hasn’t worked in the slightest … so I think there are pros and cons to every method used. I guess we’ll see which one works for us in the years to come!!

melissa on

I do spank my child when I feel it is warranted but my husband and I also use other discipline tools as well such as timeouts, taking away toys, taking away her activities like soccer, swimming & ice skating. I was spanked as a child right on my bottom when my parents felt I deserved it and I came out just fine! I was a straight A student on honor roll, recvd academic scholarships, I’ve been working & paying my own way since I was 15 … my parents didnt instill fear or anger in me by swatting me on my a$$ … each & every parent will parent as they see fit it doesnt make any one parent better or worse then another … I sure know I am not a terrible parent! My daughter is well cared for, she is loved, she excels in school, she loves art .. she is an extremely happy little girl! People need to stop worrying about those of us who spank & go after the worthless parents who flat out physically, mentally, emotionally & sexually abuse their children!

Alice on

This conversation is going nowhere because it’s obvious everyone has a different definition of spanking. Hitting, swatting, causing pain, getting the kid’s attention, thinking about it and explaining, being angry… everybody’s confused.

And for that reason, you cannot trust studies that claim that “spanking is harmful” until you can pinpoint the EXACT part where they state *what* it is that they considered as spanking in their study. If they studied parents who hit their kids with wooden spoons, then how does that study apply to normal people?

I’m also interested in the “hypocrite” argument. Would you give an adult a timeout? Would you take away their pens or computers? How mature.

When I read things like “Let kids be kids! No wonder kids are growing up so fast these days. Children aren’t angels all the time, they tend to go into fits, they misbehave, they cry and scream, SO WHAT?” I find it WAY more worrying than the spanking issue.

mimMH on

Hi, Elisabeth;

First, I have loved your performances since the first time I saw you on Law & Order, but especially your performance as Amber Hagger’s mother on the story of Amber’s abduction & murder & the Amber Alert.

As to spanking. As a child I was only spanked once; my mother got a switch off a tree and swished it against my dress. It tickled and I laughed; big mistake…..she made sure I felt it the next time. I don’t remember at all what I did to get it. After that, talking was enough to make me feel really bad, she said. (Not saying the spanking did that, just that I responded to verbal).

As a mother of three, I have never spanked my children; they are all grown, highly functional contributing members of society. I asked a doctor when my second daughter was three when you were “supposed” to spank, as I would have been spanking her all the time for her behavior (strong-willed). He said “You only spank when their life is in danger, and they won’t stop the dangerous behavior.” My son asked me once how I did it since they were all well behaved in public; I told him that I just always let them know immediately when their behaviour was unacceptable. My four grandchildren have been raised without spanking too. The difference in them is that they are allowed to say anything they think or feel which is different from my children’s and my generation. It sounds rebellious at times, and disrespectful occasionally (to the family-they are always courteous and respectful in public) but I have no doubt that these children will never have to go to therapy!

If people MUST spank, it is an open hand to a padded bottom; one hit, but becomes humiliating when a child is school age. Taking my friends away was always my worst punishment (grounded from activities).

Wendy on

I was spanked as a child. Some children learn easily “not to do things anymore” others get used to the spanking as attention. What started out as spanking in my family stemmed from violence and abuse that was passed down from generations. I have a 4 year old and 6 year old and will NEVER spank them. Yes, they do get in trouble and No, I am not the liberal mom on the playground trying to negotiate with my children to behave. It is called setting boundaries and limits. It is also setting them up to feel enpowered to make decisions for themselves. Instead of “You do this or else!” It is here is your choices and this is what will happen as a result for your actions.

I do think SPANKING is the lazy way out. I do understand being tired and frustrated when a 4 year old doesn’t want to listen or throws a tempertantrum. It is in these moments you and them build your relationship and character. As for my parents that spanked me and my sisters, none of us have respect for them or a close relationship to them.

Libby on

I’m not apologizing, SPANKING IS ABUSE. PERIOD.

If it’s not acceptable for an adult to hit another adult when they’re not acting in an acceptable manner, ITS MOST CERTAINLY INAPPROPRIATE TO HIT A CHILD.

Indira on

This spanking debate has been going on for centuries, literally. It goes in and out of fashion and, I don’t think there’s any real answer.

Toya L. on

Okay let me get this straight, taking the time to explain to your child what they did wrong before spanking “NOT BEATING” them is lazy parenting but taking the time to explain to your child what they did wrong before putting them in time out isn’t? LMAO Hilarous!!!

Spanking is abuse? Do you know what they do to inmates when they get in trouble? They put them in solitary confinement, isn’t that the same thing except for the amount of time? There will always be pros and cons for spanking and time out, whatever works for you is what’s best.

Kaylie on

I remember when I was little and I’d get spanked and I’d be so terrified and scared. I know my parents only did because they cared, but when I was younger I didn’t know that! I just knew that they were big and scary to me. I could never put my child through the terror of being scared of their own parents so this is one thing that would absolutely never cross my mind;… no matter how bad Robby, Chloie, Greyson, and Rileigh are acting.

Hea on

Carol – Very well put. I suppose you and I are colleagues and I agree with everything you say.

It also scares me that people prefer to go about this based on a 2000 some year old scripture rather than real and detailed scientific studies and evidence. I understand that people have their beliefs but come on? We’re a modern society now. Most of us parked our donkeys years ago, went to school, learned from other people and history’s mistakes and re-evaluated a lot. I am willing to bet everything I own that the people who penned the bible meant for it to be developed with time and interpreted according to today’s society.

Call it a spanking all you want. Your hand or your rod or whatever you choose to use hits the small body of your child and you want it to sting them. You want them to feel shame and pain and associate those feelings with what they’ve done. You don’t have to form a fist and put your weight behind it in order to HIT.

I can’t understand people who say they are grateful for having been spanked as kids. Why? What exactly are you grateful for? My dad pulled my hair once when I was about five. I remember it clearly and I’m 26 now. I was so hurt and I was so insulted/violated (the Swedish word I want to use gets lost in the translation). It was horrible. My dad apologized but I never forgot. It didn’t teach me anything. All it did was scare me. I had never in my wildest dreams imagined that my dad would hurt me.

Tami on

@ Toya

“I mean do you go to bed at the same exact time as your kids do? Or watch all g-rated movies just because your kids do, on the whole basis of not wanting to allow your kids to do something you aren’t sticking to?”

Hitting is different to everything you just mentioned because hitting doesn’t suddenly become legal when you grow up (it’s not any more appropriate for an adult to hit another adult than it is for a kid to hit another kid). Hitting isn’t a privilege like watching R movies or going to bed late. It isn’t something you’re suddenly allowed to do once you’ve reached a certain level of maturity.

In fact, the only instance hitting is ever sanctioned in this culture is for adults hitting children. (Can you think of any other instance where people would approve of a person hitting another person to “teach them a lesson”?)

Dani on

You are a genius! My sister and I were spanked and we are law abiding citizens who finished high school AND college and are now raising children of our own. However, my brother, since he was the longed for son for my mom and dad was NOT spanked and my father’s youngest daughter (with his second wife) was also not spanked. According to some of the foolishness I’ve read here today, my sister and I should have been in prison or even worst, abusive parents ourselves! Instead, we learned to respect our parents and did as we were told. However, my brother, who is now 35, has spent most of his adult life in and out of jail because in our household, he got away with MURDER and thought he could live the same way in society. While my youngest sister has been in jail several times for FIGHTING (who taught HER to hit?)and had her first child when she was 13 years old!

Pretty much shoots a hole in these “time out” theories, huh?
I SPANK my children, I don’t BEAT them. And guess what? I will NEVER have a child in my cart at the store losing it because they have no respect for me at 3 years old! My daughter either plays with my phone or with some small toy I give her. Oh! And leaving because she’s “showing out”? Not an option, I mean, who’s the adult and who’s the child?

Oh! And one more bible scripture for those who care: Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child BUT the rod of correction will drive it FAR from him…..Proverbs 22:15

Dani on

It sounds like you have some issues because of what happened to YOU! I have NEVER pulled my daughter’s hair for ANY reason, other than to style it.

I don’t spank my children because, I “want them to feel shame and pain and associate those feelings with what they’ve done”. I spank my children when they do something that I have asked them several times NOT to do or if they do something that endangers their lives. I am a single mom, I don’t have the benefit of raising my children with a partner right now, so I HAVE to show my children who the adult is in my house and I do that by correcting them when they are wrong. I don’t spank my children in anger. The bible also says that God chastens those that He loves. Do you think he puts us in time out? And how much more should we chasten our children if we love them. Now you do things YOUR way and I’ll do things mine but don’t judge people who are doing what they feel is right for their children and stop being so emotional. Your children, is you have any, are safe with you and not exposed to all of us abusive parents who choose not to let our children run us….

A spank on a padded Pull-Up bottom is NOT abuse, hair pulling? Well, you may wanna talk to a therapist about that, hon. Something about THAT isn’t right….

Anonymous on

all i gotta say is that i have 5 kids and spanking is very necessary to keep children in line. i see way too many kids these days that are running around stores, hollering, talking back, and just generally misbehaving that need a good smack so that they learn to be appropriate in public. this is why so many kids are uncontrollable as they hit puberty b/c they have no respect for their parents or any people of authority. they need to be taught when they are young that they must take responsibilty for actions or there will be consequences.

irina on

I do believe in spanking as one from of discipline. On the rare occasion my daughter warrants it, she receives a swat on the behind. Every time I take my 3 year old daughter to a place where there are other children with their parents, I am appalled at the disrespect and rudeness of so many kids these days, not just towards other children, but also to their parents. My child knows that she will be disciplined if she disrespects anyone, or misbehaves…

I see kids that have no respect for their parents, and it is just sad because those kids usually end up treating other kids (and adults~ yes I have had a 5 year old push me or talk back to me, and his mom just said haha kids will be kids! we all know how she gets treated by her son now dont we?) around them the very same way. Parents~ kids need boundaries, and discipline!!!! Not abuse or punishment, Discipline!

Chris on

I spank, rarely, but I spank. I also was spanked and feel no I’ll will as a result. I resorted to spanking only after having a second child. Despite endless timeouts etc my son was violent toward our daughter. On day, when she was about nine months old and he was two and a Hal, he grabbed the keys she was playing with and proceeded to hit her on the head-while I screamed “no!!!” and dashed across the small room. She was lucky she didn’t need stitches. I then realized that either he was going to get a spanking, because nothing else had worked, or the baby was going to end up at the ER. He got a spanking and he never did it again. Strangely, his attitude toward his sister really changed that day too. He suddenly came to see her as a member of the family and started to take care of her. It was a 180 degree switch. I would not have predicted it.

Since then there have been rare spankings. He’s three now and knows the rules. He gets spankings for three specific things: dangerous behavior (running away in a parking lot), dangerous behavior to others (kicking his sister), and deliberate defiance where there is a no holds bar power war. Those are the rules in our house. Other infractions get a time out.

Erica on


“I can’t understand people who say they are grateful for having been spanked as kids. Why? What exactly are you grateful for? My dad pulled my hair once when I was about five. I remember it clearly and I’m 26 now. I was so hurt and I was so insulted/violated (the Swedish word I want to use gets lost in the translation). It was horrible. My dad apologized but I never forgot. It didn’t teach me anything. All it did was scare me. I had never in my wildest dreams imagined that my dad would hurt me.”

Your father yanking your hair (at any age) was abusive, period. The swats on the butt I got as a child for 1) turning the stove on 2) flushing expensive jewelry down the toilet, on the other hand, were not abusive.

Perhaps you have a different definition of spanking than I do, because I am one of the posters who said I was grateful for them. Let me be clear: my parents NEVER laid a hand on my in anger or vengeance, nor did they spank me for minor offenses or honest mistakes. We always understood what the consequences were for especially bad behavior and when we decided to push the boundaries anyway, it was not a shock to receive a spanking. Some kids (NOT all, but some) do not respond to techniques like time out, in fact I loved my alone time. 🙂

Instead of projecting your bad experience with your father on other parents, you should accept that a swat on the hand or the butt is NOT the same thing as yanking a child’s hair or beating them with a belt. Just like putting your child in time out for a few minutes is not the same as locking them in a dark room for hours on end.

Maria on

I can’t believe that spanking is such a common method of disciplining your kids in your country. In Sweden, where I live, it is illegal. I my opinion it is never ok to hit anyone. It is not ok to hit another adult and it is definitely not ok to hit a child. Not ever! I have a daughter and she is brought up to respect others, both adults and other kids, and she does. There is a difference between fear and respect and I don’t want her to fear adults. Of course we dicipline her, but not by spanking.

Traxie on

It’s very revealing that so many of the pro-spanking brigade here use phrases like “control my child”, “out-of-control”, “respect authority”, “law abiding” etc. Spanking is a hostile, hateful form of bullying that reflects inadequate parents’ needs to dominate and control their children. It breeds a servile fear of authority and teaches children that it’s okay to lash out, use your temper and physically abuse another person. Every child I know who is spanked is more aggressive than those children whose parents reason with them and use inductive discipline rather than harsh, authoritarian methods like spanking.

Stefanie on

Time-out is for the birds. It simply does not work. Parents these days are too caught up in being friends with their children. You aren’t supposed to be their friend, folks! You are supposed to be the parent, which will mean you child not liking you a certain points in time.

You see the results of liberal parenting methods everywhere. You can’t go into a restaurant without kids running all over the place, sitting on the floor, running around the table, dropping loads of food on the floor, yelling out and being disruptive in everyway imaginable. We’re raising another generation of people who are disrespectful, have no understanding of structure, etiquette, boundaries or acceptable behavior.

The thing about spanking is if it is utlized effectively, you really don’t have to use it more than a few times.

Toya L. on

Tami the only reason I brought those examples up was because some were saying it is hypocritical to hit your child and not allow them to hit someone else. I gave other examples where parents can also be called hypocrites if you wanted to be technical about it and use that absurd example of being a hypocrite – solely based on the comment and the actual definition of a hypocrite.

Audrey on

As a child I was spanked, and I am grateful for it, I really am. I will admit I was raised in a very old fashioned way, and I raise my young daughter and my young son in that way also. I choose to not raise my children in this soft cushy way that parents these days do. I do not “beat” my child for anything, especially not respect, but they do learn respect, and they get punished in other ways as well as spanking. Myself and my children are no way near “hostile” people, and that is just a pathetic accusation. My children don’t fear myself or my husband at all. They don’t cower, or are quiet, or hurt, in fact they are loud, imaginative and full of energy! lol. But in way in public or at home do they throw themselves on the floor, or scream, or run around the place.

To be honest I cannot stand it when a child does throw a tantrum and scream and scream and their parents ignore them. To me its hurtful to the child, and disrespectful to the parent, and the other people around them.

DC on

This is post is just MY opinion and I am merely giving my thoughts about this subject:

As a nurse and being the medical field for a long time, I have seen a lot of people with some deep rooted issues and in my opinion a lot of those issues can be traced back to being abused as children. Don’t tell me that you think one spank here or there isn’t abuse, because it is. When you hit you are using anger and power to dominate your subject, in this case your child. People who spank their kids are ignorant. They do not know how to process their emotions and use anger as their weapon.

In this world there are plenty of adults that throw tantrums, who lie, bully, and talk disrespectful to others, but as adults, we behave differently to those people and don’t strike them as we would if it were a young child.. Think about it, what if we “spanked” everyone that lied to us, or cut in front of us in the check-out line or flipped us off while driving, or even spoke disrespectful to us. There would be a lot of hitting going on wouldn’t there? But we have learned as adults to control our anger and use reasoning or deflection to avoid that kind of a result. Why then can’t you do that before you raise a hand to your child?

Please don’t tell me most of the situations mentioned above where people that should have been spanked as children, because its just the opposite really. Those people who choose to hit others were probably spanked or beat as children themselves at one point in their lives. Those people did not learn any other way of how to handle their emotions when stuck in a difficult positions . Now, with their own children they choose to hit rather than foster love.

I choose NOT to spank. My child, although difficult at times, will grow up with more peace in her soul and love in her heart because I want her to pass that on in this world; not for her to become a more repressed angry and resentful adult. It’s all a matter of choice. Choose NOT to spank.

Oh and for the record, if you choose to write any response to MY opinion that happens to be negative, remind yourself, I ONLY post my thoughts and you’d be wasting your time thinking I would ever get into a debate with someone who is ignorant enough to strike a child.

bryttany on

Well if you ask me I have not nor will spank my kid.. I was never spanked as a child and I dont see any reason to spank mine ..The only thing i do to my ,11 year old daughter is take away her phone or put her on punishment ..so i would have to go with do not spank

Samara on

Hi to all the mommies like myself. My MSc Thesis was on corporal punishment in schools and I can tell you just as some psychologist take about shame, humiliation and personality disorders, other psychologist did research proving that spanking has been over-exaggerated. Did you know there are actually guidelines for spanking? Researchers also highlighted that many individuals did not know the difference between physical abuse and spanking. So if you want to hear the facts from both sides, let me know and I will email you the literature review. For parents who are still debating whether or not the want to do it, you can have a read as well. The more information we receive as moms and dads, the more empowered we become in proper parenting.

As an educator, I have spanked as well, but researching the data made me a little more aware of the debate. One of my students hid his friend’s inhaler for asthma and then decided to frighten him behind a door. I explained the situation, called the parents and he received two lash in his hand. He understands the seriousness. remember that children do not reason like adults, they do not have that type of maturity, especially a little girl you wipes her snatty nose on everyone including strangers as a joke. A little lash might do more, than sitting that child down and reasoning with her about the dangers of wiping snat on people.

At the end of the day, children need to know that there are consequences to their actions but a good parent objectively weighs the situation before making such a decision.

@Erica, it have data that actually backs up your claims that spanking conducted in a safe and loving environment has no negative effects on a child. I think that is what you were trying to explain. Parents need to take control of their families. We are living in a society where alot of our teens are out of control. Juvenile delinquency rates are ridiculous in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean. We need to rethink and come back to the drawing board.

Indira on

Jillian on

Timeout does work. And works very well. If you do it right.

Kat on

I am a parent of six, and I spank. I don’t spank for every little offense, and I rarely spank at all. But I do spank for disrespect and disobedience. I have taught my children that respect is earned, and that trust is a fragile thing. Once you have it, try not to lose it because it’s very hard to get it back. I am not my children’s friend, I am their mom, and therefore it’s my job to make sure they have all the tools they’ll need in life. Sometimes that includes knowing that there are consequences for their actions.

I was spanked growing up, and I love my parents and they were NOT abusive in any way. I always knew what I was being spanked for, and so do my kids. They know why it’s wrong, and what they should do in the future to avoid it.

Anonymous on

Since we all read People we know how well celebrities children turn out so yes please let’s follow her advice!

Shannon on

Never, ever!

Shannon on

And for the record…I WASN’T spanked as a child, and I never acted out in public either.

Chrisie on

@Anonymus (cute but cowardly) I don’t see any celebrity advice on spanking in this blog just her view and how she feels about it….all I read were everyday people just like you and me telling how they feel about it. And no I’m not a mom yet nor was I spanked as a child BUT I am NOT against it if it’s warranted. I did get a swat or 2 as a child but never an actual spanking though I’m sure I deserved it from time to time. Will I spank my child(ren) when I have them. Yes it it’s needed. Do I ‘want’ to or look ‘forward’ to it H*LL no! And no it won’t be a first resort nor for any willie nillie thing.

Some of you on here are such hypocrites and blow me away. A swat/spanking is NOT (like so many of you like to YELL to make your point) abuse. Leaving someone’s butt stinging a bit (not marked in any way) for something they did even though they knew it was wrong and would earn them one is not abuse. Get over it. Obviously if you think it is you have the issues and yes you shouldn’t be spanking a child. As for @DC you may be in the medical field (and I have a family member who is a pediatrician) but you lost ALL my respect the minute you called those who spank or as you say hit a child ignorant. You’re right you have your right to you opinion but you don’t need to resort to childish YES childish behavior such as name calling because you don’t agree with their choice of parenting style.

Whether you choose to spank or not more power to you. Do what ever works for your family and children. That’s all I hope to do when I’m hopefully blessed with a family of my own. And to Elisabeth you have a beautiful daughter and I’m sure she’s going to grow up to be a beautiful well adjusted woman.

Tami on

@ Toya

I realize that. My point was that your examples weren’t analogous. It is hypocritical to hit a child while maintaining your own right to not be hit on a level far surpassing the hypocrisy in any of your examples. For example, denying your child the right to watch an R rated film is only temporal (he/she will still be permitted to watch it one day, because it is perfectly legal for adults to do so). But hitting another person will never become acceptable for them… unless it’s their own child.

Jennie on

All I learned from spanking was to fear my father–there was nothing more terrifying for me than having him angry at me, and I’d do anything, I’d lie and hide and be obedient just so he wouldn’t spank me.

And I still don’t feel comfortable having him touch or hug me. I love him very much and I know he loves me, but from the very moment he spanked me by surprise when I whined at him, his touch became something to be scared of, rather than the comfort it had been when I was little. When you spend so many years flinching at the idea of having a parent spank you if they get mad, that’s too ingrained to ever move past.

Jen on

I always had a little stool or chair and if my child needed discipline they sat in it for 1 minute for every year they were. I also did the corner as they got older 5 up to 10 yrs old. After that I took there games or what ever was the most enjoyable thing at that time and made them earn it back.

I maybe spanked all of my boys two times each in their lives and my oldest is 17,middle 15 and youngest is 9. My youngest is the hardest to get to behave. My other two all I have to do is look at them and they know they better quit(as i said i have never been a spanker) I hope its out of respect and maybe a little fear. I feared my mom, and did not want to be feared by my children.

I think as long as you use age appropriate Discipline what ever works for your family you should do. Some times we have to try a few things to find out what works best….. I am not against a swat on the but as an(attention getter) either.

Mom of Twins on

As an attorney, I try t treat my children like clients. If a client or anyone disagrees with me or takes some kind of wrong direction, would I spank them? Uh, no. Twisting someone’s ear is abusive. If you did it to an adult, it would be an assault. Children are little people who need to learn. Adults make mistakes and know better and do we twist our friend’s ears? Scary. We are not all perfect but defending that positon makes me think what does she do to that child when they are alone?

jools on

i am an american living in europe and i have to say the arrogance of europeans – particularly how they constantly compare themselves to america/americans, of course in a superior light – is so dumb and annoying. funny how americans seem not to care enough to engage in this competition but the euros are totally into it.

anyway, i live in germany and i find the who quasi-socialist system bizarre – intrusive, paternalistic, and the people are on this vigilante kick. and you know what? they get to pay huge giant taxes and social service fees to their governments so that their governments can tell them exactly what to do at all times. in germany, you may not name your child whatever you choose – it must be approved by the government. people pay for that, and the odd thing is, they like it. definitely a different perspective. they like being told what to do by total strangers so much that they will pay for it.

jools on

ps: i don’t spank my daughter, ever, but it’s not because it’s illegal. i can make my own choices without the government telling me what to do. i guess some people need a “higher authority” to know what’s better for them and their children.

AVI on

I’ve spanked my child twice as, she could have gotten very hurt if she pulled the avocado planter down on herself. But then, after that she started hitting me. So, I am determined not to spank again for anything other than pure safety, and, only because a mom I respect said there were two times she wished she had spanked her now grown daughter.

For all the things I used to get spanked, I have found much more productive rather than silencing methods of discipline. My main goal is to instill the self discipline in my daughter I never gained from being spanked. I still remember falling out of love with my mother the last time she ‘spanked’ me. I was only five. Then, I became sneaky so I wouldn’t get spanked, anymore.

Audrey on

Since DC is entitled to HER opinion, and I am entitled to MINE, I dare not debate her, seeing as I am ignorant and my children will grow to be angry repressed adults.

So therefore I will make a point that while I am ignorant and my children repressed, that therefore makes her stupid and her child a spoiled brat.

Sound ridiculous? It does, because it is. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that does not include throwing ridiculous insults towards other parents and their children.

Isabelle on

We don’t spank. What works like a charm is taking away favorite activities. In our home, we have special times like 20 minutes of a movie after dinner, right before bed. My kids are 2 and 4 so, it is the perfect amount of time. We have a chart and if they misbehave, we subtract 5 minutes from the movie time. This comes with the ability to win back those five minutes with good behavior. We always warn first, like, “do you really want to lose 5 minutes from movie time?” The bad behavior usually stops immediately. But if it doesn’t, the kids are so sad about losing their precious minutes that they don’t repeat the offense.

Spanking is humiliating and just not effective, in my opinion. I treat my children like little people and I treat them as I would want to be treated, with respect. Can you imagine if, as an adult, you were spanked?? Goes against every fiber of my being.

Peglet on

I agree with you so much.

Growing up, my father (a very prominent physician) was a uber perfectionist and expected his children to be the same. When he perceived we did something “bad” the belt came out, or the face was bashed, or the wrists were twisted until they broke. I have the scars to prove it. And despite the trips to the E.R. For repairs, no one ever called him on it. The other doctors (e.g. White Wall) knew from looking at the type of injury what caused it, but never told or took action.

Mother simply went in her room and closed the door. Yet, bizarre though it seems, he was the parent I loved and tried to please. I didn’t care for Mother. His obsession with perfection and being the be all physician, led to various drugs to keep him going or allow just a few hours rest. Tragically he overdosed when I was just shy of my fifteenth birthday. But, despite the pundits who proclaim that children of abusers grow up to be abusers themselves, none of my siblings or me did.

We cherish our children….I think the worse thing our kids ever endured were time-outs, taking away a privilege for a time or grounding as teens. They are all wonderful kids today….healthy, loving, successful and happy!

jennrae on

I agree that it depends on how it is done. I think you have to think of it rationally instead of with emotion. I was “spanked” at age twelve (too old, IMO) for some reason and I remember my mom hit me with a belt until she felt better. She was so angry and she was clearly blowing off steam that had nothing to do with me. I ended up with bruises on my side that she refused to believe–and still refuses–she was responsible for.

I don’t have kids to this day (I’m thirty) because I’m afraid I’ll be just like her, but maybe that means I shouldn’t comment.

Simara on

I agree with the respondents who stress that it is not necessary to insult the opinions of others. Cyber-bullying is wack!! Use what works for you, a child is a huge responsibility, what works for Mary might not work for Martha, so be nice.

@ Indira link

Wow. That link is the reality today. That’s why I am against putting television, computer, internet and games in her room, if my daughter wants those things, she has to come outside among us, she will have full access. Ofcourse if she is sent to her room, I do not have to worry about your link lol.

Cherry on

I do not have kids yet but I do spank my nephews from time to time and I understand when it is needed. As much you all think that it breeds violence and that other things work for kids, but sometimes it does not. I think its what works best for a kid. I don’t care about going out, tv, and I could sit for hours and hours in my room alone doing nothing. So when my mom said you cant talk on the phone for a week or even a month and I was 14 to 16. I didn’t care but the thought of her calling my father so he can come spank me that always worked. But this doesn’t work for every child. So you do have know what works for you and your child.

I didn’t hit other kids growing up, because didn’t want them to call my mom or father. I knew that spanking would be what I would get first. To this day, I hate to fight or even use weapons against anyone. Its all because of those spankings and I plan to spank my kids if that’s what works best for them. Its just up to me as a parent to figure out what is best for my child. Not just what works for everyone else.

Maisy Mae on

Who are these parents telling their children that violence is never okay? What if some kid is hurting your child? What if your child’s partner is hitting them? What if a man tries to rape them? Violence has its uses and my kids especially my girls know the power of violence. I know the pc rule is that you should let someone bully you then whine to a teacher or parents (as a teacher, good luck with that). Or you should let your boyfriend beat you then call the cops. Or let yourself be raped then call the cops and hope they catch the perv. Still wouldn’t it be much easier to beat the crap out of the boyfriend who smacks you or the bully that pushes you around or the perv that wants to rape you? Violence has a purpose because there are times in life when talking things out won’t work. I don’t view a smack on the bottom as violence, but those who do, must understand that violence has its place unless you want to spend your life hoping for others to save you?

Also the hypocrite thing is stupid too because we’ve all done stuff as teenagers and young adults so we can’t ever tell our kids not to do it. I guess the rule is to say, “Yeah I had meaningless sex as a teenager but my mistake was not using a condom. Here you go, sport.” Also one poster said she doesn’t drink IN FRONT OF THE KIDS and she thinks she can tell them not drink. I guess it’s just about not getting caught. EVERYONE’S A HYPOCRITE!

Anonymous on

I was spanked – and, therefore, never, ever, threw a temper tantrum in public. There is nothing that irritates me more than a passive parent allowing their child to scream and kick in a public place with “time-out” being the harshest response.

Or, worse, like the writer, completely re-adjusting their day to cater to a two-year old! Seriously???

My mom would have pulled me aside, popped me on the butt, and kept right on shopping. If she had to tell me twice…boy was I in for it later. So…I didn’t throw tantrums! And I turned out very sucessful!

That’s why we are raising a nation of entitled brats who have no clue how to survive in the real world…they’ve never had to deal with real consequences or hard knocks. Can you imagine someone who has never been spanked making it through boot camp? HA!

Annaleise on

We don’t spank, but I don’t have a problem with your friend twisting her daughter’s ear in only that situation. Her daughter could have been KILLED, and I’d much rather cause a bit of pain now than to endure that tragedy. “Honey, don’t run out into the street, OK?” might not have cut it. I’ve always said I’d reserve spanking for something like that, but thankfully it’s never happened to us. Still, I have friends who do it in a very controlled manner. It’s not like you haul off and hit the kid with no warning. That’s abuse. An explanation of what the kid did wrong, followed by a few spanks, and then a hug, is what many of my friends do and their kids just adore them and are happy kids.

The consequences I give my son seem to take much longer, and it drags out the whole process, but I think the time investment is worth it. Overall, parents should respect one another’s wishes and focus on raising kids who can obey (for their own safety) and function in society. There are plenty of ways to set firm limits without spanking. Following through with those is what makes the difference.

Toya L. on

I feel so bad for some of you who were traumatized clearly you were abused and not spanked (there is a difference) The way some of you describe being abused with the guise of being spanked is to the extreme and it was absolutely wrong. If parents don’t know how to calm down first, talk to their child and then spank I can see spanking turning into abuse. I’m not a violent person so I have never had this problem.

All punishment can be used to the extremes the same way some of you were spanked to the extreme would be equalvolent of making your 3 year old sit in time out for 3 hours without using the restroom, having anything to eat or drink or without resting their heads/take a nap.

We choose spanking and my kids talk to me about everything from sex, bc, crushes, bullying, being nervous for a game or test etc…. the same way I had a wonderful open relationship and was able to talk to my mother who spanked me about anything and I do mean ANYTHING *blushes* best of luck to all of you parents and parents to be no matter what you chose. PEACE!!!

Sheri on

I read something when I was pregnant that really stuck with me, and has to this day. You want your children to listen to you and obey you out of respect, NOT fear. How much would you respect someone who hits you? As an adult, I know that I would find it impossible to have any respect for a person that did that to me, and I would find it unacceptable behavior. Why should it be okay to do that to a child?

My children always respected my husband and I, and understood that we were the parents and that they were to listen to us. They were not perfect by any means. We used many forms of discipline, from timeouts when they were young to grounding when they got older. But they were never spanked. They are now adults who are very positive, caring, decent people. And they intend to raise their children without spanking.

Serena on

I do agree with spanking your children. As long as it is your OWN children you are spanking. There is a difference between discipline, and abuse. I was spanked as a kid, but it was because I would do something completely unacceptable. My mother also did it right away. She stopped things before they got out of hand so she didn’t have to spank us that often.

Jelena on

This is an interesting debate that clearly can’t be won by one side or the other. I find it silly that people think you’ll turn into some emotional freak if you are spanked as a child. Do you really believe that these new generations of kids, not being spanked, are better behaved, will not hit another child, will not be violent etc???

As kids, we were afraid of parent’s reaction, of teacher’s comment about us to our parents, of neighbour “reporting” you to your parent if you did something wrong, of getting a bad mark at school etc. YOu can call it fear and judge it, but I find the kids nowdays fear nothing and respect even less as a result.

Lisa on

I don’t have a problem spanking at all. My sisters and I were all spanked as children and we turned out great! My parents are awesome. We don’t fear them. I’ve always felt loved. I don’t understand the saying, violence begets violence. Plenty of people have been spanked as children, but didn’t turn out to be bullies or violent people. I think saying that is just silly. My sisters and I are very successful well adjusted people. I was never tempted to hit other kids or other people because I was spanked. The thought never entered my mind. My sisters and I never got in physical fights with each other. That form of discipline worked for us and we remain a close knit family. So…the general statements that spanking is harsh and detrimental are false.

I will say every child doesn’t need to be spanked. Some kids really snap into a shape with just a look. You should do whatever works for your child. On the other hand, worrying too much about not hurting their feelings or being scared of you is not always the main concern. A kid should be scared of cheating on a test because of what their parent might do. Sometimes healthy fear is good. Just my opinion. It can keep you out of trouble.

Beth on

I was never spanked as a child and never planned to spank my children. At 19, I was put in the position to raise my three nephews (ages 3, 4, and 5!). And there was spanking! I would of course try an alternative form of discipline first and would warn them “if you do that again, you will get a spanking”. I think the most important thing about discipline is that you stay consistent and follow through. My nephew pushed and acted out with his mother (at her house) in ways he would not at mine. She always threated spanking, but never did.

I like the idea of “time outs” just to take the child out of the situation, explain to them why what they did was not right, and to give them time to think about what they’ve done. But what if they run out of the corner, or jump up from time out? That’s when spanking came into play for us. Now, 24, and planning on having a family soon with my husband — I would of course rather NOT spank my children, but know it is an effective discipline tool, but as a last resort.

Jenn on

I was spanked as a child and I thank my parents for it now. I have a joke”I fear my mother and God and in that order” and my mom and I are super close. But I remember being 6 and throwing a tantrum because my mom didn’t buy me the cereal I wanted, I went crazy! As soon as we got home she threw me in a cold shower and grabbed the belt! Needless to say I NEVER did that again! As soon as I would start with my fit she would ask if I needed a shower? no thank you! But leaving the store to remove the child from the environment because it’s misbehaving was a no go in our family. We adjust the child to behave or else.

Anyways, I know it was the right thing for me and I plan to discipline my kids in the same fashion.

GrandmaV on

Myself and 7 siblings were spanked routinely first thing on Saturday mornings. We were lined up and hit with a switch by my father as my mother read off our behaviors that ‘deserved’ discipline for the week. From leaving an article of clothing on the floor to not completing a chore to standards. We had no communication with our parents and grew up being a bit stand offish in our future relationships, all ended in abusive relationships. I was blessed enough to find a mate that had grown up in a large family and was ok with non-cuddling. I must say we are very good working bees and that’s about it. Emotionally we are screwed.

I spanked my children only when I felt I had no choice, once when my daughter at 7 rode her bike into oncoming traffic and my son when I could not get him to calm down in a daycare, I ended up quitting my job and becoming an stay at home mother. The day care provider demanded I spank my child in front of her, and I wasn’t comfortable with it. I spanked out of fear, and never did it again. Instead, I sigend my children up in karate and gymnastics that teach discipline and respect. They turned out pretty good.

I see my grown children with their children now, and I see the difference in behaviors with their children. My son spanks, my daughter doesn’t, both go round and round on the subject.

As a third party looking in, I see the difference in the children.

My daughter’s children, are definably more open, sound off on their opinions and are brave enough to stand toe to toe and argue with ‘why’ my daughter uses ‘reason’ and will take the time to explain why certain things must be the way they are. I see in the younger children fading off into never never land through the lecture, the older children patiently waiting for the lecture to end and they then decide to either continue, or move to another thing. Depending on how badly they want to do something.

My son who spanks and does the corner thing, his children do not listen like a house on fire, and there are many tears. But as soon as the discipline is completed the children, like their cousins, seem to continue the behavior they were being disciplined for. Usually out of spite at being disciplined.

So obviously neither way works well.

I through my time on earth have found ‘directional’ discipline to work. My own word, don’t look it up.

I don’t lecture, I don’t spank. I DO. With firmness. I make a point, and it is so LOUD without a sound it stops the behavior immediately. I don’t use fear. Example: I have a rule about food in the living room. When I catch one of my 8 grandchildren with food in the inappropriate room, I get up, remove the food and it is in the sink. I do not replace it or lecture. I don’t explain, or go on a tirade, they already know why as I have explained the rule beforehand. If I catch a kid with sticks running in the yard, I walk up, take the sticks and break them in little bits and toss them and walk away. If they become verbal I say simply, “you know the rules and you know why.” As I explain each time I serve food about the ‘no food except at the table rule.” “The no sticks waving in the air at your sister’s face rule.” “The we don’t ride our bikes as fast as we can and hit the glass door rule.”

Obviously this behavior needs to be consistent and the rules are said each time beforehand, and then the offending behavior is taken care of by the removal of the object when used inappropriately. It gets old, but kids seem to have an attention span of about 15 minutes. Which explains why they want to see the same cartoon episode or hear the same story over and over again. It’s a form of Alzheimer’s only shown in little children.

Of course, my grandchildren are older, they are between 3 and 6. The younger ones, I physically stay with them and not on the couch yelling at them. to stop whatever and do this or that. That is a lazy way and is not effective. Then I hold back from spanking the parent.

My way of course is effective, and means being involved totally with the child or in my case a gaggle of kids. I also take the time to consistently have new activities and change them (the activity, as well as the children) often. Which means you have to be with the child and not on the phone, cleaning, or watching television. Which can become exhausting.

But, I see the behaviors change. When I take the time to play with them on their level, take the walk in the park, play the wii with them, sit through that awful annoying Dora program, involve them in my activity, cooking, picking up toys WITH them, I have good behaved kids. If I don’t, and leave them to their own devices, I have kids being knocked down by other kids, loud obnoxious animals that need a cage and hurt puppies and kittens.

So in my opinion, the only discipline is by example. Children mirror you and your behavior. Children excel in a controlled environment, they will grow up in spite of you, and all you can do is except each child for the individual he/she is and go from there. Some will respond to a curt word, some with actual physical removal from the offensive behavior, but spanking and ‘time out’ (which is worthless in my opinion) punishes the parent more than the child. Of course MY way means being with the child 24/7 in one way or another. Which in many cases, means being an involved parent. Something I don’t see with many parents, who are exhausted, and overwhelmed to the point they take physical or verbal action instead of getting down, looking the child in the eye and just saying “no.” and giving the child a new direction.

I learned my method from being a karate instructor and a bouncer in clubs. It is effective, crowd control, and the response is “you have 2 choices… (one they want to take, the other one they don’t) example: you can have this juice at the table, or, not.” Either way, they make the decision, and know beforehand what the action will be. But you have to brave enough to follow through. Every time.

The best discipline is consistency and on their level.

Elizabeth on

The key is to never spank in anger. As one of fifteen kids, I was spanked as a child.

I have spanked each of my four children when they were between the ages of one and four. They are well mannered, well adjusted, sweet kids and I am constantly complimented on their behavior when we’re out in public. Why? Because when they were small they learned that I would not tolerate bad behavior. One quick swat and a firm ‘no’ was all it took to stop public tantrums. My children are now between six and fifteen. We’ve never had more than one public tantrum. We’ve never had to leave a store with shopping unfinished.

Spanking is as old as the human race because it works.

2manykids on

I use Removal. Kids fighting over toys, Toys removed, replaced with some new activity. Kids screaming? Removed from room so they don’t have an audience. Kids using too much toilet paper? They get 3 squares, toilet paper stays with me. Food fight? Kids removed from table, taken outside, and given appropriate food to throw at each other. (just joking)

I use humor, consistency and state the rules beforehand, at the time and while removing the situation that has caused the offensive behavior.

I find spanking and time out to be ridiculous, and lazy. Kids are YOUR responsibility, all have their own identities and that needs to be taken into the equation.

Lectures on a 2 yr old is only hearing yourself talk, spanking just means your hand hurts and the child will retaliate with more bad behavior, (crying, acting out etc.) time out is mostly the parent in jail.

Like all small animals in need of discipline, you have to socialize your children. NO one wants to go to a restaurant and hear your little darlings and watch them run down the aisles. NO one wants to be on a plane and hear your child whine. You might find it cute, but not everyone finds your child adorable. If you want to be part of a society, your child and YOU need be disciplined and show appropriate behavior. If not, stay home.

You have to take the time and be a good example. You don’t swat your kid and say “Quit hitting your brother” you don’t scream into your kids face yelling “Shut up!”. You instead, grab the kid up, tell him to apologize to his brother and sign him up for karate. You get on the kids level and touch them on the arm to get their attention and quietly say, “what do you need?”. It removes the activity, stops the behavior and the kids then has a decision to make. More effective than hitting and screaming. That’s outdated and crass.

One of 8, mother of 4 grandmother of 7.

April on

I have 5 children. (20,19,18,16.5 and 5) I believe a parent should do whatever needs to be done so their children know that mom and dad are in charge not the children.

I see so many kids that do whatever they want with no consequences. They are disreuptive in public and at home. For parents that WON’T do something with their kids, don’t be angry with the rest of us who DO. I get so tired of going to the store to dodge running, screaming lil people only to have their parents glare at me for commenting under my breathe. My youngest even comments on the rudeness of these children.

I’m not saying BEAT them, but come on people when are we going to PARENT our children instead of being FRIENDS with them? We complain about what’s wrong with society, well start raising upstanding(listening) children at home. Don’t rely on everyone else to do your job!

Tawnie on

I am the mother of five ages 17,16,14,12,2 and I will admit that I have spanked my children. And as horrible as it seems for the children it’s even worse for me as mom. All of my children are wonderful young adults and I don’t believe anything to be wrong with the couple swats they received as children. After much growth as a mother and as they grew from children into young adults we love and respect one another very much. And I always counted before it came to a spanking so the couple times they didnt listen and were spanked I always waited ten minutes and went back to my child and told them that I will always love them I just don’t like the wrong they did.

Elizibeth on

I believe parents should spank their children. I am a young mom and in my generation, I was spanked. My mom spanked me with whatever she could find at the time, mostly wooden or plastic spoons. I grew up to be an intelligent, respectful adult. I am not saying my parents beat me or hit me all the time, but they did when it was warranted; to me, there is a huge difference between a spank and a beating.

Kids today lack discipline and respect. You see so many children say things to their parents that I wouldn’t even say to my worst enemy. They have gotten so used to their parents “yes to everything” attitudes that they will get a severe wakeup call when they have to join the real world on their own. Have I given my kids a swat on the butt when they are totally out of line? Yes. But, I can count on one hand how many times they have been disrespectful in public, can you?

Terri on

Well there’s a topic sure to get a lot of responses! I was spanked as a child, or rather whipped, and I won’t be doing the same to my children if I have any. Whatever you choose, please don’t hit your child in anger.

Eve on

Violence of any kind is NEVER OK. To put your hands on anyone, but especially someone much smaller, and as helpless and trusting as a child, IS NEVER OK. And yes, I am including “swats” and “smacks”. All it does, is teach them that violent behavior towards others is acceptable, damages their self-esteem, and puts them well on their way to becoming insecure and damaged adults who will perpetuate the maltreatment of others.

You, as the parent, are supposed to be a rational adult, and by extension able to handle discipline and ‘consequences for unacceptable behavior’ rationally and without the need for violence. If you are unable to, take a parenting class and learn how. Because you are literally changing your child’s personality to something ‘less than’. To me, spanking is on a par with wife-beating, it should have legal consequences and is a clear sign of a lazy “parent”.

EC on

What i have noticed from many responses is that the ones who are against it because it harvests violence in the future are the same ppl saying they were spanked as children and that it took a toll on them in the long run and that they would never think of spanking….so wouldnt u say that BECAUSE u WERE spanked as a child, u grew up and are against violence rather than you grew up as a violent person?

I was spanked as a child and if i hadnt been, im sure i would have walked all over my mom. A child has to know their boundaries and whos boss. Children between the ages of 2 and 4 will learn if they remember the consequences for their actions; and let me tell you, i can remember more clearly all the times i was spanked way more than i remember the lectures or timeouts… I have a 2-yr-old son and he already knows whos boss. All it took was a few spanks and he knows i mean bussiness. Im not saying to go and beat ur child but dont let them beat you in laying down the law!

JJ on

We teach our children that hitting is a no no…..I don’t care how calm you are or how much you explain to that child why they are being spanked, not ok to hit means not ok to hit. Period!

Surely you can find another means of discipline.

april on

I was spanked as a child and I have to say that I am very grateful. My parents did it the right way – they did it with love. It was never out of anger, it wasn’t a “punishment,” it was “discipline” and there is a VERY big difference. Honestly, I can only count 2 times that I remember and they were after 2 very clear warnings. I never felt scared of my parents or anything like that. They would always talk to us after and explain that they spanked us to protect us. If we didn’t obey mommy and daddy then we would get hurt. I know people think that’s ironic because spanking does hurt but it stuck with you and I never wanted another spanking again. Sorry, but you can’t reason with a 2 year old when they are throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store. A spanking is quick and a 2 year old WILL understand a little sting on the behind the next time they decide to run into oncoming traffic. What’s worse? Spanking them to protect them or trying to count to 10 5 times to see if they will come to you and get hit by a car in the meantime? Now obvisously, tactics change as the child gets older and you have to adjust but I thank God everyday my parents spanked me when I see some poor mom running after her 3 year old in a mall saying, “get back here I mean it! I really mean it! I’m gonna count to 3…1,2…I mean it…” and it goes on and on. I’m like, “who’s the adult?” When my mom said come here, she meant it and she kept her word. I have so much respect for that and I would absolutely spank my kids.

Lynn on

I believe that parents are role models for children. Children observe their parents and learn which behaviors are acceptable in different situations. As a result, I do not believe in spanking. Since I do not want my child to hit or hurt anyone for any reason, I would not spank my child. Extensive research suggests that spanking is linked to aggression in children. I made sure to read a great deal of literature on effective discipline practices, and I have found that logical consequences are very effective.

Mari on

I never spanked my son nor did he or his wife spank their little girls-why because from day one they were told how to behave, how to eat properly etc. and my son and his girls are the most loving, affectionate, giving children. I raised my son properly and he passed it on to his children. I never hit him-only gave him consequences.

Spruce on

I was spanked as a child and I don’t think I was ever spanked after the age of 6 since I learned the first time not to do something again. One of my cousins was also spanked; she and I are hard working responsible adults while the cousins who had the time out chair grew up to be lazy, irresponsible people who think the world owes them a living. After working in a daycare where the only punishment was the time out chair I saw firsthand how quickly children learn to manipulate people when that is the form of punishment. “Yes I will be good”, “No I won’t hit him” and off they go to play again. It just isn’t always effective to sit them in the corner, just as not everyone learns the same way in school not all children respond the same way to the same punishments. You need to do what works for your child not what society thinks is best.

Jenna on

I’m really surprised this is even up for discussion…an adult can get another adult to be quiet by hitting them, too, but that doesn’t make it right. Hitting is unacceptable and honestly ignorant, but as they say if we knew better we would do better. Whether the victim of the hit is a dog who jumped on the couch, a child who bit his brother, a husband who said something obnoxious to us or even a friend who said something in humor that was out of line…even if it is delivered with a playful laugh. I was spanked as a child and have some memories of some pretty serious ones, but what really drove my awareness home was a cousin of mine who was about five when I was two. She witnessed my mother spanking me for something and as a five year old she was devastated that someone would hit a child who clearly was too little to even be aware of her actions. Hitting is a response done in anger, and it is never wise to do anything in or out of anger. If you have doubts about this, the next time your child runs out into the street, take her GENTLY by the hand and explain what could have happened and how she scared you. Then wait twenty minutes, and then hit her. You will never do it, because after your anger and fear subsides, you will clearly see that hitting is NEVER the answer.

albert0 on

i agree that spanking should be used when necessary.

1) to the point of others, if you raise your children correctly from the beginning, you teach them obedience to their parents from day one and teach them manners and not spoil them rotten. that’s a good foundation.

2) as children become older (i mean toddlers) and know which buttons to push or attempt that’s when you pull out the disciplining when you need to. i don’t advocate taking out life’s anger on children, but when children are disobedient, whack the butt. that’s how my parents did and i’ll admit, my 4 siblings and i have great values and manners when it comes to respecting ourselves and others

3) this is not meant to be crude but yes my parents DID give me something to fear if i acted up and i’m grateful for it. then again, dad was an air force sargeant so he expected great things from his kids and would lay it on us boys when he needed to. lol. but i’ll tell you this folks, my parents were never embarassed by their kids acting up when we went places.

4) when i’m somewhere and i hear a 4 year old call his father or mother “stupid” and “dummy” and teenagers call their parent’s “f&ckin ass$oles” (and i have heard it many times) it makes me bet a dime that their parents do NOT , or do not spank them, because if i tried that when i was a kid, i might not have any teeth to pronounce those words. how many of you parents had your kids tell you to “f&ck off” and you just let them say it to you without doing something about it? i bet there are many.

5) catch my drift? start teaching children early obedience to you as a parent and when you need to swap them on the butt to get your point across and get them to act right, do it, and show them the love that you should. they will be better adults and it’s the truth. (which is another issue, there are some really childish , idiotic adults who’ve never been disciplined growing up and it shows)

6) child abuse? absolutely against it, i would not advocate beating your children to the point of abusiveness. or mentally abusing them to make them feel less than valuable. i’m very much into uplifting and developing children, but when i , as a dad, need to show who dad is, i show it, you can hate me for life but that’s how i do things.

7) my parents put the fear of god into me (which was really fear of disappointing them and myself) so that i could grow into a responsible man and it worked very well.

you give your kid complete freedomn in terms of not being obedient to you and running crazy without discipline and you could regret it.
you raise your children with manners and keep them close to you, discipline them and if you need to spank, spank that butt, and they’ll thank you for it , trust me..VALUES go a long way.

Brenda on

I was spanked growing up and I know it was damaging to my self worth. I remember feeling so violated and angry at the lose of my personal rights……..yes even as a child. All it did was send me into a rage. A kicking and screaming rage because I felt taken advantage of. I was little and my mom was big and I had no control over what was happening to me. My mother’s bedroom was downstairs so after she spanked me I was so upset she would put me in her bedroom and I was not suppose to come out until I calmed down. I remember kicking the door and standing there screaming because I wanted to fight back in some way. I didn’t want to calm down because I didn’t want her to win. I don’t remember any of the things I did wrong but I do remember the spankings. I actually was a very sensitive child and I grew up with self esteem problems which spanking contributed to.

My husbands older brother was always in trouble for something as a child. He got spanked and his mother even broke a hair brush over his head once just because he standing in the wrong place when his mom was angry. I think they used a belt on him when the spankings didn’t work. He would just laugh at them. He grew up and didn’t respect his parents at all. My husband saw how much all this upset his parents and became the opposite angel child who was never spanked. Not because he was afraid but because he didn’t like seeing his parents so upset.

The end result was that we raised three wonderful, respectful, mature children with great self esteem and we never spanked them. It can be done and I think parents who spank are just lazy. It is easier to spank than to come up with some other way of handling the situation.

I see moms in stores all the time threatening to spank their unruly children. No explanation is ever given and threats are handed out. We always explained things to our kids and prepared them for what kind of behavior was expected ahead of time. Why certain behaviors were required and why certain bad behavior was wrong. Getting down on a knee at their eye level and quietly talking to them goes a long ways instead of yelling and threatening with hits. Time outs worked for us and if they hadn’t we would have done research to find other methods of getting through to them without hitting them. Often times making them feel as thought they are going to miss out on something “fun” because of their bad behavior will do the trick. And our youngest was especially challenging………it was a good thing their were two of us so one could take over when the other felt the anger building.

Our kids respected us and they hated the idea of disappointing us. That goes a long ways with them automatically having good behavior. I got compliments all the time on how well behaved they were. We are extremely close to our kids and I’m proud we don’t have any bad memories to look back on like I do of my childhood spankings.

Now when my grown and almost grown youngest see parents threaten kids with spankings they are horrified and tell us how very grateful they are that we didn’t do that. It is extremely hard for me to be in public and see lazy parents easily handing out spanking threats almost like they enjoy it, while the kids ignore them. I just want to walk over and say “I raised three kids without spanking……..it can be done.” Set a good example for your kids with your own good behavior.

Evelyn on

Please don’t spank. It only teaches children that hitting is what you do when you become upset or frustrated with someone. In the case of spanking the someone is your child. When I was a child my mother didn’t spank, she beat with anything she could lay her hands on. When I had my son, I couldn’t imagine ever striking my child in that manner. I never spanked. My son is now grown and a father of two. He doesn’t spank either, at least not that I’ve ever seen or heard about. You have to start with conditioning children from the very start. When my son was very small and throwing tantrums, the worst thing I could do was tell him, “I can’t stay around you as long as you act like that.” It worked because he was just young enough to not want to be separated from me. As he got older, I made sure he knew what was expected and what would not be tolerated behaviourly from him. Spanking is wrong. Children can be taught to behave without physical violence, which even a swat on the bottom represents.

Brenda on

I have one more comment.

After reading Grandma V above, I must say she has some great points. I don’t agree with her that verbally explaining things doesn’t work…….because it totally did for us. We didn’t give lectures but kept explanations short. Our youngest didn’t always want to hear us either but how else are kids going to learn if things are not explained to them. She obviously explained “the rules” at some point in time, so she contradicts herself there a little. Plus time outs did work for us but may not for some children. They also have to be done in the right way.

But she had some other very good points and we did do much of what she said also. Sometimes all that is needed is a quick intervention. I hear parents threaten a spanking over the stupidest things that are easily solved some other way. One mistake I see all the time is that parent need to be “consistent” and “follow through”. Very very important…..or the kid will think the rules don’t always apply. And spending lots of time with your kids goes a long ways. Why should kids respect or care about what their parents thinks if the parents never spends any time with them?

Yelling does not work because after awhile the kids are used to it. Blah blah blah……there mom/dad goes again. But one rare LOUD word or the quick intervention of taking the offending object away gets there attention. Also the fact that my husband was just as much of an active parent as I was made a big difference in how great my kids turned out. He was totally involved in their upbringing. He was up with them in the middle of the night when they were sick, read them books, and was 100% involved in their lives. Our kids adore their father and listened to him…… and listen to me too. That goes a long ways.

I also think that is just asking for trouble to put kids in certain situations. I saw once in Michael’s a mom had put her 2 and 3 year old in a shopping cart and expected them to behave while she shopped for craft supplies. They were trapped in the cart with nothing to do and when they started acting up she started threatening them. Why in the world would anyone want to shop in that situation? I think that the mom had to high of expectations.

Dani on

I was spanked as a child and I now am the mother of a 2 year old girl and I DO NOT BELEIVE IN SPANKING!! It is an outdated, old fashioned ignorant method of parenting. We are now in the 21st century and are far more intelligent in our parenting to resort to the old school methods of spanking or inflicting pain as a means of punishment.
It seems that parents use spanking because it is EASIER and QUICKER when they are exhuasted and have lost “Their” control of themselves.
It’s better to do the difficult work and be remain calm and patient.

Joclyn on

Hi all!

Guess what? Spanking a child is HITTING a child, and hitting a child is ABUSIVE, and actually illegal in many places. Replace the word “spanking” with “hitting”, because that is what you are doing, and you will see the severity and insanity of what you are doing.

When your son hits your daughter, do you say “Johnny! Don’t spank Sarah!”. NOPE. You say “Don’t HIT Sarah” because you KNOW that is what they are doing.

I’m sure a lot of you were spanked as children, as a was – a lot of people used to do a lot of bad, stupid things back in the day that everyone managed to convince themselves were justified and right (slavery and the holocaust, for example) but we can see so clearly now that they were far from being just, kind, human and decent. This same thing will eventually happen with spanking. I am there already. I look at some of these posts and I feel so sad for your children and I hope and pray that the cycle will end with them, because it certainly didn’t end with you.

Paint it pink and call it a heart if you like, but spanking is HITTING A CHILD and hitting a child IS WRONG. And those of you who are doing it know it…you feel that in the pit of your stomach…sometimes way down deep where it is almost too soft to be heard…something doesn’t feel right and that is why you get all crazy and even more angry when you try to defend HITTING your children. It’s better to defend what you are doing as just instead of facing the reality that you HIT YOUR CHILDREN. Or pets. Or anyone, period.

What is done is done. We’ve all done things we wish we could take back. Well, today is a new day and you have the power to make sure that HITTING (aka spanking) will stop with you, so your children won’t have to pass it on to their children and so on and so on. Please at least think about it.

Toya L. on

@Brenda- Now when my grown and almost grown youngest see parents threaten kids with spankings they are horrified and tell us how very grateful they are that we didn’t do that. It is extremely hard for me to be in public and see lazy parents easily handing out spanking threats almost like they enjoy it, while the kids ignore them. I just want to walk over and say “I raised three kids without spanking……..it can be done.” Set a good example for your kids with your own good behavior.
Ditto! As I said above it’s also extremely hard for me to be in public and see parents easily handing their child threats of time outs or things that will be taken away, not to mention the kids not listening when the are explaining the things that they are doing wrong to them.

I also want to walk over and say “if you can’t control your kids, leave them at home so others who are shopping can do so in peace and if spanking, giving your kids time outs, taking things away or talking to them extensively at home is your form of discipline and they are still acting out in public then maybe that style is just not working” but hey I don’t because that’s their choice and to each their own!! A-L-L styles of discipline is considered lazy parenting by others though, just depends on the person!

Tami on

Just as an FYI for everyone claiming spanking is discipline rather than punishment, no matter how calmly or rationally it’s administered, by definition spanking is punishment. The definition of punishment is a penalty applied for infraction of the rules, which obviously spanking is. If you want to get even more technical, in psychological terms a punishment is any stimulus designed to reduce the likelihood of a given behavior from reoccurring, and obviously that fits spanking as well. So let’s not get carried away with lofty distinctions between punishment and discipline.

Candy on

Spare the rod, spoil the child. Don’t confuse or overuse this and spank for every lil’ thing just b/c you can’t handle it, boo hoo hoo. Spanking should be done after all other methods have been exhuasted. Or when a child is doing something dangerous, like running into the street and so on. Age appropriate is the key,as well.

A.S on

If you dont have kids, you have no right to comment. You could never know. You would never tell a terminal cancer patient that you understand experiencing you own slow death or tell a war veteran what it feels like to accidently kill an innocent child. You can’t possibly have any perspective, unless you have experienced it yourself.

A mother.

Mariah on

I have 3 children, my four year old and two year old have thrown tantrums in public….usually because they want something and I tell them no, then stick to my guns. I’ve had people walk up to me during these tantrums and applaud me for not giving in. I don’t understand why people are using tantrum throwing in pubic as a means to gage whether others are good parents. It all depends on the child’s disposition, as well as other factors (tiredness, hunger, etc.) I am a stay at home mom (educated, my bachelor’s in education with an emphasis in early childhood…so I know all the “tricks”) that chose to be home and play the part of an active parent. And I bring my children out shopping with me because I have to if it’s the middle of the day, I don’t have childcare for them. I have spanked before and didn’t like it, it didn’t work for myself OR my children so we don’t do it anymore. But whether I spank or not isn’t going to have an affect on whether my child throws a fit now and again, they are children and they test boundaries all the time…they don’t care where they are or who is watching.

Amanda on

I do spank, but only as a last resort. We do everything possible not to have to spank. I have a 6 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. My son just started kindegarden and he has had a lot of trouble adjusting to school, so he has been in trouble in school a lot this year. We do the grounding from his favorite things and time out and things like that before we spank. I also make sure that both of my kids are treated the same way so they don’t think that one is loved more than the other. When and if I do spank I don’t do it when I am angry. Also, I make sure and talk to them before and after to make sure that they understand why they were getting spanked in the first place, and I always make sure and tell them that I Love them then and always and that we only spank to help them be better and to learn right from wrong. My kids do not fear me and they are both very loving kids. I was spanked as a kid and I turned out fine. I am repectful of others, and I am a kind person. I believe that I turned out as well as I did because of the discipline I was given and because I was given the discipline in the right way. I was never spanked out of anger either. So yes I think spanking is ok as long as it is done the right way. There is a fine line when it comes to spanking and you have to be very careful not to cross that line.

Amelia on

I have a 3 year old daughter and I have and will never spank her. To me spanking a child is equivalent to a man hitting a woman. A child should have respect for a parent, not fear. How is it ok to hit someone who is smaller and defenseless againts you?

Anonymous on

I am a mother of three beautiful boys. The eldest is very calm and compliant the second however is very strong willed and can be quite disobedient. I spanked my eldest when necessary (although not often) however I spank the second one more often.

I have found that this helps to curb his bad behaviour especially when out in public because all he needs is a warning that if he doesn’t stop his naughty behaviour he is going to get spanked. This is enough for him to stop acting out! It isn’t because he is scared of me it’s because he knows that what he is doing is wrong and if he doesn’t stop there will be consequences.

I was spanked as a child and it did not turn me into some type of violent thug it taught me to have respect and manners towards other people especially my parents-who also are not violent thugs! I have friends who don’t spank and each to there own, I do what works for me.

Also for the record Tonia I live in Europe (London) and do not see any frequent rioting!

Christina on

I spank (not beat) my kids when it is deserved and nothing else has driven the point home but.. After about 5 minutes of alone time after the fact I go and talk to them, tell them I love them and explain why I did what I did and tell them that I love them again. I have two of the best kids around and they do not get spanked often but they know the “look” now and it is rare it ever gets to the point of spanking. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of me but I also know that the fear of what my Mom would do if she found out some of the things that I did would keep me from doing them. My general rule of thumb is for the first 20 or so years I am you parent first friend second and after those 20 years I hope to be their best friend! I know I am with my Mom! Flat out, parenting is hard so good luck to us all!

Kate on

I can count the times I was spanked on 1 hand and let me tell you, I deserved each and every one. My father was very firm with me up until 14ish and then he let me go because he knew that at that age, the harder he tried to restrain me, the harder I would rebel. And let me tell you, I rebelled! But luckily due to the strong foundation he laid for me when I was little, and yes, that included a few good smacks, I turned out fine and find myself to be a very well adjusted young adult (26) with a well rounded up-bringing.

I do not believe the a parent spanking their child, will make a child hit another child, as long as the parent explains to the child the difference. We explain to our children all the time that there are things that are acceptable for adults and not for children. Alcohol, driving and sex are all things that adults with adult brains can do responsibly. The same goes for spanking.

Further more, mother elephants are often seen spanking their young’s behinds with their trunks. I always find this fascinating due to the fact the elephants are so similar to humans in the way that the experience emotion.

All in all I say the spanking should not be used to inflict serious pain on a child but rather scare them into realizing how serious certain situations are and should be only used on rare occasion.

niecy on

I would say don’t spank because it let’s kids off the hook. I was a product of that environment and it actually made me say forget it to a lot of things. I would go ahead and be diobedient knowing I only had a spanking to look forward to. I prefer taking away things that my kids enjoy it works better and they don’t fear me. Trust me a week without a cell phone hurts my daughter far worse than any spanking I could give them. I tried it and I saw the look in my kids eyes and it hurt me so much.

Jenna on

@Karen on March 25th, 2011
I don’t know anyone who was spanked as a child that has these long term problems you speak of… maybe if the parent was ABUSIVE that happens… but proper spanking should be nothing more than a sting… and should never leave a mark or hurt for extended periods of time!

I totally agree that there are other ways of disciplining other than spanking, but if my child is about to do something that could put her/his life in danger, a smack on the hand or bottom is quicker and more effective at getting them out of the situation than a calm chat.

Mary Ann on

I was spanked as a child and I vowed that I would never ever spank my future children. I firmly believe that the use of spanking as a disciplinary tool reflects poor parenting skills by the parent and sends the wrong message to children. Children need to turn to their parents for love and support and not live in fear of their parents.

My husband and I have expectations for our children and we discipline via time-outs (when they were little) with a talk afterwards about the behavior that we wanted corrected. When they became older, we disciplined via taking away privileges (computer, telephone, time with friends etc…) and always a discussion afterwards about why. We always standby what we say — the kids aren’t always happy about it, but overall they understand where we are coming from and they both know how much we love them. How easy it would be to let them do whatever they want!, but we would be shirking the biggest responsibility ever — the privilege of raising some really remarkable children!

al on

what scares me the most about this article is that you think a guy can’t be “the one” unless he bends to your uninformed will?! But in true “the one” fashion he now has so therefore he’s okay. I am stunned, did you want a man or a receptionist? Oh and the reason your child acts like a brat in the mall and embarrasses you and disrupts everyone else is cause you have no discipline in your house, sorry truth can hurt. You need supernanny cause you are oblivious and your husband is your doormat

al on

FYI no bad kids only bad parents. Both me and my sister were spanked as children. We loved our parents. I spank my children, and they love me regardless what all you opinionated people say. I see bad parenting every day….undisciplined kids running roughshod over their overmatched timid parents, or mean kids who get smacked by their frustrated uninvolved parents…..my mom had a saying: “as long as parents really love their children the rest is just details”


Marlana on

I am not a parent, but I am a daughter. I was spanked by both my parents as a child, but ONLY with an open palm. And only if I’d been doing something potentially dangerous to myself or others. and I turned out absolutely fine. I don’t see anything wrong with that method as long as its not done out of anger. The question actually is at what age is it no longer appropriate to spank your child. My parents stopped that method when I was around 9. By that point I was really into music. So the preferred form of punishment at that point was to take my cd player away for a few days. Now THAT was torture. The important thing is I am fine. I’ve yet to see gently talking to a child about their behavior actually work. The spanking is a fine line. And best left up to the parent to decide.

One more point, dispite the occasional spanking I grew up very close with both my parents, and was never afraid of them.

rapunzelle on

It’s not the spanking that’s the problem, it’s parental anger that’s the problem. When most people think of spanking, they imagine the spanking performed out of anger. But a spanking in a calm, collected fashion is a very effective form of punishment. When you require that your child obeys the first time (no counting to three), you will find that you aren’t affronted and not angry when you go to spank after the first offense.

Some of the most aggressive, unruly — even scary children I have ever seen are of parents that don’t spank. That’s not to say that all children who aren’t spanked are that way – certainly not. But, in my experience, the worst-behaved kids I have seen are from parents who use talks and time-outs as punishment.

Alexa on

I’m not a fan of spanking, which in my view is hitting a child repeatedly and often on the butt as punishment for a specific action. Children are not born in full control of their emotions and actions so it’s something they have to learn. Since they’re not developed enough to truly understand what is and what isn’t acceptable behavior I don’t believe you can spank it into them.

However, I have seen parents effectively use a single swat to the behind to reboot the behavior of a young child in the middle of a tantrum–it was more a way to get their attention than a punshment. I’ve also seen some parents that will crouch down and hold their child’s arms against their sides and speak quietly but firmly eye to eye to get them to refocus and calm down. I have used a very cold wet washcloth GENTLY and quickly placed on the face of hysterial child to snap them out of it so they can then be comforted.

I have to say that from what I’ve also seen out in public, it seems difficult for some parents to know how much is enough to get a child’s attention and what is excessive, because in addition to the single swat, I have also seen parents nearly pull their child’s arm out of its socket yanking the child up so they have easier access to their behinds and repeatedly hitting them, while dragging them out of the store by their arm. I wonder what they do to their children at home if they think that is acceptable behavior in public.

Carol on

My personal opinion is that the discipline needs to suit the child and the family. Keep it simple and basic – “no” and why, and when they defy the parent’s “no” it’s time for action. Letting an unruly child run herd over your own plans (leaving the mall because the child is acting up?) only teaches that child that he or she can manipulate you. How many times have you heard an ineffective parent in a store, trying to get their child to behave? The child knows they don’t have to, because nothing’s going to happen.

I think consistency is the key. When a child disobeys or acts up, first you say stop with a short explanation at the child’s level of why the behavior is unacceptable. If they continue they get a warning that explains the consequences of their continued bad behavior. Then if they continue the consequences need to be meted out then and there, not later (sit here til you calm down, a time out, removal of a toy, turn off the t.v., no trip to the ice cream store, whatever). When the child complies with the “good behavior” praise them, hug and kiss them, reward them with love, not things or they’ll figure out that they can act up, calm down and get that toy they want! There was spanking for my brother and me when we were growing up, but rarely because discipline was handled as explained above…by the time we got spanked (and that was the consequence only of extremely horrid behavior on our part, not little stuff) it was our own defiance that caused it, and we knew it. We were given the chance to avoid it and 99% of the time that’s what we did. BTW, we were spanked once on our butts, it didn’t hurt and yes we cried, mostly because it was the tail end of a melt down to begin with. By the time we were 5 or 6 it was over, we had figured out that our parents meant it when they said to stop and we weren’t going to “win”. It was a lot more rewarding for us to comply in the behavior department, the chances of getting that ice cream treat later were a lot higher…kids are smart, they figure it out!

Kristen on

While watching a debate with mothers about ‘to spank or not to spank’, it was alarming that the reasons that the ‘pro’ spanking mothers gave all had to do with THEM, and not the severity of the behavior of their children. They said things like ‘I was tired and had a long day’, ‘I couldn’t take it anymore’, ‘I was frustrated and at the end of my rope’. My son is 2.4 and is challenging EVERYTHING right now; when I get frustrated I take a deep breath and compose myself. Being physically violent or causing a child pain may control behavior in the very short term, but in the long term I don’t want my son to think that it’s appropriate to hit/slap when you get frustrated or to resolve a conflict.

EJ on

We spanked our children a few times when they were small and it was for a specific reason when a severe message was needed at that moment. I don’t recall ever spanking my children while angry. Our pediatrician told us “if you do spank, only on the bottom (never on face/arms/legs etc.) and ONE spank only.” He said “the first spank communicates the message; more than one spank is for the parents”, meaning 3 or 4 spanks accomplishes nothing more than one (for the child), and parents who keep hitting are doing it out of anger or frustration. He also said “always follow the spank with a hug and tell your child what the spank was for.” I don’t think we ever spanked any of our children a second time for the same thing.

I also never spanked my children in public, and not once did any of my kids ever throw a temper tantrum in a public place. I remember seeing moms in the supermarket with a kid in the grocery cart or on the floor screaming, throwing groceries, kicking… and I wondered “what is wrong with this child? why does this happen? why is the mom unable to control this?” I still don’t know the answer.

I am blessed with lovely, happy, smart & energetic adult children now and am proud of their life choices & accomplishments. I don’t think I can say definitively that spanking is right or wrong. I feel it was appropriately used in my home and I think the bigger issue is how and why parents use it.

Kristy on

You say you are being non-judgmental and you agree to disagree, but you have this platform to stand up on your soapbox and it is very judgmental. You are not pointing out any of your friends’ reasons for spanking, you are saying it is wrong to do and you are right for not doing it. Why did I even read this.

Juda on

I live in South Africa, and unlike America and the UK, spanking is not frowned upon.

We were raised that should we do something wrong or cross the line that there would be a consequence.

Now that I am a mom myself to an extremely definite 6 year old boy, I have learnt that spanking works a charm.

My own child has said to me that he would rather get a hiding then have me nag him to stop doing something that he should not be doing. I have watched many documentaries on American schools, and I can tell you now, that we have none of that crap happening in our schools!

Erin on

Spanking is wrong, no matter what the reason. It is always wrong to hit a child. People who think a “pop on the butt” is different from hitting are simply wrong and fooling themselves. People hit their children because they can’t think of a better way to get their children to behave. Plainly put, spanking is lazy parenting. Additionally, it would seem that most people spank out of anger – really, what are you teaching your child in that moment? That it’s okay to hit if you’re really angry? Spanking is also humiliation in its basest form. I choose not to humiliate my children.

I have two children who are fairly well-behaved and have never been spanked. There are plenty of other ways to discipline a child without resorting to hitting them.

Spanking is absolutely wrong.

Amanda on

I think spanking has a time and there needs to be a mature attitude about it. What I mean is this:
1) Not everything merits a spank or hand slap (clearly not a wallop but a firm pat if you will).
2) One spank or slap followed by a look into their eyes and a verbal explanation for why what they did or are doing is inacceptable behaviour.
I think I’ve been slapped twice in my 28 years by my parents. BOTH times were merited. My brothers never really were spanked but twice as well.
My parents and I had GREAT communication but there were those times when we ran in front of a car (and didn’t come close to being hit but needed a direct message aside from “you COULD have been hit”), and once I was EXTREMELY beligerent with my mother and deserved a spank.
I know spanking isn’t for everyone, that’s fine, but I do wonder what you can do to change behaviour when you’ve tried practically all forms of verbal explanation and reasoning. My brother-in-law finally got a spank when he went near the hot stove for the 10th time and wouldn’t stay away even though my darling mother in law explained he could get burned and tried to steer him away with toys etc. The spank taught him a consequence…and he’s not scarred for it emotionally.
Anyhow, I’m pro-spank if it’s merited.
Best of luck to all parents. :D.

Lori on

It amazes me that it is ILLEGAL to hit anyone (spouse, co-worker, stranger) except in self-defense with the sad exception of children. Why do so many find it acceptable to hit a child? That is what spanking is afterall. If it doesn’t hurt, what is the deterence? It is can be more challenging at times to discipline by NOT spanking, but so much more rewarding. The average 3 yr old child is somewhere around 30 lbs. Let’s say Mom is 120 & Dad is 180. Mom & Dad are 4-5 times larger than this little child. I would be scared to death if someone 4-5 times MY size decided to hit me. How can you expect to teach a child that it is not ok to hit someone smaller than they are if you as a parent, are doing it to them? Not everyone that spanks is a bad parent, but I really believe that it is in everyone’s best interest to discipline children in a more positive, effective way. Love & respect your children & they will return the same to you.

al on

I just love how so many people in this world seem to think it is ok to tell others how to raise their children. I am so thankful that my parents spanked me when I was growing up. The basic common denominator in good parenting in to be INVOLVED in your childs life. If spanking isnt good for you then FINE, dont spank. But dont judge others when you dont know what your talking about..Spanking is not hitting, nor is it abuse if done correctly. Just because YOU cant understand this doesn’t mean its not true. Stop judging and pushing your agenda, who do you people think you are?!?! Its ok I’m sure I’ll see some of you at the mall like the author of this article. You will be the ones with the bratty misbehaving children with no discipline. Good luck with that:)

Dina on

I agree that this is a controversal issue, and I think the important thing is to seperate a spanking from a beating. I was spanked as a child as were my sisters and we’re not violent people however I understand that spanking is not for everyone, and believe every parent should choose a form of discipline that works for them. I personally think that spanking shouldn’t create an element of fear and isnt necesary once the child is old enough to understand what they did wrong, where you can explain what they did. That being said I think that parents who threaten and never follow through are ineffective. I’ve watched my sisters and their kids and a parent who threatens to slap and never follows through is usless.

I dont find that I need to spank or slap and find I can have well behave children by ensuring they understand what i require of them.

On the few occasions where I have given a light slap on the thigh or tap on the hand, there have been warnings at least 2, and the ‘spanking’/tap on the hand was followed by an explaination of what was done wrong and an apology just like with a time out.

I dont think I would spank my children where another option was available, I do however think that a quick spanking or slap can calm down a situation when out and about, as there are times when you dont have time or the situation isnt safe for loads of warning or a time out and a spanking is the most effective way of letting the child know they need to behave right now. If discipline is done effectively it doesnt bring about any fear.

Ivy on

I don’t have children, but the way I’ve thought about it is, spanking is, well, it’s okay-ish. If it’s a small tap and it’s absolutely a last resort. I’ve learnt that a child will have a tantrum and you’ve just got to let them calm themselves down, untill they’re ready to start behaving. How that Super Nanny lady says that they should have a timeout for misbehaving, how long they stay there depends on their age, well, I think that’s wrong, I think it’s untill they’re ready to start behaving.

I just know that I won’t allow them to be swearing or hitting me or other’s untill they’re old enough to understand the thing’s they can go through because of their actions. I know that I’m dreaming for now and untill I have kids, I’ll never know how things will be, I just hope that I can imprint good morals, honesty and disipline in them.