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02/07/2012 at 12:00 PM ET

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B.J. (the girl) on

“Spanking or slapping your child has long-term, harmful effects on their development, according to a new review of 20 years of research.”

… I couldn’t be any less surprised, honestly. It baffles me that people still abuse their children in the name of discipline. My dad spanked me, and it soured our relationship — forever. Think about that before you smack your little one around. We will NEVER be close because of the spanking. I’m 27 and I still remember being terrorized with even the threat of getting a whacking….

J on

Or because you wont let yourself get close now. Let go of the anger.

Laura on

I was spanked. I don’t think it hurt me at all, emotionally or anything. But that’s probably also because I don’t have a bunch of memories of being spanked. I don’t think my parents used it all the time. And I will not use it with my children. I don’t blame my parents for using it, I think 20 years ago, it was more widely accepted and they were just doing what they thought was best. But with what we know now and with what I believe, I will not spank my future children.

anon1 on

i was spanked as a child and i don’t hold resentment towards my parents. i was only spanked once though since my parents tended to use timeouts more than spanking. i don’t think i will use spanking if i have kids but i think it is different for each child. people react differently to situations.

jessicad on

I was spanked and I don’t think I have any resentment toward my parents, BUT, I did have a hard time controlling my temper from childhood until I was a young adult. I would hit the wall or throw things and I remember feeling the anger flow through my body until I released it by hitting things, not a good feeling. I think they could have shown me by example better ways to deal with frustration, I had to teach myself and it’s something I still struggle with sometimes today.

I don’t want my 4 year old daughter to experience what I did so I choose not to spank, even though it’s a first thought at times because of how I was raised, I calm down and use other methods and I’m proud of the way my daughter handles herself, she’s not always perfect but I’ve never had an issue with her hitting or being aggressive with other children.

Also, I think it looks absolutely ridiculous when I see a child hit or kick another child and the parent turns around and yells at them not to hit, then spanks them. How is that productive or teaching them anything!

Shea on

I have always wanted my kids to behave because they love and respect me and themselves and know right from wrong….not because they were afraid of getting hit.

My father spanked, he was a hit first ask questions later type of parent. We were terrified of our father. My father is dead now, and none of us had a close relationship with him after we were adults, and none of us have a relationship with our Mother either. In fact, one of my brothers will have nothing to do with any one in our family because he just wants to forget our childhood and move on.

I have never spanked, slapped or smacked my children and they are now teenagers.

Anonymous on

I see both sides of the argument about being traumatized by spanking, because I’ve experienced both sides of the arguement. My parents spanked me a couple of times as a child (after just a few years they retired that as a form of discipline because they didn’t feel right about it). And they were very careful to hit just hard enough for me to feel a tiny sting on my bottom and nothing more. As a result, I don’t feel traumatized by that at all.

However, my grandfather also spanked me once as a child (although I don’t agree with it, I can understand now why he did it. Being the moutain goat that I was, he had found me climbing around on an entertainment unit in his den!)…and he did it quite hard, and he was clearly quite angry (whereas my parents always made it a point not to show anger when they spanked, as their intention was to let me know that was I was doing wasn’t acceptable, not to make me afraid of them!).

Because of that, I was fearful of him for most of my childhood, and tended to steer clear of him (which I feel really badly about since he was really a very nice, loving man. When he spanked me, he was simply doing to me what was probably his parents’ discipline tactic of choice when he was a child).

So, while I don’t agree with spanking, I don’t think spanking in and of itself is going to make a child fearful of his or her parents (or grandparents). It’s HOW you spank that determines that. If you let there be anger behind it and you spank rather hard, they probably will get scared.

Holiday on

Its not right to hit a child! If you hit your husband/wife you would go to jail for domestic violence so I do not understand why people think its ok to hit a tiny child! Someone who cant stand up for themselves. Parents should be protecting their children, not smacking them around.

I have a 6 year old son with ADD/ADHD and he is very trying and difficult. I have never once hit him. I have a 21 month old daughter and never have or will hit her either. I love them too much to hit them.

Jillian on

Jessicad, I love what you said. Holiday, you, too.

I have four kids and am pregnant again. I never have laid a hand on my children an never will. They are very well behaved and listen. There is no need to hit your children if you discipline effectively. Hitting to me is lazy parenting and not effective. It amazes me when parents hit their children for hitting another child. Holy hypocritical and way to teach your child nothing! I can’t even remember the last time I scolded my children….really. No one in my larege family has ever been hit/spanked and we are all turned out great. Been told on here that kids not spanked end up arrested….LOL. I have over 20 cousins and none of us hav been spanked or arrested. Don’t get that one.

B.J. (the girl) on

J — Don’t assume, I’m not angry at my father anymore. It was the he was raised, too. But I find it difficult to be close to him. I have really vivid memories from my childhood, and many are negative because of him.

Though I’ve forgotten what I did wrong then to deserve a spanking, I can still remember the fear of having an adult, someone much larger than myself, coming at me, with intent to hurt me. Spanking is abuse, period.

My oldest sister used to spank her kids with a wooden spoon… It was sickening.

Anonymous on

I don’t believe in spanking for the most part, but I also think that it depends on the child and the situation. I was spanked as a child and hold no grudges toward my mom and am even glad she did it. Seriously. I have vague memories of doing things that would make my hair turn white today if I saw a child doing what I did back then–climbing onto the roof of those little parking structures that some apartment buildings have and running on top of them and hanging from the electrical wires suspended above them, playing house in the street (complete with dolls, blankets, what have you), hanging upside down from tall trees, just to name a few. I had absolutely no fear or common sense.

Time-outs, hah! Yeah, I had the worst time sitting still but the second I was out of that chair or corner, watch out! I never learned a thing from them. Being kept inside the house and away from my friends for a day or two killed me sometimes but I would be thinking of all the things we’d do when I would be able to go back outside. Spanking–and sometimes just the threat of a spanking itself–was the one thing that COULD keep me in line, not because it hurt (my mom only hit hard enough to make us feel it a little), but because I knew somehow that I’d done something truly dangerous and stupid, and that thought would scare me a little.

Of course, by the time I hit middle school, I suddenly found that I would get dizzy whenever I tried to look down from even a third-story building. So I guess my mom could’ve just held off on the spanking and waited for my fear of heights (and of very fast things) to develop and I would’ve learned how to be careful on my own, but that’s quite a few years in between and who’s to say I would’ve been lucky enough to still be here today.

JM on

i can’t believe that most sane human beings can agree that domestic violence between a man and a woman is wrong and yet several will happily declare that they spank their child.

really? you’re a big man/woman aren’t you? so grown-up, so mature, such a great role model. and anyone with half a brain cell knows that anecdotal evidence with these issues means nothing. saying ‘i was spanked and it didn’t do me any harm’ is totally irrelevant and makes you sound stupid. there are reasons proper studies are done about these kinds of things. you know, with real evidence. and countless studies show that there can be serious repercussions of spanking children.

you love your child? then don’t hit it. it’s that simple. anything else, you’re just kidding yourself, and you’re a poor and lazy parent.

Cinthya on

Oh Sallie I’m right there with you.I’m dealing with that same stage where they can’t efieftcvely communicate, have realized that they don’t always want to obey, and also definitely have a will of steel child who will laugh at your face when she’s spanked HARD after she’s told not to reach for knives in the dishwasher and does it anyway.Sallie, I so wish I had the same answers you are looking for. I’m looking forward to being able to understand what she’s trying to communicate; I think it will eliminate half our problems. I’m stumped for what to do with this age.I’ve exhausted all the tools in my tool box, similar to Zan. I believe spanking to be within biblical parameters, but only as a last resort, which we’ve visited with absolutely no positive results. I’m actually a little glad that that method was not a keeper for us. I don’t want to allow myself that outlet and use it to justify myself when I’m frustrated. How am I to teach my daughter how to constructively express her emotions when I fail to do it properly?. But frankly, I was very annoyed today when, after hearing me say that spanking does not work with my child, was asked if I had tried a wooden spoon or strap!!! Frankly, I have no stomach for doing that to a child when I have no assurance that they understood what they were asked to do in the first place or what the offense is that they are being punished for.I was never a fan of the counting method. But when I was doing a Bible Study recently, I was astonished to see how often God gives warnings to us, and I began to wonder how I could offer less grace to my child than He does to me.Throughout the entire Bible, we see Him tell His people where they have wandered (used their free will poorly) even when they already knew the correct course of action, warn them that if they don’t change their ways there will be consequences for their choice to continue to follow their own selfish ways instead of responding to His directives. Using His example, I think it’s quite appropriate to give our child the warning (whether verbally or by counting ) to straighten up or there will be unpleasant results.I, too, have misgiving’s about using the Gospel as a means of justifying spanking as biblical (not to say it isn’t). When I look at the Gospel from the Father’s heart, I see a God who took the sin and it’s consequences upon Himself to spare His children.I’ve enjoyed How To Make Children Mind Without Losing Yours and while it offers some great, realistic advice, it’s not easily implemented with a toddler. I just bought Grace Based Parenting and am looking forward to that. I would like a method to take all the guess work out of it for me, but am wondering if God just wants to keep my on my knees in this area!