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07/02/2012 at 12:00 PM ET

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Showing 9 comments

mary on

I can count on one hand in the last 20+ years that I have spanked, we have four children. I am more of a talker and I will admit to yelling though. I would like to think my kids are good people with no mental illness at least not showing now! On that note, I was spanked a few times a child or as a teen I remember being slapped across the face once or twice. But I turned out just fine. I am a good citizen that does a lot of volunteer work in my community my kids do give back too. I think this research is a bit flawed!

Holiday on

I am not a perfect mommy, no one is perfect. But… I have NEVER once smacked my 6 year old or 2 year old and I NEVER will. I love and respect them way to much to hit them. Just as I do not hit my husband when he does something I dont agree with, I do not hit my children either.

JM on

I have 5 children, have not once EVER physically abused, sorry, i meant spanked, them. and i was never ever spanked either, nor was my brother.

Bad parents are ones who have no greater parenting skills than resorting to physical violence. if you disagree with hitting your partner, friends, strangers how the HELL can you justify spanking your own innocent little child? a person smaller than you who still has a lot to learn about the world, and SHOULD learn it from its parents. spanking is the coward parent’s solution.

Emily on

I don’t like how the headline is phrased that parents “admit” to spanking, as though they are ashamed. For some parents it’s an effective and strategic form of discipline and correction, not flying off the handle and beating their kid. There’s a difference.

Rachel on

The new study of spanking being linked to mental illness is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. First, if 70-90% of parents spank (which is likely true) then a whole lot more people would be mentally ill. The FACT is ABUSE leads to mental illness and parents who ABUSE their children would like us all to believe they’re JUST spanking them. I was spanked (though I can count on my hands the number of times), so were my siblings and many of my friends. We were spanked for big things (not little daily things) and honestly I never remember it hurting anything other than my feelings.

JM on

interesting that adults still find the concept that anecdotal evidence is not ACTUAL evidence, so hard to grasp. a very basic understanding of the world should equip you with such knowledge. so all this business of ‘i was spanked and everything is hunky dory for me’ means nothing.

fact of the matter is that there are countless studies (you know, REAL evidence kind of stuff) that not only prove the negative effects of spanking, but which demonstrate that it is actually ineffective. especially when compared with other forms of discipline.

spanking IS abuse. and it IS something to be ashamed of. i would be ashamed if i had to admit that i am not a good enough parent to find another way to get through to my child.

Rachel on

JM — If you read any of the studies, there really isn’t real evidence. None. All of the studies have flaws, the biggest of which is the definition of spanking. There’s also the fact that none of the studies list background home information or list any other types of punishments used (perhaps they also use time out or lock their kids in their rooms – those could also be considered abuse depending on how they’re used). Fact is, I work with children every single day and I know that some of their parents have probably never laid a finger on them, they’re still horribly abused and many of them are raving brats. I’d rather give my child a simple swat on the behind once in a blue moon than send them to a corner 50 times a day or scream my bloody head of all the time.

JM on

Rachel you’re missing the point. the fact is that spanking is an ineffective form of punishment, when some parents seem to think it is the holy grail, that it is more effective than any other kind and this simply is not true.

i wonder, how do i manage with 5 children, i don’t send them into the corner 50 times a day, lock them in their room, or scream at them AND i don’t spank them? because i don’t believe in beating anyone. i am a better mother than that. it is beyond me how anyone could physically want to hurt their child. why bother even having children if you can’t come up with a less violent way to discipline them? really it is not that hard!

my children are extremely well behaved both at home and at school and we have never had any complaints from anyone about their behaviour. spanking, beating, abusing, parents pick the term that will make them feel the least guilty, fact is, you have chosen to hurt your child, that to me, is sad.

Rachel on

Jm — I’m not missing the point at all. I’m not aruging with you about your form on discipline. You’ve pretty much made it clear that you’re the perfect parent (that’s awesome for you and your child). What I’m arguing is your assertion that that there is anecdotal and/or scientific evidence that says spanking is not effective and/or has negative effects, because this isn’t true. Period. (not saying it’s never happened to any child ever… I’m saying that evidence doesn’t exist without flaw anymore than me saying that my experience with children has taught me that time outs and talking calmly to children doesn’t work ever.)

I’m also not saying that spanking is great or that every parent should spank (I believe quite the opposite). I’m saying that if you can pull out the “anecdotal” evidence card, then so can I because there is tons of anecdotal evidence to the contrary (the TONS and TONS of individuals who grew up having been spanked and turned out just fine and have no qualms spanking their own kids) that suggest spanking does no long term or even short term damage.

The fact is, I didn’t come on here to argue with you, I’m arguing with the study. These studies do not take into account other issues these children or individuals may have. They don’t take into account that they may actually be physically abused or have mental issues in their history.

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