West Oneonta, NY
Number of kids: 3
Ages of kids: 12, 21, 25
The following is a concern I have about parenting in the 90's. I work with parents who need to improve their parenting skills. Today, we tell parents not to use physical punishment with their kids. We encourage alternate ways of handling discipline problems such as the use of time out, taking away privileges, etc. However, it really appears to me that kids who occasionally receive a few hard swats on the behind are better behaved and easier to manage than the kids whose parents do not do this. It seems that when other forms of punishment are used, it takes a lot of the parents time and effort, and arguing. I don't think kids should be afraid of their parents. But, it seems to me that children who know that there is the possibility of experiencing real pain are more likely to manage their behavior appropriately in an effort to avoid the pain. Kids who receive a "time out" seem to be doing the same misdeed over and over again. I know that there is a fine line between a spanking and outright abuse, and protecting children from abuse is very important.
I would like some opinions and examples from other parents.
Response Posted by "Simlife": I was spanked as a child and I hated it and my parents for doing it. My father did most of the spanking, with a belt most times and even a hair brush. All I remember was a man who was furious about something, the tone of voice I used, something, and him wailing on my behind and upper legs with a belt. All that it taught me was to be terrified of my parents. I spent as little time with them as I could for fear I might do something to make them mad. When I had my daughter I slapped her hand and told her "No" when she was two or so, and then she got to five or so I spanked her bottom with my hand only. The feelings it brought back were terrible for me. I couldn't believe the feelings of anguish and resentment they brought back. Yes I know they say a parent should not spank when you are angry, it should wait until you have calmed down. But... if you spank sometime or another you are going to spank too much, or to hard and feel bad about it yourself. I remember being told this hurts me as much as it hurts you; bunk! If it did hurt the adult as much then they would stop.
Just my thoughts, Simlife
Response Posted by Bev from Beaufort, SC: Out of the many families I know, I know of 3 families who do not spank their kids. They use time out and the corner for the most part. Out of all the families I know, these three families have the most misbehaved children I know. I think we need to use all kinds of discipline actions, not just spanking, time out, or the corner. Not every child is the same. What works on one child does not necessarily work on another. Personally, I do spank my kids when it is needed, and I do not think it is abusive in anyway. There is a big difference between beating and spanking your child. We all try to raise our children in the way we think is right. People who try to teach their kids respect often get bad-mouthed and/or in trouble for spanking their kids. Yet, as those same kids grow to become teenagers we as parents, are held responsible for their actions. If they don't go to school you can go to jail, and so on and so forth. I think it is a double standard. We should each do what we think is best for our children and not tell other people how to raise there children!
Response Posted by Chowski from Manchester, NH: I have 2 kids ages 5 years old and 7 months old. in my opinion I think that spanking is okay to a point. I think that you have to have some discipline. I very rarely spank my 5 year old, only if he does something that is real bad, but I don't spank my kid if he wets the bed by accident or if he doesn't clean his room, I don't think that is what it is meant for. I guess today spanking a child is a hard subject to discuss as everyone has their own opinions on it. But I believe that it is needed sometimes but it is also important that you show you child that you love them and why you did it. If my child is going to take a tantrum in a store or in public, talking to him and telling him to stop is not going to work, sometimes it takes a spanking to make him realize that you are not going to take it. I believe that it is needed in some cases, and I don't think that it should be considered Child Abuse.
Another updated response posted by "Simlife": Simlife again, I read the other two posts under spanking and had to comment. My parents thought they were doing the right thing also. Spare the rod spoil the child, they really believed in what the Bible taught and followed what it taught. They didn't think they did anything wrong. As far as the kids who get spanked being better behaved, yeah I know of a lot families who spanked their kids and they were well behaved because they were scared of their parents. They will tell the same thing, they were scared. That's what I have learned over the years.
Another response posted by "^MAMA^":To Spank or Not to Spank...that is the question here. In response to simlife's parents who thought that they were following the Biblical perspective, may I opinionate:) Scripture says: Spare the Rod and Spoil the child...that is perfect. The rod was a "tool" used by shepherds to help GUIDE their sheep, not beat it, but tap it into place. Sheep are stubborn as I can assure you are most children. Take heed...the Rod is not a big stick to beat the sheep...it is for Guidance:)
Thanks for listening... from a loving mother of 2, almost 3!
Another response posted by "Pages" from Ontario, CAN: I was a little surprised when I read the previous comments about spanking, but respect everyone's right to their own opinions. I have never spanked my children, and contrary to what some may think would result, they are very well behaved, delightful young adolescents. Their teachers and friend's parents have frequently commented over the years upon how well behaved they all are, actually, so this is not only my own, prejudiced, observation.
Another updated response posted by "Simlife": Each religious group has their own doctrine and church rules to follow. I just stated what my parents were taught about spare the rod etc.. Rod in our church meant rod. I am sure it does in a lot of other churches also. What I was trying to get across is when spanking a child when angry, too many spanks can be applied to a child's backside, especially when the spanker is angry!!! Don't tell me it never happens!!! Simlife
Another response posted by Trish from Bryan, TX: I rarely spank. On occasion it needs to be done. My children are very well behaved. We constantly get compliments on how responsible and well mannered they are. I agree with they mother who used the analogy that the rod was for guidance. The paddle is used for guidance. I can count the number of times I have had to use it on each child one hand. (about 4 times a piece) They know they will face consequences for blatant misbehavior. Usually the mere threat of the paddle creates a direct improvement in behavior. I have never beaten or injured my boys. I was spanked as a child and I thank my parents for their discipline. I know one day my boys will thank us too. TRISH :>)
Another updated response posted by Bev from Beaufort, SC: Everyone has their own opinions on this subject. I feel very strongly about this topic! I keep hearing children should not fear there parents. Now when I was growing up we all feared not really our parents, but getting in trouble for something we had done, so we tried to stay out of trouble. Kids don't need to fear the parents, but they need have a fear of "getting in trouble" whether that be getting time out, being grounded, or yes even getting a swat on the tail, etc. As they grow up they will have to have to follow rules. Say, for instance, you are speeding and you see a cop. Fear shoots though your heart not because he spanked you, but because you might get in trouble (a ticket). This is all I am saying. We all have to do what each parent thinks is best for their child, and teach them to have respect and to follow rules. This is life! We shouldn't pass judgement on each other, after all we all are trying to do what is best in our minds for our children.
Another response posted by Beth from Dayton, OH: I feel that spanking is one of many tools to be used to discipline. Many times other methods work just fine. But there are some times when a child refuses to listen after repeated warnings and time outs, etc., do not work. Then I feel that a spanking can be used if warranted. I would rather my child have a sore bottom that will go away in a few minutes rather than being out of control. It is up to every parent to decide if spanking is part of their many tools to be used. Many kids respond well to other methods, but some need a spanking to get the message.
Another response posted by "WarWraith" from NSW, Australia: Well, time for my lil ol' opinion. I can understand why Simlife, has his opinion of his parents and spanking, as I had a similar upbringing. I remember being spanked in anger. I have since had some major discussions with my parents (particularly my father), and much forgiveness was both asked and given.
So...how do I feel about spanking ? Well, being new parents it's something that Tan (aka treny) and I have discussed for future reference. In spite of being spanked in anger, I was also spanked many times without anger, and totally deserving of the punishment. Sometimes there is a time and occasion for a good hard smack on the bottom (not yet for us though). But we both feel that it will be a last resort, and part of an overall discipline strategy (nice tautology eh?).
Also, as a few people have mentioned, many children who aren't spanked often seem to misbehave more often than children who are, but from what I've seen, the spanking pendulum can also swing too far the other way, and the child who is smacked for every little thing can become a bully, or just totally unmanageable.
That's my two bits :-)
Another response posted by "T-Man" from Texas: I normally don't respond to "polls" such as this but for some reason I feel a need to respond to this one. I am a spanking parent and a firm believer in the spanking process. And when we speak of spanking..we aren't talking about beating, abusing, cursing,or degrading the child. Spankings should be given to correct something in which the child already KNOWS is wrong but "chooses" to do anyway! I am afraid we sometimes spank before we teach right from wrong...and that can be confusing to a child. Spanking needs to be applied in a manner in which it catches the child's attention. If you can do that by spanking with your hands...great. If it takes something more....then so be it. I also often hear people talk about how spankings as a child made them angry toward their parents and how they don't want their kids to feel the same way about them. Well as a child I got my share of spankings, in some ways that I didn t agree with, but more than the spankings I got, what I got most of all was LOVE. For spanking without love is simply ABUSE!!! And it is because of that love I received and felt from my parents that made me realize that they truly cared about me. But they also were quick to praise me for things I did well. I sometimes think we are quick to discipline, by spanking, time-out, etc when our kids are bad,but when our children are doing good things...the "little" good things, like NOT fighting with siblings or when they do make up the beds, etc...we EXPECT them to do that and not APPRECIATE them for doing it. Simply put...sometimes the only way for our kids get attention is to be disciplined! Also when spanking...I feel its important to spank to solve the problem...don't get angry with the child but only with what the child does/does not do. After you spank, sometimes ask your child why they got spanked, then you will know if they got the true reason for the spanking and how they think you feel about them. If the reason "received" is not the one you intended...then there is the proper time to let them know the "intended" reason and that you love them. Well I could go on...but I think I have been on my soap box long enough!!! Oh yes...for those of you wondering...I spank the 16 month old also!
Another response posted by "Bobh" from PA: I have been reading the postings on spanking, and finally had to put in my two cents. I would start by making it very clear that I donít think that only bad parents spank their kids, nor do I think that spanking makes a person a bad parent. In fact some of my favorite parents, who I think do a wonderful job, have spanked their kids. I feel very strongly that a child who is loved, cherished, respected and has adults in his life who set a good example, will probably do well in life regardless.
As you have probably figured out by now, I donít believe in spanking, and the reasons are very simple. First of all, I donít think that hitting another human being, even one you have parented, is ever OK, much less a good thing. The only time I can think of outside of a boxing ring where hitting is acceptable would of course be in the case of self defense. Plainly stated, hitting is wrong. There is no other circumstance in our society where it is considered proper to hit someone to get them to conform to your wishes. It just doesnít happen. Wanting to hit someone such as a salesman, school official, or utility company employee, doesnít count by the way. Also, I know there is someone out there saying, "we are not talking about hitting, we are talking about spanking," sorry, by definition it is impossible to spank someone without hitting them. I know that in our society we like our heroes to be two fisted, like Rambo, John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, but hitting still should not be tolerated, especially where a little person is involved.
Secondly, the loving parent who uses spanking as a discipline tool, really doesnít concern me too much. As I stated before, their kids will be fine. Unfortunately there are way too many people in this world who canít draw the line between loving discipline and abuse. With that in mind, it would seem that if society as a whole says spanking is not to be tolerated, there just may be less abused kids out there. I realize I have just crossed the line into wanting legislate how children are raised in the home, but the issue is just too important. If it is against the law to spank a child, some parents may never start hitting and somewhere, somehow, some kid may not be beaten to death. If the rest of us have to find a different form of discipline for this to happen, it is well worth it.
Lastly, I would be amiss if I didnít discuss parenting techniques that I DO use. Yes, I use the much ridiculed, time out. I donít however think of time out as a punishment, I think of it as a chance for the little person to go off and collect herself, get under control, and then rejoin the group, or the family as the case may be. I also am a firm believer that discipline means Ďto teachí not Ďto punish,í and for the most part should be a positive thing. If you follow the rules you earn the right to privileges, if you donít follow the rules, you donít get the privilege. For example, if the homework is done and the toys are put away, you may use the computer before bed, if not, you canít. I know that it isnít always possible, but I have found that giving a reward is more effective than the threat of taking something away. Finally to those who will say that kids who are not disciplined properly (or spanked) will not be well behaved, I point out that I have a very well behaved six year old who has never been spanked. I of course am not foolish enough to take full credit for this, much of it goes to the fact that she is a great kid. I will also point out that she is autistic, and has many ADHD symptoms, and is still in my opinion a very pleasant well behaved little person, again much of the credit goes to her.
Another response posted by Maggie from Beaver, WA: In reading all the above opinions on spanking I am saddened and discouraged. Spanking is hitting. An adult who hits another adult commits a crime -- assault. Why is hitting someone smaller, weaker, and younger than you acceptable? Many people consider spanking *discipline.* However, I believe that discipline comes from within. A person cannot *teach* another person discipline, it is learned, as is parenting. We are not born natural parents, we must learn as we go. I believe that what the children of spankers learn is that it is OK to hit in anger, it is OK to hit someone weaker than yourself, it is OK to hit someone smaller than yourself, and hitting is a good way to solve problems. These are not things I choose to teach my children. I hope they grow up to be patient, self-disciplined adults, and if they do it will be because my husband and I have modeled appropriate adult behavior, not because they behave out of fear for exterior punishments.
I hope my thoughts allow at least 1 person to consider alternatives to physical punishment. There are many, many books available these days to detail what I have just suggested in a nutshell. Our children and their future are literally in our hands.
Another response posted by Satindoll from Brownsburg, IN: Now I have to give my opinion on Spanking vs. not spanking!!!!! First of all I think a lot of people get spanking and beating/abuse mixed up. I know with myself when I spank my kids it is out of love, not anger. If my kids do something that makes me anger I simple leave the room till I have got it out of system, I don't spank my kids when I'm angry.
Secondly, I was spanked as a child and I love and respect my parents very much. Now I'm not saying that I only use spanking as a form of discipline, I also do the time outs, the award system, but I personally feel that there are just times that nothing else is going to work other then a spanking. I love my children very much and my kids know that, they don't fear me cause I spank. Well that's about all I have to say, everyone has their own opinions, I just wanted to share mine.
Another response posted by "K" from Boulder, CO: I am really disappointed to read the opinions of all those who are in favor of spanking. I just shudder when other parents say "I was spanked as a child, and I thank my parents." I don't see much difference between that and battered women who feel they deserve to be beaten. It makes me sick. Lots of people have said there is a difference between being spanked and beaten. What, exactly is this difference? Is it the velocity of your hand/belt/hairbrush/etc... as it hits your child's backside? Or is it the place on the child's body you're actually hitting? Or is it the number of times you actually hit? In my opinion, spanking is a "nice" word people give to a violent practice. I believe that spanking is a stupid, lazy response to children's misbehaving. I have three children who are extremely well behaved, polite and kind. My husband and I are committed to non-violent child-rearing. Sure, it takes more time and effort, but its well worth it. Our children do not fear us and our household is peaceful. I would love it if the cowardly practice of spanking were outlawed. By the way, if all the people who think they're following the Bible's instructions by hitting their children were true scholars of the Bible, they would know that a rod is a LAW, not a stick to hit children with.
Another response posted by "Ellie": MAMA had a beautiful post earlier, the rod is for guidance!!! Good luck to all of you, parenting is such a hard job, with no easy answers, but if children learn by example, what does spanking show?? TAKE CARE ALL!!:)
Another response posted by "SatinDoll": Me again, had to give speak up after reading some of the other opinions. Like I said in my last comment, there is a big difference in spanking and beating. Spanking is down out of love, beating is done out of anger.
My home is a very loving home. My kids HAVE to kiss their dad or myself whenever we leave the house and before they go to bed at night. I could not count how many times I tell my children I love, and in turn my children tell me the same. My absolutely DO NOT fear me and I wouldn't want them to, but I will not allow my children to get away with stuff they know they shouldn't be doing. Well that's about all I have to say, thanks!
Another response posted by Judy: Kids Learn By Example.
he ultimate goal of any discipline method is to teach children self control. Not control by others, or outside rules or authority. Self control is governed by inner controls like conscience, morals, and a sense of right and wrong. So when the kids are teenagers and the outside controls are absent, those with self control will still behave in a respectful, law abiding manner. Children are not born with self control. Babies come in the world very egocentric. As children, they have to learn self control. So how can a parent teach a child self control, when they respond to a child's misbehaviour in such an "out of control" manner: corporal punishment. If parents have no self control when they are angry, and yes, most parents spank out of anger and frustration, how can they ever hope to teach a child self control. If parents hit their children when they are calm and collected, then they certainly have the opportunity to use different, non-violent methods of discipline.
I am a parent educator. I have 4 children, all with different personalities and different levels of willfulness. I have never spanked any, only because I take the enormous amount of time, effort and willpower it takes to resolve my own anger in non-violent ways. My children deserve no less. I discipline my children CONSISTENTLY and have received many compliments on how well behaved they are. So much so, that I would like to get them T-shirts proclaiming that they were never spanked.Our relationship is based on respect, not fear. I feel good about my discipline choices and never have to feel guilty for a hit that may have been too hard.
You can easily tell the kids who are hit by their parents. They show much greater aggressive tendencies as they are taught that violence is one way to solve problems. Who teaches them? Parents! I am working hard to lobby our government and make corporal punishment illegal. This has been in place in Sweden since 1979 and their incidence of child abuse has gone way down.
Another response posted by Regan: Why are parents STILL hitting children in this day and age?How can parents even THINK that to violate their precious child's body is a 'loving' thing to do?? Why do parents feel it is okay to hurt their child and make them cry? It is very sick.
Not too long ago, husbands could hit their wives and it was alright. Husbands claimed they were just 'disciplining' their wives for their 'own good' (this is disgusting). Thank God the law finally realized that WOMEN ARE PEOPLE TOO deserving of the right to bodily integrity. Now if a husband even threatens to hit his wife she has the protection of the law. As of now in this 'wonderful' country, children can be hurt by their parents and it is socially acceptable and there is barely any protection for our most defenseless our most PRECIOUS little people. According to the law a parent can legally strike the body of his child and it's perfectly legal as long as the parent does not leave any bruises. This is nauseating. A spanking does not have to physically scar a child for the child to suffer immensely from it. It is the damage done to the insides - the heart and soul and spirit of a child that is most heartbreaking. Because a child may not show his feelings or tell you what he feels deep inside (hey he just might get hit!) this is totally abusive to do this to another person. Spankers think making sure they tell their child they love them and they are doing it for their own good, their child will not suffer any emotional damage. I know it doesn't work-I was that child once.
I kept the hurt, the injustice and emotional pain I felt deep inside me out of fear. I knew that if I went to my parents to tell that their spankings (done 'lovingly' - gag) were destroying me inside they would most likely misunderstand my feelings for 'defiance' and I would get hit again.
I grew up very resentful, very angry, feeling very unloved. Of course, I kept those feelings deep inside and outwardly I was a very 'good kid' so 'well-behaved' they all said. I had parents who spanked out of love. Their type of 'love' I am still trying to overcome to this day. Please parents think real hard next time you go to raise your hand and strike the most precious person in your life-the emotional damage you may just be inflicting to their little hearts and souls with every 'loving' spanking is a very real possibility.
Is it worth it to possibly risk damaging your child's emotional health just so you can take your frustration and inner aggression out on their little fragile bodies? I don't believe a parent can spank totally calm with no anger whatsoever. To strike someone involves a violent and aggressive act (raising your hand and crashing it down onto a much smaller body-there is a word for people who hit smaller weaker people-BULLY) and cannot possibly be done without some anger and/or frustration. People have really deluded themselves if they argue this.
BTW, I have a wonderful beautiful almost two year old son who has NEVER been hit, swatted, slapped, or spanked and NEVER WILL. Guess what? I've never met a happier kid. He already says please and thank you and has NEVER thrown a tantrum and is very loving and non-aggressive towards us and others. He is being raised in a violence free home and even thinking of hitting him really sets me on edge. I can't do it-I can't possibly hurt my son like that. It is SOOOO unnecessary. If parents really apply themselves and WANT to raise their child without having to hit them (and what loving parent wouldn't?) let me tell you this- IT CAN BE DONE! IT REALLY CAN! There is a world of info and advice and SUPPORT for parents out there who really want to be the best parents they can be - obviously resorting to hitting is not giving our children our best-doesn't it sound like the right thing to do? AREN'T our most precious gifts worth it??????????????
Another response posted by KellyD from Perth, AUS: I'm a "combination " mum. I find that the punishment must suit the crime and start with time out through to spanking. I have found that each of my children has responded to different methods and must be treated as individuals but a smack when a child has been deliberately disobedient or outright naughty and knows it, has neither made my children rebellious or frightened of us. Yes, I remember when my Father smacked me as a child but I also remember some of the things that I did to deserve them and now that I'm a very loving Mum I would react in the same way. My children are not beaten but are made to understand that there are things in our world that will not be tolerated and I hope that later they will respect my decision to act this way. When my babies go into the world as adults I hope they realize that the respect they have learned for others as children will be carried through, and authority figures are to be listened to and not ignored. With every smack my heart breaks just a little but I know if I do half the job my parents have done with their children then I have raised people that I can be proud of.
Another response posted by Julia from Christ Church, South Island, New Zealand: I only find spanking acceptable if it is a light smack on the hand, I think a lot of people do go overboard and let rage fly when hitting children. I feel that a light smack shows that a child is going too far. My nephew gets a smack on his hand when he decides to hit his nana. If he does not stop then he gets 1 light smack on the hand and then he understands not to hurt people. My father was the punishment person when I was young and I didn't like the threat of wait till your father gets home and the wooden stick hanging on the wall as your threat and sometimes punishment. I know that used to work with us but I think that went too far. Too have an aching bottom for a few days does not make the crime you paid for easy. There are better ways to teach when a child can understand.
Another response posted by KAS from Ottawa, ONT: Why do I doubt what 3 people have said so far: That spanking is really an expression of their love?
Another response posted by Kinneret from Edmonton, Alberta, CAN: I couldn't sit back any longer. I stand up and applaud all of you non-spanking parents, and throw my hat off to those of you who are honest enough to aggressively state your opinion!! Puhlease, spanking out of love, I could just vomit. I know several of the posts made some of the points I am about too, but the more times we say it the better!! SPANKING IS HITTING!! There is no way around a smack, a tap, swat, spank, all are a method of putting your hand/brush/paddle,etc to your precious child's body, and by the way, of hurting them!! How could a parent possibly justify in any way, hurting the person they created. Oh, by the way, criminals are PUNISHED, not our children, I really think the terminology we use with our kids is important to, WE talk about consequences as opposed to punishments. I had to laugh at the insanity in the one post, of how the mother smacks her child's' hand to stop him from hitting his grandmother, yeah that ought to get the message across loud and clear!! Hitting to teach that hitting is wrong, HELLO..how does that make sense. Its the ole letting kids know how much it hurts by hurting them!! I also must comment on the issue people keep bringing up, about the kids who misbehave verses those who don't. I really don't think that it has too do with the not spanking My 3 girls have never been hit in any way, yet my middle one is quite aggressive, is known to haul off and slug someone if she is totally frustrated or tired or angry. Yet she has been raised in a non-violent, loving, supportive home with a stay- at-home mom, involved dad, family-bedded, breast-fed as a toddler, maybe it is a inborn personality trait. I don't think it's fair for "spanking" parents to use that misbehaving child crap to justify their terrible HITTING (yup, it is hitting!) practices. I am not ashamed to be vocal, so spankers, come at me with your best shot (out of love of course!!) but nothing will ever convince me that hitting to teach your child of their inappropiate/wrong actions has a place in a loving home. The post a the start that said all other methods take so much time and effort, well, duh, isn't that what being a parent is about!! Any like minded parents are welcome to write me, we are always on the look-out for new gentle methods for improving behavior! Kinneret
Another response posted by Angela from Atlanta, GA: Okay, all of you parents out there who are so adamant about not spanking your children, that they are so well behaved, and how could anyone do that to a child? Got several scenarios for you. What happens when the family is in McDonalds, the child gets mad because the parent won't buy him 2 desserts, so he screams, "I hate you!" and throws a coke in your face in the middle of McDonalds. Time out won't work. Saying "no TV" won't work - the kid isn't thinking about TV, and with no TV, there is always books. There is no immediate punishment for that situation. A spanking is appropriate for that!!!! What about a 6 year old that screams to get attention in a fancy restaurant, and all the parents do is say lamely, "we appreciate your lovely vocals, now stop that or you will do a timeout. " Like where, in the middle of a fancy restaurant? I don't think so. These parents are lame wimps. I don't think spanking needs to be done all the time, but there are times when timeout is useless, folks, and if you don't know that, then maybe you need to share your secrets. What happens when a child is put in timeout, and he or she hits themselves the whole time? The point of timeout is for them to be deprived of attention, so you ignore them. They continue hitting themselves. If you say "no TV, stay in your room for an hour" they don't care!!!! They'll read a book, make up a play, hit themselves - bottom line is these are lame punishments! So, all of you "my kids are so well behaved" - I invite you to give your opinion on the above scenarios.
Another response posted by AJ from Bowling Green, KY: As with religion, politics, life decisions, and parenting, there are conservative and liberal views. Then there are moderate conservatives and liberals; and there are extreme conservatives and liberals and all are complicated paths to chose. I myself am a conservative liberal(if there is such a category). I was raised in a home where if you stepped over the line you were punished accordingly. If that meant physical punishment, then you must have deserved it. As I look back now, we did deserve it! I have no ill feelings towards my parents, just respect for the fact that they cared enough to make sure that we understood that we were in the wrong.
As many of you have said, spanking is not for every situation, and I agree; but I also agree that there are situations that do require more than the conservative trials.
In a day and time that seems to allow most crimes to go seemingly unpunished I worry that we are sending the wrong message to our children. The message seems to be that,,, don't worry Johnny, we know your sorry and it's o.k. NOT!!!!
Another response posted by Safe4U from Humble, TX: I am amazed by how many parents still think spanking is needed. I have an 11 yr. old son that is well behaved, and has never been spanked. I was not spanked as a child, and I too am well behaved! I think parents fail to realize that even in public places, there are better ways to deal with a stubborn, misbehaving child. You escort them to the bathroom, or outside, but you don't spank them, and add humiliation, and fear to the already existing problem. You talk about the rules before going somewhere, and the behavior you expect. Parents who use time outs often are not consistent, and are still allowing children to control them. There is a right way and a wrong way to do "time outs". Well meaning parents are correct in using them for discipline, but still allow their children to have the control, and they learn manipulation at an early age. It takes a lot of work to use non-spanking methods to discipline, but I guarantee it can be done! And my son is a very high spirited kid! Spanking is the easy way, not the right way. Parents who complain, that time outs don't work, are probably the same type that can't keep their kids in a safety seat in the car! Setting limits, feeling comfortable telling your child "No", and sticking to your rules consistently is needed, and definitely hard at times. No one said parenting was easy. But spanking is meeting the parents need, not the child's. So it's not even an issue to consider in my opinion. Parents are supposed to have the intellect and creativity to discipline without violence. You have to know that you are simply teaching your kids it's okay to spank others, so don't be surprised if they become the bullies, or the rebellious teens. That's what you are asking for if you resort to spanking each time your child misbehaves. They do after all look to you to be their role models.
Sorry, but I have little tolerance, and no respect for those who use spanking on little people. This does not teach respect, nor effective problem solving techniques to kids. Quite the opposite. I've worked around kids all my life, and have rarely had problems keeping children in line. It's a matter of choice. Make the right one!
Another response posted by "Flame" from North Island, New Zealand: I am a parent who has used spanking as a form of discipline when I felt it was appropriate. As a child my father would smack my sister and I around the legs using his hand or a ruler. At the time it would sting but I think it was our pride that was hurt the most. I don't feel it did us any harm and probably we deserved the punishment.
Recently I spoke to my teenage children about this topic and they all said a smack was an instant reprimand and they preferred it to other forms of discipline. Some children you can reason with and get the desired reaction - others are very strong willed and require a firmer form of discipline. Hopefully most parents know the difference between a caring smack and a brutal hiding.
Another response from Jeff B. from Pittsburgh, PA: I have followed the spanking debate for years, and I have reached the following conclusions:
1. In a close-knit, loving family, spanking can be an effective parenting tool. But there has to be a bond of love so strong that the child feels loved even when spanked.
2. In a close-knit, loving family, other means of discipline can work just as well or better.
3. In a dysfunctional family, spanking is harmful. Without that bond of love, it's violence and abuse, and it teaches violence and abuse.
4. Dysfunctional families are much more likely to resort to spanking.
I have heard anecdotes of parents who have straightened out problem children by resorting to spanking. I suspect that the essential bond of love was there before the problems began. I'm all for what works, but I think such cases will be more the exception than the rule.
The big danger of spanking remains that it is sexually stimulating. Too much spanking can turn a child into a kinky fetishist who gets off on getting or receiving spankings. I've known people like that, and that's usually how they get started. Run a net search for "Spanking" and check out some of the adult sites and you'll see what I mean.
Another response from Michael E. from Denver, CO: I have a son, 13, and a daughter, 11. My wife and I believe that there are times when both of them should be spanked. It seems that a common theme of this discussion is that a "time out" is better than a spanking.
Well, we use time outs too. When one of our children misbehaves at the dinner table, they are given a time-out. However, in more severe circumstances, a spanking is necessary. When the behavior is not immediately dangerous, but just obnoxious, a time-out will do. However, when the behavior is dangerous, the child should be spanked.
Our son damaged a house playing baseball. This is a severe circumstance, so we gave him a spanking. Not too long ago, our 11 year old daughter came home late. When a child breaks curfew, parents worry. This is not a situation where you can say, "Sit in the corner for 5 minutes." This is a serious infraction, which she deliberately disobeyed. When she arrived home 30 minutes late, she received a spanking from both of us.
For each situation, there is a suitable punishment. Spanking is one of those.
Another response from Molly from St. Paul, MN:
I would like to put in my two cents worth on the spanking debate. My husband and I parent four children and feel VERY strongly about spanking (and other forms of punishment that are critiqued for the same reason as we criticize spanking).
Where has this gotten the world? How will a child learn how to get along with others who don't share their view or, truly, are "misbehaving?" I'll just throw this into the mix. Best of luck to all of you who have the hardest job in the world!
Another response from Wendy:
I am so
surprised to read about how many people actually spank their kids when they
have a temper tantrum. Think about it, it you were a child just learning
all about life and how to deal with your emotions and some huge person
slapped you, would it make you think "oh, I better not do that again". NO,
it would teach you that to hit is a resolution to a problem and that big
people can pick on little people using physical force. I for one, do not
want my child to be afraid of me which is why I never hit him.
Hitting is the easy way out of finding a solution to a sometimes seemingly endless problem. I find that getting down on his level, after he's had the chance to scream it out (usually 30 seconds) and holding him and talking to him is always helpful. It teaches him that it's alright for him to get angry because it is a normal behaviour. It's what we do with our anger that needs to be addressed. We have told our son that he can't hit, he can tickle us, he loves that. Also, if he really wants to hit, he can hit a pillow.
Please think about finding creative ways to divert your childs attention rather than hitting. We need to raise compassionate, caring, non-violent children.
Another response from Dar from Kent, WA: I believe spanking is necessary in the development and the raising of a child. It is impossible to reason with a two year old. When a child is throwing a temper tantrum on the floor of the supermarket, giving them a swat on the behind will be more effective than trying to reason with them. As said by many others previously, spanking is not abuse. As a parent, you need to know you strength and know the line between abuse and discipline, and never cross over the line into abuse. I was spanked as a child, and I feel it is healthy to have an amount of fear of your parents in that sense. Now a days, too many parents are being parented by their children. It is important to keep control of your children because it is necessary to have in the teenage years. A close friend of the family was never spanked or disciplined in anyway and she feels today, that her family didn't care or love her enough to take the time and do it. She never learned that her actions result in consequences. Take time and show your children that they are loved enough for you to take time to discipline them. Spanking shouldn't be used all the time, that would take the effectiveness and seriousness away from it. However, when my two year old decides she is going to run into the street when a car is coming, she will get a swat on the behind, not a talking to that she can't possibly understand. She will not, however, forget that spanking and will think again before running into the street. Think of how we want our children to be at 21 and 25 years old, and start now.
Another response from Criminal Justice/Psych. major, from Binghamton, NY: Once again the debate over spanking arises. I am a college student and I am currently working on a paper about the controversies of spanking. The amount of information I have discovered to date related to the issue of spanking is unbelievable. I do not have a set opinion on this issue because I have not heard or read enough of both sides and I feel it is only fair if I learn what all of the arguments are. I will say this: The problem with this debate is that the definition of spanking is not the same to all of us. Do we mean a little swat on the butt or do we mean bending them over and really giving it to our children? I have swatted my children on the butt more than once, but I would never put them over my knee and pound on them like they were an animal. I truly believe that if we respect our children and listen to them, they will respect us in return. Parenthood is not an easy job, but if we as parents are consistent with our discipline then I feel that our!
children will respect us more. Consistency is the big word. My father gets upset with my parenting style because I use the famous counting method..1..2..3!!! If my child is not listening to me by the time I count to 3 then they will get a "time out." But again, a time out is not effective unless there is consistency and a "time in." My father thinks that I should spank the first time my children don't listen, but I feel that everyone needs a second chance. If anyone has any further input, please e-mail me. I could use it for my paper!!!
Another response from Amanda from North Carolina: I am a mother of three great girls. I am also a 3rd grade teacher, and my husband is an elementary principal. We both believe in spanking, although I was not spanked as a child. I resent my parents for NOT giving me the discipline that I needed. I was never spanked, grounded, or given any form of corrective punishment. I was left to run wild, and do whatever I pleased. Since I am a rather passive person, I didn't choose to do some of the things my friends did, but I did get into some things with them that they were punished for doing. Some of them got spanked, and some of them were grounded. This started when we were about 9 and ended well into our teens. I never once got in trouble. I sometimes felt that I was not loved because they wouldn't punish me.
I want my girls to grow up to be independent, free to be who they are, and not to fear their parents or think they aren't loved. My husband and I only spank as a last resort, or for an act of deliberate defiance. Our children love us, and know that we love them. It's never done in anger, and is never abusive.
Just thought I'd share my opinion!
NEW! Another response posted by EJ from Pueblo, CO: After reading "To Spank or Not to Spank" I just had to put in my 2 cents. First of all, if there is any question concerning what a "rod" is in the Bible, or what you should do with it, please take the time to read Proverbs 23:13-14, and quit spreading misinformation about what the Bible says concerning child rearing. I certianly hope that people will take the time to actually pick up a Bible and READ it when people start making claims of this nature. If you don't know what your talking about, don't pretend that you do!
Secondly, I wish people would wake up & smell the Folgers! Lets compare violent crime stats 20yrs before Dr.Spock and 20yrs after. Or teen pregnacy, or gangs, or out of control kids in general, whatever you want. The root cause for the trouble in our society is out of control kids who grow into out of control adults. Parents are the backbone of this nation, and unless we do something to regain control of this generation of kids we won't be able to climb back up the slippery slope we're currently on.
We've tried it Dr.Spock's way and look where we are. Now it's time to get back to King Solomon's way. Some of you will get it in the morning, but your worth waiting on.
Another response posted by Bry: I was spanked as a child and I spank my children when necessary. And I'm glad that I do. I look at children from other generations and the children I see now and wonder what happend. My children are loved, happy, and well behaved. I couldn't ask for more and neither can they.
NEW! Another response posted by T:Can someone out there tell me why people think it is so wrong to spank a child. I am 37 when I was home if I done something wrong then I got a spanking. It did not hurt me. To me I became a better person all around. Could some also tell me where I can get numbers on people that spank their children and do not spank their children. I would also look up research on people in jail that has and had not been spanked as a child. Someone please help me. This is a research for Social Problems. My professor got very angry at me because I believe in spanking. So please help me out.
NEW! Another response posted by Umi from Selangor, Malaysia:= I do ot believe on spanking children. Chlidren are a gift from god. When i see a parent spanking their child, i feel so miserable. I wish i could ask them "Why you should you spank your child?!".Is the mistake to big to forgive. Why don't they used the other soft way to teach their child. I know how it felt to be spank too. I wish one day I would never lift my hand to spank my child. I know a lot would say "wait till you got your own child", but even before this I've taken care of my youngest brother and sister's but i tried very hard not to spank them. For me spanking just make the situation bad. Now they still repect me even if I don't used spanking on them.
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