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Should parents use spanking as a form of punishment?

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Should parents use spanking as a form of punishment?

  • Yes

    Votes: 3 6.0%
  • No

    Votes: 26 52.0%
  • Yes, under specific circumstances.

    Votes: 10 20.0%
  • It's an individual parent's choice.

    Votes: 11 22.0%

  • Total voters
    50
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Gen

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No. It’s been found to negatively affect kids, both in terms of their development, their behaviour, and their relationship with their parents. I try not to judge parents too hard because I’m not one, but I am definitely anti-spank and don’t really understand how anyone can justify it. Any pros are strongly negated by the cons.
 
Feb 6, 2015
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I think it's up to each parent to decide. I was spanked as a kid and I don't see the problem when it's done properly. Whenever I got spanked I knew what I'd done wrong and then I didn't do it again.

There are levels however. I'm not OK with parents that use any sort of weapon like belts, shoes or whatever else. Spanking should also never become the default punishment every time the kid is naughty but when it's saved for times the kid does something big then I think it's OK.There are other lesser punishments for smaller things before it reaches that level.

This is how it was for me as a kid. It happened very rarely and the shock value more than the pain of the spank made me realise "OK I've really fucked up here"
 
Oct 31, 2011
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Can we call it smacking? Spanking is... entirely different.
I think we're specifically talking about spanking, though, no?
verb: spank; 3rd person present: spanks; past tense: spanked; past participle: spanked; gerund or present participle: spanking
  1. slap with one's open hand or a flat object, especially on the buttocks as a punishment.
    "she was spanked for spilling ink on the carpet"
While smacking is a suggested synonym for spank, smacking to me implies an open hand slap on the face, which I have a different reaction to. Google's dictionary also uses the face in their examples.
verb: smack; 3rd person present: smacks; past tense: smacked; past participle: smacked; gerund or present participle: smacking
  1. strike (someone or something), typically with the palm of the hand and as a punishment.
    "Jessica smacked his face quite hard"
 
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Can we call it the Department of Defense? "Department of War" sounds so beastly...

************

I got beat growing up for no good reason. Also got spankings I had coming; no harm, no foul. And one of the most abusive people who had a hand in raising me never did either one.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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I think we're specifically talking about spanking, though, no?

While smacking is a suggested synonym for spank, smacking to me implies an open hand slap on the face, which I have a different reaction to. Google's dictionary also uses the face in their examples.

Since when were Google a dictionary or authority on language? However, that's irrelevant - you actually thought I was being serious - good grief; this place is devoid of humour at times :D

p.s. Suggest you use a real dictionary with regards to spank/smack. Cambridge English dictionary, Oxford English dictionary etc.
 
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Part of the problem is spank is used so broadly. People can describe is as simply has slapping a hand to beating with a belt. I think any form of discipline works so long as the point is to focus the child on an important lesson and not about inflicting physical punishment. A think a truly caring parent should have all available tools at their disposal since all children are different in how they respond to stimuli.

I was spanked as a child when I tried to put car keys in a power socket and became afraid to do that. It was a safer choice to spank me than wait till I understood about how electricity works later.
 

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Part of the problem is spank is used so broadly. People can describe is as simply has slapping a hand to beating with a belt. I think any form of discipline works so long as the point is to focus the child on an important lesson and not about inflicting physical punishment. A think a truly caring parent should have all available tools at their disposal since all children are different in how they respond to stimuli.

I was spanked as a child when I tried to put car keys in a power socket and became afraid to do that. It was a safer choice to spank me than wait till I understood about how electricity works later.

Your comment is exactly how I feel.
 
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I think a quick swat on the behind is fine to get a child's attention if it's egregiously misbehaving or putting itself in danger, but actual nonphysical punishment should come later and be used as a teaching tool. I think a lot of backwards people use spanking as a way to instill fear to get obedience, which is precisely the wrong way to go about things. Violence eventually starts to require further escalation if the child stops responding to it, which is just horrifying and doesn't teach anything other than fear/defiance/how to get away with things.
 

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I think a quick swat on the behind is fine to get a child's attention if it's egregiously misbehaving or putting itself in danger, but actual nonphysical punishment should come later and be used as a teaching tool. I think a lot of backwards people use spanking as a way to instill fear to get obedience, which is precisely the wrong way to go about things. Violence eventually starts to require further escalation if the child stops responding to it, which is just horrifying and doesn't teach anything other than fear/defiance/how to get away with things.
Totally agree.

Unfortunately the issue is so black and white to most people you can’t use this very logical reasoning to say that yes, sometimes spanking can be acceptable.

Swat Your child on the tush or gently smack your dog on their booty and you’re an abuser who is lowering their child’s/dog’s IQ and making them a violent being. It’s just such a drastic and dramatic way of thinking.

To me, this is on par with the “give everyone participation trophies“ catastrophe of the last couple decades.
 
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@AmberCutie Exactly.

My logic comes mostly from my experience training horses and other large, volatile animals, honestly. I have no issue physically reprimanding a horse if it's putting me or itself in danger, but that punishment has to happen within three seconds of the offense otherwise the horse just thinks you are wailing on it. One smack and then back to business as usual, or immediate de-escalation. If you need more than that you have a training issue and things need to be examined from the ground up.

Kids are obviously different but I think there's a degree of similarity there. Beating anything to achieve submission is uncalled for. But is there a time and place for physical reprimand, delivered in a timely manner and immediately followed with de-escalation? And then with an examination of what went wrong and why? I believe so.

I think most of the ladies on this forum are incredibly self aware and I truly admire their parenting, regardless of which side of the issue they land on. I just don't know that the rest of the population is quite as informed/rational.
 

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Totally agree.

Unfortunately the issue is so black and white to most people you can’t use this very logical reasoning to say that yes, sometimes spanking can be acceptable.

Swat Your child on the tush or gently smack your dog on their booty and you’re an abuser who is lowering their child’s/dog’s IQ and making them a violent being. It’s just such a drastic and dramatic way of thinking.

To me, this is on par with the “give everyone participation trophies“ catastrophe of the last couple decades.

I was spanked as a child and it was probably one of the few punishments I'm not traumatized from to be honest so it has a time and place in my opinion.
 
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@AmberCutie Exactly.

My logic comes mostly from my experience training horses and other large, volatile animals, honestly. I have no issue physically reprimanding a horse if it's putting me or itself in danger, but that punishment has to happen within three seconds of the offense otherwise the horse just thinks you are wailing on it. One smack and then back to business as usual, or immediate de-escalation. If you need more than that you have a training issue and things need to be examined from the ground up.

Kids are obviously different but I think there's a degree of similarity there. Beating anything to achieve submission is uncalled for. But is there a time and place for physical reprimand, delivered in a timely manner and immediately followed with de-escalation? And then with an examination of what went wrong and why? I believe so.

I think most of the ladies on this forum are incredibly self aware and I truly admire their parenting, regardless of which side of the issue they land on. I just don't know that the rest of the population is quite as informed/rational.
There's definitely a time and place for physical parenting, for sure.

When my kid was 1 and he did who knows what to the older pitbull and caused her to nip his face, I quite forcefully grabbed his arms and yanked him the fuck away from her so she could safely leave the room. When he bit me hard enough to draw blood, I pressed my teeth against his arm to show him that it could hurt and that what he did to me was much worse. When he pulled the dog's tail and ears, I gave a tug on his ear and immediately relocated him to give the dog safe space. Granted, in each situation I didn't actually hurt him and didn't do anything to cause pain or more than a shock and it all happened immediately and was followed up with a conversation to make sure he understood what happened and why. Especially with only children, it can be quite tricky to find the line of physical punishment and allowing them to not feel the consequences of their actions.

With a lot of the parents who are pro-spanking that I've encountered offline, they don't seem to have a grasp on that line and feel no remorse for their actions and future consequences as parents. There have been incidents specifically where a parent spanked their kid at a public park quite forcefully, like loud enough where you could hear the spanking without straining, and these are otherwise "normal" parents that seem to be decent people. I think that definitely crosses a line, not only for the public humiliation but certainly for the force applied. There aren't many classes or resources offline to help parents discipline in a non-church setting, or even non-judgmental settings! It's quite sad how lacking the resources are for well balanced parenting. It's no surprise there's such a divide on spanking and that there are still parents who flat out whack their kids. Often times there's just the spanking and no discussion or thoughts as to why the spanking occurred.

I've attempted to find parenting classes, support groups, etc in our area and the only ones available are for teachers, church go-ers, or they're pro-spanking groups. It's no surprise with those offerings that the public at large could still be pro-spanking and not have a grasp on the difference between beating your kid and reasonable discipline. Granted, my experiences are all tainted from parenting in the Bible Belt and living in an active military town. Military parents around here tend to use a heavy hand in the physical discipline with their kids so spanking/belt spanking is sadly VERY normalized and regularly used in public.
 

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This is a really interesting topic. I used to be perfectly fine with spanking. My parents did it and I didn't know any better, and like many people, I was inclined to defend my parents actions and my own psychology, even if they had harmed me. I ride horses and work with animals so I used to use the justification that using crops etc as aids when horse riding are positive and work well with horses, so it would be similar with children. I was pretty wrong though, children are nothing like horses in that sense, and you likely wouldn't treat a foal in such a way either. Plus, while I'll use a crop as a communication aid, I would not use it for more than a quick tap.
Since studying the subject and looking into research as well as re evaluating my own experiences, evidence suggests there really isn't much benefit to spanking. I'm not talking about pop psychology studies, I'm talking about a huge body of published scientific research. The benefits are often short lived and tend to cause more damage than good. The damage is always not huge if you use spanking in what many would call the "right way", but it does seem to consistently lead to a sense of distrust between the child and the parent and is more likely to lead to their behaviour being worse in the future. Spanking also seems to have negative impact on child development, which is pretty serious and should be enough of a deterrent to make any loving parent think twice.

What is also very important to remember is that while spanking/corporal punishment is not abuse, abuse often starts with spanking/corporal punishment. It's easy to get into that mindset and then go too far with punishment, using it as punishment when it's not necessary or using it in anger and scaring the child. While loads of people would say "I would never hit/abuse my child or let my anger get out of control when spanking them", statistics show that just isn't true. For example, my own parents went over that line on multiple occasions, something which wouldn't have happened if the line had been clear not to physically harm their children even during punishment. I am sure they never thought of it as abuse, and they have told me again and again through my life that it wasn't. But it was abuse, and it was enough for me to leave home at 12 due to fear for my safety. Children are small, an adult using physical force with aggression is scary, even if you aren't leaving visible bruises, the harm is there. Imagine how you would feel if a giant started spanking you and you had absolutely no control of the situation. Then imagine the betrayal you would feel if that giant were the person you loved and trusted the most. It's a really dangerous line to walk as it is so easy to cross over. If you were in a relationship with a person who physically "punished" you every time you did something "bad", you would likely leave, and probably get a restraining order, and maybe have to get some counselling... While adults should be in control a bit more, and children do need authority, there are other better ways to punish a child to teach them not to do something again without the potential for harm to your relationship with them, or their psychology.

I do not judge parents who choose to spank their children, they usually do so out of ignorance rather than any lack of love for their children. But I would advise any parent to do their research properly or consult a professional before they choose to use corporal punishment. Child development is a sensitive time which will alter your child's psychology for the rest of their life, is that really something a parent wants to fuck with without even looking up the consequences? There are lots of things which our parents and grandparents grew up with which they would say was perfectly fine which has turned out to be incredibly unhealthy, or later seen as morally wrong after people actually questioned it, spanking is one of those things. Smack a child's hand before they do something dangerous by all means, or push your child back physically before they run into the road, that's not punishment though, that's a snap physical reaction to stop a disaster. While the child might be shocked in that situation, it's not the same as using a physical, embarrassing and often scary punishment on your child which could easily turn into abuse (even if you don't think you're spanking them that hard).

So... My answer is a firm "no, parent's should not use spanking". It is not a black and white "parents who spank are evil abusers", you cannot blame people for not knowing about invisible harm if they've never been taught, but it is pretty dam clear once you do look into it that spanking is not good news, even with the best intentions, and as it really isn't a necessary form of punishment for children and has been shown to cause behavioural issues in children, it just doesn't seem worth the bother or the risk. If anyone here does spank their children, or intends on using spanking/physical punishment on their future children, whatever your preconceptions of this which may have come from your own experiences, please take a look at some of the research on this subject and make an informed decision whether to continue or try out other techniques. I have heard "all children are different" a few times in this thread, and while that is true to a point, children really are not that different in their make up and in what can cause them harm. Much of what we do in life is learned, so the argument that some children are different and need punishment may be a vicious cycle, as in the child learns from the parent who physically punishes them, and/or develops psychological issues because of this, they may then seem to need physical punishment more in the future.
 
May 11, 2017
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There's no simple answer to this, and I say it depends on the child as well as the parent. There's definitely a difference between disciplinary spanks/swats and physical abuse. I think if the situation warrants a quick spank/swat, so as to get the attention of th child and use it as a training scenario it's okay. I think of it along the lines of a very loosely rolled newspaper with a dog. it isn't the pain, its more the shock/sound of it happening that causes the startled reaction.

I was spanked a few times, as well as all out beat by a parent who lost their temper at me. I was hit with an open hand, closed fist, thick leather belt, wooden spoon, ruler, switch, and a few other things. But, it didn't transition to my son. Nor did I turn into a cold blodded killer or otherwise.

I'm a little torn given the current climate of kids and young adults these days. On one hand, I see it as wrong to spank unless absolutely warranted. But, on the other, I see the decline of humanity and I think that maybe it is the lack of discipline spanks that causes children to lose respect and have no fear of repercussions of their actions.
 

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But, on the other, I see the decline of humanity and I think that maybe it is the lack of discipline spanks that causes children to lose respect and have no fear of repercussions of their actions.

Our children aren't respecting us because we aren't giving them enough spanking discipline. WHAT? My parents used fear as a way to discipline. My brothers and I all agree it was awful and it made us disrespect our parents more. They clearly didn't care they were hurting us.

There are better ways to show. Research has shown that this method teaches children to use violence and to be aggressive to solve their problems.
 

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I'm against spanking and all hitting of children. I spanked my daughter once. Never again. People shouldn't hit each other. We don't have a right to hit tiny people. It's lazy. It doesn't benefit the child. It goes against everything we tell them. It's hypocritical and confusing. Additionally, parents don't become human development experts just by flopping out a baby. Most parents who spank are expecting too much of their child at whatever age they are, or the parent has failed to supervise properly starting a situation, or the parent is just tired, embarrassed, lost. No one learns anything from being hit.
 

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@ForceTen I agree with Audri, spanking your child to make them respect you will do the exact opposite. You shouldn't have to beat respect into someone. :/ That's just fear, and the moment they are out of their abusers influence they will go back to not "respecting" them.
 
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You're taking the last paragraph of my prevous post out of context. I did not say it was okay to beat them, nor to do so with intention of intimidation. If you read the post in its entirety, you would have seen what I meant by a spanking early on.
I don't believe in physical punishment just for the sake of it, nor without explanation. But, like I said initially, each child is different and sometimes a quick swat followed by an explanation may be warranted. Again, not to cause pain. Nor am I saying that every child deserves it.
 
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Gen

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I said initially, each child is different and sometimes a quick swat followed by an explanation may be warranted. Again, not to cause pain. Nor am I saying that every child deserves it.
What is the point if there’s no pain, and it’s followed with an explanation? Why would you assume the spank, and not the explanation, are changing the behaviour? I genuinely don’t understand the point of the spank if it’s not painful and not sufficient on its own.

Not trying to be snarky, I really truly don’t get the logic and I want to understand.
 
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What is the point if there’s no pain, and it’s followed with an explanation? Why would you assume the spank, and not the explanation, are changing the behaviour? I genuinely don’t understand the point of the spank if it’s not painful and not sufficient on its own.

Not trying to be snarky, I really truly don’t get the logic and I want to understand.

I'm not saying that a spanking should be the default action every time, never implied it either. But, there are times where a child may continue to act out even after other means don't work. For example, you have a child who is acting out, and completely misbehaving. You try asking them nicely to not do it. they continue, even after a few times of your talking to them. You try putting them in a timeout, they pout scream throw toys or whatever and go right back to it. No matter what you do, short of spanking or physically restrain them from doing it, they continue.

There are times where a child may not respond to anything other than a quick swat (single, not prolonged) on the but or quick slap on the hand. Sometimes, the reason for this is that they might see it as a game until there is a "surprise" action for them to think otherwise. Again, I'm not saying this is how every child is. Nor am I saying that this is the default action one should take every time. Children will respond to different methods at different times. Sometimes, a simple "Please don't do that" works, other times a timeout or taking a toy away does it. Other times, it is the surprise of being spanked that will get them to realize thy need to stop doing something. If you're not a parent, sometimes it is difficult to understand.

I'm not alone in this thread in saying this. So, perhaps you, Luna or Audri should ask them for their opinion as well.
 
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I'm not saying that a spanking should be the default action every time, never implied it either. But, there are times where a child may continue to act out even after other means don't work. For example, you have a child who is acting out, and completely misbehaving. You try asking them nicely to not do it. they continue, even after a few times of your talking to them. You try putting them in a timeout, they pout scream throw toys or whatever and go right back to it. No matter what you do, short of spanking or physically restrain them from doing it, they continue.

There are times where a child may not respond to anything other than a quick swat (single, not prolonged) on the but or quick slap on the hand. Sometimes, the reason for this is that they might see it as a game until there is a "surprise" action for them to think otherwise. Again, I'm not saying this is how every child is. Nor am I saying that this is the default action one should take every time. Children will respond to different methods at different times. Sometimes, a simple "Please don't do that" works, other times a timeout or taking a toy away does it. Other times, it is the surprise of being spanked that will get them to realize thy need to stop doing something. If you're not a parent, sometimes it is difficult to understand.

I'm not alone in this thread in saying this. So, perhaps you, Luna or Audri should ask them for their opinion as well.
It was a general question prompted by the revival of the thread, no need to get defensive. I also didn’t imply you meant it every time, you clarified that before.

Anyway I see that element of the “surprise” swat is the point? Thanks for clarifying. Still a hard disagree, still think it’s a cop out, but I appreciate you sharing that because I’ve always just seen “it works” + “but it’s just a tiny itty bitty barely-registering tap” so couldn’t understand the point.
 
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Once I was told to not play with the cigarette lighter in the car. While my mum was out the car, i pushed it in. I pulled it out about 15s later - it wasn't red. It was still "black". I didn't hold my hand near it to see if it was hot, I was about 4 years old. So I stuck my finger into it.

Cut to holding my finger in the frozen peas in the supermarket to treat a screaming child from burns. However, from then on, when I was told not to play with something as it was hot... I didn't fucking touch it.

Moral of the story - set fire to your kids; they learn faster. Or something.

Oooo, a bright glowy thing...
 

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Once I was told to not play with the cigarette lighter in the car. While my mum was out the car, i pushed it in. I pulled it out about 15s later - it wasn't red. It was still "black". I didn't hold my hand near it to see if it was hot, I was about 4 years old. So I stuck my finger into it.

Cut to holding my finger in the frozen peas in the supermarket to treat a screaming child from burns. However, from then on, when I was told not to play with something as it was hot... I didn't fucking touch it.

Moral of the story - set fire to your kids; they learn faster. Or something.

Oooo, a bright glowy thing...

My sister pressed one into her thigh once because..... reasons? She was like.... 10. Had a nasty burn that took forever to heal, but I don't think she really learned anything.
 
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It was a general question prompted by the revival of the thread, no need to get defensive. I also didn’t imply you meant it every time, you clarified that before.

Anyway I see that element of the “surprise” swat is the point? Thanks for clarifying. Still a hard disagree, still think it’s a cop out, but I appreciate you sharing that because I’ve always just seen “it works” + “but it’s just a tiny itty bitty barely-registering tap” so couldn’t understand the point.

Wasn't being defensive, I was simply commenting that there are others whom have stated similar responses to mine. Perhaps asking them would help provide some other input?

So, how would you handle an unruly child who doesn't listen and completely disregards anything you do?
 
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