Thursday, September 8, 2011


Let's talk about spanking.

Anyway, I know spanking is a dying form of punishment, and for the most part, I'm happy about that. It's humiliating for the child, and seldom ever teaches the right message. But I do believe it probably has its place in certain extreme situations. For me, being warned about a spanking was much more powerful than the act. But the act had to happen at least once for the warning to have any effect. Anyway, I've always gotten down on one knee and spoken one to one with my kids (if they weren't screaming) and tried to explain and give them options. Then there's been a lot corner time, time out, etc. Julia hates time-out and will do just about anything to avoid it. If you give her a better option, she'll gladly take it. Like, "You have to go in the corner, or you can go clean your room." "I'll clean my room." It's a winning situation!

How do you folks feel about it? I'm not asking because I want permission to spank my kids--I just thought it would be a good topic for discussion. Like I said, my way is to talk things out. But I've had some pretty interesting debates with people who think spanking is a form of abuse. I think hitting is abuse, spanking is not hitting. And the thing is, we all grew up with it and knew our parents loved us. So . . . your thoughts?

By the way, our principal in elementary school used to spank kids in his office. I know this because my brother bent all the spoons one day at lunch, and had to go in there to face the great wooden paddle.


  1. We were spanked as kids...not painfully. My daughter was very seldom spanked but definitely was on occasion. Sometimes it is the only way to get their attention it seems. Afterwards I always felt terrible. My daughter gives a little tap on the hand or arm but has never actually spanked her children. It has its place I believe but only in extreme situations. (Our teacher used to give the strap across the hands. By the time I reached high school a teacher was let go for physically assisting a girl out of the class room (me).) Ineresting and controversial subject.

  2. Thanks for the input. I think this must be a new era of no spanking, which seems strange as the cartoons we watched even depicted it as a normal punishment.

    My dad spanked us almost every day with a belt for touching his bible, or whatever he felt the need to do it for. My mom, however, had valid reasons and I thought she did it the right way.

  3. I have never hit anyone, let alone a child - though I have threatened to, and I have brought quite a few people down to a horizontal level when they looked like they were going to hit me.

    Spanking is hitting, and I would not hit an animal - which is I was such a crap horse-rider. I know (from previous posts and the above comment) that you were hit by your dad as a kid, Amy, and I really felt for you.

    You just do NOT hit any other creature, unless it is about to kill you - then it is ok, in my opinion. Shoot them yes, if you want to eat them, but do not inflict physical pain on any other sentient thing. They will not understand the reason for it anyway, and will only perpetuate the same punishments on others who will also not understand.

  4. I had to think quite hard about this one Amy. I think there is a strong line between discipline and abuse. If a child is not disciplined and set boundaries you get a situation like we had over here in the recent riots and looting. A sharp little tap across the legs or backside (after a warning) if the child persists in being naughty will usually resolve things. Like you say there are other forms of discipline too like telling Julia to 'tidy her room' for instance which is fair enough. I hate sending a child to solitary confinement and I've never done that. I feel it's like sending them away from you. Loving discipline is good. Abuse is not. After all if we're anything worth our salt as parents, we all want the best for our kids.

  5. Tom- There's still part of me that is old school and believes in spanking, but there's another part agreeing with everything you said. There definitely are better, more positive ways to deliver a message or teach a child how to behave. Thanks for chiming in.

    Molly- I know what you mean by loving discipline. It's difficult to say, especially with events like the rioting where you wonder why on earth those people had no wall of decency to stop themselves from hurting their community the they did. People didn't do things like that before, and now it's as if nobody cares.

  6. My dad was a spanker as well and it was my older sister who got the worst of it with a belt no less. I spanked at first and then as I became wiser as a mom I began using much more effective means of punishment. I used to think spanking was fine, but now I've changed my mind and think there are much better ways to discipline children. The worst thing tho is no discipline at all. Studies have shown that permissive parenting gets even worse results than the super strict parenting.

  7. Oh Amy, I probably know more about spanking (caning) than anyone.

    From the age of 5 to 18 I was away at two very traditional and well known English boarding schools. I was caned all the way through my school years. At my junior (prep') school by the headmaster, and at my upper school mostly by senior boys in black gowns.

    When I became a black-gowned senior I was obliged to cane one junior boy, but that was all. I was very lenient.

    With my own children I think I spanked my youngest son once, but otherwise I had no reason to do so. My daughter even made a comment once that I'd never ever laid a hand on her. Talking is so much better.

  8. Amy...

    ...I have been very, very bad today...


  9. Chris- You'll get a good talking to then, haha!


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