Spanking Is A Bad Tool For The Lazy Or Ignorant Parent.

A lot of people have been posting here about how they were spanked and they turned out fine. They believe in it, and argue for its effectiveness. It is effective, I'm sure, so would poking needles in the child when it is bad. That something works doesn't make it right.

For example... your child wants to go outside with no shoes on, but it is dangerous out there, there is broken glass, dog poop, and other bad things they could step on. You tell the child no but they go anyway.

What do you do?

Well... what would work? There are a lot of things.. you could spank the child, you could burn the soles of their feet with a hot iron, you could strew broken glass outside the front door so they will learn the hard way, you could take away the child's outside privileges for a time until they understand that shoes are required, or you could stand by the front door with a squirt bottle and spray them in the face with water each time they try to get out with no shoes. All of these will work... it doesn't mean they are the right choice. It doesn't mean they are the wrong choice either, whether something works is actually irrelevant. (Unless it doesn't work of course, but then people probably wouldn't be arguing for it.)

Also, spanking isn't going to cause your children to have no conscience or be bad people as adults. I have two brothers, none of us were spanked and we all grew up to be respectable adults. We are all well adjusted, well educated, and doing fairly well in the world despite our parents not having much money. We haven't been involved in crime, we aren't abusive physically or verbally, and we don't do drugs. We have a good sense of family, and stick by our friends. Good people all around... and this is consistent, all three of us turned out well, there aren't exceptions in our family. (Anyone growing up with ANY kind of discipline can end up screwed up, I am not saying all non-spanked children are perfect.)

There is also evidence in the form of tracking studies where they talked to the mothers of children who were spanked, and they checked in every now and then to see how the kids were doing in life, and across the board they found that kids who were spanked were more likely to be violent later in life, even after discounting the children who might have been affected by other factors (divorces, abuse, drugs, etc.).

So with all that, why take the risk of spanking your child? Maybe they will be fine despite it, but they are definitely more likely to be violent in adulthood. On top of that, there are plenty of non violent ways to discipline your child so it isn't like there aren't other options.

If you heard that certain candy might contain lead, and cause your child to have mental problems later, you wouldn't let them have it. So why do so many people still spank despite the evidence that it is likely to harm their kids?

Ignorance.

Laziness.

and for some, fear.

Mainly laziness. Hitting your kid is so much easier than using a method of discipline that takes a little more time and patience on the part of the parent. It is easy to teach (if the kid does something you don't like, hit them and tell them no) so you don't have to actually ask for help or advice or read a book, you can just assume you know all you need to, give your ego a good stroking, and get on with life.

Advocates of spanking tend to get very aggressive and rude when you try and talk about these things though. This doesn't make it any easier to educate them. It is understandable, their anger protects them from having to feel a sense of real responsibility for failing to put in effort to make sure they do what is right, and also their anger protects them from feeling like they might have been wronged by spanking by their parents. These are scary things for anybody to face. Their anger is understandable. It doesn't make them right though.

It is time to move on and give up spanking. I know you can do it if you just invest a little time and are willing to ask for help.
ihillway ihillway
31-35, M
18 Responses Jul 26, 2010

It is time to move on and give up spanking. I know you can do it if you just invest a little time and are willing to ask for help.<br />
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And you are also right on the following part:<br />
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Advocates of spanking tend to get very aggressive and rude when you try and talk about these things though. <br />
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That is because they have been taught by the behaviour of their parents to expect others to change for them.....rather than them changing for someone else. <br />
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I however want to have friends and happy children. Therefore I have no problem changing my approaches. Kindness is the best policy.....and I don't care if I have to work on it....for a lifetime. However is not kindness what I lack. It's patience. <br />
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Don't assume that I am hitting kids just because I am impatient. I don't. I am being too strict on myself though. But that is fine. If you want people to love you. You gotta love them...or you aint getting any love.....period.

I certainly agree with keeping the child's long term interests in mind.<br />
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But I honestly don't see what God has to do with it. I assume you are talking about the Christian god of the Bible? The one that talks about beating children with a rod (Proverbs 23:13-14), and stoning rebellious children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) and things like that? God's will seems pretty clear if you believe in that, since he had it written down...<br />
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So you can understand how your views seem to me to be self contradicting. Especially when Jesus himself said he came not to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34-35).<br />
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If you worship a different God than Yahweh (the God of the Bible) please let me know so I can understand the context of your comment.

Although petticoat discipline may be effective, and is nonviolent, on principle I don't think I could support a punishment based on public humiliation. How is this usually carried out? Is it something done in private? Or something that puts the child on display in a shameful way?

I don't believe in spanking or striking or anyother type of violence being used against children,<br />
irregardless of age. There are many types of discipline available to parents whithout the use of violence.<br />
The types of punishment are<br />
1) timeouts<br />
2) sent to their room<br />
3) No TV, computer usage, WII or Xbox usage<br />
4) Having them write out what they would do if<br />
same thing was done to them<br />
5) Loss of allowances (money)<br />
6) petticoat discipline<br />
Each of these have their own merits and demerits, you have to use what is best for you and for each individual occurence of bad behavior. For instance #6, could be used for boys who hit, tease or whatever against girls, or for girls who do the same thing against boys. Although it is more effective against boys. Petticoat discipline is an old english way of punishing rowdy boys.

tyco313 I'd like it if you didn't compare children to dogs, it's kind of... Mean...

My parents both spanked me AND sprayed my with a water bottle until I behaved as they wanted me to... They still do by the way. Now I feel like their slave... Not the best feeling ever, but it did help... Other than that little fact about feeling like a slave. It's only how I feel, probably because my father seemed to like dropping me on my head if I did something he didn't like until about a few months ago. Maybe that's why I don't remember anything from my past. -.- Oh, well I'm still alive, that's something to be grateful for. :D

LOL... I was watching a tv show on tv!... just in case ;)

Great story!<br />
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smacking children is not effective it only replaces anger with fear.<br />
I was watching a Tv show about dogs today on tv, and there was this owner that used 2 correction collars on her dog the first one was as a puppy that gave it an electric shock (which ended up burning a hole into the dogs skin) and one which shot citrus in the dogs nose and eyes, now most people can see this is animal abuse and this dog was very vicious due to the trauma of this abuse It was also very reliant on its owner and not as independent as it should be for instance it would not eat if the owner was not in the same room.<br />
Instead of taking a step forwards the dog was being thrown 2 steps back by its owner and it made me realise this is exactly the same for people who smack children<br />
where as a good dog trainer knows to train effectively you reward good behavior, and reprimand bad behavior by taking something away and using firm tones.<br />
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obviously for children they can go through the process of being warned (with explanation), reminded (with explanation), reprimanded and punished eg taking a toy away (and again with an explanation) because they can understand us.

"Did you know spraying your kid in the face with a water bottle can give them a fear of water?"<br />
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lol, of course it is! You hit the nail on the head! There is a cause and effect!<br />
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Did you know that spanking your child is likely to make them more aggressive and more likely to solve their problems with violence?<br />
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So the best method of discipline would be one that makes the child think and understand without a direct physical shock. Water or a hand, there is no difference, whether they fear the water, or the hand, or you, it is just controlling a child with fear. We can do better than that.

ShatteredOne,<br />
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I apologize, I forgot to respond to your Bible reference. I don't believe that we can take the Bible at face value as far as discipline and punishment goes. Deuteronomy 21:18-21 instructs you to stone your child if they don't accept your discipline, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 says that if a virgin is raped, her rapist must marry her, and Exodus 21:20-21 talks about having slaves and says it is ok if you beat your slave so badly that he dies a few days later, as long as he doesn't die right away, because he is your slave after all. I think we can all say that society doesn't accept these things anymore, so we can't just take the Bible literally. Either that, or you are really negligent in your stoning!<br />
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I do agree that consistent discipline is extremely important.

Did you know spraying your kid in the face with a water bottle can give them a fear of water?<br />
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Just sayin.<br />
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Sorry about the "blanket" analogy. But it wasn't meant literally, just to prove a point. Just about anything, in extremes, can be harmful in some way to a child depending on circumstances.<br />
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It is apparent we have different view on the issue.<br />
I wish you well.

ShatteredOne,<br />
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Please try to avoid using glaring exaggerations and generalities.<br />
"Everything has strong potential to hurt your child"<br />
Feeding your child a well balanced diet doesn't. I could list more, but I think you get my point.<br />
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As far as poisoning being different from spanking. Sure one is a lot worse, but they have both been shown to negatively affect children. A little poison won't kill your child either, just make them sick, and they will get better. My point wasn't to say that they were the same, just that harmful is harmful and shouldn't just be ignored because it isn't as horrible as poison.<br />
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Take one of my first examples. Spraying your kid in the face with a squirt bottle when they do something you don't like. Why not do that instead of spanking? I can make all the same arguments that spanking advocates make... easily understood, immediate, gets their attention, no lasting harm. The only difference is that it is nontraditional. But I bet you wouldn't switch to it.<br />
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Why? What's the difference?

ShatteredOne,<br />
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It is good that you focus on punishments being appropriate for the misbehavior. I assume that you used the word "crime" in a lighthearted way and don't really believe that children are little felons. *wink*<br />
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I haven't noticed any correlation that suggests that less people spanking is causing more violence. I have definitely noticed more violence in the world, but that is partly because we have such great media coverage of it these days, and because of such great numbers of people living in close proximity to one another. I suspect that there was a lot more violence in the past (especially rape and child abuse) but no one really saw it because it was behind closed doors, and the nearest neighbor lived over a mile away. Add to that spotty law enforcement because America was more rural, and you get a lot of stuff that was easy to sweep under the carpet. Like all the murders the KKK got away with because you just didn't charge whites for crimes against blacks in the south in that era. It's really hard to look at such a small thing as spanking when there has been so much social change and say anything either way.<br />
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As far as how spanking ties into aggression and violence, here's a study from the American Academy of Pediatrics. <br />
http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/125/5/e1057<br />
It notes that "The current findings suggest that even minor forms of CP [corporal punishment], such as spanking, increase risk for increased child aggressive behavior. Importantly, these findings cannot be attributed to possible confounding effects of a host of other maternal parenting risk factors."<br />
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I have yet to hear of any studies that show that when comparing kids who were spanked to those who weren't, that the spanked kids end up better off somehow.<br />
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Also I totally agree with you that not disciplining your kids is about the worst thing you can do. Do that and they end up like Lindsay Lohan.<br />
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Thanks for sharing your views in an organized and thoughtful way.

That church thing is horrible!!! =(<br />
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There is a difference in poison and a few pops on the rear end. You cannot compare the two. It's apples and oranges.<br />
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Everything has strong potential to hurt your child. Did you bother researching the neg. effects of time outs and how for some kids they don't work? Just like spanking some kids doesn't work.<br />
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The point of being a resonsible parent is knowing your children and what works best for them. And no matter how you choice to displine your child...you should NEVER do it in anger.

Thanks Midnightmuse I appreciate your support.<br />
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birdtea, I realize not everyone wants to raise their children the way I do. I was listening to a story on the news the other day about an underage girl that was raped by an adult member of her church. When the church leadership found out, they made her stand up in front of the church and apologize for the sin of getting pregnant out of wedlock (pregnant by her rapist), after which they sent her to another state so the police couldn't find her and pursue a rape investigation. <br />
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Her parents went along with this. I don't think that THAT is a good way to raise a child either, does that mean that people should just turn a blind eye? That they shouldn't "muscle in on things that should be left to other people's discretion" No! People have to speak out when people are doing things can harm children. This is why there was such a hubub a while back about candy from Mexico and toys from China that might have lead in them. It is why people who don't spank are sharing their opinions and concerns with you now.<br />
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You are doing something that has been shown to a strong potential to harm your child. Please find another way, for your child's sake. <br />
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If there were a "I wonder if poisoning your children so you can get sympathy as a parent is ok" group I would speak out against that too. This is a matter of harming children, which I would argue is a moral issue and not simply a personal preference in child rearing.<br />
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Besides, I didn't force you to read this. I am not muscling in on anything. This is a forum for discussion, you are free to participate or not as you choose. The day I show up in your living room, feel free to accuse me of muscling in.

OOOooo....Let's talk!!<br />
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I come from and believe in spankings. I have three kids. The older two are old enough for spankings.<br />
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Spankings at my house are for one thing only: deliberate difiance.<br />
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We do have other methods of punishment. Some examples are grounding, removeal of priviledges, standing the corner, the time out chair, extra chores, ect.<br />
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We believe there is reason in the bible it says not to spare the rod.<br />
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Have you noticed since families STOPPED spankings as a whole, children have started to be more violent (ex. gang beatings and shooting up schools). This kind of behavior was not as prevelant in the decades where spanking was the norm.<br />
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I understand your views, but I believe 2-5 pops (depending on age) on the behind with an open palm is not abuse. What you list I believe to be abuse.<br />
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Do some parents abuse this form of punishment and abuse their kids, absolutely!! But then again, some parents don't displine at all. You can't judge majority by the minority.<br />
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In my opinion, displine should: <br />
A) fit the crime<br />
B) fit the personality of the child in question<br />
C) Should never be abuse<br />
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One thing will not work for every child. Some kids do great with time outs. Others need grounding, others spankings. Again, it depends on the age and offense.<br />
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It was nice to read your view of things though. Have a good day.

Guess what? Not everyone wants to raise their children the same way as you do. Quit trying to muscle in on things that should be left to other people's discretion. <br />
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"Advocates of spanking tend to get very aggressive and rude when you try and talk about these things though."<br />
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Maybe that has something to do with the fact that you called them lazy and you're also trying to tell them how to raise their kids? Context, context, man. ;p

Enjoyed your story, ihillway. I subscribed to the theory that physical punishment was strictly off-limits when raising my (now adult) daughters. I still believe that fear is never a good teacher. In my experience, children are more likely to "listen" when being reasoned with, (yes, it takes time and effort) rather than being physically hurt.<br />
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Best wishes.