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Topic : Spanking: Useful or Cruel?

Number of Replies: 2264
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:50:41 pm
Author : dataimport
Is spanking a necessary evil or can you discipline effectively without physical punishment? Sound off about spanking.

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August 7, 2008, 7:49 pm CDT

Bit of both worlds

Spanking can be useful and cruel. there is a fine line between spanking for disclipline and spanking for anger release. Ive had my cheekbone broken, dislocations and even stitches. Growing up my father was an alcoholic and i was beaten senseless almost everyday. Everything had to be my fault im the only one who could have done it. For me thats what took the greatest toll on my behaviour today. Looking back on how i was brought up. Yes i was kept inline while living at that house but the emotional torment follows you.

On the other hand spanking without over doing it can be very effective. If youve spoken to the child and they understand why they are about to be disciplined then you spank them without going overboard. (tap on the hand or bottom using your hand).

Im not a parent so im only talking from a point of view of someone who has been abused while growing up. The thing im praying that i get out of this is not to follow in my fathers footsteps with my kids but to acknowledge how much i hated him for treating me the way he did and when it comes to discipline i will be able to get the point across that they have done something wrong without hurting them badly enough that they will hate me for it down the track

August 7, 2008, 8:32 pm CDT

the reality of spanking

 As an occupational therapist working in the area of literacy and numeracy difficulties I see plenty of children where behaviour is an issue and i see plenty of children where the parents and the school are the issue. Behaviour, regardless of what it is, is a form of communication and the only question is "Do you speak the language?"  


Behaviour tends to have 2 facets - behaviour at school and behaviour at home. We have a very high success rate in our interventions - 95% plus in both resolution of literacy and numeracy problems and also of behavioural issues. A child that is struggling will have emotional loading that comes with this. There are no children who do not wish to learn or succeed or please the adults around them. So when they cannot do what is asked of them there are emotional and psychological consequences - especially when most school systems persist in giving children with literacy and numeracy problems more of the tasks they cannot do.  


The first step is to begin addressing the underlying issues - the cause of their literacy and numeracy problems and also their emotional issues. In most cases there is improvement in behaviour both at home and at school. However, when the boundaries given to the child at home (the boundaries and rules in school are typically very clear and very consistent) are not consistent and clear or the adult indulges in endless justification of their decisions to the child behaviour at home remains a problem until this is addressed.  


One of the jobs of the parents is to lead and guide. It is not one of forcing and pushing children – and the same can be said of any adult having anything to do with children. We consistently find that even doing things such as demanding a child justify their decisions, opinions, behaviour or answers in school work or similar sets up an anxiety response. Typically the adults demand for answers stems from their own need to have control and ‘power over’ in situations. Which brings me to the only reason why children are punished – because of the adults own unacknowledged emotional and psychological issues. Most children are punished – not because they did anything worn – but because they pushed the adult’s buttons. The adult’s behaviour then becomes a projection and lacks honesty and integrity. It is true that so many people in this world are not emotionally honest and lack integrity and would rather lie about how they feel than admit it. To say a child does not suffer because of violent, abusive behaviour by an adult that stems from their own unacknowledged emotional status is ignorant of the child and how they feel. Believe me most children who are the victims of ‘power over’ situations do not feel they can speak their truth. As it is apparent that most children who come from homes where they have loving and caring parents seldom speak their truth in this area it is highly unlikely that it will be different for those in situations in which they are disempowered.  


We also consistently see behaviour from adults directed toward children who have diagnoses such as ADHD, ADD, etc. it is almost as though there is this unspoken view that it sensory information okay to treat these children in a less than way. We are currently working on a project involving the merging of therapeutic approaches with teaching as it is apparent that teachers do not understand how children learn or the nature of function/dysfunction. In saying this we are no attempting to malign teachers but to state that there is a huge gap in their training and that any endeavour being made to address literacy and numeracy deficits by anyone who does not know the actual cause of the problem or how to address it becomes abusive because, as already stated, the majority of approaches to this issue persist in given children tasks and activities that they cannot do in the mistaken assumption that somehow they are just going to ‘get it.’ Nothing is further from the truth and it only results in children having repeated and ongoing experience of failure. When I ask parents “If I put you into a job you did not understand and could not do how long would you last?” They typically say “Not long” and yet this is what is being done to these children.  


The reality is that with the correct therapy most children only need three hours of therapy over two months – some need only 2 sessions. Anyone with Asperger’s on up can have their function successfully restored with very limited stress upon them. These chgidlren naturally initiate interest an involvement in literacy and numeracy tasks and naturally begin to read. Interestingly if you talk to most teachers you will find they don’t actually teach children who don’t have these problems how to read – they just naturally pick it up.  


Quick frankly there is a long legacy of ignorance around the function of children, their presentation, their needs and behaviours. The majority of these children don’t have the language to explain themselves, are in sensory overload, feel misunderstood and that no one really cares. There is generally a fragmented approach to working with these children that includes giving them symptomatic diagnoses that don’t actually do anything to help the child – oh but it does give them access to more funding so they can be tortured with more tasks and activities that they can’t do. The whole system needs an overhaul – no matter which country you may be in be assured that most of the educational systems are archaic and built on principles that are limited and don’t actually do a lot to help children at all.  

August 9, 2008, 10:35 am CDT

Spanking Effecitiveness

Quote From: supermomof5

 I raised three kids to adulthood giving plenty of spankings. They are my life, my joy. I have an 18 year old and a 12 year old whom I barely tolerate because dad wouldn't / don't allow spankings or any form of discipline. I raised the first three as a single mom and full time student and we are super close. My last two kids make me HATE being a mother!  My last two kids have treated like s*** on their shoes from infancy, I was never able to mother them. My first three kids have done well in their lives, I expect my youngest to end up in jail.
 I honestly believe lack of spankings is why society sucks today, kids do NOT respect authority, why there is so much violence.
 I didn't get spanked more then twice that I can remember & I rebelled. My first three got a lot of spankings and not one of them rebelled. I would have rather been spanked and got it over with then be lectured for hours like my mom disciplined me.  


I have two memories of punishment, one was a spanking, the other being denied something I really liked to do.  My spanking occured when I was about 9-10yrs. old, and someone came to visit me that my Father told me, I should not talk to.  The other one involves a day at Palasaids Amusement Park in NJ ( I think that's where it was, I was only about 5).


I loved merry-go-rounds when I was little.  My dad couldn't find a horse that went up and down, so I was put on a stationary one.  The Merry-go-round went it's time, and stopped.  I looked around saw one that moved, I asked the attendant to change my 'ride', he did.  The Merry-go-round barely go to the back, way away from my Dad, when he appeared.  He unstrapped me, took me off, tore up the rest of the tickets and took me home.  You see, he had told me to get on a horse and not 'get off'.  I thought I was being smart (at 5), I didn't get off, the attendent took me off.  It didn't matter to my Dad, I was not on the same horse.


Guess what, the fact that I had to watch him tear up those tickets, and go home, no more Merry-go-round for me, got the message across to me, don't try to outsmart my Dad, a lot quicker and longer lasting than if he had given me a spanking.  He gave me the spanking at 9-10,   I hated him for the spanking, respected him for the lesson learned at the Merry-go-round. 


It's the lack of respect of others that there is so much violence.  Physical punishment, make violence even more.  Have boys that like to fight, good.....take them outside, let them fight with each other, but an adult is the referee....let them get their ego's battered a little bit, it will teach them, what is really important.  It will show them what their abilities are, and what their abilites are not, but in an organized way.  Children have to be taught...and that has to start before they are 4yrs. old, but always punishment fit the age of the child, and severity of the punishment according to the child's understanding.

August 17, 2008, 7:10 pm CDT

Call it tough love, or just bitter sweet

I am a mother of 4 boys 15,13,10 and 4. I was also raised in a house with 4 brothers and parents who believed in spanking, with a mother who always said"wait until your father gets home!!!"  I was spanked as a child and as I got into my teen years The punishment changed from spankings to severe groundings.  From the perspective of the child being spanked I would have to agree that I got into alot less trouble and really feared defying my parents, but as that punishment faded and it became "your grounded" I began to change perspective. It really wasn't until recently that I realized why I had changed so much those last 5 years living at home. But having a teen now, made me really sit back and think about it. When I got spanked, I knew that I had really hurt my parents, I could see in their faces that it was killing them to spank me but that I was going to be spanked because I disobeyed the rules of the house. I could see the disappointment and the lack of trust, and it really hurt more than the spanking did. My parents did not like or enjoy spanking us as children, and I think that was why that job was left up to my dad most times. Any time my mother spanked us she would cry while doing it, although that changed as we got older too. But when I was grounded, I felt differently, I was angry, offended, and hated my parents . They were taking my life away I felt. I can remember when I was 14 and my school was going on the Washington DC trip. I had a freind stay over one weekend that school year before the trip, she was quite a wild friend and she had snuck wine coolers from her house over. I was so mad at her because I was not the drinker teen and she knew it. But anyway, she hide the empty bottles in my dresser behind the drawers, and had forgotten to take them with her when she went back home, and my mom found then. No trip, and I was grounded for the rest of the school year and the entire summer that followed. Even after My friend called my mother and explained to her that they were not mine she wouldn't let up.  All it did was make me push back harder. She grounded me, I would sneek out, she took my phone away, so I would stay after school with out asking. 


With my kids, Yes I spank them and I do feel that for most kids it does work.  I can say that I have had good results from spanking my kids. I unlike my parents explain to my kids why they are being spanked, we discuss what they did and why it was wrong on a first offense(sometimes a second offence if they are younger) we tell them how thry could have avoided getting into trouble to begin with so that they then leave the punishment with alternatives, but in the end, they still get a spanking if the offense such merits one.

My 15 year old is a great kid. Very well mannered, respectful of others, and an outstanding student in school.  He has had a few spankings in his days but not many . Now On the other hand I do have my 13 and 10 year olds who are testing this theory to the bitter end!! They are both very defyant, they hate eachother, they are destructive in ways that are just unbelievable and expensive. They have began swearing at both their dad and myself, as well as anyone else. They throw fits that are sure to win grammy's should they ever become actors, and not to mention all my neighbors call our house the nut house, thanks to the lovley diplays that my children put on daily !!! But the funny thing is, we go out in public and they act like perfect angels and people tell me how wonderful they are and I just want to scream. I feel like the person in the dream that is screaming and running but it falls on deaf ears and I get nowhere! But, I do spank them. We have in the past reserved spankings for severe infractions, but theirs are severe everyday, all day long. So now I am at the point that I am questioning myself, spanking has always worked and I do believe that it will always work, but I now have a case where I am spanking my boys on a daily basis. And no it isn't for the same offense everytime!  I have gotten throught  the 13 year old and he has started to be less chaotic to deal with , he has calmed down and made some really good progress in the fit throwing department. Still trying to get a grip on the lying and destruction. But the 10 year old just gives  a whole new meaning to words psych ward!!!!  Sometimes my husband and I feel that his issues stretch far beyond us!!!  As for the the 4 year old, he has just really started to get spankings. And he is learning very quickly that he doesn't want to have to be told more than once.  He will even tell people who come over to the house now what the rules are and what happens if mommy and daddy have already corrected you once if they have to do it again you get popped on your hiness!!!  And that you must always say please and thank you, yes mam/sir, no mam/sir, and please excuse me, or excuse me please.  And he even says "there are no sorries in this house".  Because our first house rule is that there are no sorries, no reasons and excuses for broken rules.

August 18, 2008, 1:09 pm CDT

Children disciplining adults

What about parents allowing a five year old to spank other adult family members with a spoon??? My step kids allow this to happen. It was very disturbing to me to see the five year old spank grandma for saying a bad word (stupid was the word). The child went to the drawer, got the spoon and told grandma to bend over. I was speechless that the child was allowed to do this as well as the fact that grandma allowed it. Yes, this is true. Aren't the parents supposed to be the disciplinaries. When I said what they considered to be a bad word (heck) the five year old told me he was going to spank me. My response to the parents was that there will never be a day that I allow a five year old to discipline me. Yes, they were angry, but I stood my ground.  Tell me what you think.

August 19, 2008, 7:33 pm CDT

Absurd and Rediculous!!!!

Quote From: bettyz

What about parents allowing a five year old to spank other adult family members with a spoon??? My step kids allow this to happen. It was very disturbing to me to see the five year old spank grandma for saying a bad word (stupid was the word). The child went to the drawer, got the spoon and told grandma to bend over. I was speechless that the child was allowed to do this as well as the fact that grandma allowed it. Yes, this is true. Aren't the parents supposed to be the disciplinaries. When I said what they considered to be a bad word (heck) the five year old told me he was going to spank me. My response to the parents was that there will never be a day that I allow a five year old to discipline me. Yes, they were angry, but I stood my ground.  Tell me what you think.

I must say that I have to agree with you on this one. A five year old has no business spanking and adult  for any reason!!! Not only is it completely rediculous behavior from the parents and grandparents to a child that kind of authority and control , but it is also very disturbing in even bigger ways !!!! For starters that they would expect guests in their house to participate in such ludicy , and then become offended when they refuse, but that they would condone and encourage this kind of action to begin with !!! These people need some serious HELP!!!!!!!  They are creating a monster and one day they are going to wake up and realize they had lost all control if they ever had any to begin with of this child , and they are going to pay hell to get it back!!!!! If they ever really can !!!
August 20, 2008, 7:42 pm CDT

Spanking: Useful or Cruel?

Quote From: bettyz

What about parents allowing a five year old to spank other adult family members with a spoon??? My step kids allow this to happen. It was very disturbing to me to see the five year old spank grandma for saying a bad word (stupid was the word). The child went to the drawer, got the spoon and told grandma to bend over. I was speechless that the child was allowed to do this as well as the fact that grandma allowed it. Yes, this is true. Aren't the parents supposed to be the disciplinaries. When I said what they considered to be a bad word (heck) the five year old told me he was going to spank me. My response to the parents was that there will never be a day that I allow a five year old to discipline me. Yes, they were angry, but I stood my ground.  Tell me what you think.


That is terrible! I'm against spanking in the first place, but to teach an impressionable child that violence is the way to respond when someone breaks a!

How is this kid going to survive school? He's going to be sent home for hitting other kids!!!!
August 22, 2008, 7:56 pm CDT

Spanking: Useful or Cruel?

 Actually, I've given this spanking issue a good thought. It's like I've been considering it's pros and
cons for some years now and I came up with something like a conclusion and that is, I don't 'too much'
like the idea of a spanking.

The way I look at things, if I want to discipline my child for doing somethig wrong, I'll start with
reasoning with the child, I want to know why he/she did this or did that.Is this child having a
difficulty understanding? Is he aware that this is wrong? Is he just being naughty?  I'll want to let
such a child know why the act is considered wrong and the reason why he/she should not do it
again.Absolutely no punishment for the first time. I'll also pick my battles, is this worth punishing or
not? Because actually to be truthful, some things are just not worth punishing,children would be
children, they are not perfect.But the thing is, if a child has been warned against a particular
'harmful'behaviour and he/she goes on to do it DELIBERATELY, then I believe strongly that a punishment
should be in place.But if it isn't deliberate, it'll be cruel to punish.

Now talking  about punishment, the way I see it, I feel that it should match the 'crime' so to speak.
Like milder punishments for milder infractions and vice versa, logical consequences. Use something
related to the infraction to punish the child. You see, training a child involves two key aspects among
others, REWARD & PUNISHMENT. And if they are in balanced proportion in a healthy and child-friendly
environment, children grow to become well-balanced adults.

But the question is, can I spank my children? Though I'm not a fan of it, I would allow myself to spank
on two occasions only. First, if the child refuses to follow through with a punishment and second, if the
child  does something he/she has repeatedly been warned against, while in both situations showing acts of clear stubborness/insubordination. If I have to spank, I'll first warn the child that I will spank if he
doesn't follow through or if he repeats the infraction as the case may be. Then if I need to, one or two
strokes is enough, at most six strokes and no more. It's just a lesson, my aim is not to beat the HELL
out of my child. But at the same time, it must be felt. I'll firm when I need to. Left to me, spankings
should NEVER be a regular thing, if ever it is used, it should be used sparingly. Left to me also, If you
have to spank a child more than once or twice or thrice at most in his/her lifetime, then there must be
something amiss somewhere which needs to be dealt with.



August 25, 2008, 1:34 pm CDT

Spanking: Useful or Cruel?

Quote From: karen234

I can see nothing has changed on this board. I hope you and your family are doing well. We have been busy this summer, and now Brett is getting ready to go back to school. 


My views on spanking have changed since being on this board. I used to be very firm in my opionion that spanking is cruel. Although I choose not to spank my children, I don't believe spanking is cruel. Especially if other forms of discpline are implemented and spanking is a last resort. I think it is good to be able to see and understand both sides of the spanking issue and I think you do a good job with that. 


Have a nice week! 



I also believe that spanking should be used as a last resort.  We mainly use the 1-2-3 magic approach and use other disciplining techniques, like timeouts, removal of privileges/toys, etc.  I don't believe that spanking is cruel...I believe there are times when spanking can be used appropriately and effectively.  However, I do think other avenues should be attempted before issuing a spanking.  There is a really great debate about the use of spanking at  Experts from both sides debate the relevant points and both sides bring up some interesting points. 
September 2, 2008, 1:05 am CDT

I am disgusted...

I live in Denmark, Europe - and the show about spanking has just been aired here. I can not believe what I have just seen. It broke my heart to see adults act and justify that type of behavior and abuse towards children.

In Denmark it's illegal for any adult to hit, spank or beat any child - NO MATTER the circumstances!

The teachers right to spank, hit or use any physical methodes of discipline was abolished by law more that 30 years ago!

I would NEVER hit or spank my son in any way over anything! NEVER! I have never been hit or spanked by my parents either. It's tough being a parent - yes - but you always have the choice to turn around walk away and count to 100.

To be hit , beat or whatever you would like to call it - is degrading, offending and scary and will leave marks both on your soul and on your body!

Something I wonder is; Why would you ever lay a hand on the most precious thing you'll ever have -  your child - when you never (I hope!!) would hit your neighbor, someone on the stree or a colleague??

Why is it that you teach your kids not to fight or hit other kids? When you practise it towards them?


All I can say is that I am appalled and that my heart goes out to all the kids in the US and the rest of the world who still have to grow up in this sort of environment.

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