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Topic : 05/16 Spanking Scandals

Number of Replies: 690
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Created on : Friday, May 09, 2008, 03:59:52 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Is physical punishment a necessary form of discipline or child abuse? First up, Monica says her five children bite, kick and talk back, and she often has to resort to beatings with a belt. Monica admits she made her four oldest children miss meals and tied their hands together until they learned to like each other. Her husband, Marshall, says Monica disciplines in anger and admits that he also hits their children out of frustration. Renowned pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says what Monica is doing is not discipline, but abuse. Can he help the frazzled mom bring some peace to her chaotic household? Then, Elizabeth sent her 12-year-old son, Joey, to a school with a corporal punishment policy and was shocked when he came home with what she says were severe bruises. She says Joey’s beating was so severe she had to pull him out of school, and now she’s worried he won’t ever go back. How can Elizabeth and her son move past the shame? Plus, Dr. Phil hears from both sides of the spanking debate. Keila is a teacher who believes in corporal punishment and has even paddled a few students herself. Peggy is an anti-spanking advocate who says states that allow spanking also have the highest number of incarcerations and school drop-outs. What does Dr. Phil think? Join the discussion.

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May 10, 2008, 4:18 pm CDT

To Spank or Not to Spank

I've been known to give my kids a smack when I felt that they deserved it.  Unfortunately I am not exactly the picture of calm when I chose this discipline. I am ashamed to admit that I have slapped a bottom harder than I intended a time or two. That intimate of contact when the little darlings are frustrating you to no end is just not the best plan. Sure it's fairly easy to stay calm and gently spank a wee diapered bottom when they endanger themselves BUT when you rely on this for getting the message across as they get bigger and much better at ticking you off you are asking for trouble.


When I saw my oldest daughter slapping her younger siblings because they were being "bratty", her words, I realized that she was just following what I had modeled for her.  We now have a no touching policy in our home. Period.  The consequence for hitting a sibling (they have never hit my husband or me) is having to pay the person you assaulted out of your allowance. Only had to enforce that rule once...hitting them in the pocketbook where it really hurts is so much more effective.  They still fight, argue and be petty to one another, but no physical violence. A lot of saying sorry, doing extra chores and letters of apology but no hitting, slapping, punching or touching in anger.


I worry that kids who live with hitting as a discipline never learn other ways to deal with people who behave poorly toward them and let's face it there are plenty of nasty, rude people out there. We need to give our kids the power to be able to walk away from conflict and still feel good about themselves. The ability to stay calm in the face of provocation doesn't come naturally to most of us. It must be taught to both adults and kids... we all are still learning in this house, some days we rock and some days we are on the rocks. 


The one thing I can say is that we no longer choose to abuse one another in the name of discipline.

May 10, 2008, 5:30 pm CDT

Personal Experiences

     I think that spanking should be done in a manner that exudes love and biblical discipline.  Spanking should never be done in anger for it can turn into abuse.  The bible does say "Spare the rod, spoil the child".  I think that before the child is spanked, he/she should be sat done, and the reason that they are being spanked should be explained to them.  Also, after the child is disciplined, they need to know that they are loved by you, or their self-esteem and their self-worth will begin to come into doubt.  I assure you, you don't want to do that.

May 10, 2008, 5:39 pm CDT

Hell yeah i spank my kid!

And its no ones buisness if I do or not. As long as its not done in anger, the bible says for parents not to spare the rod. I don't spank my kid all the time, mostly time outs but when they don't work then she gets swatted on her little behind.  All these people who are trying to tell us how to discipline our kids probably don't have any or have perfect kids ( not likely, they do things behind your back), or go worry about the parents who are really abusing children.  You could have been trying to  help me as a child but instead you were worrying about someone spanking their child on her behind for throwning a tantrum in the grocery store.  I was abused as a child I know the difference in abuse and discipline. She knows that she is about to get a spanking, she knows why is getting a spanking, when she is done getting it and when she is out of time-out(which if she got a spanking she gets time-out as well), then i tell her again why she got a spanking and that mommy still loves her. And for those people that think those kids end up being violent because they were spanked as a child, you can suck it!  Because I was abused, not just spanked, and I have never been in physical fight with anyone in my entire life except for the man that abused me. I know for damn sure my child is going to grow up just fine and have proper morals and know her code of conduct!
May 10, 2008, 5:52 pm CDT

Is it a teacher's place to spank?

I just read a post that sums my thoughts about spanking up better than I can word them.  Basically, spanking is just ONE of many options that might make a child comply.  But it is not necessarily the best option, and in my opinion such be a LAST option.


I certainly don't believe that teachers should have the authority to spank.  I don't believe teachers have a real vested interest in the adult outcome of a child, not in the way that it's own parents should.  More, I think that teachers would be most interested in maintaining a level of compliance and discipline that would make their job of imparting knowledge flow easier, but that is not the same as actually caring what "lesson", other than to do as told, that a given student might interpret from being struck.  Classrooms where children are made to sit  for hours and listen and do only as they are told are an unnatural situation for any active child.  A teacher may not be aware of factors outside of their classroom that could be affecting a student's behavior at a given time, and could potentially cause psychological harm.  Too, there should not be a situation of "blind trust" or assumption, that every teacher would spank out of REAL concern for a student's own good.  Personalities do sometimes clash, even between teachers and students.   So I believe it's better for a teacher to contact a student's parents and get parental involvement when / if discipline is that great an issue. 

May 10, 2008, 5:59 pm CDT

Spanking NOT Abuse

First, I believe that every child responds differently to methods of discipline.  I am not for or against spanking.  For my oldest son age 7, spanking does not work.  He would rather get a spank on the bum and then be able to go play, so it would defeat the purpose with this child.  Instead he gets sent to his room with a pad of paper, his sight words, and he gets to write down what he did that was wrong, why he did it and how he is going to fix it or why he is not going to do it again, then we talk about what he wrote.  If he needs help writing it all down then I help him.  However, for my daughter, age 4, talking with her, putting her on the stairs for a time out, etc. does not work, so she gets just one spank on her bum.  We tried everything else first before realizing that none of our other methods were working.  A single spank is given for serious wrongs where she or someone else could get very hurt.  Our youngest son, age 2 1/2, gets put on the stairs or the kitchen chair.  For him, we use it more as a cooling off period.  He does not understand consequences yet.  But he does understand things like biting hurts, that is not nice, look she's crying; and stuff like that.  We use the time in the chair to distract him from what was frustrating him, causing him to bite the other person.


Everything needs to be taken in strides.  Recognizing that each child is unique goes a long way.  Remembering that discipline is a pro-active approach to child rearing, teaching them how to behave so that there are few problem.  Punishment is the reactive approach to child rearing, you are spanking them after they have done something wrong.


It is okay and well balanced to do both, but there needs to be a balance.  It is when the punishments way out-way the discipline that parents need to take a step back and look at the fact that they may be crossing over the line of child abuse.

May 10, 2008, 6:00 pm CDT

from a teacher/parent's perspective

Having parented two girls, and taught for nearly 30 years, I can speak from both sides. My girls were disciplined by little swats with my hand and a firm NO when young, and taking away privileges when older. NEVER were the little swats hurtful, more often their feelings were hurt more.  I always talked to them about what they had done, and why they had to be disciplined....we would have a clearing of the air. It really worked well. Not sure if that would have worked with rambunticous boys though.


I was spanked by my parents with hand, paddle, or switch. Never were they abusive, just enough to make me listen.  I can count on one hand the number of times my dad spanked me. All he had to do was look at me disapprovingly and I would cry and NOT want to go any further in my misbehavior....didn't want to disappoint him.


Fast forward to now.....I am a middle school teacher.  Students are of a different breed than they were when we were young, and when my kids were young!  We can't spank, however in my early career we could.  When we could, it did deter some misbehavior, not all, but much of it.  Now, the kids know we can't do anything to them...they laugh, curse, and keep right on doing what you tell them NOT to.  They don't care if they go to detention, or  have an out of school suspension, all that means is they get to play video games all day!  Detention means they can sleep and loaf all day while we are working.


When parents come in for conference, it is an eye-opening revelation....we can tell exactly why the kid is like he or she is.  The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree is so true!  Now, of course there are exceptions, that no matter what we do as parents, some kids just don't follow our rules and behave like we know we have raised them to, but the general rule is that behavior taught at home, follows through at school and in society. 


Some students are such a joy to teach, and their parents have worked hard to instill manners in them. Others don't know any better because they aren't taught any, except at school, and those school manners don't coincide with their life skills at home, which sometimes are literally SURVIVAL skills just to dodge abuse at home. 


I know some won't agree with me, and that's okay. But my parents raised me to respect others...I taught my kids the same thing.  It is really a shame when five or six in each of my classes have little to no social skills.  I shutter to think how these kids will be when they are adults.  Of course the shining light is the other 20 in each class are beautiful loving students who make me proud to have been part of their lives.

May 10, 2008, 6:37 pm CDT

05/16 Spanking Scandals

Oh, gee, why I am surprised that the message boards for this particular topic has 15 posts all in the first day?


Okay, I don’t want to get into my experience with spanking while growing up.  Both of my parents were the heavy, and the only reason why I live with my father is because of financial means.  And let’s just say it was a lot more than just a swift swat to the buttocks.  How about a few slaps alongside the head for ya?  And that was only for things like writing in books, which I used to do A LOT!  Would I especially let another person, friend, family member, authority figure, spank my kids?  HELL TO THE NO!  If a teacher ever spanked my kids for whatever reason… well, let’s just say the authorities would have to carry me out of the school in handcuffs, and I’d have an assault charge on me.


Oh no, the only thing I want to remember about my childhood is those awesome cartoons I watched on Saturday mornings in the 80’s and 90’s.


Of course, I don’t have any children that I CAN’T AFFORD TO RAISE.  I think the reason why most parents spank out of anger, is not only because of how they were treated by their parents, postpartum depression, or the troubled lives they had growing up (foster care, anyone?)  It’s also because they felt that having a child ruined their lives somehow, particularly those who became parents at a young age, ruined their dreams of graduating from college and embarking on a good career right away.  Those who did work before felt a nagging obligation to quit their jobs to take care of their kids full time, as opposed to a daycare setting, and they are not happy with it.  As a result, the former is especially struggling to make ends, working low-paying jobs while their two-year-olds are crying, screaming, demanding Mommy and/or Daddy’s attention, and the parents’ reaction is to hit them on the back, buttocks, legs, even chest and stomach, screaming at them to shut up because Mommy wants quiet time.


I have a friend who became a mom at twenty-one, and I don’t think she was like this half the time.  This is evident that parenting is not for everyone, and explains why young people nowadays are waiting later in life for marriage and kids.  This above scenario makes me thank God I don’t have kids yet.  Heck, I don’t even have a girlfriend to have kids WITH!!


When I do have kids, I plan to be both parent and friend to them, and I plan to keep this in mind.  Of course, I don’t plan on having a child in the natural sense, either.  With my cerebral palsy and physical limitations, I don’t think I could handle raising an infant or toddler.  For one thing, I could misconstrue every baby’s cry as “I’m hungry” and I’ll wind up with an obese child – now THAT is abuse if I ever heard of it.  And you try telling a four-year-old that Daddy is not limber enough to give him a horseyback ride or carry him on his shoulders.  No, the child would have to be at least seven or eight years old at minimum.  I would especially consider adoption if it turns out that I will remain single for quite some time, or maybe not marry at all (I want to get established in my writing aspirations before I look for love.)


That’s all I’m going to say here.  I’ve incorporated spanking in few of my stories for special reasons, and I intend to get into that in my next post.

May 10, 2008, 7:21 pm CDT


Quote From: palmyre

I have 2 sons now in their 20's and I did spank when they were young. I didn't spank often. As an example, when they were toddlers, they would go near the street, I said no, and they would continue, I used the 1, 2, 3 method. One, don't go near the street it is dangerous, 2  don't go any closer and if they continued I said 3 and walked up to them and slapped their bottom. It wasn't abuse, it was more of a wake up response to their behaviour. The toddler period was one that I used the spank on the seat or slap on the hand when they touched something they shouldn't  have. I did give each one a good spanking once each and never again. My eldest son is currently doing his PhD in medical biology and my other son is doing his Masters Degree in Business. They knew that when I said don't do it, I meant it.  As they grew older I used a stern voice and taking away things as punishment  as they were able to understand consequences for their behaviour. I was also a teacher for over 30 years and I can tell when parents are consistent with their child rearing and when the children are totally out of control and  don't listen when told to do something. By the way, my sons are very respectful of me, their father passed away several years ago and I am glad that I had their support and love over those years.  A slap on the hand and bottom is not abuse. It is the loss of temper, constant use of hitting by parents and inconsistent behaviour by parents in raising their children that is the problem. Parents are out of control and lack discipline not the children.
You know this is what amazes me tcday.  You take a look at today's generation, I don't care where.  These kids have no respect anyone, not parents, not police, not teachers, NOBODY.  Because all these psychologists and psychiatrists came out with these books that we need to "reason with the children".  Give me a break.  Reason with a child who just ran out in the middle of the road and was just about obliterated.  But hey, be calm and reason, even if its the 3rd or 4th time because you have been "reasoning with him.

I am 47 years old.  My parents used spankings - and there is a difference between spankiing and beating of children.  I have always been respectful of people and authority figures.  So I have  carried this on with my children ages, 22, 18, and 14.  The have respect and there was no reasoning.

Well here's just one example of their friends.  The kid stealing 180 bucks out of the mother's wallet.  The kid telling the mother to go .... herself and you dare touch me, I will call the Children's Aid.  These kids think they have their parents by you know what.

I'll take my well respected, well rounded children who have had a few smacks in their lifetimes (they lived through it).  And if they're smart they will take these psychology books and use them on their children's asses.


Cheryl Little

May 10, 2008, 8:51 pm CDT


There is a huge difference between spanking and abuse. 3 swats on the bottom is fine as long as it's not over done. Some parents for what ever reason get psycho and beat their kids with belts or anything else is wrong. I got beat by my mom's husband with anythng he could get his hands on. As a result when i got a teen i got violent on him as a result. Now I only spank my child as a last result. Grounding generally works for her.
May 10, 2008, 8:58 pm CDT


Quote From: michael_s

I don't know why our society is so sensitive about how people being up their children. It is not the teachers job to punish the children but should be done by the parents. My parents broke wooden spoons and wooden yard sticks on my brothers and myself let alone their hands. I DO NOT think this is abuse! If the child deserves it, it should be done. Children recover from that within hours but they do remember why they were punished in that manner and will unlikely do it again. If you people think the kids will turn out bat, you are wrong. My brothers and myself are all married, have kids and are succesful in our work. We punish our children in the same manner that we were brought up. Some of these kids are in college and are doing extremely well.There is a time and place for this and should not be called abuse.
   Spanking is never an acceptable way to discipline children, not by teachers nor by parents. It's the easy way out. I've never been spanked in my life because my mother always took the time to reason with me. I, in turn, never spanked my two boys who turned out to be very thoughtful and genuinely nice men. I think spanking is a betrail of their trust and it can break their spirit. Some kids are able to thrive and do well in life in spite of the beatings they received. Others will be forever  scarred and resentful of their parents and unable to have a loving relationship.  
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