26 May 2012


One of the most important virtues a parent can instill in their child is discipline. This can also be one of the hardest parts of parenting. When do you decide how you will go about punishing your child? Long before they come into this world, or when the actual time comes to scold them?

Back in the day it was common for children to be spanked, even hit with objects such as cords or belts. Tradition doesn't always mean the right thing to do though. There is a good reason spanking is fading out in modern day. All the research points to children who are spanked having some damaging psychological affects: low self esteem, trust issues,drug/alcohol abuse, aggressive behavior, depression... the list goes on.

There is certainly a significant difference between smacking your childs behind and hitting them so hard they are left with bruises or welts. I don't agree with it and this may make me seem like a hypocrite, but I don't think it's a big deal if a kid who's old enough to understand right from wrong deliberately disobeys their parent and gets swatted on the butt. I have a huge problem with some of the awful examples of parenting that I've witnessed though.

I've seen a toddler slapped on the head for walking in the wrong direction. I've heard someone say to a little girl, "Do you want me to punch you in the face?!" I've heard people brag about how if their child misbehaves they're going to "beat their ass". I've seen parents who resort to time outs or loss of privileges being mocked by other parents for that choice. I've heard someone say that their child hit them so they hit the child back to prove hitting hurts.

 I get why parents do spank their child. Short term it does work. Children learn to fear their parent and therefore become obedient. Sometimes it may seem like the only method that will get you any sort of compliance. Then there's always the argument of, "I was spanked as a child and turned out just fine."

I am not telling anyone how to raise their young. If you make the decision to use spanking as a parenting tool then that's your business. For my family though, at this point in my life, I do not foresee spanking my child. As short of a temper as I have at times, I cannot picture myself hurting my daughter on purpose.

What are your thoughts on spanking?

12 Thoughts :

Kristin May 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM  

100% agree with you. I have read numerous studies that show - if you lose your temper and hit, your child will learn to hit. If you yell, they learn to yell. If you stay calm, they learn to stay calm. That doesn't mean they won't test you. Common sense in my opinion. I feel really strongly about this topic.

Venassa May 26, 2012 at 1:03 PM  

I will say that I was spanked and such, and turned out okay but I still won't be doing it to my daughter. I'd rather teach with consequences that don't include her being scared that I'm going to hit her.

little May 26, 2012 at 5:33 PM  

i was a nanny for quite a few years and i've heard every form of punishment. i definitely don't agree with spanking. that is always bad news for the kids. i'm a firm believer in redirecting. if they're doing something wrong show them what they can do right. of course, time outs are important if what they're doing is bad enough. and as the kid gets older i still think redirecting is better than taking privileges. my parents used to let me choose my consequence. worked pretty well considering i didn't get in much trouble by choice.


Marjorie May 26, 2012 at 7:03 PM  

Yeah, we don't spank. Time outs based on age: 2 mins if 2 yrs old, etc. We use communication based discipline a lot.

Sean Marie May 26, 2012 at 10:05 PM  

I was spanked too and don't feel it scared me in any way. I don't think that all kids who are spanked develop psychological issues, I don't even think majority of them do. Kids who are abused definitely do though and I think a lot of parents take it too far. It's sad seeing power being abused on such innocent, vulnerable beings.

Melanie May 26, 2012 at 11:50 PM  

First off... I commend you hon for writing this post. LOVE that you did so. It's really is such a touchy subject, you have some nice tough balls... I must say... was that going to far?! Lol... I forget that other peeps can actually read our comments) Ok getting off track!)

Anywho... I personally don't think spanking is "wrong." Just like every child is made up differently, discipline should be different for each child. Do I spank Jax? No. Will I ever... probably not. He's the kind of kid that all's I have to do it start counting to three... say his full name... & he shaped right up. THANK GOD. Again I do think a swat on the bum may be the right thing to do SOMETIMES in SOME situation... but a swat & "leaving a mark" aka beating are 2 VERY different things.

Thanks for this mama. REALLY good post. For REALS. YO. XO

Danielle-Marie May 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM  

I wrote an opinions post about this once before too. Basically I won't judge people who spank their child but it's not for me at all. Threatening to beat a child's ass, slapping them on the head for walking in the wrong direction, and using belts and other objects for hitting isn't "spanking" it's abuse. We do time outs and take away toys/privileges. Discipline doesn't have to be physical.

momto8 May 27, 2012 at 8:02 PM  

I never spanked my kids ..I talked with them long and hard before we went out and all the time we weren't out..but that is what worked for us...ever family has to find what works for them.

Anonymous May 28, 2012 at 7:42 AM  

I know someone who spanks thier child and I really couldn't bear it, poor baby was getting smacked for every little thing .. I have found time out in his room seems to already work for both me and my Josh, but he tends to listen to me if I ask nicely first time, fingers crossed it stay that easy :s
Great post hun

Jillian May 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM  

I will never hit/spank my child... I was hit once when I was older and it nearly destroyed my relationship with my mom. It was the wrong thing to do in a tense situation.

I respect others opinions, but as for me, I love my child too much to ever resort to physical punishment. Words and time outs work just fine for me.... even with the children I watch, their parents believe in spanking/hitting.... they are ten times better with me than their parents though and the parents "don't understand why."

Stephanie May 29, 2012 at 1:05 PM  

I am not looking forward to this stage of parenting. I look at Chloe and can't imagine making her cry, but I know not every day will be roses. I was spanked occasionally and so was my brother, my husband on the other hand was actually spanked with a belt. We have talked about it and though I can't say I will never tap her on the butt, it will be nothing like what my husband experienced. There has to be other ways.

Life Happens May 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM  

We spank Matthew now (he's 15 months), not hard, but just on his bottom. We try to avoid if possible, but sometimes, he needs a little more discipline. Obviously, we don't like to do it, but I think he REALLY takes us seriously when he gets a spankin.

Every parent is different. As long as you are not beating your child, then I think spanking is fine.