Social Question

Hibernate's avatar

What's your opinion about corporal punishment ?

Asked by Hibernate (9025 points ) July 2nd, 2011

I want to know your opinions even if they differ .

Is it good or bad ?
Will it help a kid ?

How much is too much for it to become cruelty ?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

126 Answers

OpryLeigh's avatar

As much as I feel that there is not enough discipline in schools I don’t think bringing back corporal punishment is a good idea. I fear that the power an adult may feel from being in control of a child in that kind of way may go to their heads.

zenvelo's avatar

Corporal punishment by parents is a terrible idea, and done by the schools is even worse.

Corporal punishment does not deter behavior; it teaches that violence is a solution.

Mikewlf337's avatar

I am ok with spanking depending on the situation. There is a difference between spanking and beating.

MilkyWay's avatar

I don’t think it works. It only brings hatred to the heart.
I’m saying this by experience. Hitting only makes it worse

wundayatta's avatar

Very bad idea. It may work in the short term, but not in the long term. It is so unnecessary. Anyone with half a brain can discipline children without ever touching them in nager.

SuperMouse's avatar

Not a huge fan of hitting kids. I just can’t see how smacking a child is going to help them learn the difference between wrong and right. Near as I can tell the only thing it does is make kids afraid. Remember that horrible video that surfaced not so long ago with the mom putting her kid in the shower and hot sauce on his tongue? All I could think of is that was a great argument against corporal punishment. That kid had obviously endured those punishments before and they obviously did no good.

I have three pretty well behaved children and while I discipline them, I have never hit any of my children.

JLeslie's avatar

Corporal punishment in schools is a disgrace in my opinion. I found out a few years ago we still have it in about half the states in America and I just cannot believe it.

Generally I am against parents using it also, it would have to be an incredibly extreme circumstance, matter of life or death for me to be ok with it. I think using corporal punishment as a regular means of controlling a child’s behavior is simply wrong and abusive.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mikewlf337 I would bet money pretty much everyone who will answer here is only considering spanking, not beating. Beating to most people is not simply corporal punishment but child abuse by pretty much anyones definition.

Mikewlf337's avatar

I think corporal punishment in school is a good idea for junior high and up. Some of those kids are brutal and make the other students lives a living hell. They physically and verbally abuse other students. Sometimes I think there should be an assembly for certain students who are givin corporal punishment. The worst deserve a public swatting. I say junior and high school students because that is where the worst bullying and abuse takes place.

I guess I am very bitter towards my experience in high school.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I must say that I am not as against parents smacking their children in certain situation as I am about the schools doing it. However, the only reason why I am not against parents smacking their children is because I was smacked myself a couple of times for bad behaviour (by my parents) and I can honestly say that it hasn’t affected me in a negative way. It did, however, make me think twice about doing whatever I was doing that caused me to get smacked a couple of times.

Please let me stress that I know not everyone feels the same about the discipline they received as a child as I do and so, for that reason I can’t decide whether I am fine with parents smacking their kids or not.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Mikewlf337 when my oldest was around 2 another kid hit him. This kid’s mom swept in, grabbed her kid by the elbow, smacked his ass and said “we don’t hit!” I stood their scratching my head at the paradox. I just have a hard time understanding how teaching kids not to hit by hitting them or punishing them for abusing others by abusing them can teach them not do these things.

wundayatta's avatar

@Leanne1986 The damage from corporal punishment may not show up for decades. Even then, you may not be able to trace your experiences back to it, but it will be there.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@wundayatta then how can you know it will be there?

SuperMouse's avatar

@wundayatta If I may…

@Mikewlf337 how can you know it won’t be there? Why take the chance?

Mikewlf337's avatar

@SuperMouse Spanking a child on the butt because he/she wouldn’t stop misbehaving is not something I consider traumatic.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Having grew up in an age where it was used in the home and expected, as well as in the schools it worked. Would it work all the time in every situation, maybe not. It would have a hard time working today because society pretty much as told the kids that the butler owns the keys to the mansion. That they are invincible and no one can touch them so there is really no big down side to making an ass of yourself.

At the end of recess when I was maybe 8yr old at the time, some kid tried to cut the line. I would not let him get away with it and there was shoving and pushing. We then progress to slanging them donkey knuckles. The teacher came between us to break us up and I got mad because she was preventing me from punching the other kid, so I got mad and kicked her. She grabbed me by the collar and dragged me ”Chaney-style” to the office. I don’t think my feet toughed the floor 3 times before we were there. I knew a swat was coming, but what I really wanted to do was to keep my mother from learning I kicked a teacher; it didn’t. When I got home I got it pretty good.

No teacher got sued, I didn’t hate my mother, I didn’t get the notions that getting a swat for doing wrong showed that violence solved everything. I was smart enough at eight to know that. What I did learn was that you never, ever kick a teacher, no matter what. She never had any problem out of me the rest of the year to the point she told my mother I was one of the best students she had that year. I learned that there are certain actions so bad it can cause you great discomfort if you do them, that is what I learned; not any of that ”oh, solves stuff with violence”, I save that for the GOP and their illegal wars.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@wundayatta With all due respect, I would rather not be told that someday I will feel the negative effects of something that I never give a second thought about. I am happy with the way my parents raised me and just because there is damage for some people (which I don’t doubt) doesn’t mean there will be for me and I am certainly not going to link every little issue I have in my life to the fact that my parents smacked me a couple of times in my childhood when it doesn’t cause me to feel any resentment or emotional hurt. However, I agree with @SuperMouse, why take the chance.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I think it is an awful idea. Parents have the right to discipline their children the way they see fit (within reason) but schools do not have the right to punish someone’s child physically.

missingbite's avatar

There is a huge difference between spanking a child as punishment and spanking a child out of anger or rage. My parents “spanked” us but it was never done with an angry tone. Stern, yes, angry or hateful, no. I grew up learning right from wrong and what did and did not deserve a spanking. I feel I have led a productive respectful life as an adult. I can’t say it was the spanking that made me or my siblings the way we are but it didn’t hurt us either.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@missingbite That’s exactly how I feel about the times I was smacked.

flutherother's avatar

I am not a believer in violence or corporal punishment but I think parents sometimes have to smack their children. Not as a deliberate policy, or to hurt the child but as a demonstration of anger. If you never get angry with your children, fine, but if you do you might as well express it. Perhaps it is the wrong thing to do, but I never said I was perfect.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Mikewlf337 I think the trauma induced by a smack on the butt might depend on the kid. If a child’s love language is touch, this might be pretty traumatic. Again, why take the chance?

YARNLADY's avatar

In a civilized society, the very idea of hitting or smacking a child to “teach” them to behave is ludicrous. I wish I lived in a civilized society.

TheLadyEve's avatar

I’m really against it. My parents did spank me, and it was really traumatizing. I learned to fear them, and associated it with them being terrifying, unstable people instead of what I did wrong (in one instance, saying the word ‘damn’). They always did it with the pants down, once when I was naked from a shower, and a couple times after puberty, so it took on this really icky quality. Just thinking about it sends me into a bit of a panic attack.

Sunny2's avatar

Isolation and removing privileges is better than spanking. The only time you might slap a child’s hands is if they try to touch a stove or an electric outlet and that’s only for toddlers exploring something dangerous. Explaining the rules when they are old enough to understand can be helpful, followed by restriction if the offense is committed again. The goal should be to teach, not to punish by hurting. And parents who think a child who is still crawling, will be stopped by yelling, needs to learn you have to get up and go pick the child up and move him/her away from whatever it was that made you yell. The kid is just doing what comes naturally: moving and exploring.

redfeather's avatar

I grew up getting spanked with spatulas and wooden spoons and hands. I don’t hate my parents and it was never right away so I had time to think about and dread the spanking before I actually got it. I give my daughter a quick smack on her bottom when I tell her not to do something and she does it and she’s in danger of getting hurt. I also give her a little pop on the hand if she’s going to touch something she’s not supposed to. I only plan on doing this for another year or so.

When I was younger, I ran up and kicked my mom. She grabbed my stuffed animal and punted him across the lawn and I went screaming after. I never kicked anyone again.

whitenoise's avatar

This is the second thread today that addresses corporal punishment.

As I wrote on the other one, willfully inflicting pain on a child is a very counterproductive act that only shows the impotence of the caretaker. It is a punishable crime in most civilized countries and I believe it should be that way in all.

Honestly, I feel nauseated by all the apparently normal friendly people that defend it.

To add some color, let me quote from the work of the great Michael Pearl and his wife Debi:

How many licks?
“There is no number that can be given. It would be better to administer more licks that are less forceful than to administer few licks that hurt severely. It is much more effective to administer chastisement or punishment in a slow thoughtful fashion. Our goal is to cause the child to voluntarily surrender his will. We want to impress upon him the severity of his disobedience. It takes time and thoughtfulness for the child to come to repentance. I have told a child I was going to give him 10 licks. I count out loud as I go. After about three licks, leaving him in his position, I would stop and remind him what this is all about. I would continue slowly, still counting, stop again and tell him that I know it hurts and I wish I didn’t have to do it but that it is for his own good. Then I would continue slowly. Pretending to forget the count, I would again stop at about eight and ask him the number. Have him subtract eight from ten, (a little homeschooling) and continue with the final two licks. Then I would have him stand in front of me and ask him why he got the spanking. If his answer showed that he was rebellious and defiant, he would get several more licks. Again he would be questioned as to his offense. If he showed total submission, we put it all behind us, but if he were still rebellious, we would continue until he gave over his will.”

GracieT's avatar

My mom and dad spanked me and my brother. (Mostly him!). I remember being terrified of being spanked, and him not really caring about it. The thing is my parents very rarely spanked, and it was only when nothing else worked.

JLeslie's avatar

Everyone who says they were not negatively impacted psychologically by getting hit as a child, well good for you. Here’s the thing, if you have a choice between hitting your kid to get him to behave or not hitting him and still getting the result that they behave and grow up to be productive adults, why would you choose the hitting route? Wouldn’t you rather learn how to raise your children without hitting? Plus, I have observed many children and the older ones or the onesnwho tend to be natural leaders in a group or with siblings mimic their parents and treat the weaker ones exactly the same. They perceive their parents as powerful, and so when they want power they tend to behave just like their parents.

Hitting might shut children up fast, maybe, but in a society that is supposed to frown on violence, it is counterintuitive.

@Hypocrisy_Central your school example, I can tell you if I had kicked a teacher I would have been afraid of my mom finding out like you, because I know she would have been angry and very dissappointed in my behavior. The burden of knowing I did something wrong not only by her expectations, but also within my own psyche, would have stopped me from ever doing it again. Shame in knowing I behaved in an unnacceptible manner, having to apologize for it, I would have definitely learned a lesson. I had a conscience, even at a young age, I think most children do from what I have observed. Feeling badly, having to live with a behavior we did that we know is unnacceptable, develops our internal desire to do the right thing, rather than the external threat of punishment. If punishment is the only thing that controls bad behavior, then when there is little chance for punishment, why do the right thing?

Plucky's avatar

I do not believe in corporal punishment. There are many other more civilized, and respectful, ways to discipline a child. If you physically punish your child, then you need modern parenting lessons. I don’t care if that’s how your parents did it ..that is not how it should have been. Jeez, they are just children. I’d rather have my child behave out of respect for me, rather than the fear of me.

One of the biggest problems with corporal punishment: It can be taken way too far – especially in anger (how many times have you done something out of anger, that you regretted?). Parents will, many times, smack a child a lot harder than they intended.

I understand that there are kids who are more problematic than others, I do. But smacking them is not the way to deal with that behaviour.

There are no life lessons in this method of discipline – only fear. Making corporal punishment ok again, is like making wife subordination ok again. And that is not ok. Ok? ;)

ucme's avatar

When I was at school I was mistaken for my younger brother who’d stolen a packet of sweets from a boy in his year. Long story short, despite protesting my innocence, I was caned over each hand several times.
It bloody hurt as well. A few days later this teacher who’d wacked me found out the truth & apologised profusely for his glaring error. So yeah, I think corporal punishment is a barbaric, shameful relic of a thankfully bygone age. No suprises there then.

jonsblond's avatar

I agree with everything @missingbite said. Most of my friends from my childhood (I’m 40 now) were spanked a few times by their parents. We all turned out fine. There is a difference between a few swats on the behind and a belt every time a child acts up. My parents never abused me. They loved me and I knew it.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond What about in school? Would you be ok with giving permission for corporal punishment to be administered to your child in school?

missingbite's avatar

I was paddled one time in grade school. A kid threw an eraser at me and I picked it up and threw it back. The teacher saw me throw it back so we were busted. I tried to explain that I was justified because I didn’t start it. It was explained to me what I did wrong and that I was going to be paddled for it. I look back now and realized I deserved it. I was wrong. I was still not paddled out of anger. It hurt for about 10 minutes. My mom was a substitute teacher and knew the teacher that paddled me. When she found out what happened she said the teacher was right and my punishment was served. No need for further punishment at home. I learned a lesson. Once.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When I was in school it was a given, your kid acts bratty he/she will get a swat or two rarely did any kid get more than that. It was certainly better than your child getting sent home for two week they could not make up or being expelled. When I was in grade school there was no acting up or goofing around, the teachers ran class like a tight well-oiled ship and her crew. The teacher just had to mention the dean or you going to the principal’s office and there was order. To go to the principal’s office meant word was going to get home and you might have got more punishment there so no one wanted to chance that. I am sure if all we thought we would get is having to sit in the corner for 30 min in the ”naughty” chair, we would have figure out we could do that and get out of school work at the same time.

People I went to school with that might have suffered the paddle have gone on to great careers in the military, become law enforcement, scientist, bus drivers, business owners, and then some. I can’t recall any that has turned out to be a thug, criminal, or worse because of the spanking or swat they received. With most it was behind drugs, booze, or both. Maybe that is where people should be thinking of directing their efforts.

jonsblond's avatar

@JLeslie I prefer the parents take responsibility for the discipline of their children. My 2nd grade teacher had a paddle in her room. I know it was used on a few of the trouble makers in our class. This was a new school for me, and during the first few days of being a new student I cried quite a bit. (I was a major mommy’s girl who missed her mommy and was afraid of the new school) I was threatened with the paddle one day when I wouldn’t quit crying. Being threatened with that paddle made me quit crying. I sure didn’t want to be spanked with that thing. I’ve seen the process work, but I certainly wouldn’t want my child spanked by anyone but me. My children are well behaved, so luckily I don’t need to worry about discipline at school.

Sunny2's avatar

@missingbite As a teacher I taught my students (6th grade) never to be the second person to throw something. The first throw catches the teacher’s eye and the second one gets caught throwing back. It’s a good lesson to learn if you’re a kid.

Symbeline's avatar

You don’t need violence and fear to explain to a kid that they did something wrong, or to teach them something. My dad taught me that violence of any kind besides survival is fucking bullshit, and I stand by that. You don’t hit people you love or instruct, that’s all.

jonsblond's avatar

@Symbeline My parents love me. but then they didn’t hit me, they swatted me on the butt a few times. :/

Symbeline's avatar

Well yeah, I don’t mean little swats, (I don’t like that either, but it isn’t gonna ruin anyone’s life, no) but smacks across the face or teachers turning your fingers into pulp with rulers. My dad had that going on when he was a kid, sounds pretty horrible.

jonsblond's avatar

I agree. Jon got the belt and worse. That’s just wrong.

Symbeline's avatar

I propose a toast; ’‘raises mug o’ beer’’ Violence is fucking retarded. :)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree wholeheartedly with @jonsblond

Why do I feel that the people who are dead set against a parent smacking their child, resent those of us that don’t feel any negativity to being smacked?

whitenoise's avatar

@Leanne1986

Because by stating that, you seem to be siding with a pro-corporal-punishmen point of view that I find utterly repulsive. I realize I am making a strong statement, as I did above, but that is the way I see it. I apologize sincerely to all for doing so.

In all honesty, tough, it feels very alien to me to even discuss whether it is acceptable to punish your (a) child through pain. I find it so principally wrong that it is akin to having a discussion under which circumstances rape is an acceptable way of procreation.

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 I think it is because those of us who grew up without it (I actually was spanked two or three times when I was very little, and then I think my parents decided it was bullshit) or, have successful children who we never spanked know it can be done, raise a child without hitting them. Most of the time when I talk about this topic outside of fluther the people seem very sure it is the only way, and without “discipline” children grow up wild, disrespectful, and unruly. There are entire civilized countries, and regions of the US, which frown on corporal punishment and do not use it. Sure behind closed doors there could be some of it going on, but statisically I would guess very little in those places, and somehow they have well behaved children.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@whitenoise Actually I am on the fence about corporal punishment. I certainly don’t agree with it in schools and I would only agree with it in the home if it was used in the way that @jonsblond and @redfeather described. The reason I am on the fence about it is because I don’t trust many people not to take it one step too far. It’s not as black and white for me as it seems to be for you but maybe that is because I am not emotional scarred by the odd smack I received as a child and neither can I pretend to be.

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 I think I can speak for @whitenoise that for him any hit is too far. I never heard about people being really in favor of corporal punishment and talking about it openly until I moved to the bible belt. It seems to be intertwined with religion quite often, not always of course. Even up north, outside of our bible belt, the only time I hear it is among the religious, or people who grew up with it, and their families were usually religious. Some of it is the generation of course. Back 50+ years ago it was probably more common to use corporal punishment on kids. When I grew up in NY the only times we heard about it in school, were rumors that in the Catholic schools would hit your hand with a ruler. Seemed mean and scary in my mind.

Wouldn’t you agree children mimic their parents? You don’t think it is likely for young children to think hitting is a way to control others? If their parents use it? You can’t picture an older sibling getting pissed at a younger sibling and swatting her on the bottom and saying, “I told you not to do that, bad girl.”

OpryLeigh's avatar

@JLeslie I can only speak for myself and I didn’t see being smacked as an excuse to smack other kids, strangely I seemed to know the difference between my parents smacking me and me smacking other children (that’s not to say that my brother and I didn’t used to fight but I know plenty of siblings that don’t get smacked by the parents and still try to beat the living shite out of each other). However, I can’t say this for all children and that maybe another reason that I am on the fence.

whitenoise's avatar

@Leanne1986

I understand. Please don’t take it the wrong way. My adversity stems not from my own experience as a child. My parents never hit or hurt me physically in any way.
(Emotional cruelty, would be an interesting thread as well. Maybe there it will touch on sore memories a bit more.)

My objections stem mainly from being a parent.

As a parent I have always been uncertain, to some extend, about ‘the best way’. So I have been reading up on available research, asked for advise and talked and looked at what other people do. I still do.

One of the first things that became clear to me, was that there is great consensus amongst scientists in the relevant fields: Corporal punishment does not achieve any positive results that cannot be achieved more effectively through other methods of disciplining and child raising techniques.

The second thing is that corporal punishment actually has a high risk of hurting your child and the relationship it has with its parents. The punishment in general is linked to the parent far more than to the misdeed that is being punished.

The third element is that punishment in general is an ineffective way in raising a child. There are better ways:
* don’t offer choices you don’t want to be chosen, (Don’t ask “shall we eat, now?”, but “where do you want to sit at the table?”)
* be consequent
* be a good example
* especially with young children: ignore deviant behavior as much as possible and reward positive. (All attention is a reward. Even punishment can be seen that way.)

Fourth element: all children (no exception!) that I know that are violent towards my children or their peers are subject to corporal punishments. (I know, not allowed in Holland)

But most of all… if you look at your children and know that any descent source (based on science, not the religiously inspired) will tell you not to punish them physically, then how can you possibly do that, still?

Just the thought of anyone consciously hurting my children makes me very uneasy, let alone if it would be me.

Now, before anyone makes any other assumptions… my children are boys and for as far as Dutch boys can be, they are very well behaved. They are far from spoiled, though they live in an affluent society. They know how to share and do so willingly and are very polite.

That is the feedback I get from their school, out of school care and my own observation.

(And a final note… I have been a college professor so I do know how kids can be. But I never had any issues that I felt could have been helped through a good lashing.)

whitenoise's avatar

@JLeslie I think you know when you can speak on my behalf. So right you are… :-)

OpryLeigh's avatar

@whitenoise I understand where you are coming from, you have obviously done your research and know what works best for you and your family. I agree that emotional cruelty by parents would make an interesting thread.

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 I agree children can be physical with each other, even when they have never been disciplined with corporal punishment, but it is different. Different when two kids get into a scuffle than when one is acting as the one with more power and trying to discipline/control another child. I am not trying to say that all spanked children try to spank other children.

I remember being spanked once. I remember that I had a memory of being spanked once before, and I was not happy it was going to happen again. It was very formal. I did something wrong, my father let me know I was going to get a spanking. I have absolutely no memory of what I did to deserve it, all I remember is being pulled over, told to lean over his knee, and getting spanked twice. I guess maybe if a parent spanks an older child the reason for that spanking might stick with the kid and deter the behavior from happening again, but I was so young all I remember is the trauma of the actual hit. And, I use trauma lightly, because I don’t think I have some sort of huge emotional scar from it. Although if it had continues into later years I think it would have become more of an issue, amd I think I would have been less open with my parents. I certainly think it was an ineffective punishment, and can easily become abusive. Inflicting fear in a child is a sucky way to mold behavior in my opinion.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@JLeslie It’s funny, I don’t remember ever being afraid of the actual pain of being smacked (my parents never hit me hard enough to inflict much pain anyway, the anticipation was far worse, a bit like getting an injection!!!) however, I hated the fact that I had caused my parents to be mad at me and I think that is what discouraged me from misbehaving too much. My brother, on the other hand, didn’t care about being smacked or making our parents mad. Most of the time, the thing he wasn’t meant to be doing was worth the risk so it didn’t have the same effect on him that it did on me. I admired that carefree spirit because he definitely had more fun!!!

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 I think you proved the point I made at the top. We want to please our parents, and it is our conscience that determines if we behave well. Just you knowing you dissappointed them, or did something they deemed wrong was probably enough. Our internal mechanism, not the external smack. And, the hit had no effect on your brother. What’s the point?

For me too it was the anticipation of the hit, like a needle.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
jonsblond's avatar

@JLeslie I can use my children as an example. They were spanked a few times when they were younger. They have never been involved in a fight and have never hit anyone. Our sons are much older than our daughter. Not once did they ever feel the need to spank her because she was out of line. I guess what I get upset about the most is that people who are against spanking seem to lump all spankings in the same group. I am against people who spank when angry and always use spankings as discipline. We only used a spanking for an extreme case, so the spankings were few and far between. I know many people who were spanked like this when they were younger and none of them ever turned out violent (and they all still love their parents. there are no issues).

whitenoise's avatar

@jonsblond from what I read so far you seem to be a great person, so let that be said first.

You say your children grew up / are growing up to be great people and I trust you’re right. My view, however, is not that all children will grow up damaged goods due to corporal punishment. I know a lot of people that turned out great after having had some of that in their youth. I also know a lot that did ge damaged. I know none that I feel turned out good thanks to the spanking.

Most people (not all) that I know that were spanked as a child and that turned out OK, did so, because their parents did other things right. Like talk to them and care for them properly. Hell… I even know people that turned out right after a youth full of abuse, but that is not a good argument in favor of abuse.

Your statement is like trying to proof smoking is OK since you know a lot of people that smoked and haven’t died of it (yet)”

Mikewlf337's avatar

A spanking doesn’t even hurt. Seing how kids act today is a disgrace to parenthood. Today’s parents are to blame. You can’t even yell at your kids without getting a look of shock and disapproval from others.

whitenoise's avatar

@Mikewlf337

If a spanking doesn’t even hurt, then what’s the sense?
Just a power display? A humiliation? Venting your own frustration?

missingbite's avatar

I have always thought that it was an attention getter. That was the way my parents used spankings. @Mikewlf337 may have a different take as all families do. Spankings should never be about pain. The paddling I got in school wasn’t about pain. It got my attention that I had done wrong and there were consequences for my actions that I would not like.

jonsblond's avatar

@whitenoise See, you are saying that two or three little swats on the butt during a child’s lifetime is abuse. This is what makes me so upset. You just don’t see the difference between that and actual abuse. Your cigarette comparison is a joke. Since when did a child die from a swat on the butt? A few swats on the butt is not the same as an angry parent who spanks constantly. Cigarettes kill, a spanking doesn’t. I can see this is going nowhere. I just wanted to state my opinion. I’d rather enjoy the holiday than run circles in this discussion. Hope you have a nice day. =)

@missingbite Exactly! An attention getter is exactly how it is used in the proper setting. It is not about pain. It’s meant to get the attention of the child before they do something that will cause harm to themselves or someone else.

wundayatta's avatar

There’s a lot of research about this. I’m sure if someone looked it up, we could discuss this based on knowledge rather than personal experience. I’ve never researched the subject, but I’ve heard from experts in child rearing and child education that it’s a bad idea. Which makes sense.

People who justify it by saying, “I was spanked and I turned out fine,” worry me. There are a world of psychological issues that people just don’t see in themselves, yet they are there.

There is no direct causal relationship—I was spanked therefore I got into fights or I became a criminal or anything like that. The relationship is much more subtle. It has to do with how you think people should be treated. It has to do with the role people play in society.

If you believe your children must submit to you, then you are teaching them that their thoughts don’t count. Their job is to do as they are told. Period. This is perfect if you are bringing up kids to work in places where all you are supposed to do is follow orders. These are typically more working class jobs.

If you think the only way you can gain any control over your children is by spanking, it show that you really don’t have that much power at all. We want our children to do what we ask them to because they want to please us, not because they are afraid of being hit. Violence, in my opinion, is always a failure of diplomacy. It is always a failure.

“Using your words” may take a little more effort and patience, but it pays off big in the long term. You children end up doing things that are nice because they choose to, not because they are forced into it.

I have wondered if there is a correlation between spanking and future income. I would predict that there is one. I bet there is a positive correlation between spanking and psychological problems. That’s a bit difficult to test, since a lot of people with problems never get help.

Obviously, there will be individual cases where these relationships do not hold true, but I believe we will find them, on average, if we do the research.

whitenoise's avatar

Degree of physical punishment… Never Rare Moderate Severe Extreme
Violent inmates at San Quentin… 0%..... 0%...... 0%...... 0%.... 100%
JuvenilevDelinquents…................ 0%...... 2%..... 3%.... 31%..... 64%
High School drop-outs…............. 0%...... 7%...... 3%.... 69%....... 0%
College freshmen…..................... 2%.... 23%.... 40%.... 33%....... 0%
Professionals…............................ 5%.... 40%.... 36%.... 17%....... 0%

Taking part in this survey were: 200 psychologists who filled out anonymous questionnaires, 372 college students at the University of California, Davis and California State University at Fresno, 52 slow track underachievers at Richmond High School. Delinquents were interviewed by Dr. Ralph Welsh in Bridgeport, Connecticut and by Dr. Alan Button in Fresno, California. Prisoner information was by courtesy of Hobart Banks, M.S.W., counselor of difficult prisoners at San Quentin Penitentiary, San Quentin, California.
http://www.naturalchild.org/research/corporal_punishment.html

YARNLADY's avatar

Kids hit each other and they even bite each other. They grab our eye glasses and they pinch and they take off their diapers and pee on the walls, and poop on the bed. This is not behavior we copy to show them how bad it is. Hitting is wrong.

It is the duty of each parent to teach their child civilized behavior, and the best way we can do that is by example. Hitting, swatting, spanking and whatever euphemism you want to call it is counter productive.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@whitenoise I’m sorry but I question that study you just posted. BTW spanking is not severe or extreme punishment. Spanking and swatting is far from sever or extreme.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Taking a bat and hitting them with it is violent. kicking and punching them is violent. burning them with cigarrettes is violent. Taking your hand and spanking their butt with it and causing mild discomfort is not violent or even close to violent punishment.

flutherother's avatar

I can’t say that smacking a child is right and I can’t say that smacking a child is wrong. It is up to parents how to raise their children and society or ‘experts’ shouldn’t interfere unless there is blatant abuse. No one cares more for a child than the parents. Do you think the child doesn’t know that?

whitenoise's avatar

@Mikewlf337

Go ahead… question it. That is a healthy attitude in life.

I would however truly invite you to then also look for other research yourself. Question that as well and continue looking. I’m sure you will be the better for it.

whitenoise's avatar

@flutherother
Experts and researchers don’t interfere. They merely provide information for parents to base their decisions on. The website I quoted before (and I didn’t look very long to find more, but there were tons of similar sites) gave me an interesting thought.

Whether you are an employee, a criminal, a prisoner, or a military, you are protected from corporal punishment. Actually pretty much everyone is. Only when you are a child nobody protects you.
Only when you are dependent and powerless, you are unprotected from what we regard as inappropriate to even vicious criminals.

TheLadyEve's avatar

@Leanne1986 When you (and by you, I mean people, not specifically you) say “I turned out fine and I was spanked”, you seem to be taking a pro-spanking stance, like it’s no big thing, and we should all just disregard those who didn’t end up fine, and who were scared by it. It tends to send the message that it wasn’t the spanking that was bad, it’s just that all those who were hurt by it are wusses who need to get the fuck over it already. I know that there are some people who didn’t get scared by spanking, but there are others who were, and still others like @JLeslie who weren’t traumatized per say but found it to be ineffective and didn’t associate it with what they did wrong. And of the same note, there are people who had alcoholic parents who turned out fine, but that’s hardly a reason to feel like you shouldn’t sober up and jump on the sobriety wagon if you’re going to become a parent, because so many didn’t turn out fine.
Plus, I do worry, like @wundayatta points out, that there are people who just don’t realize how much it screwed them up, especially when they have severe mental issues but claim nothing bad ever happened to them and that their childhood was great.

Mikewlf337's avatar

@TheLadyEve If they don’t know it screwed them up then how can one prove it screwed them up? How can a spanking screw someone up. Like I said before. Spanking is not even painful, it is a mild discomfort.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Maybe those who became screwed up because they were spanked believed they were maligned so it was the drugs and alcohol they got into later that was the real culprit.

redfeather's avatar

I know what @Leane1986 is saying. I said the same thing. My parents never enjoyed spanking me and they made sure I knew that. They never did it out of anger and they never overdid it. Some parents will go overboard and shouldn’t spank.

JLeslie's avatar

@jonsblond I agree with you, most likely they will never turn out violent, I was spanked a couple or three times as you described, which I described above, and I am not violent. I still think it was pointless, and so did my parents after trying it a couple of times. Out of curiosity if you are game, maybe ask your kids what they think of it now, and whether they remember why they were spanked. Or, I think above you said your were spanked, what do you remember? I don’t judge you as a violent or abusive parent for a couple of spankings, I just think it unnecessary, not more effective, there is a risk of it backfiring, and so my preference would be not to spank my children. I don’t have children, so I can be an idealist in my answer :) but many here do have children who never spank their kids.

@Mikewlf337 Are you saying that a person who had been spanked as a child would answer “never” if they were given the questionaire @whitenoise referenced?

OpryLeigh's avatar

@TheLadyEve I have said on this post a few times that I am on the fence about spanking but my point was, I am not going to pretend to be traumatised when I wasn’t. I am not disregarding anyone else’s feelings about their upbringing but I don’t like being told that I will, at some point (regardless of how I feel now), have some kind of mental issues because of it by people that are completely against spanking. When I talk about spanking, I think of what @redfeather described.

TheLadyEve's avatar

@Leanne1986 I wasn’t try to tell you how you feel, I was just answering your question here. And unfortunately, the spanking redfeather describes isn’t what all parents think of, but they’re all under the same term.

Hibernate's avatar

Thanks for replies ^^

JLeslie's avatar

This is not a direct criticism of anyone, but there is something odd about defending a parent being calm and making a conscious and deliberate decision to hit their children when you think about it. Let’s say a parent is frustrated with their child and hits their kid. Or, a parent wants to curb a particular behavior, is pensive about what to do, and decides to deliver the same hit? Is it really that different to the child? And, wouldn’t we have more empathy for the parent who snapped, then for the one who decided calmly to hit their child? Isn’t it really about the severity of the hit more than anything? Open hand, closed fist, on the bottom, across the face, left a bruised, just a little red? Or, is it about the why of the hit? To hit in anger means the child maybe did nothing really that wrong, but the parent is just an angry person easily annoyed? My MIL would get angry with her grandson when he would do something she saw as disobedient, I could not understand why it angered her. I can easily understand why it exhausts, annoys, worries, and sometimes embarrasses parents.

I have seen a few kids getting hit in public where I live. I find it astonishing how parents here really have no worries about being judged when they do it.

I wonder, these kids who are hit all the time (I am not talking about getting soanked once or twice for very extreme circumstances) who seem to act up quite a lot. I wonder if it is the chicken or the egg? Is it the type of discipline that causes them to be more rambunctious? Or, are they more out of control than average and the smack seems to be the one thing that works for now. Personally, I think it is probably neither, it probably has to do with the household in total and how everyone treats everyone.

missingbite's avatar

I think there may be some confusion here. When I talk about not out of anger, I mean when a child acts up and is disobedient the parent takes them in the other room and the kid gets a couple of licks on the bottom with an explanation that their behavior has consequences. This probably only works on younger children. I can’t see doing this to a thirteen year old.

The other type is quick. The kid starts to run in the street and the parent yells stop. Kid keeps going. Parent runs up grabs an arm and swats the bottom one good time with an explanation that the kid must listen. Now some will say that you can just grab an arm and a stern talking too will do the trick. It may. It may not. Some kids go until the parent is at their wits end. Never good for kid or parent.

Both of these in my mind are attention getters. No real harm to the child but they do learn that their actions have consequences and the parent is the boss and not the friend.

I know others don’t feel the way I do. That is fine and we should all raise kids in our own way. If a kid is in a loving home with involved parents, I can’t see a couple of swats on the bottom as detrimental.

This topic could be discussed until all parties are blue in the face we will not all ever agree. Not all kids are the same. Some will laugh at the spanking. Bottom line is, be a loving parent with communication. I would never just hit a kid without the kid understanding why they were spanked.

jonsblond's avatar

I wish I could give you 100 GA’s @missingbite.

@JLeslie I asked. They had trouble even remembering being spanked. I think our daughter receive 1 or 2 spanks in her lifetime. She was about 3 or 4 when it happened. She’s 7 now, and well behaved, so we wouldn’t even think of spanking her any more. I asked her yesterday when we were swimming in the pool and she said she didn’t remember the spankings either. We love our children and they know it. Just as my parents loved me and I knew it. None of us are emotionally damaged by the few spankings we received, and it makes me sick to hear @wundayatta say that we are emotionally damaged, but we just don’t know it yet.

flutherother's avatar

There must be cultural differences here. When I was growing up smacking was the rule and it was taken for granted by kids that if they stepped out of line they would be smacked. It was no big deal. I brought up two children myself. One I never ever smacked and the other very, very rarely but I did it and I don’t think it was wrong. Kids are not small adults, you can’t always reason with them as you would adults. If you tell your child not to do something and they continue to do it there comes a point when you lose your temper and you smack them. It lets them see that you mean business and it doesn’t cause psychological damage any more than physical damage.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite Your first paragraph describes out of anger, so I just want to be sure I understand, you are saying you don’t approve of that type of corporal punishment, right? I can understand in extreme circumstance, as I said above, maybe resorting to spanking. If a kid is defiant, keeps running in the street, risking their life, maybe after trying a few things, you try it. Certainly restraining the kid, which can leave a bruise also if the child struggles, would be acceptable.

@jonsblond In retrospect do you think you could have disciplined them a different way? They don’t even remember why they were spanked. Did you do it for them to learn an ongoing lesson, or just to stop what they were doing in the moment?Also, if you had done it when they were older, when they could remember, do you think it might be different? What if your daughter did something today at the age of 7 you feel needs to be corrected, would you even think of using corporal punishment now that she can understand language well? Now that you can explain why something is wrong. I think it would be very odd to say to a 15 year old for instance, that he was going to get paddled if he misbehaved? What do you think? In schools around here they have corporal punishment even in some of the high schools? I find that so incredibly odd.

I hope you don’t feel I am picking on you, I just know you are very open and willing to discuss your own experiences with hopefully knowing I have no intention of judging you or putting you on the defense. I am only asking the questions to learn more.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I’m not sure where you see anger in either of my situations. Warning a child over and over and over to stop a behavior and then when at your wits end you grab a child and hit them, that would be anger. If you take a child in the other room or even stop them and tell them they are getting a spanking for acting up, you don’t have to do it with a raised voice or anger.

Have you ever heard of a parent saying, this is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you? They are spanking to get a point across. The hurt of the parent is that they don’t want to have to spank but the child needs to be taught about actions and consequences.

Edit: Sometimes it wouldn’t require a spanking and some other form of discipline will work. However with young children, you can’t take away things they don’t have and sometimes a swat on the bottom gets the attention.

jonsblond's avatar

@JLeslie I spanked them to stop them from doing what they were doing at the moment. To get their attention, as @missingbite described. Once they were spanked, they never again did what it was that warranted the spanking because that type of discipline worked for them at the time. There were no ongoing issues to deal with. Could we have done something different? Of course. Would it have worked? Who knows. I do know what we did worked, just as it did for me when I was younger. When we spanked, it was during the toddler years. Like I said, I feel my daughter is too old for that now. She knows not to run in the street, pull something off a hot stove top, stick something into an electrical outlet, or hit another person.

Of course I feel a teenager is much too old for a spanking. That is just ridiculous. I don’t feel you are picking on me. I know you like to ask a lot of questions. :) If you don’t mind though, I feel I’ve said all I can on this subject and I’d rather leave the discussion now. Obviously my husband and I have done something right with our children. They are all tops in their class, very well behaved, considerate, helpful and admired by their peers. I’m not going to sit here and listen to people like @wundayatta and others say that somewhere down the line my family is going to suffer because of a few spankings. I just wanted to make note that a few swats and beatings are two completely different things, and though some people may have issues with a few swats, not everyone does. I’m not going to tell anyone else how to parent and tell them what they are doing is wrong, I would like the same respect.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I don’t see anger in either example, that is why I was confused by your wording and asked. It seemed like you were giving an example of anger, and one without anger.

missingbite's avatar

@JLeslie I see! Like you know I have said before, it’s very difficult to get intent with written word.

I also don’t judge parents that don’t spank or do. What I can’t stand to see is a parent somewhere with a child that is acting up so bad and the parent just ignores it. There seems to be no discipline whatsoever.

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I would not say I don’t judge at all regarding the topic. I just want people to know I am not judging when I ask questions, I am not trying to lead anyone into some sort of gotcha trap, I am just trying to understand the other point of view coming form a place of no judgement in my questions. If that makes sense?

So what is an example of hitting in anger? Again, if the hit is the same, with the same force, how is it different to the child? In the child’s perception?

JLeslie's avatar

@missingbite I refer no discipline to beating a child, I know you are not equating spanking with beating, either am I in the statement. Severe physical discipline in my opinion does affect children negatively. What ever could a 5 year old do to deserve being physically beaten? If he is that sociopathic corporal punishment is not going to fix that child, he needs psychological help.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I wish I could give you 100 GA’s @missingbite.
I second that and up it 10,000

Am I on Fluther, the land of geniuses and near geniuses? If we are going to split hairs on every syllable instead of using context to determine the spirit of the question or comment the next time someone parent tells their kid, “You miss curfew I am snapping your neck” someone better call the cops before the murder happened.

JLeslie's avatar

Does @missingbite get 100 GA’s because you all think he was persuasive in stating why corporal punishment is ok? Or, just because he stated well how you think about corporal punishment?

I still don’t see why other means can’t be used? It does not persuade me to use corporal punishment at all.

My husband could hit me when I do something he doesn’t like, just a smack to let me know he could kill me if he felt like it, he is in charge, and the smack may only sting for a second. So?

YARNLADY's avatar

@JLeslie That is a very relevant contrast. I often wonder what people who advocate swatting a child would think if their S. O. did that to them.

JLeslie's avatar

@YARNLADY I guess some people would respond by saying they are actually in charge of their children. Thing is, I actually still know people who believe in being submissive to their husbands. My guess is those people are more likely to be in favor of corporal punishment also. However, I do not think everyone who is for corporal punishment believes in being submissive to their husbands. I think corporal punishment is a carry over from the past, and since children have less of a voice it is slower to change than hitting a spouse.

redfeather's avatar

I’m for spanking my kid in the examples I gave, but I don’t believe in being submissive to my husband. We’re partners.

JLeslie's avatar

@redfeather I think that would be true for the majority of people who are in favor of corporal punishment. Even women who agree with the submissive thing usually don’t agree with being hit by their husbands. I had a gentleman tell me once that the men in his church recommended it though.

SuperMouse's avatar

My kids are 12, 11, and 9 and as I mentioned upthread, I have never hit any of them. They are all well-behaved children, good students, and respectful in general. The problem I have with discussions such as these is that it seems assumed that no spanking is equated with no discipline. My children are disciplined. Ever since they were young I have used logical consequences as a deterrent. You hit another kid on the playground? We leave the playground. You throw a tantrum to get what you want? It is an absolute that you will not get what you want and you will be removed from me and your family (i.e. a time out) until the tantrum is over. Even when my kids did something dangerous like running for the street touching something hot I never saw hitting as an proper resolution. When they are so young they don’t understand what they are doing is dangerous, they are too young to understand why they are being hit. By the time they are old enough to understand why they are being hit, they are old enough to understand why what they are doing is dangerous.

jonsblond's avatar

@SuperMouse The problem I have with discussions such as these is that it seems assumed that no spanking is equated with no discipline.

I’m sorry you feel that way. I always find it assumed that spankers are abusers and that’s a big problem for me. It looks like we have both done a good job raising our children. I think we can both agree that there are parents who discipline without spanking who still discipline and there are those who do nothing. There are also parents who spank just a few times for extreme cases and there are those who abuse. It’s too bad some people must lump both styles of parenting to the worst case scenario.

OpryLeigh's avatar

Maybe this thread is an indication that there is no right or wrong answer. @jonsblond and @SuperMouse both raised well behaved, grounded kids. I think, propviding they know the limitations, parents should be able to discipline their children however they feel is most effective (ie: to spank or not to spank) without fear of being accused of abuse.

wundayatta's avatar

I believe passionately in what I say about violence, which, to me, includes spanking. Maybe my words hurt people, and for that, I want to apologize. Except then I realize, I said what I really believe. I hope to hell corporal punishment hasn’t created hidden psychological damage, and I know no parent wants that. But it can happen, and it may be more likely when you spank. If I can reduce the amount of corporal punishment, then I have helped some children. If parents understand there are more effective options, then I have helped some children and their parents.

What I don’t understand is why people feel like they have to spank. It is so unnecessary. If you take your child aside, and explain to them what was wrong and why it was wrong, you will get a good result. You may have to explain it more than once, but kids understand a hell of a lot more than most people give them credit for. Eventually, if you own what you want them to do (I.e., say “I want you to do x,” not “I need you to do x”), they will come to understand that if they want stuff done for them, then would do well to cooperate with their parents. Maybe you have to be a little more patient, but the time invested up front saves you an awful lot down the road when you don’t have to deal with rebellious teens. Shit! My daughter is 3 years away from college, now!

I believe that you treat kids like they are real people, not like they are prisoners. I’m sorry, but I believe this very strongly. If you spank a kid—if you use any kind of corporal punishment, you are teaching them they are not people. They are not respected. They have no rights in this family. If you talk to them, they realize they have a choice, and they can freely choose to please you. There is a world of difference in these two approaches, and I’m sorry, but I do believe that teaching kids they don’t count is creating a solid basis for future emotional damage.

I know there are people on fluther who have experienced these things themselves. They’ve written about them. Sometimes I’m really surprised when people don’t seem to make the connection between what happened back when and their views now. Why repeat the mistakes of your parents, when it is so unnecessary?

There is a subtle psychological difference between being brought up and experiencing your choices making a difference, and being brought up and experiencing that your choices are right or wrong, and there is no room for discussion about the difference. I think that difference has a significant affect on a child’s personality, and that this affect is usually never obvious except through a good deal of therapy.

What is really weird is when I hear someone say, “I was spanked and it didn’t harm me,” when I know they have issues related to the way their parents treated them. They have told me so. Do we forget these things? How do we not make the connection?

I don’t want to have to risk insulting people by saying this, and anyone who is insulted, please know that I respect you if you disagree with me on this issue. I know we all want the best for our children. But spanking is wrong. Maybe there is a threshold underneath which it doesn’t have this effect. I hope so because I hit my son once, when I was manic and totally impatient. I apologized for it. But let’s just say that the more you use violence—even yelling in order to cow someone, the more you send the message that it is ok to beat up on someone less powerful than you. It doesn’t matter that you think you are doing it to teach a lesson.

In some ways, I think it’s even worse when you do it while calm. It seems so much more calculated that way. It creates more fear, and it is not a discussion about what happened and why it happened and what you can do to make it better.

And the idea that “this hurts me more than it does you?” It’s one of the most insidious rationalizations I have ever heard. It hurts you because you know it’s wrong. Maybe you can intellectually justify it to yourself, but inside you know better. It’s your conscience that is hurting you, not empathy. Spanking and any other form of violence towards kids, even if it is only verbal or with body language is just plain wrong. And unnecessary. We only do it because it seems expedient. And we let it happen because we think that’s what parenting is and that it never hurt us.

jonsblond's avatar

@wundayatta Not everyone has the issues that you have. Please don’t say the rest of us feel exactly like you. I have no issues with my parents. I know they love me and I love them. Why is that so hard for you to believe? Please.

Maybe you have to be a little more patient, but the time invested up front saves you an awful lot down the road when you don’t have to deal with rebellious teens.

We were patient with our children. We always talked to them about why they were punished, and we didn’t always resort to spanking. The spankings were done when they were toddlers for a few occasions. My sons are 17 and almost 19. They were never rebelious. They are outstanding students who are respected by their peers and teachers. They are people, they know they can talk with us and they do. We have open communication with them. My oldest son called us one night when he went camping with a friend because he wanted us to pick him up. He was uncomfortable because his friend brought beer and our son didn’t want to be around it. What child who felt he couldn’t trust his parents would call in a situation like this? Our son knew he could come to us in any circumstance and we would be there for him without judging him.

I’m not sorry to say that I am really insulted @wundayatta. Like I said, not everyone has issues like you do. My children and my family are doing just fine.

YARNLADY's avatar

To my way of thinking, it isn’t about “My parents loved me” or “I turned out OK, and so did my kids”. The issue that striking another human being is OK is just not civilized. Until there is a massive paradigm shift in human behavior, we will never see an end to violence and armed conflict. I don’t mind being on the leading edge of this.

jonsblond's avatar

See what I mean @SuperMouse. I’m the abuser here. But my children having a loving home means nothing. Fucking ridiculous.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Mikewlf337 My husband has just recently learned “how bad it screwed him up”...he is 35yrs old. He was spanked (naked butt with a wooden spoon) often by both of his parents because he wouldn’t “comply”. He was evaluated as a child for a learning disability…at the time, the diagnosis he has didn’t exist, so he was a “gifted student” with behavioral issues. We now know he has Asperger’s Syndrome.

The only thing my husband learned from getting “spanked” was to not trust his parents.

@YARNLADY I agree whole-heartily. My husband & I have now had talks with our son as to why we will not hit him. We expect him to listen to our requests. If he does not, he understands there will be consequences. civilized consequences

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jonsblond I’m the abuser here. But my children having a loving home means nothing. Fucking ridiculous. You are no abuser, you are no abuser, you are no abuser, do not let [redacted] anyone tell you that. I say you are a great and fine parent. To follow gonzo logic like that would make every parent who acquiesce the fact they can’t keeps their kids from sex so hand out the condoms. Don’t want their kid having sex at some party or the back seat on a lonely road, so have sex in their bedroom; or drive home drunk so let them get s*** faced at home, is an enabler of poor conduct and habits. Some people just can’t get it that all children don’t come from a cookie cutter. That is why you have people with so many varying ideals on things. If we were all the same way if we found a purse with lots of cash in it we would all turn it in even if there were no I.D., but that don’t happen, some people would take the cash and ditch the purse. Some kids might have creature comforts you can use as leverage, some families don’t have those bargaining chips to use. Had I just gotten 30 minutes in a “naughty chair” and was told kicking a teacher was un-cool, I am not sure I would have really got the message that teachers were hands off no matter what. If you want to show a child how punishment equals to the crime better start them off in diapers before the state has to step in later with the orange jumpsuit.

Cruiser's avatar

Corporal punishment reinforces shame of the event they are being punished for and IMO the worst way to punish and correct an undesired behavior in the child. In my experience that undesired behaviors root cause is a breakdown in the parents behavior in the home. Lead by example and praise and reward healthy happy behaviors. Simple no belts or hair brushes or verbal insults required.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Within your answer you touched on what I was asking, why is a calm spanking more acceptable than an angry one? I still don’t understand what people mean when they say not in anger, and how it is differe t from the childs perspective.

I do think probably how often it happens and why matters in terms of whether it has longterm affects in most cases. I read a few old studies that showed that people who use corporal punishment reported hitting their child on aberage 3 times a week! No wonder some people assume children are getting hit often, some of them are.

@all I was in the post office a few months ago, and a mom told her son to stop pushing on the doors. She asked him twice, and then pulled him off and slapped him twice on the ass in front of all of us. He must have been around 6 years old. I figure that women spanks her kid all the fucking time. I also think that spank caused him almost no physical pain. I also believe he will not be calling his parents when he needs help like @jonsblond describes.

Don’t get me wrong, I would not risk it. My policy would be to not hit, I would hope I would never break that rule for myself if I were a parent. I agree with @YARNLADY just turning out ok, does not make it ok.

On Dr. Phil today corporal punishment was part of the issue with the family featured. The mother kept saying, “I am a good mother,” when Dr. Phil said he disagreed with hitting children. I could see on her face how hard it was for her to even think that maybe the corporal punishment was a bad choice as a parent. Dr. Phil did not come off as judging in my opinion, he mentioned about half of America thinks spanking is ok.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JLeslie
The mother kept saying, “I am a good mother,” Yes, this is the mentality of my mother & my husband’s parents. My husband will be having a candid conversation with his mother regarding her parenting choices in the very near future. He plans to tell her how confused he was by her choice to hit instead of explain.

I read a few old studies that showed that people who use corporal punishment reported hitting their child on average 3 times a week! My husband was spanked constantly. His two brothers were hit less often. I was spanked maybe ten times total (much less confusing).

Regarding the lady at the post office: My guess would be the same as yours…her choice is to hit, often and for confusing reasons. She did it without warning, also.

Why is a calm spanking more acceptable than an angry one? I still don’t understand what people mean when they say not in anger, and how it is different from the child’s perspective. My husband recently rec’d his “baby” book from his mom. She reported a few of his spankings in the book. One of which details how at age 3 he threw a book at his pre-school teacher. He was disciplined by the teacher and the principal, then spanked by his father once his dad came home from work. The thought that “calm” spanking somehow is an easier pill to swallow is ridiculous. It’s no less confusing than being hit immediately as punishment.

As for us as parents, I try my best to be calm. Being calm and not reactionary is difficult for my husband. We openly communicate this with our son. He knows that if he upsets daddy, daddy may have to leave the room for a moment or two before speaking with him.

@SuperMouse, my husband’s love language is touch and 2nd is praise. When he was touched it was often a hit, and he rarely rec’d praise. Luckily for our son, we’re readers and are able to educate ourselves as parents as to the needs of our son.

JLeslie's avatar

@SpatzieLover I am no expert, but I will say that I hope your husband does not characterize his spankings as abuse. His parents were worried about him most likely, and thought it was an appropriate way to mold his behavior. Hopefully, if he does have a conversation with his parents, hopefully they will be able to say to him that they are sorry it was confusing and that they wish they had known and done better. More than that, I hope he accepts it, and lets it go. The spankings don’t necessarily make them bad parents, I truly believe that. Parents are a whole package, not just one thing, one behavior.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JLeslie Didn’t have much time to type..Yes, my husband gets that his parents were doing their personal best. However, they consulted with educators as to how to best meet his needs, then decided to continue on as they had been doing. In their case this meant acting as though their son wasn’t “gifted” and was just not obeying them or was “being willful”.

It’s a long story, but at this point he would appreciate an apology and validation. He knows he may never get either.

whitenoise's avatar

@jonsblond
Nobody is calling you an abuser, I certainly am not. I disagree with spanking children and I feel I have good reasons for it, but being a parent is a package that consists of so much more than spanking or not spanking. I know some great parents that occasionally spank their children and i know some very poor ones that don’t.

@Hypocrisy_Central
You (again) created a straw man. Nobody opposing spanking (on this thread) has advocated to not discipline children, nor has anyone suggested to let a child do whatever it wants. The typical ‘enabler’-behavior that you describe has no relevance to whether people advocate corporal punishment or not. It certainly is not a logical consequence of deciding not to spank your child.

JLeslie's avatar

About the anger. I think children much of the time think when they are grounded or disciplined in any way that their parents are angry at them. How many teens say, “my mom is going to be pissed if she finds out I drank a beer.” Or, “my dad will kill me if I am past my curfew.” They perceive the parent as angry when the parent is actually, worried, trying to protect them, wanting to guide them, etc. At least that is how it seems to me. How often has the collecive encouraged a teen to talk to their parents, but they are afraid. Later when they do it, the parents come through like a charm, wanting to hear and help their children. But, the kids just have a view of parents making rules, trying to control them, no matter how great the parents are, kids can wind up thinking this way I think, depending on the child.

athenasgriffin's avatar

I don’t think that spanking is an issue that is just right or wrong. In some cases, with some children, spanking is incredibly detrimental. Some children are sensitive enough that any sort of physical violence can permanently harm them. Those children, it would be wrong to spank, as they do not need it to learn a lesson, and no lesson learned would be worth the irrevocable harm it would do. Some parents are incapable of using spanking in the correct manner, again, it would be wrong for them to spank their children.

However, certain children are not so sensitive. For certain children, you can talk to them until your lungs burst and they hear nothing. For those children, spanking may be an option.

I was one of those children. My mother was pro-spanking, my father was adamantly against it. My father only had me every other weekend, and didn’t really understand what a difficult child I was. I was constantly running off, touching things I shouldn’t, flirting with disaster. I was fearful of nothing and no amount of admonishment and time outs was going to change my behavior. When I got a lecture, the first think I thought was, “And how are you going to stop me” closely followed by, “What’s in it for me?” if I was told I must change my behavior.

So, my mother used spanking only in cases where my safety was at risk. When I broke the safety lock of the medicine cabinet and almost took all of the pills. When I opened the door of the car and threatened to jump out on the expressway. When I ran away. It was usually not even the first resort. First came an explanation on why my behavior was wrong, followed by the threat that next time I would be spanked. I was never afraid of my mother, or of being spanked, but it let me know that she was serious, and I, for all my flaws, loved my mother. I didn’t stop out of fear, but out of recognition that when my mother spanked or threatened to, it was serious.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@whitenoise You (again) created a straw man. Nobody opposing spanking (on this thread) has advocated to not discipline children, nor has anyone suggested to let a child do whatever it wants. Again the paper tiger’s eyes need to be checked. In the context of my answer was to the thought that if a child is spanked even as little as twice a year and not leaving any physical injury that the lid knew of, it is abuse. I said what I did to illustrate a point that parents that allow partial bad behavior or habits because they feel allowing 30% is better, easier, and safer for the child then trying to curb 100%. Even a soda cracker can follow that. I never said no discipline at all, but so I am not confusing I will simplify to a point and 6th grader can follow.

TheLadyEve's avatar

@jonsblond Not everyone has the issues that you have. Please don’t say the rest of us feel exactly like you. I have no issues with my parents. I know they love me and I love them. Why is that so hard for you to believe? Please.
First, I don’t mean for this to be you personally. But the reason I, at least, don’t believe you (nor do I necessarily disbelieve you) is because I don’t know you. I don’t know your children. There’s a limit to how well anyone can know someone else online, especially without private conversations and video chats and whatnot. I do, however, know that my mother would say the exact same thing as you. She would say that she did a wonderful job of raising her children, and blame any problems we had on something other than her parenting. I, however, would really disagree. I think if she did a good job of parenting, I wouldn’t have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars get serious professional help. There’s a reason that mothers don’t really make good characters witnesses in the courtroom. So maybe you did do a good job of raising your family, and maybe your children did turn out well. But there’s pretty much no way for me to know that here on Fluther, and I’ve gotten in the horrible habit of making up my own mind and not taking someone else’s word for it.

jonsblond's avatar

@TheLadyEve You don’t have to believe me, but I’ve been here a little over 2½ years. Go through my questions. I’ve asked many questions about my children. Especially my oldest who just finished his first year in college. I asked many questions about his first year experience and his student exchange trip to Germany last year. You can go through all of my answers from the past 2½ years and gather quite a bit of information about me and my family. If you ask our fellow flutherites, I’m sure most who know me would say I’m one dedicated mother. I’m friends with many people from here on Facebook too. We’ve all gotten to know about each other’s families quite a bit. I know @SuperMouse has done a fantastic job at raising her children and she knows the same about me because we’ve gotten to know each other here and through personal PM’s. I am just giving my example, just as everyone else is. The only difference is, I’m not judging anyone for their parenting techniques.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jonsblond The only difference is, I’m not judging anyone for their parenting techniques. Here is the curious part to me, most parents, or way less, use corporal punishment today but crimes kids do today would have been shocking in my day. I wonder how many of those minors committing and participating in these horrific crimes got no corporal punishment? If getting a spanking is suppose to make them violent and damaged youth crime should have always been low, and dropping, and surely not as severe over all as it has been the past decade at least.

Plucky's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Whether today’s kids receive, or do not receive, corporal punishment is not the main cause of juvenile delinquency.

Personally, I think the main causes of youth crimes are mental disorders/illnesses and/or family environment (or lack thereof). More children are being diagnosed with psychological disorders than ever – which can very well relate to family environment. Many more children are being raised with little supervision from the parent(s). Less supervision usually leads to much more parent-child conflicts. This can then lead to a very weak parent-child attachment. The chain just keeps on going. I think I made my point though.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Less supervision usually leads to much more parent-child conflicts And it leads to classroom disobedience, too @Plucky.

TheLadyEve's avatar

@jonsblond And again, people who only speak with my mother think she’s a great parent, because she portrays herself that way. So that doesn’t really prove anything. And what if I did go through all your answers, and disagreed with how well you raised your children? What if I got to know you more, and didn’t like what I found? I haven’t gone through them, but how upset you are that people online don’t believe that you’re a good parent makes me think it wouldn’t be so good if I disagreed with you.

jonsblond's avatar

@TheLadyEve Wow. Really? Would you like the phone number to the the schools my children have attended. Mention Wilcox and they will tell you how well they enjoyed our children. Our children always received glowing reports from their teachers during parent/teacher conferences. The teachers always told us they wish all their conferences could be so easy. Not once were our children ever called to the principal’s office for misbehavior. Our daughter is 10/12 years younger than her brothers. When she first arrived to the same grade school her bother’s attended, the secretaries looked at me and said “Yay. There’s another Wilcox kid”. They loved our family because we did a great job raising our children. Does that sound like a dysfunctional family to you? Yes I’m upset about your comments because my life is my children. We have sacrificed so much so I could be a stay-at-home mom for them and they could receive the attention they need and deserve. Their intelligence and love from the communities we have lived in are proof we have done something right.

I haven’t gone through them, but how upset you are that people online don’t believe that you’re a good parent makes me think it wouldn’t be so good if I disagreed with you.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? I am standing up for what I believe in. My family is the most important thing to me. Wouldn’t you do the same if someone attacked your family and parenting when you’ve done nothing wrong?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@jonsblond I haven’t gone through them, but how upset you are that people online don’t believe that you’re a good parent makes me think it wouldn’t be so good if I disagreed with you. What people_? I am surely not one of those people. I have not spoken with you personally; I have followed your activity in other threads and in general. From what I have discovered is that you are a great parent. Not liking what is discovered I can bet would apply to anyone, depending on who was doing the looking. Maybe some of those ”hands off” people might find the people online would think there child is not as behaved and adjusted with just the :naughty chair”. You can’t pluck one facet from the diamond and say that is the jewel. Parents are there to protect, teach, and care for their children, the ”be a friend” part comes after the main stuff is handled. Parents need to work at being parents first and a ”pariend” second. If I had to have children that liked me or ones that respected me, I would go with respect. I can’t say how many people I know who didn’t like their parents much, off style, only to realize after they grew up an matured their parents had only their best intentions and was happy their parents buckled down and not let them run amuck or skate by easy.

jonsblond's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central One of the greatest compliments my husband and I received was from our oldest son. He told us how lucky he was because all his friends had parents who were screwed up, but he didn’t. He told us he felt “normal” and he was lucky. It made my heart melt. He was only 16 when he told us this. =) You can have friendship and respect with your child, but respect must come first. I am very lucky to have both.

missingbite's avatar

@jonsblond I’d let you raise my kids any day! spankings included!

Edit: That is, if something happened to me!

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