General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

If your parents did NOT use corporal punishment on you as a child, did you feel they were in the right?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) June 2nd, 2009

I know there was a question asked about how people felt about their parents using corporal punishment against them and I hear all the time from people who don’t use corporal punishment on their kids.

But what about those of you who were never spanked or anything as a kid? Did you feel that your parents were effective in punishment or was it completely ineffective?

For me, my parents never touched me, nor did they ever legitimately threaten it except when joking. Like, my dad would say stuff like “I think you need a spankin’” but it was a joke. My parents did other things that seemed to have worked. What about y’all? I’m really only addressing those who were not corporally punished. Please don’t turn this into a debate about it. I’m sick of that. It’s been done to DEATH.

Anyway, I have a sleepover to go to.

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33 Answers

Tink's avatar

No because when I as little and my cousins would fight with me I wasn’t allowed to hit them back and thts why I am shy because they didn’t let me do anything

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I am speaking for my husband (just b/c he doesn’t have a Fluther acct and is reading the question w/ me). He was not spanked, just grounded and “talked to”, and it worked in some ways and didn’t in others. He is a deep thinker because of the talks about what is right and wrong and how things affect other people. But, he doesn’t pick up after himself and doesn’t know when his constant jokes go too far even towards older adults (and spouse!). So, he learned some good things from other forms of punishment, but there are other lessons he did not pick up on b/c of the non-corporal punishment decision.

MrGV's avatar

Corporal punishment is the only way to go.

arturodiaz's avatar

Some justified spankin once in a while is all right. They did it to me and I learned some stuff. I will definitively use this method for my kids as it has worked for me. Of course I was never threatened my phisycal integrity nor damaged me in any long-term way. Of course it hurt but it was more a of a symbolic way of making me know I was doing something really bad. The thing is in not overdoing it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Modern parenting is largely based on the operant conditioning model where desired behavior is rewarded and undesirable behavior is punished in an effort to extinct that behavior. It has been proven that undesirable behavior can be eliminated without the use of violence.

jrpowell's avatar

My mom hit me twice that I remember. My dad didn’t touch me. But he beat the shit out of my sister. Like head in bathtub, his behavior ended his life and put my mom in jail for “time served.”

chelseababyy's avatar

@MrGeneVan That’s not funny.

LC_Beta's avatar

My mom hit us, threw things, screamed at us all the time. I don’t feel that her punishments really changed our behavior.

My father never once raised a hand or his voice to any of us, but just the slightest indication that he was unhappy with us or disappointed would practically make us cry.

I know there are a lot of variables here, but for me and my brothers, our mother’s temper made us respect her less and definitely didn’t stop us from doing what we wanted to do.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@LC_Beta @johnpowell That sounds more like outright abuse than corporal punishment. I’m sorry for what you went through.

LC_Beta's avatar

So I guess my answer would have to be that I will strive to be more like my father in my parenting style.

Aethelwine's avatar

My father spanked me once when I was a young child. When I say spanked, I mean “tapped on the behind”. If he ever threatened it again I always behaved. The same goes for school. When I entered first grade I was the new kid in school. I was a very shy child and was terrified. I couldn’t quit crying. I just wanted to go home to mom. The teacher threatened to paddle me if I didn’t stop crying. Yes, crying! This was mid 70s in Las Vegas. I know you are from there, I went to Gene Ward Elementary. The second I was threatened, guess what? I quit crying.

I was threatened with corporal punishment, but it was only used on me once. That one little swat on the behind was very effective.

LC_Beta's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic She’s gotten help for her anger issues, but still believes in hitting.

jackfright's avatar

my stepmother did until i was big enough to threaten hitting her back.
my father didn’t, all he did was lock me up in the storeroom for a few hours until i cooled off, and was prepared to discuss the mistake i had made.

dynamicduo's avatar

Yes, my parents did not use it on me or my sibling and I do believe they were in the right. There is no need to physically harm a child, parenting skills are more than sufficient in disciplining children.

Lupin's avatar

I was always a good boy! There was never a need for punishment.
Except for when I set the juniper bush next to if the house on fire with an Estes rocket engine.
They took my matches away. Good call.

wundayatta's avatar

So far, unless I’m counting wrong, only one person has been brought up without corporal punishment. Are there any others?

I’ve brought my children up that way, and people are often commenting on how well behaved they are. Unfortunately (or fortunately), they aren’t on fluther to comment about this.

Lupin's avatar

@Daloon I hope you included me in that list. Honest. I don’t remember ever being hit or needing punishment. Just the matches incident.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I was brought up without any corporal punishment. I don’t think it’s at all necessary. None of my brothers or sisters have been punished that way either, and we’re all extremely well-behaved in my opinion. There are six of us in total, so of course the house was/is total chaos in terms of noise levels and there’s always roughhousing among the kids, but time-outs and removal of TV or computer privileges have worked just fine in making us all behave.

I think the reason it’s worked so well is the combination of feeling like your parents respect you, and also being given both freedom and responsibility from them. That’s what makes a child WANT to listen to what their parents have to say, then they want behave well. I don’t think children should be trained to blindly obey, because that breeds resentment later.

Likeradar's avatar

I was brought up without corporal punishment and my parents were 100% right.

There was some fighting and grounding and privileges being taken away, so I definitley knew when I had messed up and there were consequences. I was raised to care about how my parents and other people viewed me, and I knew that having nice behavior was important.

I really don’t think corporal punishment teaches a child how to grow into the kind of adult I would want to be around.

SuperMouse's avatar

I was starting to find this thread incredibly disheartening. Here’s a shout out to the parents of @Dansedescygnes, @Lupin, @fireinthepriory and @Likeradar!!

I was beaten and I have yet to figure out what I gained from it other than how to take a punch, and a feeling apathy toward my father.

I do not hit my kids, but I do punish them with timeouts, grounding, and logical consequences. It is good to hear from those who weren’t hit and turned out to be great people – not just in spite of that – but because of it.

Likeradar's avatar

@dynamicduo “parenting skills are more than sufficient in disciplining children”
So true, and great point.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

my mom spanked me maybe a hand full of times when i was growing up. never beaten. and i think i turned out better than most.

but one time when i was about 13 i called my mom a bitch and she flat out punched me in the face. i learned my lesson…

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@supermouse This question was about corporal punishment, not being beaten. I’m sorry you were beaten, but they are two different things.

Lupin's avatar

@SuperMouse Both my parents are gone now. My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was 12 and my brother 10. My father took care of us and my mom until she died a few years later. I suppose we could have taken advantage of the situation and been “bad” but we weren’t. We never gave our parents any reason to be angry. We did laundry without asking, cleaned up when it was messy, cut the grass when it needed it, studied in school and did homework. It was obvious they needed help and we never even considered misbehaving (like some of our wilder friends). We both turned out OK.
Thanks Mom! Thanks Dad!

SuperMouse's avatar

@BBSDTfamily I understand the difference between corporal punishment and being beaten and for the record I have experienced both. My mother used corporal punishment such as spankings and I maintain that neither did anything to make me a better person.

Here is a quote I came upon this morning. It is from Abdu’l-Baha’ and as far as I am concerned it is brilliant:

Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well, let her praise and appluad him and cheer his heart; and if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if he is subjected to blows or verbal abuse.

Blondesjon's avatar

A two-year old understands a quick swat on the bottom or a slap on the wrist much better than a dissertation on “why jr. shouldn’t do that”.

Parents have gotten into two bad habits:

1. Trying to be their children’s buddies instead of their parents.

2. Letting the media and non-parents guilt them into raising their children in some sort of fantasy world.

All three of my children have recieved a swat when they were too young to understand anyhting else. Once they became older and developed some more mature reasoning skills I began to take toys and privileges away from them.It hurt worse than any spanking to be grounded or lose a favorite toy for a week.

With that said, my children have also been told every day that they are loved and that they are special. They just know better than to take their parents kindness as weakness.

They learned respect and a lot of today’s youth could use a refresher course in that.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Blondesjon my children are not my “buddies” and I parent them in a way I believe is best for them. I do not let anyone, be they the media, parents, or non-parents guilt me into raising my child any way other than the one I think is right. I did not use a swat when they were to young to understand a dissertation. I used consequences, and time-outs. I am proud to say that even without the swat my children are pretty darn well behaved. I believe I am instilling them with a strong set of values and a sense of respect for themselves and others.

I think part of the problem is that when a parent says they do not spank, others automatically assume that they are not vigilant parents and let their children run wild. It seems to be assumed that parents have two methods at hand, spanking and long talks about what is right and what is wrong. That is simply not true. Although they are not spanked, my children are disciplined.

There are several testaments right here in this thread that parenting can be accomplished without violence. Take a look at the teenager who started this thread. He is obviously wise beyond his years, respectful, and well-spoken. Not to mention he is starting Stanford in the fall. Pretty impressive for a kid who was never spanked, and proof that it is possible to raise good and responsible kids without corporal punishment.

Blondesjon's avatar

@SuperMouse . . .That is fantastic. I think the real key to good parenting is knowing exactly what your children are doing at all times (when possible), knowing what is going on in your children’s life, and letting your children know that you love them.

I am not telling anyone how to manage their children. I am only asking for the same consideration in return.

you do know my post wasn’t directed at anyone specific, right?

SuperMouse's avatar

@Blondesjon yes, I do know your post wasn’t directed at anyone specifically and I didn’t take it personally. My frustration builds when people assume that because I don’t hit I don’t discipline. Don’t get me wrong, I know where this assumption comes from because I have seen plenty of mom’s and dad’s decide that Junior doesn’t need rules or control, he just needs understanding, friendship, and love. I am all about setting limits and sticking to them and I have absolutely no problem following through with punishment or hurting their feelings. I did get a bit defensive there – sorry about that!

@blondesjon, I say it again – YIKES!

Ivan's avatar

If I ever have kids I’m going to be their friends.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


Yes, I’ve heard of Gene Ward; it’s near the airport, right? I didn’t go there, though, I was on the other side of town.

I remember I cried hysterically on the first day of preschool (I was literally holding onto my mom) and my mom had no idea what to do. The teacher told my mom that this happens sometimes and not to worry. Surely enough, after not being threatened or talked to angrily in any way (and brought over to where the other kids were), I stopped crying.


Thanks, I’m sure my parents would appreciate it. :)

We were also surveyed in English class. About 70% of the people there were spanked as kids. From the ones that weren’t, none of us are wild, unruly, anarchistic kids who don’t have any sense of law and order. My friend Rory being one of the people never spanked or threatened with spanking, is a quiet, calm, nice kid who doesn’t harm anyone or anything.

And thanks for what you said about me…haha…the notion that corporal punishment is the “only way”, as @MrGeneVan said, is a crock of horse manure. :P


My parents are parents and friends. I’m closer to my mom than my dad, though.

Blondesjon's avatar

@SuperMouse . . .No apologies necessary. I have said many times, I tend to have that effect on people. :)

maybe i have something lodged somewhere

Aethelwine's avatar

@Dansedescygnes That’s the school. Obviously there are extremes on both sides of this debate. Just as @SuperMouse gets frustrated when people assume that because she doesn’t spank she also doesn’t discipline, I get upset with people assuming that because we gave a few swats on the behind it’s child abuse. My sons were spanked a handful of times when they were toddlers, only for something such as running in front of a car or messing with an electrical outlet, something that could kill or injure them. They turned out fine. They are 15 and 17, high honor students like yourself that are respected in the community. They also know that they are loved and they treat others with respect.

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