When should you spank a child?

Hand print - Blue hand print.
United States
March 13, 2008 8:45am CST
First of all. Do you think children should be spanked? Why or Why not? Bare hand or with an object? At what age do you think it is appropriate to start spanking if you belive in spanking your children? I personally think that it is okay to spank children when they are a toddler through the age of 4-6 depending on you, your child and what not. I think it should be done with a bare hand and only when verbal warnings and less physical punishments have not worked...such as putting your little one in the corner for time out. All opinions are welcome!!
3 people like this
12 responses
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
13 Mar 08
You should start to spank the child when he starts to walk. You should use only a bare hand. You should only spank the child if he refused to obey you and the time outs and other forms of discipline have not worked. It should end when they start to go to school and when they can understand. After that, you can use taking away privileges, and other forms of discipline that are more effective.
@sahyd2don (2950)
• India
14 Mar 08
I am not a parent yet so i dont know what to do.but i think what suspenseful said is right.I completely agree with his idea.Thats how a child should be grown up otherwise they will get spoilet.
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3978)
• United States
14 Mar 08
I have to respectfully disagree with your response. A child starting to walk is about 9months to a year old, is less than 2' tall and weighs under 25lbs; how can it be OK for an adult- close to triple the child's height and probably more than 5 times his weight, hit that child? Children at 1 barely have any language skills yet, how can you be angry for them failing to understand and obey what you've asked them to do?
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Mar 08
I welcome all opinions here. But I have to say I disagree with you compltely. I believe children shouldn't be spanked until you can communicate and understand eachother well. Most toddlers understand well enough come 2 or 3 to be spanked if alternative verbal or (for lack of better words) unphysical forms of discipline do not work. I have a 9 month old right now...i lightly smack her hand if she tries to grab an electric cord if me telling her no several times has no effect. My husband tried to lighly smack her bottom once and I staright up told him i respect his opinions and the way he wants to raise our baby but I will not stand by and have anyone spank my 9 month old baby. Thanks for your response.
1 person likes this
@eden32 (3978)
• United States
13 Mar 08
I did spank with my eldest, I haven't and won't with my other 3 children. The biggest reason I won't spank again, it doesn't work. I want my children to do the right thing in a situation because they know it to be the right thing, not because they fear getting in trouble. If they base their choices on the fear of trouble, they'll weigh out 'is doing this incorrect thing worth the trouble I'll get in' and you'd be surprised how often some children choose to do the incorrect thing and accept the spanking. I find talking to my children, explaining why they shouldn't do something or what naturally will happen if they do something wrong promotes good behavior far better than spanking. The other reason I don't spank anymore is what I realized I was teaching my children- did I want my daughter to think it was Ok for her future partner to hit her if she did something that made them unhappy? Or for my eldest to slap the younger ones if they broke his stuff? Of course not. As adults, our bosses don't hit us when we goof up, or if they did they'd be arrested for assault. Why would we teach our children hitting is OK if the person you're hitting is smaller than you and has no defense against it?
2 people like this
• United States
13 Mar 08
Great response! I agree with some of the things you said. If all we do is spank our children it could teach them that its okay later on in life to hit someone for doing something wrong. I really enjoyed reading your response!
1 person likes this
• China
14 Mar 08
i fully agree with your opinion. i admire you have such a penetrating view. you've thought what i havn't thought.
2 people like this
@aero89 (422)
• United States
13 Mar 08
I think that spanking is acceptable ONLY if the child is putting itself or someone else in immediate danger. There shouldn't be verbal warnings - that's how dire the situation has to be. For instance, you and your three year old are coming out of the grocery and they dart off between some cars and you've lost sight of them for a few seconds. This kind of behavior requires immediate and severe punishment that they are not used to. (In other words, your child should not be 'used to' a spanking.) They need to be shocked and they need to remember why they got the spanking. Putting them in the car and explaining it won't help; by then they forgot about it. The danger factor loses its value with every second with small children. Once, when I was a child, I was playing very near the stove top at my aunt's house. I got reprimanded right there on the spot with a spanking. After that, I correlated playing near the stove to that spanking. Needless to say, I didn't do it again. When little Tommy or Sally won't quit taking the toys out of the toy box even though they've been told over and over to stop, spanking them is not going to get results. It is in these instances that the parent or caretaker loses control. Adults should be able to make it work, even if it means it's inconvenient for them. Spanking a child even on a slightly regular basis is just admitting defeat. It's all you have left. So, treat the child as a dog and take your anger out with a whipping to show that you have some kind of "authority". This is a sad occurrence.
• United States
14 Mar 08
Very well said response. I very much so agree with what you have said. Spanking should be a last resort or saved for severe/dangerous situations.
@ayou82 (3460)
• Philippines
14 Mar 08
Never ever spank a child.. nor throw verbal things that might hurt.. hold the hand and tell them that this is bad and this is the good.. coz they will carry that when they reach the time they have kids and they will do the same thing.. Discipline always comes with a nice sitdown and a talk
2 people like this
@bayness0 (281)
14 Mar 08
You should never spank a child. It is abuse. Anyone who does it should be arrested and placed in prison. You cannot spank an adult (at least not without their consent lol[).
2 people like this
@asgtswife04 (2482)
• United States
14 Mar 08
yes, i do believe in spanking. i think that sometimes it's the appropriate punishment and that if never spanked the child will end up disrespecting you and doing what ever they want all the time and will get so much worse when they are older. i, personally, started smacking my daughters hand at about 18 months old when she would do something wrong and now that she is almost two a swat to the butt is ofter required. i don't believe that you should use objects, but your hand to get your point across. this of course is after being told several times to stop doing something or doing time out or sending her to her room. i always use spanking as a last resort. God bless
• United States
14 Mar 08
Thanks for your response!
• United States
16 Mar 08
To a large degree I think it depends on the child in question. I think it is very appropriate when they are very young to get them to understand the concept of disobedience=unpleasant consequences. It should never be done when anger is involved though. As a parent you have to make sure that before you administer any punishment, you calm yourself down. If that means you have to step into another room and take a few deep breaths then do so. If your anger shows, your child will perceive their punishment as you getting back at them, as opposed to a cause and effect, they disobeyed, therefore they receive the punishment they knew they would get. I've heard parents say they try to treat the issue of disciplining like a vending machine. The child gets what they ask for with their actions. Maybe that's not such a good illustration. But the point behind any disciplinary action is to teach a child that they can't get away with doing anything they want, there have to be consequences that they can understand easily or they will grow up not able to grasp that the bigger, more serious things they are doing or considering doing will have bigger consequences. I think with spanking, it is a good method when the child is too young to grasp the bigger picture of doing right for the sake of doing right.
@jillhill (37354)
• United States
15 Mar 08
I don't believe in spanking. And we just had a big blow up at work amongst a few of the workers....It's very funny that the people that are largest in physical stature where I work....are the ones that believe in spanking...So I asked one of them how they would feel...having a giant person approaching them with rage in their face with their had raised ready to hit! (that is how a small child would see it) Presonally I raised three kids and didn't spank any of them...and they turned out wonderful! If you hit a child...in anger or frustration, you are teaching them that it's alright to hit others when they are in the same mood! That is my opinion anyway!
1 person likes this
• Canada
15 Mar 08
I will not spank any of my children when I have them because it did not work with me when my Dad spanked me. All it did was make me fear his anger. I want my children to behave because they know it is right and not because they fear me beating them. If you (not you specifically just you in a general blanket sense) are consistant with time outs and know how to make them work and how to execute them right then they will eventually be effective and you will not have to resort to hitting your children to get your point across.
• Philippines
31 Mar 08
Hahaha, first of all, i'll tell u how painful it is being spanked by a belt on the butt, hahha!! I was 3 yrs old, i think, my behavior was not that much of a disciplined child, i got spanked almost everyday for being too hyperactive, hahhaa.. ^_^ For me, spanking should be done when ur child gets out of hand... ^_^ It helps them understand that there are certain things that they shouldn't do and shouldn't repeat what they have done wrong until the grow up and know what is right and wrong.. ^_^ It might make them feel like you don't love them anymore, but if you explained to them why you spanked them, as they grow up, they would listen to you and would understand why you dide tose things to them.. ^_^ Hahaha.. ^_^
@lovesam (18)
• Nigeria
14 Mar 08
yes
• United States
14 Mar 08
First, it only works on some children. Second, NEVER use an object. In Ohio at least, spanking a child with anything other than a bare hand is felony child abuse, other states probably have similar laws. Do not spank your child before they start walking, and use it only as a last resort. If your child ever becomes used to being spanked, it won't work, so you need to make sure spanking is reserved for rare occasions that actually warrent it. Take care, and good luck