Spanking as a form of discipline. Is it loving or harmful?

United States
August 28, 2011 7:16pm CST
What is your opinion? Is spanking a loving or harmful form of discipline?
7 responses
@la_chique (1499)
29 Aug 11
I dont disagree with spanking. At least parents that do it are actually enforcing discipline but i think theres more constructive ways to discipline. I've seen countless parents spank their child for hitting or physically hurting a sibling which is just sending mixed messages. I was spanked as a child myself and although I was well behaved most of the time it got to the point where my parents would hit me so hard that all I Felt for them was fear. And now I wouldnt care too much if I was domestically abused by a partner as its just the way I was raised. So because of my personal experience I would never use physical violence, but would never tell a parent they were wrong to use it themselves.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Aug 11
The situation you describe is exactly what makes me wonder if it is a good or bad practice. I know that for me, it was never bad enough to even remotely be abusive. However, the point you make about mixed messages is sooooo correct. You tell the child not to hit others but hit the child when they hit others as a way to discipline. I don't think a child should ever fear a parent. At that point the relationship is not one of nurturing and teaching, it is just that, fear. (and submissiveness).
1 person likes this
@tessa9 (1086)
• Philippines
29 Aug 11
Spanking can be a form of both. I think that it really depends on the type of spanking. If it's just a petty single spank to like say don't do it again then I think it is totally fine. If it's too much then I think that's a form of abuse.
• United States
29 Aug 11
I know what you are trying to say tessa. One can spank lightly or one can 'beat' a child. There is a big difference and it can easily be abuse if one spanks a child too hard.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Oct 11
I pretty much agree with everyone here. It can go both ways and definately depends on the household. I think that spanking should be the last resort of discipline. If the child does something wrong, the parent should take the time to say what and why is something wrong, but in meantime take away priviledges to show them there's consequences for each action. If this bad behavior repeates itself then I understand that being spanked would be necessary. Spanking can be harmful when taking too far, like pushing and choking a child. Every child is different, so how they will respond to the punishment varies. Some kids never received spankings in their lives but turned out good.
1 person likes this
@SydneyJ (903)
• United States
1 Sep 11
I don't think spanking is harmful unless it is hard spankings happening often. Small pats on the put to show something shouldn't be done and to inforce the rules but only occasionally.
1 person likes this
29 Aug 11
Using violence of any sort to sort out any problem means that you have failed. It is the same with children. Some parents just have to hit their children because they have failed to train and discipline them properly in the first place.
• United States
29 Aug 12
From what I have seen the effect of spanking depends on the child. All children react to things differently. Because of this and the fact that you don't know how the child will react I don't believe spanking any child is a good idea. Sure, I was spanked as a child and had no bad reaction from it, but I have known others who have had bad reactions from it.
• United States
5 Mar 12
I don't really see spanking as being loving, although it isn't always abuse, either. An occasional swat in certain situations is not abusive. But I definitely think it sends mixed messages to children, especially if spanking is the primary form of punishment. A lot of people say "I was spanked and I turned out all right." I was spanked as a kid and I guess it depends on your definition of "all right." I"ve never been arrested and I didn't turn into an abusive parent, but I didn't exactly learn good parenting skills, either, as far as I'm concerned. Mostly spanking made me grow up resenting my parents. I lied a lot in order to keep from getting in trouble, and it is really difficult for me admit it now if I do something wrong, unless it's something really trivial. As I got older the spankings did escalate to child abuse, as my father got in the habit of whipping me with his belt when I would argue with him. The threat of spanking (or whipping) was NOT a deterrent to doing something if I really wanted to do it. Although I did pretty much behave myself at school, away from home, etc. I was a very shy child. I'm not sure if I really thought another adult would physically abuse me if I spoke up, but it's possible I might have subconciously felt that way. I was NOT afraid to speak up for myself at home, or not do something I really didn't want to do, even though I knew a spanking would be the result.