To spank or not to spank?

United States
December 13, 2006 10:30pm CST
What form of discipline works best for your little ones? My son is 2 yrs old and laughs when we put him in time out but with a simple swat(in which we only use as a last resort) we then get his full attention. We also use different forms of dicipline that works too such as taking away certain priviledges or his favorite toy. What is your view on spanking? Thanks for your input!!
5 people like this
57 responses
@briennekb (613)
• United States
14 Dec 06
I think spanking is okay in the way you put it. My nephew is 5 and he gets a swat on the butt when he has gone way to far. He never gets bend over the knee and repeatedly swapped. When he gets yelled at, he just laughs, but a swat definitely gets his attention. 99% of the time he gets sent to the corner. He absolutely hates that, but it usually does the trick.
2 people like this
@norteh (615)
• Netherlands
14 Dec 06
My kids hate the corner also. Works. Don't spank, but send them to the corner.
• Netherlands
15 Dec 06
Don't spank? Sometimes it is the only way to get to children. Whe I was young I would laugh at every other punishment. My parents would swat me and that was the only way to get me to stop. I don't think it is cruel and it should be left up to the parent as they know their child best.
• China
20 Dec 06
I hold the same idea with you. sometimes children need to be disciplined by corporal punishment. Our purpose is to educate children, so we shall try all means that are helpful for their growth. of course, we will not spank our kids so brutally. they are our blood. we know that.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
14 Dec 06
I have three children (son-19, daughter-15, and daughter-6), and I have always implemented communication and time out as the means of discipline. The key was to be consistent with the discipline, they could tantrum, scream, or laugh all they wanted, but they quickly learned what the consequences were, and sitting in time out was not something they wanted to do. If the improper behavior had to do with a toy, then the punishment fit the crime, and they learned that the toy would be taken away for a week. I never spanked or raised my hand to my children. My view on spanking, even a simple swat, is that it does teach impressionable young children that when we are angry with them, we can use violence to control the situation. To me, this is the wrong message to send to our children, as we are their first teachers in life, and it will teach them to enact the same violence when they are angry, leading to more bad behavior that you have to then try to correct--forms a cycle. For example, you swat lil' Johnny because he was jumping on the couch and screaming and you warned him three times and he still didn't listen; so, you swat him, or spank him. Then lil' Johnny's younger sister is annoying him by screaming and jumping all over the blocks he was building with, so, lil' Johnny smacks her. Why did lil' Johnny believe it was okay to smack his sister, because you the parent taught him that when someone does something wrong you hit them to gain control or correct the situation. You create a cycle, and then chances are you will discipline lil' Johnny for hitting his sister, but you've confused him because hitting (swatting) is acceptable for you to do. It also teaches a child to fear their parent, I would much rather have my children comfortable with me and not afraid of me.
• United States
14 Dec 06
When done correctly, a spanking will not teach violence, but that there is a consequence for bad behavior. Oh, and fear of the parents... not really. Fear of having consequenses when youve done something wrong, yes. Fear of parents- no. Besides, you are there to be their parent not their friend. A little healthy fear is necessary.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
14 Dec 06
But why teach consequences through teaching violence as a means to scare and correct behavior, when you could be constructive, and not imprint violence as acceptable actions to your child's impressionable brain? It is proven medically and psychologically that a spanking does teach violence, and that it is better to be constructive through communication and setting limits and consistent expectations when the child is young.
• United States
14 Dec 06
AMEN!! I agree with MY2BOYS!!
@infoman (98)
• United States
14 Dec 06
Studies show that mild spanking and lead to the child becoming an abusive individual. Even in it's most mild form. Spanking is only an excuse for lazy parenting. Face the facts that you have to be quick to take a firm stance and stick to it. Be consistent and firm with your decision and you will quickly start to see a transformation of your child. It takes a lot of work, but in the end it will pay off huge compared to spanking. Also kids that were spanked become much more rebellious as teenagers. Another study that was done. I will look for links, but I saw them in a medical journal. Only spank your lover if they ask you to.
• United States
14 Dec 06
What a bunch of bull. I was spanked and I dont abuse my kids. I have plenty of friends who were spanked and dont abuse their kids either. Its not lazy parenting when you do it correctly either. Yes, there is a correct way. Waiting until you have calmed down, explaining why they are being spanked, and then spanking. In emergency situations like that of the child hurting self or others, take to another room for calming period and then administer discipline as needed. Time outs can be abused too! Havent you seen those reports of kids locked in their rooms or closets? What about kids who are told to sit down and shut up all day? EVERYTHING can be abuse if not done correctly or done excessively.
• United States
14 Dec 06
I was spanked as a child not just with the hand but the belt and I turned out fine! Im not saying that's okay to do these days but your comment on spanking making you a rebellious teenager and a abusive parent is full of cr@p!!! I want nothing more but to teach my children good values and I find we get complimented often for how well adjusted, not to mention HAPPY they are! I taught my son how to use his manners by being the example but refused to enforce it on him as such parents do and he uses it on a daily basis on HIS terms. He chooses to do this! Please don't ridicule someones parenting unless you know for SURE they are a bad parent. Even still it is not your place to do so.
@metal333 (251)
• India
14 Dec 06
u should spank ur child when he is young...that is the only means to get his attention and to make him respect...if u do not give him any punishment he will take things very lightly and finally iot will afeect him and maybe his career as he grows up... a good parent needs to always discipline his child...but if he obeys u then i think there is no need to punish him...u can just give him some few warnings... but if he gets out of hand then u better give him some punishment
• United States
14 Dec 06
I can tell you I didn't and don't respect my parents for spanking me.I feared them because they spanked me. I respect them for giving me consequences for my actions.
• United States
14 Dec 06
richelle, when i was younger, my dad once told me that if i didn't bring home a paper i was supposed to have him sign, to be waiting for him when he got home from work, for a spanking. now, i forgot to bring the paper home. i knew ahead of time what i was supposed to do, and what the consequences would be if i disobeyed. so i took my punishment "like a man", and was waiting for him when he got home. i'm guessing most kids that are spanked probably don't get that kind of heads up.
@estarga (1188)
• United States
14 Dec 06
Spanking - spank
I spank my daughter and son. They are 3 and 5. But I do realize that spanking does not work on every child. My daughter will straighten up at the threat of a spanking and with my son it depends, my husband can spank him and he will be good for about a month and then it is like he forgot about it and starts acting up again. With me I could spank him everyday but I don't because I know that it doesn't work. I learned from my parents that you cannot treat your children the same evry child has their own personality so what may work with another may not work with the other or others. So basically to answer it depends on your childs personality, so basically I do beleive in spanking children.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Exactly! Thats why other things must precede spankings!!! Find out if other things work first, THEN use spanking as a back up when they dont learn the lesson through other ways of discipline! If you find out that way that time-outs work then God bless you- you wont need to spank them! If you find out removing privelidges works then thats GREAT! I just wish all kids would respond the same way! But they dont! They are all different!
• United States
14 Dec 06
Another intelligent answer. I agree. I was a teacher of 3-6 yr olds for over 10yrs and NO, spanking was NOT involved but I found that each child is so diverse with there personality and it was really a challenge to find out what worked for each individual and then have to change it up so often to make it continue to work. Try that on a classroom of 24 kids!! LOL
@susanscs (268)
• Spain
14 Dec 06
spanking is wrong no matter what, try other methods. Spanks can lead to violence, if you get away with a spank what will you get away with next. A tap on the back on the hand usually works with toddlers.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Again, Spanking, when done correctly- not in anger or "out of the blue" will NOT lead to violence! If other things are present that tend to bring violent natures about, sure the child will grow up violent. But disciplined correctly in this way, a child will learn right from wrong, and have a healthy fear of consequenses. With MY toddler, a tap on the back of the hand is HITTING him. A spank on the bottom done in his room while being told why we dont do something gets through to him. HITTING the back of his hand tells him he can go hit his brother when he wants that toy over there. It says to him "You told me no, and hit me, so Im going to go tell him no and hit him." A spanking should be a planned out, mentally thought-through process. NOT a quick swat out of the blue the kid didnt know it was coming HIT. You take them to the room and talk to them and then let them know whats coming. They expect it. It stings. Its over. Spankings are a last resort discipline. Remove problemary objects/Divert. Remove child from situation/time out. THEN and only then, after those things have not taught the child the lesson, are spankings appropriate. If a situation comes where the child is hurting self or other child, spanking can be first choice if it has already been clarified to that child that the behavior is NOT acceptable. NEVER should a spanking be- seemingly to the child- out of NO WHERE. Or should the child be made to feel that they are not loved because of trouble making, or made to feel they are a bad child. THAT is when it becomes abuse.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Sounds like she knows what she is talking about! Until someone out there of some high authority says that spanking totally screws up your child for life then my opinions on this have NOT changed.
@123456_ (1053)
• Philippines
14 Dec 06
spanking - 
In addition, adults other than the child's parents should never use any form of physical punishment. Teachers, camp counselors, baby sitters, and others who supervise children neither love nor understand a child deeply enough to make even mild physical punishment acceptable. Grandparents should, if at all possible, avoid any kind of physical punishment because it will undermine the very special, safe relationship their grandchildren need from them.
Spanking and making children feel guilty are risky practices. Different definitions of spanking cause confusion and misunderstanding. There is a huge difference between slapping a 2-year-old's child's hand and hitting her in the face; between swatting a 3-year-old's behind once and hitting him repeatedly on the back. Although we know chronic or severe physical punishment can have dramatic negative consequences for children, not all physical punishment is child abuse. Infrequent, mild physical punishment by parents may appear to be effective in stopping misbehavior in some young children. Although there continues to be some debate among professionals about the merits of its use, I am not familiar with any research showing that infrequent, mild physical punishment has clear long-term negative consequences for children. The use of this discipline choice will be further moderated by a relationship in which the child feels deeply loved and supported by the parent. Even mild physical punishment would be inappropriate, however, for children who have been abused in the past. These children would be better served by a completely nonviolent response. Any form of physical punishment could undermine their sense of safety in a relationship with a parent.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
14 Dec 06
You copy and pasted copyrighted information as your response and failed to cite and reference your source. The original article can be found here: http://www.k-state.edu/wwparent/courses/rd/rd9.htm
• United States
14 Dec 06
I'm new here but isn't that a NO,NO!?! Thanks for the input.
@snurfy2k (12)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I was spanked as a child and I spank my 3 year old. I am a normal mom that has normal children (my youngest is one and "no no" still works for her). I give my son two to three warnings and I tell him he will get a spanking if he does it again. If I have to spank him, I let him get his cry out and then I sit down with him and let him know that his behavior is wrong that's why he got spanked. I always follow up with a hug, kiss, and an i love you!
• United States
15 Dec 06
Sounds like what we do. We also have a one yr old little girl and I can't bear to spank her as of yet. We just remove her from the situation and that seems to work for now.
• United States
15 Dec 06
I dont believe in spanking children, i honestly think that spanking is part of the cause of kids isolating themself away from parents and having dark thoughts and the such, i believe yes it puts fear in the children, but is it really fear you want to install in your children? or do you want them to know that you are in control and they need to behave but that you are also their best friend? I believe in the ideas that the television show "super nanny" are the kind of things a child needs. Your child shouldnt be scared of you and i believe spanking does make a lot of children scared of their parents. Just my 2 cents
• United States
15 Dec 06
I'm not saying spank your kids until there teenagers. And I am also not saying to use spanking all the time. That won't work. Its just used as a tactic to get the childs attention when all else fails. I was very close to my mother when I was a teen, and still am to this day. I had no "dark" secrets to keep from her. We had a great relationship. If used correctly stuff like that won't/doesn't happen.
@2staffi (61)
• United States
14 Dec 06
i am not a parent. what i have to offer is what worked on me. i got everything from mind games to a switch. some things i will mention i would not suggest you try on your children, it is just what worked for me. when it came to the way i acted, i never got time out. the mind game would start. i would have to go outside and pull the switch off the tree myself. do i get the flimsy one?... moves too fast acts like a whip. maybe the big one?... bight break and i will have to get another. hated that damn tree. took 4 years for the branches to grow out of my reach. if i said something i got smacked. we were walking in kroger (grocery store) i was not getting what i wanted and kept nagging. finally something smart came out of my mouth. as i was finishing my sentence i got the back-hand. it put me on the ground. i sat there in shock until i started to cry. over the top a little i know. i will have you know that i never back-talked my mom again. if i got bad grades, i got a warning. get them up by the next report card or stay in the house until they come up. this was great if school was still in. the first time i brought home bad grades on the final report card i got to sit my butt down in a chair and watch my friends playing outside all summer. not joking. sucked but you better believe my grades never dropped again. if i threatened to run away, i got marched upstairs to pack my bags and was sent out the front door and it was locked behind me. if i said i would call protective services, the phone was promptly put in my hand with them on the phone. every other form of discipline was the same way. the most extreme. it sounds harsh. i think i am a better person for it. my brother on the other hand was brought up with weak hand. time out, 1 or 2 day groundings, take this away take that away bs. now my parents suffer. he demands things. tells them that they will buy him this or that. destroys furniture when they are not home if he did not get what he wants. the worst manners i have ever seen. no respect for authority. has no values. i don't know if this will help or not but that is my side of the spank or no spank. i see what i have described here in other people as well. i came from the spanking era and my brother and his friends did not. you can tell.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Wow, I think that about sums up the whole spanking issue. Sounds like you have been through a lot. Although I don't agree with most methods your parents used I do think some of them might work when my child is WAY older. Thanks for the input!
@arvee17 (730)
• Philippines
14 Dec 06
baby - baby picture
i don't like to spank my baby. but sometimes when it's like he is making me crazy and won't stop his crying i give him a not so like spank on his butt. but it's not even powerful that he doesn't even know the difference. so i just give him a time out, put him in a corner and lay his favorite toy near where he can see it. he would cry and ask for his toy to coddle but i won't let him. it is like my way to punish him. then i would tell him what he did wrong and after a minute or two, pick him up again and stop him from crying. he usually say sorry after i pick him up. so that would melt my heart and we will play again.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Pretty smart! I think I will use that method sometime. Thanks!
• United States
14 Dec 06
I don't have a problem with others choosing to spank their children (and I mean a light swat, not a full out beating - some misinterpret this), but personally I won't spank mine. I honestly don't think it's necessary, when there are other and even more effective ways for discipline. At least that's what I believe.
@arvee17 (730)
• Philippines
14 Dec 06
i agree with you. there are a lot of ways of disciplining ones child. talking to the kid and having a good relationship with your kid at an early age gives the child more discipline.
• India
14 Dec 06
no spanking the kids but girls u can
• United States
14 Dec 06
HUH???????? Did you just say spank the girls but not the boys? I sure hope not.
@maryannemax (12170)
• Sweden
14 Dec 06
spanking - it's okey for children to get spanked for as long as they know the reason behind it.
when i was still little,i am really hard headed. i don't listen to what mum tells. instead, i go out and play with the kids in the neighborhood. i spent most of my time with them even to the point that i forget to go home at mealtime. sometimes, i forget to do chores because i love to play more than to do the chores i needed to accomplished. my mum spanks me whenever i commit mistake. the good thing is that she explains first her reason for spanking me. make me realize my mistakes and make me swear to try not to do it again. i grew up well knowing that mum needed to spank me because she loves me. what parents should do is to communicate to their children in any way possible. and oh, please spank when you're it's just proper.
• United States
14 Dec 06
I liked your response, thank you. You put very well into perspective.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Physical discipline doesn't work for my 5yo daughter. I don't really have to put her in the corner much anymore though. I usually give her choices and I also tend to give her consequences ie if you don't eat your dinner you're not going to have desert. Of course your 2yo is probably still too young for this.
• United States
14 Dec 06
Im glad you have found other ways that work for you and your daughter! :)
@smbilalshah (1316)
• Pakistan
14 Dec 06
well i think ur son is too young for spankin yet but ofcourse just a little bit of spanking for the good of ur child is never wrong the most important thing is that ur child learns wats right n wrong n grows up to b a good part of the community
• United States
14 Dec 06
On the contrary, when the child is old enough to reason with you, they might be too OLD for a spanking. When a 2 year old is out of hand, they dont know how to reason with you. If removing them from the situation or removing the offending object does not work, a methodical and routined spanking will often say to them "I get a spanking when I do that, it hurts. I dont think I want to do that" You cannot reason with a 2 year old.
• Romania
14 Dec 06
my answer is: not to spank. why? if spanking children may have trauma.
• United States
14 Dec 06
YEAH only if you're so out of mind with blind rage maybe and if that's the case you need to DEF. take yourself out of the situation!
@lingli_78 (12844)
• Australia
14 Dec 06
well, i don't really agree with physical punishment unless it is really really necessary... otherwise, i would prefer to talk nicely or a discussion...
• United States
14 Dec 06
Do you have children?
• Philippines
14 Dec 06
i think spanking is a good form of discipline cause a child will then learn that he should not do things that aren't good, cause through his spanking experience, he can then determine the things that are right, and the things that are bad. Counseling is also good and it uses the conscience of the child to make him feel guilty of his mistakes, however, counseling i think is not as effective as physical discipline..
• United States
14 Dec 06
THANK YOU!!
• United States
14 Dec 06
I myslef have been a very very lucky mom. when Skylar is bad time out works usually...unless hes in those moods that nothing short of Tquila would chill him out!@ lol lol kidding i would never!!anywho..i have taken his toys away and yes I have spanked him.and when i do he knows im beyong pis$ed off!! but my friend..ohh myyy she has a not so good kid in nice words..nothing phased him..spanking he laughed..toys he didnt care..it was aweful!! untill one day..he stold money from her purse..hes 9...and she caught him..she wacked him and then..u ready? she made him put his hands behiond his head..go to a corner..nose in..and get on his knees..and he had to stsya that way untill he learened...and ya know..hes is becoming a really good kid lol..but me persoanlly i pray to god my kid doesnt start that crap!
• Netherlands
15 Dec 06
My mom would take my toys away, stand me in a corner, not let me go out and play, sit me in my room, take away cartoons etc.... I didn't care about any of these things. Time out was fun for me. (I was a naughty kid) A swat though, made me stop laughing and pay attention.