"Spare the rod and spoil the child" - Is spanking really effective?

New Zealand
January 29, 2007 9:43pm CST
Some say it is parental right, even duty. Some say that it's God's "law". Bible-huggers are the most vehement in the promotion of child beating. After all, the "bible" is full of these kind of ways of expressing love to your child. "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it fat from him" (Proverbs 22:15) "Withold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with a rod, he shall not die" (Proverbs 23:13) Child beating is mandatory as far as the bible is concerned but I am personally not in favor of spanking. Whatever your beliefs are in this matter, feel free to share them here. Let's have a healthy and fun discussion for a change.
14 people like this
58 responses
@soorimd (301)
• India
30 Jan 07
no way .if one can understand the childs psychology and his feelings they will realise that it is the love that is needed by them and not spanking.i feel spanking if at all needed it is for elders who cant understand a child and his naughty behavior
3 people like this
• New Zealand
31 Jan 07
How very true. Thank you. One of the posters, said " I will never beat beat my child. My hands are there to love and stroke my children, not to beat them"
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I think everyone gets too into child rearing what is right and what is wrong. It is the parents duty to raise the child. I think a parent should be able to spank a child. Not beat it, not hurt it. But, once in awhile a swift smack in the re end is a good thing.
2 people like this
@ronita34 (3923)
• Canada
7 Feb 07
I agree with you and i do not think that a firm spank on the bum does not hurt a child at all but it does in fact keep them from disobeying certain things from time to time!!
• Thailand
30 Jan 07
I am a teacher in a country that just abolished corporal punishment, in schools, a few years ago and there are still teachers that think it was the end of discipline and classroom order. Fourtinunately the more enlightened are beginning to realize that you can gain more with rewards than you ever could with the bamboo cane. I hope parents come to realize this soon also. It would go a long way towards reducing the violence in our society.
2 people like this
• United States
31 Jan 07
I think there are more effective to discipline your child. A well thought out punishment will leave a bigger impact than a spanking.
@rsa101 (13337)
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
You don't have to beat a child to learn its lesson. You can try by gentle persuasion and a child will respond to you in the same manner. Beating a child would only make a child fearful to express himself and would carry that to adulthood. Give him space to think for himself and correct it along the way that would not need any violence is I think the best that you could give your child a happy childhood.
1 person likes this
@moneymind (10524)
• Philippines
31 Jan 07
That is very true and that there are actually studies proving that such children will grow up to be bullies or sort of violent grown ups. Worst thing about it is that it will be a cycle since mostlikely that such child will do the same descipline method to his/her own children. greetings. : )
1 person likes this
@chuggs (314)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Acctually, some of the worste kids I've known had absolutely no discapline at all, or severe disipline. Spanking is not beating!!!There is a huge difference.
• New Zealand
31 Jan 07
I agree.
@sfdocnpi (42)
• Philippines
30 Jan 07
There is a difference between a spanking or a beating. Children under the age of 3 do not understand logic. One cannot rationalize with them. So if your 2 year old is going to stick a hairpin in an electric socket - a slap on the wrist or a swat on the butt (which is what I consider a spanking) may be a life saving thing. Most people who say you should never spank a child - have never had children of their own. Beatings though - i.e., using a belt, a switch or some other object to hit a child with is abuse and crossing the line. When my kids were small, I would take one sheet of a newspaper and roll it up and swat them on the butt with it along with a stern NO to get their attention. It made a whole lot of noise, but never injured none of those kids. I kept my children from sticking their fingers in the fan, sticking them in open flames and many other near catastrophies using that technique. Simply telling a child no - just doesn't work and time out doesn't work on a 3 year old either.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 07
I like your logic. Definitely, a swat on the butt is not abuse and can prevent dangerous situations. My children, both on the autism spectrum, would not have understood an explanation. Of course I'd rather spank them to teach them not to run to the road or parking lot rather than them getting hit by a car. To some, and little children, an explanation is nothing.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
30 Jan 07
Those are quite a set of observations. 1. It is ok when they are very small. 2. The main purpose is to draw attention. 3. To be used when words cannot carry the message. I would submit a 4th point for discussion to support the logic: 4. When a child is throwing a tantrum or is hysterical - does a spank help?
@Bytemi (1553)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I do not think hitting your child is right. All you are doing is teaching them violance. "Don't hit other childern" then you spank them, what message does that send, do as I say not as I do. It just seems wrong to me.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
30 Jan 07
Thanks Bytemi, well said as always. I agree it is not right particularly when you tell them in the same breath "do not hit other children" or beat up your brother.
1 person likes this
@shannon76 (1234)
• United States
31 Jan 07
"Hitting" and discipline through spanking is very different. And there are many different ways to do it. Yes, when you smack your child upside the head with your hand out of anger, hitting, then that would show a very bad example to a child. But, when your child has done something wrong, like stick a toy in the light socket or something, then you calmly explain to the child that it is wrong and either spank his hand or spank his butt. That way he associates the wrong doing with punishment. And for us christian folk, we like to pray with our children before and after we discipline just like Jesus does for us when he disciplines us. And it hurts us probably more then it hurts the child. If you are not upset by having to discipline your child and if you find actual pleasure out of it, then YES by all means DO NOT do it and that would be abuse. I cry even thinking about when the time will come I have to spank my child. But then I also believe in it. My parents did it with us. I don't resent my parents, I don't hate them for doing that. I understand why they did because they explained it to us and more times out of none, I stopped whatever I was doing because of the spanking.
@mnksmommy (302)
• United States
6 Feb 07
I was spanked as a child and it instilled a fear in me of my parents. My son was having some behavior issues and everyone kept telling me that he just needed a good spanking. I had tried everything else so I gave in. We (hubby and me) tried spanking for about a week. Well, my son starting hitting. He thought it was okay to hit--even though we explained why he got spanked and never acted/hit in anger. I had enough and cut out the spanking--it didn't work or curb his behavior--it made him worse with the hitting issues--that took weeks to repair the "lesson" learned for spanking. My children now lose priveleges and toys for punishment. It works--they hate losing beloved toys and being able to go bowling or going to someone's house to play. We also do time alone/time out....that kills them. They hate having to sit and do nothing for a small amount of time. Maybe spanking works for some parents/children--but not for mine. I don't want anyone to think I am coming down on them for spanking. You have to do what is right for you and your child and we all know that all parents and children are different. The rest of my family spanks their kids--I do not preach at them and vice versa.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
7 Feb 07
Well said. Yes, it does inure some children and harden them to the belief that violence is alright. And you are right, to each his/her own, and then we hope that parents exercise due diligence. They want to make laws with more teeth, to deal with abuses.
@shooie (4989)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Okay I let the bible hugger slur pass. But the child beating comment no. There is a difference between beat and spanking. Even though it says beat in the bible most people do not beat their child. Like last night my grandchild came over and was pitching a fit and wouldn't do anything but have a fit. I gave him a quick swat to the butt and that ended it. So yes spanking is effective sometimes. If you want a healthy and fun discussion then you might not want to start out by calling people names. You could have easily said Those that read the bible.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
31 Jan 07
Hugging a Bible is the same as hugging (or adopting with love) anything else. Why do you feel slurred. There is no insult inherent in the expression. Sometimes a sharp slap is what is recommended for an adult in the throes of a hysterical tantrum to shock them out of hysteria. Yes, I can see your point. My great grandmother, a feisty and crusty woman used to say this very often when we justified something that she felt was incorrect. "Whether you eat a spoonful of Shi*t or a shovelful of sh*t - the difference is just a matter of how much". This discussion has been incepted - given the number of child abuse cases that are now coming to light around the world. That is where the crux of the dilemma is. And that is where protagonists of spanking / corporal punishment for children quote the Holy Bible. Thank you kindly ma'am for your post and restraint.
• United States
31 Jan 07
I think if my child is heading toward the street and risks getting hit then i think it should be ok i believe you should only spank on the rear with their pants on and i believe in using a wooden spoon i dont use my hand cuz those are for comfort but they know if i say im going to get the spoon they straighten up i would rather spank them then get them hit by a car cuz they will remember the spanking and that its not enjoyable but if you sit them in the corner for long times then they get a repetitive disipline and they dont get phased by it there have been tiimes when they dont pay attention and throw fits uncontrolably and i have to get them on the butt to get them to stop and they stop i dont think spanking should be an all the time event but when theres concern for their safety yes i agree
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
31 Jan 07
Michelle, I love this bit. " I believe in using a wooden spoon. I do not use my hand because those (my hands) are for comfort (and love)." Yes hon, that is right our hands are to cherish and love them, not to spank them. Thank you for sharing this lovely thought with us.
• Australia
30 Jan 07
First, those two Proverbs, doesnt mean that bible allows you to spank your child. it is just a figurative saying.. you should remember when reading the bible to not take the word for its own meaning.. think the meaning behind it.. think it with wisdom.. this is where the problem usually arises.. because many people read and took the word meaning of the bible and misinterpret the whole things.. I dont think spanking is the best way to teach your kid.. because it will hurt their soul and subconsiously they may hate their parents for it.. I know a lot of my friend that still behold that hate until now (im 21).. though lucky to say Im not one of them. There are many ways to teach your kid when they behave bad .. such as time off.. sending your kid to apologize to the person they have hurt.. or get them to do household duties (such as clean up after dinner.. or tidy up their room etc2 or get them to do their homework and no TV for them such as like that).. Parents should show love to their kid.. because as the bible say Love is the most important ones.. love also means forgiveness.. and of course love doesnt hurt the kids.. :)
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
31 Jan 07
babydolphin, I see the validity of what you are saying. The Bible, like any other book, like the Koran, Upanishads, Mahabharata, ethics, is written both from the perspective of defining a dimension of religion and a way of life. It is when the fundamentalists - who insist that the WORD of GOD is found in their PARTICULAR brand of book and persist in a literal interpretation then we have a problem Love is a fundamental aspect of the parent-child relationship. When a woman carries a child for 9 months, a bond - much stronger than the umbilical cord is established and is a lifelong bond. I do agree with you, that there are many other ways of disciplining them. Thank you for posting. I do appreciate your thoughts.
@sbeauty (5871)
• United States
30 Jan 07
I've never much believed in spankings. I grew up with a mother who very much believed in them, and I really don't think they ever did anything for me except make me feel worse about myself than I did before because I was such a terrible person. Therefore, I almost never paddled my kids growing up. However, when I moved to Tennessee to teach, I found out that they still paddle kids in the schools there. I could never bring myself to do so, although I did send a few boys to the principal over the years. He would inevitably paddle them, but their behavior never improved so I thought it was pretty ineffective as a punishment. I would have preferred if the principal had talked to them and put the fear of God into them that way.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
31 Jan 07
Spot on! as they would say. You are a daughter, a mother and a teacher. As a daughter, you did not particularly enjoy being paddled (no one does), as a mother you never paddled your children and as a teacher, you refused to paddle children. Now that is some rebound! Research indicates that most people who were paddled as children go on to become wielders of the paddle themselves, and in some cases worse. http://www.corpun.com/websch.htm This site provides links to Corporal Punishment in schools in different countries and the state of current legislation. Thank you for sharing your views and experience with us.
@cuhkiz (569)
• Philippines
30 Jan 07
I protest child spanking :) Spanking should be made in the right situation and not initiated by anger. Because spanking with anger is child beating and that won' help to mold your child to behave as well as you've expected to. I don't really agree to child spanking because 1st of all, spanking somehow can hurt a kid. Once you can't control your anger, that will dwelt hard beating to kids. The level of their understanding is not like adult people with normal level of apprehension. They should just be talked very well about their mistakes and spanking won't straighten a mistake made. The more spanking, the harder it gets, the sooner it'll goes to beating and if the child is already used with how much it hurts them, the child won't even mind. Because in his/her head, the hurt is nothing already.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
30 Jan 07
I agree with you on this one. I know that physical punishment can even lead the child to rebel against you. It is up to the parents on how they managed their child from the time the child is born till he/she grows up, and if the parents are good in bringing up their child, then there is no need for spanking and the like. Children are not born mischievious, naughty, disobedient, etc. It is the parents' influence and upbringing that makes them who they are. Bottom line is, why physically punish them for the outcome of what you have brought them to be? If they are what they are, then talking might be the best solution. Spanking doesn't mean the child understands that what he/she is doing is wrong - it can easily be interpreted as "My parents hate me".
• Netherlands
30 Jan 07
My parents are NOT christian. They do NOT read the bible, but I got spankings when I was younger. It isn't always Christians that do this. I also don't hold a grudge against my parents for my spankings because that is how they were also raised and I turned out just fine. I suppose it is also a cultural thing too because my friends all got spankings when they were bad too.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
30 Jan 07
It is true, spanking / beating, corporal punishment, violence against children, therapeutic correction, or what ever the words used - almost all cultures have established practices of corporal punishment. Some justify it - using religious texts. Thank you for your response.
@jbrooks0127 (2329)
• United States
30 Jan 07
While in the past it was preached as you say I think today it is not something to be expressed by most churches. With child abuse at the level it is even churchs are lowth to make it worse. I personally beleive that while there are times that a slap on the butt may make your point there is no justification for spanking. I raised two children and never spanked them once. They just knew when they were not to do something by the tone in my voice. They both are raising great children without the need to do this. I have a friend that did believe in this and spanked hard at every opertunity...expecially to the middle child. He has been in and out of prison too many times to count. The others are doing fine I think but spanking did not do it for them. Children need to know they are loved and expected to be good. To inflict pain upon them when we as parents think they are bad is to forget what it was like to be a child. There is never ever an excuse for this.
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
30 Jan 07
Great plug for pacificm at home!
• Philippines
2 Feb 07
I think it is not abusive if it is done for a reason. I mean, if it's really the child's mistake but after that it should be accompanied with an explanation, "WHY?", there should be some words of wisdom after spanking the child so that it won't happen again.
• United States
31 Jan 07
I don't think that physical punishment in anyway is apropriate. When you're an adult are you punished that way, no so why when you're a child? Physical punishment is a temporary solution to a problem, fear makes the child not want to do something again but will eventually do the same thing when the affect wares off.
1 person likes this
@malsun (1528)
• United States
31 Jan 07
this is a question that bothers me a lot. i have a 16 month kid who gets out of hand sometimes. as a child, my parents used to spank me and my siblings. and we were always well behaved kids and we dont hold a grudge against our parents for that. however, now that i am a parent myself, sometimes being stern with them also doesnt help. i guess a little pat on her diaper is not a sin. i am sure that parents who love their children more than their lives wont do something to hurt their kids.
1 person likes this
@chuggs (314)
• United States
31 Jan 07
Spamking is not beating. I know from experience that it works better on some kids than others. I am for spanking, not beating. Smacking a kid on the butt is much differnt than balling up your fist and smaking them in the face.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Jan 07
im a parent and i do not believe in spanking a child it does not teach them anything but violence.i also do not believe it is effective at all use other forms of discipline besides spanking in my eyes spanking is very wrong.
1 person likes this