Spanking ban. What do you think?

United States
January 19, 2007 1:40am CST
A California State Assembly Woman is writing a new law banning spanking a child under the age of 3. What is your opinion this law? Do you think it should pass? Why or Why not? Honestly I am not sure how I feel about this. I do think that there is a fine line between spanking and abusing a child. But that is also an age where a light tap on the rear might just do good if the child ABSOLUTELY is not getting the idea of no. Nothing major but a very light tap...enough to startle the child not hurt them. (In no way do I condone hurting a child for any reason!)
16 people like this
97 responses
• United States
19 Jan 07
First off, I really think the legislature has no right to tell us how we can and cannot discipline our children with the exception of real abuse. I think its much more important to have a toddler growing up in the security provided by proper discipline and rules (however they are inforced) than it is for some legislator who probably doesnt' even have children to decide that 3 is the magic age you can spank them. SO much is set in a child by the time they are 3, and a lot of it is much easier to deal with at a much younger age when they first start to show signs of challenging your authority.
• United States
19 Jan 07
My first thought was "Are you kidding me...that lady has probably never been with a toddler for too long." It is sad that we are getting to a day and age where the government is telling us how to raise our children.
3 people like this
• Australia
19 Jan 07
It is sad to think we are in a day and age when the government N E E D S to tell us how to discipline our children. I have now witnessed a few generations, and I am appalled at the lack of discipline and self control in so many (not by any means all) of today's children. There is no discipline in many homes, in the schools or in society. Where there is discipline, it is often very negative and achieves little, but thankfully there are more and more families turning away from "spanking" and other negative punishment and using positive discipline.
3 people like this
• United States
20 Jan 07
I get really tired of hearing parents refer to their children as if they are private possessions. Legislature governs how we treat each other when we are adults, right? If someone does something wrong at work, I can't spank them for it- it's against the law. Yet, we don't see children in the same way. We think it's OK to hit them when they are "bad". Yes, I had toddlers. Yes, I disciplined them. However, I could never condone hitting anyone as a form of correction- adult or child. Get rid of those terms like "light tap". How about if your husband gave you a "light tap" every time you did something he didn't like? Wouldn't that be abusive? Why in the world would anyone hit a baby? Is that the only solution you can find to help your child learn??
• Australia
19 Jan 07
There is a very big differerence between spanking and hitting or slapping. A spanking is a repeated hitting, with a degree of force, as an act of punishment. A hit or slap is one action, and is not necessarily an act of punishment, but can be used to gain attention or to warn of danger. For instance, a slap or hit on the hand can warn of a hot stove. I think it is a good idea to ban spanking (as repeatedly hitting for punishment) any child, but certainly a child under three years of age. I will admit there are children who deserve and would probably benefit from a spanking, but that is because these children have not been given consistent positive discipline in the home. I do not believe a child needs to be physically "punished" when positive discipline is the normal action.
• India
19 Jan 07
ya i agree with u asspanking is not good it will hurt the children and may b it will not b god for their future
• United States
19 Jan 07
Well, I guess with this there would have to be a definition of spnaking. I believe a spanking should be an open hand not very heavy hit on the bottom. Not excessive repetiveness as you mentioned. And only if all other forms of "punishment" (which would also have to have a definition) had not worked. A sla on the hand to stop them from touching something hot could be deemed as a spanking too. I am not saying that people should use force on a child at all. That part I agree with.
• United States
19 Jan 07
ummm.....spanking isnt necessarily REPEATEDLY HITTING. thats more of an opinion than a fact because i guarantee you, not every person REPEATEDLY HITS their child when they get A spank.
1 person likes this
@ashjoe76 (1422)
• India
19 Jan 07
It depends on how you define what stays on both sides of the thin line. It is commonsense that the child needs to be reprimanded for the socially unfavourable behaviour patterns, unless you need to go back to the jungle and rear him/her as a tarzan/jane. But, if we fail to define child abuse in a clear manner, the liberty to spank your child may result in things even unforeseen. There must some act that protects the rights of a child which is unable to express its mental agony in legal terms. So, awareness first, and then a law, if needed.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Jan 07
Everyone is so quick to make laws to control people's behavior. It's ridiculous! I agree with you ashjoe, "awareness first, and then a law, if needed." We have so many laws telling parents what they can and can't do. It's like the country is telling us "you can't be trusted to raise your kids safely, so we're going to make a law so we can actually punish you for it." Are people going to be watching through their neighbor's windows now to make sure the childred aren't getting a spanking? How juvenile. Mind your own business!
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 07
I agree with you awareness first laws later. But the thing is in our society nowadays do you really believe people will listen? I do believe that a spanking can happen and never cross over to abuse. The way kids are nowadays leads me to believe that children are just going to get worse. I'm pretty interested in what you think we as a society should set up as an awareness program.
@olaff123 (434)
• Namibia
19 Jan 07
Its all good and well, but did the fine lady offer an alternative to spanking? How does she plan to enforce this law? Spanking is often the last resort when it comes to disciplining a child.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Jan 07
None of that was mentioned. I agree with you in the fact that spanking is normally a last resort and that there should be alternatives to spanking.
@coffeechat (1961)
• New Zealand
19 Jan 07
My elder boy is six and a half and my second is five. I have two brothers who are so much younger than I am, that I can be considered to be experienced in bringing up a number of children. I fully agree with you that hurting a Child is condonable, regardless of age. It is already a crime in most parts of the developed world to physically abuse a child. The challenge really is in the policing of it. What really happens within the closed confines of a house or home is not generally known. But the legislation is welcome, so that when a stupid parent, who is careless and inconsiderate, or just plain arrogant gets exposed - then the Law can bring the book down on such a parent.
• India
19 Jan 07
ya i agree with u a child not even of the age of 3 who doesnt understand anything shud no be hurted
1 person likes this
@jolanda33 (720)
• Netherlands
19 Jan 07
i think, the first light tap works, may be the second one too, but the thirth time it won't help anymore! some people are goiong to use the next step, and then it goes harder and harder! you don't need spanking at all! i know it is difficult to raise kids , but there are a lot of other punishments! here in the netherlands they also discussed the spanking! it is not allowed anymore! so i say yes! if it helps only one child, why not?
2 people like this
@emarie (5447)
• United States
19 Jan 07
i have mixed feelings about it. i mean, i can see where they're going. but there is always a VERY fine line between abuse and dicipline. my nephew is 18 months and very spoild by his parents. he also bites when he's angry at someone. for that he gets a little tap on the cheek (which is what i did to all my children and they stopped bitting) and a time out. My children are older now, 3+ and they get spanked for talking back to my husband. i don't think every person who spanks their child is bad. but those who go too far need to have something done. if this passes there will just be a lot of spoild loud children running around and people getting annoyed because the parents can't control them. i agree that spanking should only be used in extream cases or as a last resort. i threaten to spank but hardly do unless i feel it nessicary. and i don't spank hard enough to leave a mark as well. i walked all over my parents and hardly got spanked...when i was old enough i threated to yell child abuse every time they tried to punish me. that lead to me wanting to break out and do what i wanted when i became a teen. i wasn't that wild but i did want to live my own life. abusive parents should get arrested, not parents trying to teach their children right from wrong. and even child welfare is against this saying they're already flooded enough. but i would HATE for this law to pass. my kids aren't bad, but they are active and need a spanking every once in a while. i really don't think my husband or I should go to jail for trying to raise our children properlly.
2 people like this
@wavelander (1528)
• Portugal
19 Jan 07
I think in the US there are many things to be aproved that have no sense! Maybe banning Bush would be much more of a good law! Each state has it's rules, so it's easy to commit a "crime" everytime you pass from one state to another!
2 people like this
@nnsb75 (632)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I grow up with both strict parents and yes i get a spanking when i do bad, I don't agree spanking under three years old but i believe that kid these days should get a spanking coz some kids just doesn't seem to get into talking, ive seen kids that doesn't respect their parents at all because they never descipline the child. As long as you don't abuse your child i think its fine if you spank them, I do spank my child when he act up but i'll make sure i dont hurt him and i explain to him why he get a spanking so he'll understand the reason why. the problem with the gov. their just to busy trying to ran the people lives, their not the one whos raising our children, so i don't think they should pass that law. The gov. should be working on other things like our freaking health care its just unbelievably high, the war in iraq, gas price, minimum wage, etc. those are the things they need to prioritize right now. agree/ disagree??
@NancyLobo (680)
• India
19 Jan 07
I don't think the Law should decide this, every parent will want their child disciplined and nobody will want to hurt their own children so parents know how to correct the child as they love their own children so the law should not interfere with parenting and discipline.
@moirax23 (317)
• Malta
19 Jan 07
I absolutely agree with the law! People should yell at children to show them they did something wrong not spank or hurt them!
1 person likes this
@KHyuga (1698)
• Singapore
19 Jan 07
Whatever happened to "spare the rod and spoil the child"?
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 07
Sometimes yelling at your child does not work so you have to spank them. I can yell at my kids till I am blue in the face and they wont listen but when I spank they do.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jan 07
Spanking does not necessarily mean hurting them. As I mentioned before. I definitely do not condone hurting a child.
@creechy29 (132)
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
well in your country giving a child a liitle tap on his face or spanking them is already a child abuse but here in the philippines a bit spanking a liitle tap on their butt is a sign of discipline to them but not in the case that the child will get hurt so much because here we have a also a program that saving an abuse child. But i merely suggest before or after you spank your kid nort tap them explain to them the rationale of the faults they've done.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
and naturaly at that age a child is innocently don't know what they're doin all things for them is a play. They tantrums is all nautrally.
• Philippines
19 Jan 07
so why should you spank your children if they dont know what is the wrong they've done. Talk to them in the nice way im surely know they will understand you litte by liitle.
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
19 Jan 07
With all the psychological evidence pointing at spanking being a non-effective tool of discipline and a real effective tool of teaching a child that we handle things we do not like by hitting, I am glad that the state is finally pushing for legislation that would initiate better parenting techniques. A light tap to a 3 year old or younger to correct behavior is hysterical, because it doesn't teach them why the behavior shouldn't done, and they generally do not even remember why they were hit in the first place. There attention spans are too rapid--sure they learn to fear the parent, but more then likely they repeat the behavior that you spanked them for anyway. So, then you get into a cycle of constantly spanking them for the same behavior. To many people do not realize how impressionable their small children are, and that they learn to pattern their behaviors from the behaviors they see in their own home. So, you spank lil' Tommy for repeatedly jumping on the couch, and little Tommy eventually learns that we hit when we don't like something that has been done to us. Then, lil' Tommy gets a little older and is playing with a sibling or friend, and that child does something lil' Tommy doesn't like, and Tommy hits them to get them to stop what he doesn't like, then mom or dad goes over and spanks lil' Tommy for hitting another kid--But wait, you taught lil' Tommy that hitting was okay to do if you were correcting a behavior you didn't like, and then you spank them for acting like you. It's a cycle. I have 3 kids 19, 15, and 6 and have never spanked any of them. They are well mannered, well behaved children. When we have conflict, we have always discussed the behavior. If you give them structure and keep them consistently busy from the time they are young, they don't have much time to misbehave.
@Ravenladyj (22919)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I completely disagree...I mean it would be true if the child just got spanked with no explaination but if you explain to the child WHY that behaviour or action was unacceptable BUT do it in the proper way (meaning you cant say "you little b@stard I told you NO" OR anything harmful like that) they'll get it..I knwo it worked with my kids same with biting..My son went into that biting stage when he was about two, I slapped him in the mouth the first time and told him no, he did it again and I bit him back and said "see! it hurts! DONT DO IT" and he never bit anyone again....As for kids hitting other kids etc they may try it but thats when you explain how its wrong etc etc BUT also why they get spanked... ppl seem to forget that children are a lot smarter than most adults give them credit for...so long as you EXPLAIN things to kids, they'll get it, they'll understand and they certainly wont be damaged from it..and believe it or not their attention span is far greater than what we tend to believe as well...watching a 6 mth old baby will give you proof of that, they recognize and understand....
2 people like this
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I don't know, my kids never went through what you coin 'a biting stage', and they never bit me or anyone else. I sure would never have bitten them back as a means to show them discipline. But hey, if it works for you, I'm not here to judge. You do know that children 3 years and under do not have long term recall memory, which is why most people cannot remember early events that occurred from that time. There attention spans are quick and short at that age--which is why you have repeat behaviors. You can try to rationalize with a 1, 2, and 3 year old all you want and chances are if you ask them what you said 10 mins after you said it, they will have no idea what you spoke to them about, which is why spanking a 1, 2, and 3 year old is pointless, it only stops the immediate action because you put fear into them, but it doesn't teach them not to do it. Studies have proven that if you spank a child aged 1, 2, or 3 (even lightly)and then go back to them 10 minutes later and ask them why they were spanked and what they did wrong, they won't remember. Now don't get me wrong, I don't equate spanking with abuse, I equate it to ineffectual discipline that doesn't teach anything but immediate fear. It stops the immediate behavior but at that age it will not prevent the reoccurrence more often than not. But, if that's what someone wants to do, I'm not here to tell them not to. I just chose a more effective means of discipline with my 3 children, and it worked well for us.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
spanking has been allowable with limitations......the guidelines are no more than 5 taps, on the buttocks with an open hand... I was a CPS social worker in California for 5 years. I am with you about having mixed feelings. Within the above guidelines I have no problem with it, but so many people spank when they are angry, upset and aren't really paying attention to how much they are doing. I think the laws we already have in place cover this though. Why make new laws for ones that are already in place???? Enforce the ones that are already there.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
I wasn't really sure of the definition. Thank you for that. I can't imagine being a CPS worker is fun but I bet it is very very rewarding.
@Sarah1977 (495)
• United States
19 Jan 07
Listen....I have 4 boys, ages 10, 8, 6, and 2. I have no problem giving my youngest a tap on the bottom if he is being fresh. I have NEVER abused any of my children. If you truly love your children, you will teach them right from wrong. I have to say that my children are all extremely well behaved. I haven't even had to "spank" my 3 older ones since they were each around 5 years old. My youngest child is still learning the boundaries that my husband and I set for him. The most effective and efficient way to teach a young child what they can and cannot do, is by giving them a little bit of a sting on the bottom. It has worked for us, and I wouldn't change a thing.
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22919)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I agree and its been the same for me...both my kids are too old for spankings now and I think I've only ever spanked my daughter maybe 3 times in her life but my son got quite a few raps on the tush when he was little...and now that he is older if his mouth gets outta line I just have to put a "slaphand" in front of his face and he knows he's pushing his luck (he;s 13)...Like you my kids are also very well behaved, respectful and just awesome....so ya goin back I wouldnt have changed anythign either
1 person likes this
@Pekachu (1112)
• United States
19 Jan 07
I dont think there is any reason why anyone needs to spank a baby so more power to that law
• United States
19 Jan 07
I wouldn't say 3 is a baby anymore. I could see maybe passing the law for a child under the age of one. But then at that age they aren't doing much that is wrong. I would never say use spanking as a first option either. Thank you for your opinion though :)
@jennifer611 (2514)
• United States
20 Jan 07
well, I dont think that kids under 3 really need to be spanked, just because they are so young. I have a 2 yr old and believe me I know they can be a handful but they are just learning, they dont know any better. its our job to teach them but not hit them. that really just teaches them that hitting is ok. and also they might end up just being scared of you. I dont think it should be up to the state to tell us how to raise our children but I also dont think someone should be smacking around a child ya know...
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 07
I just started a post on this topic. I thought I was being original. Wow! I hope I don't give the impression of copying statements. Anyway, my thoughts on this topic is that, although I am a liberal, liberals have taken things a bit too far. Not only do they don't like to discipline their children, they don't want you to discipline them either. The bible clearly states that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. This, in America is becoming abundantly clear. However, abusing a child is just as damaging to a child's future and psyche. While I don't advocate the parents who refuse to tell their children "no", but want to allow them to decide what is right and wrong; I am not an advocate of bad mouthing, criticizing, verbally abusing or physically abusing a child. The question is... where is that line? My parents whupped me, there was no spanking involved. I think I turned out okay. However, I do not plan to whup my children, but I do plan to spank them. (I can't really explain the difference, but there are people who can..._) Interesting to see how this turns out. Keith P.S. I would hate to see the ban on ALL children. Then children will feel they have No Reason At All to Obey their parents.
1 person likes this
@erdsethu (165)
• India
20 Jan 07
it is too bad to hurt kids they law can be accepted this will not hurt others
1 person likes this
@getnbuy (1313)
• United States
20 Jan 07
I do not condone spanking, but i don't like the government controlling our lives, either. I think spanking should be banned from schools, pre-schools, etc. I think spanking in the home should not be regulated, but if the child shows bruising, that is abuse and should be reported. I spanked my own children only for really harmful things-like running in the street. That was to impress upon the child that that was a really important infraction.
1 person likes this