Spanking Children as a form of discipline

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
In regards to mocking a child's bad behavior: My youngest daughter (7) becomes EXTREMELY upset if I do this. I have stopped doing it altogether. She's a very sensitive and bright child (like, she started busting out philosophy at two or three years old) and she's super sensitive to the inherent disrespect that mocking has.

That being said, if you have a kiddo who it works on, by all means. :)
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
My youngest daughter (7) becomes EXTREMELY upset if I do this.
I could see that. I only did this with my kids when they were toddlers and in that "cry to try to get my way" phase that most little ones go through. I can't see it working well on most older children, for exactly the reasons you've outlined. By that age they're usually not turning on the waterworks over being gently told "no" either. ;)
 

catholicmom

Sparrow
Woman
My husband and I are both adamantly against spanking. There is absolutely no reason to hit a child in an erogenous zone (which the buttocks are). I believe it is only due to multi-generational social conditioning, desensitization, and collective trauma that it is seen as socially acceptable to hit a child on the buttocks. You can cause serious, long-term issues by spanking, e.g. sexual dysfunction, lowered IQ, social anxiety (mostly in girls), aggression (mostly in boys), etc.

As for the rod, the (good) shepherd doesn't hit the sheep with it, he guides them. I think that scripture has been perverted by some people who seem to have no empathy or creativity in dealing with things.
Amen! I believe natural consequences are the most effective.

I mentioned it in another thread, but I highly recommend the book Peaceful Parenting by Steven Franssen. He gives a lot more facts and figures than I can cite here. He recommended the site www.nospank.net, which compiles anti-spank material. Here's the Plain Talk about Spanking document, which is a condensed, user-friendly version of anti-spank arguments (from www.nospank.net).
 

Kona

Crow
Gold Member
I think people that hit kids are perverts and should be beaten themselves. The worst are the ones that make a ritual out of it. Like making the kid go pick a branch of a tree. That's just awful. The people that are doing these kinds of trhings are doing for their own sick and twisted perversions, not to teach the child anything.

I've been in fights, sure. There have been a handful of times I've had to be violent with women. I was not the agressor, these were burglars, thieves, etc. I say words like burglar, or child abuser have no gender thus the method in which you defend yourself or others from them should also not be gender specific.

Therefore, if I see anyone being violent with a child I'm coming at them.

Aloha!
 

Camellia

Pigeon
Woman
I'd like to start a discussion on spanking as a form of punishment. One reason is I'm struggling with my strongwilled toddler (I know this is developmentally appropriate :) ) and the other reason to just open the floor for discussion.

Thoughts for spanking:

- It is preferable to permissive parenting and uninvolved parenting where kids grow up to be entitled

-Oftentimes used as a last resort when other methods don't work

-Bible talks about corporal punishment

"Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them" Prov 13:24

-Many of us were spanked as children and are fine (myself included). It's also been done for thousands of years.

-Many cultures use spanking for children, Black people are more likely than White Americans to spank and Christians more so than non Christians. Asians are the least likely to spank.

Thoughts against spanking

-You want children to know they can come to you, not be afraid of you

-Society views it as "child abuse", this could lead to problems with friends/neighbors/child services down the road

-Old testament is old rules, therefore maybe it's not necessary

-modern scientific research showing it is linked to negative behavior changes in children <linked one article but I've read many before. I always am suspect about the APA though so MAYBE this is a "for" for some of you ;) >

-it's hard for parents to want to do

-my own personal experience- it was not as effective as other methods like "grounding" and natural consequences



I also want to be clear that I'm discussing spanking when done as punishment means with a hand or paddle and the goal is to not leave a permanent mark or bruises.

I really don't want to do it with my children, however I do think discipline is necessary (I can't stand "permissive parenting") and I don't judge other parents who do.
I do spank my children occasionally, but I always feel bad because I usually do it when I'm upset. Like you, I have a strong willed toddler and he responds well to time out. When he gets out of control we lock him up in his bedroom until he calms down. Now that my other two kids are a bit older we take away some privilege like tv watching or something else they enjoy. We're very strict about these punishments and they know that no matter what they say, it will not change a thing. This has been by far the most effective method. My mom used to do this with me. I recommend a book called A Family of Value by John Rosemont for ideas on this subject.
 

KC123

Pigeon
Woman
Starting off with the disclaimer that I am not yet a parent! However, I played a heavy role in raising my brother and have been an au pair 3 times (once to a family of 4 kids under the age of 9), and this changed my mind on spanking.

I grew up being spanked by my father. It was a cultural thing and all my friends were spanked too. I thought I would spank my kids because that's what you do to not have spoiled kids. (I also repressed how horrible it was to be spanked).

However, being an au pair (and obviously not being allowed to spank) showed me that even the brattiest/spoiled kid can be disciplined without spanking IF you take the time and effort necessary. All families I worked with had bratty/spoiled kids who completely disrespected their parents, but within 1 month of my arrival, the parents were always amazed at the relationship I had with the kids. This generally involved a simple action/consequences model, coupled with a lot of love, fun and respect for the kid. And obviously, I tailored it to their personality. As such, I figuired that if I could extend the effort and sacrifice to a stranger's child, why could I not do the same to my own? Hopefully this helps and we'll see how it plays out once I have my own kids :p
 

Leeloo

Woodpecker
Woman
I was spanked for discipline on very rare circumstances if I had done something extremely bad. My brother and I got a belt *once* for something particularly out of line. Mostly though, it was just the *idea* that a spanking might be a consequence, that itself was a deterrent to bad behavior.

My parents were fair in their discipline and not violent. I think I turned out fine. I have nothing against parents using their judgment to use spanking as they see fit in their own home.

My mother also washed my mouth out with soap if I said something that I shouldn’t have said. Trust that I never said that particular thing again.
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
This thread is reminding me of the book "Anne of Avonlea". The story takes place in the late 1800s. Sixteen-year-old Anne is going to begin a career as a schoolteacher, along with her friends Gilbert and Jane. Both Gilbert and Jane declare that they will whip their pupils if necessary. The elderly neighbor, Mr. Harrison, agrees with them. Only Anne is anti-spanking. She calls it "cruel" and "barbarous" and says she plans to "govern by affection". She tells Mr. Harrison that "Methods have changed since your schooldays." His response to her is, "But human nature hasn't."

A boy named Anthony Pye becomes the thorn in her side. He is insolent, disobedient, and tests Anne's resolve at every turn. None of her "affection" makes a difference with him. Finally one day that winter, she arrives in the morning in a terrible mood. She's been up all night with toothache and she has trouble getting the fire going to bring warmth to the classroom. When she discovers a mouse in her desk, put there by Anthony, she is pushed to her brink. She tells him to come to the front of the class and gives him a whipping with her classroom pointer.

After his punishment is over, she is reeling with personal guilt. She can't believe she broke her vow to not spank the students. But Anthony shocks her that afternoon when he comes up behind her as she is walking home, and offers to carry her books. From that day forward, he treats her with kindness and respect. She hears through the grapevine that he has declared she can give a whipping "as good as a man".
 

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
My husband is absolutely against spanking. Growing up, his dad used a leather belt on him and his brothers repeatedly and that was the extent of their “discipline.” So, once they were fast enough to outrun their dad and eventually big enough to fight back, they essentially had no discipline at all and ended up complete hellions. The only control his dad had over them was his size and strength. When that was gone, the boys had zero respect, loyalty, or deference to their father, let alone “discipline.”

As to the OPs strong willed toddler, you have to show that your own will is stronger than his/hers by not giving in to the tantrum or bad behavior. Part of that is your own self-control and patience. Also, sometimes there might be an underlying issue that is causing the poor behavior. Is the child hungry or tired? Not feeling well? Maybe they’re upset about something they can’t express yet.

Sometimes positive behaviors aren’t being rewarded enough. When your toddler does something that pleases you, make sure to give them extra praise. Little kids think in “good”/ “bad”; “right”/ “wrong”; “happy”/ “sad”; or “happy”/ “angry”. I don’t think it’s ok to tell a child that they are “bad” or what they’re doing is “bad”. I tell them that what they did made me angry or sad or happy. Then they learn to do what pleases you.

What I’ve noticed with my own kids past behaviors is that when they have a tantrum or bad behavior, they’re pushing me/testing me to see how much they can get away with and I absolutely agree with @Kitty Tantrum to completely ignore them if they’re having a tantrum. Don’t let them get hurt, of course, but keep doing what you’re doing. When my kids have tantrums, I tell them “I’ll listen to you when you stop yelling and calm down.” And then I ignore them. Completely. They can cry, scream, roll around on the ground, doesn’t matter lol. They learn pretty fast that kind of behavior doesn’t get a reaction and will stop doing it.

Is there something more specific about how your toddler is challenging you? It might be easier for us to help you that way as opposed to spank or not to spank :)
 
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I will not give an opinion for anyone else, I will only give some examples. One, I often repeat to people when I see some kid acting out and being a complete ass, "If that was me and my parents, I wouldn't have any teeth in my mouth." Of course after reaching a certain age my brothers and I never had any thoughts of such behaviour. Not to mention when I was a child if your parents did not control you, you were asked to leave public places.

Lessons learned and corrected. I don't remember but I was probably in first grade or something, I went to visit a friend on another street, my mother told me to be home at a certain time. Well when I got to my friends house I asked his mother to let me know when a certain time came around and commenced to playing and having a good time. Wouldn't you know it, the cow never bothered to tell me. I got home way too late. My mother beat the shit out of me with a stick. What did I learn? First, do not trust people you do not really know. Next, I saved my allowance, yes I had to perform chores to earn it. I bought me a watch and learned how to tell time.

Such discipline was not common but when it occured you can bet I learned something from it. My parents didn't count to three, they didn't ground us, when we stepped out of line punishment was swift and immediate but then it was over. We were respectful and very well mannered and we were not a problem when we went out in public.

Today when I am in public and I hear and see kids acting like total savages screaming at the top of their lungs it drives me to the point of insanity.
 

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
In regards to mocking a child's bad behavior: My youngest daughter (7) becomes EXTREMELY upset if I do this. I have stopped doing it altogether. She's a very sensitive and bright child (like, she started busting out philosophy at two or three years old) and she's super sensitive to the inherent disrespect that mocking has.

That being said, if you have a kiddo who it works on, by all means. :)
This kind of thing, mocking a child’s behavior when they’re upset, really bothers me and I personally think it’s a form of emotional abuse. I’ve done similar things with my kids in the past too out of naïveté and desperation, and after seeing their reactions... it’s not an acceptable discipline. You have to lose control of yourself as an adult and parent to mock a child, and discipline should not be done when a parent doesn’t have control over their own emotions.
 
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Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
This kind of thing, mocking a child’s behavior when they’re upset, really bothers me and I personally think it’s a form of emotional abuse.
Totally depends on the child and on how it's carried out, IMO. With my kids it was extremely effective pretty much every time I did it. It was never mean-spirited "mocking" in the way you would mock someone with words. Just imitating their fake crying -- when it was obvious that it was fake. Not a loss of control of emotion or discipline at all. It's more like calling their bluff, at the age when they are too young to be reasoned with using words. It's like saying "No. Come on. This is ridiculous. I'm not buying it." With my kids, they would get kind of startled, stop crying immediately, and look at me all guilty-like.

There's a difference between a child crying when they are legitimately upset, hurt, etc. (a child who needs comfort, in other words), and a child crying because they think they can pull one over on you.
 
My husband and I are both adamantly against spanking. There is absolutely no reason to hit a child in an erogenous zone (which the buttocks are). I believe it is only due to multi-generational social conditioning, desensitization, and collective trauma that it is seen as socially acceptable to hit a child on the buttocks. You can cause serious, long-term issues by spanking, e.g. sexual dysfunction, lowered IQ, social anxiety (mostly in girls), aggression (mostly in boys), etc.


Amen! I believe natural consequences are the most effective.

I mentioned it in another thread, but I highly recommend the book Peaceful Parenting by Steven Franssen. He gives a lot more facts and figures than I can cite here. He recommended the site www.nospank.net, which compiles anti-spank material. Here's the Plain Talk about Spanking document, which is a condensed, user-friendly version of anti-spank arguments (from www.nospank.net).

People need to weed out Sadists from their pool of marriage partners also so as to avoid those types even getting to be the parent of their children and save a lot of multi-generational damage as a result.

No Sadist of any sex should ever be tolerated.
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
It's a pretty strong accusation to call parents who spank "sadists" or "perverts". I can easily and with a clear conscience vow before Almighty God that I am neither of these things, nor would I accuse my parents of such.

You're only a sadist if you get pleasure in hurting your child. I have never seen any friend or family member spank their child and appear to get any kind of pleasure from it. On the contrary, the cliche "this hurts me more than it hurts you" always seems to be entirely applicable. No one WANTS to punish their child (unless of course, they truly are a sadist or abusive). Whether it is spanking, grounding, removal of privileges, whatever, it always comes with a fervent wish that one did NOT have to do it. In addition, spankings are oftentimes used with young toddlers who are far prior to the age of reason. In these cases, a spanking can be a deterrent from further pains which stem from natural consequences (hot stove, car in street, etc.)

As for being a "pervert".... hoo boy. Those would be fighting words were they said to my face. I can't put into strong enough words how I feel about child molesters. Suffice it to say a hollow point is too good for them. The classification of the buttocks as an "erogenous zone" is bizarre to me. A quick google search reveals "feet" as an erogenous zone, too. Should we never give our kiddos a foot rub? Seems to me that the labeling of these "zones" is some kind of pet project of secular "scientists" who have their minds in the gutter. Not to mention, the majority of the times I have spanked my kids, they were toddlers in diapers, so the buttocks were not even involved, but rather the top of the leg. A smack on the hand can suffice to deter the touching of a hot stove.

I can't help but think this topic has been drastically affected by postmodernism. I do not believe this discussion would even be happening 75 years ago.
 

dragonfire00

Sparrow
Woman
My husband is absolutely against spanking. Growing up, his dad used a leather belt on him and his brothers repeatedly and that was the extent of their “discipline.” So, once they were fast enough to outrun their dad and eventually big enough to fight back, they essentially had no discipline at all and ended up complete hellions. The only control his dad had over them was his size and strength. When that was gone, the boys had zero respect, loyalty, or deference to their father, let alone “discipline.”

As to the OPs strong willed toddler, you have to show that your own will is stronger than his/hers by not giving in to the tantrum or bad behavior. Part of that is your own self-control and patience. Also, sometimes there might be an underlying issue that is causing the poor behavior. Is the child hungry or tired? Not feeling well? Maybe they’re upset about something they can’t express yet.

Sometimes positive behaviors aren’t being rewarded enough. When your toddler does something that pleases you, make sure to give them extra praise. Little kids think in “good”/ “bad”; “right”/ “wrong”; “happy”/ “sad”; or “happy”/ “angry”. I don’t think it’s ok to tell a child that they are “bad” or what they’re doing is “bad”. I tell them that what they did made me angry or sad or happy. Then they learn to do what pleases you.

What I’ve noticed with my own kids past behaviors is that when they have a tantrum or bad behavior, they’re pushing me/testing me to see how much they can get away with and I absolutely agree with @Kitty Tantrum to completely ignore them if they’re having a tantrum. Don’t let them get hurt, of course, but keep doing what you’re doing. When my kids have tantrums, I tell them “I’ll listen to you when you stop yelling and calm down.” And then I ignore them. Completely. They can cry, scream, roll around on the ground, doesn’t matter lol. They learn pretty fast that kind of behavior doesn’t get a reaction and will stop doing it.

Is there something more specific about how your toddler is challenging you? It might be easier for us to help you that way as opposed to spank or not to spank :)
The only times that I've been tempted to spank is after she is deliberately being defiant regardless of other methods being used (taking things away, redirecting behavior, time outs). One example is that she gets in moods where she attacks her infant brother hitting him on the head multiple times (I'm close enough that I can come stop it within 30 seconds but it's still a problem that she purposefully does it and knows it's wrong). She isn't napping anymore although she is a kid that still needs it and I've tried everything and I can't force her to nap (but I make her stay in her room for quiet time) so I think some of this would be resolved if she'd just sleep more. Another issue is kicking/banging on the door when she used to just play in her room during quiet time. She purposefully destroys books, rips paint out of the wall, etc. Sometimes flings herself in the wall and then cries because she hurt herself...if I take the books away then she's more bored. She also won't potty train with poop. Just poops her pants even though she has no problem peeing on the potty...

It's just kind of a catch 22 where I am feeling like maybe these natural consequences (I don't feel like she understands them at this age either) are going to make her end up hurting herself more than just spanking. If she isn't fully potty trained soon I'll have to pull her from a half day program that she loves. I feel like that is more cruel. I think I really don't want to spank for myself as it makes me sad but if it actually worked to help her, I would do it. I just asked a friend of mine who is the only person I've seen admit to spanking and she says it isn't working for her boy, lol so it would kind of be a bummer to do that for nothing!

I definitely praise her a lot! And I have had my angry moments in the past with cleaning up poop, but now I just make her "help me" and unlike every other child mine isn't fazed by me making her clean up her messes. We do joke around and have a lot of laughter, which we didn't have as much when I was a kid and I think that's important. I am halfway between losing my mind and 'embracing the suck." My infant has gotten easier now at least.

I also don't tell kids they are "bad." I do use bad about dangerous situations "Running in the street is BAD." "Scorpions are BAD and OUCHIES" (just enough until she gets older to explain the nuances here lol). I've caught my husband saying that and had to talk to him. He probably learned bad habits from his lousy parents that I have to correct.
 

dragonfire00

Sparrow
Woman
For example, my wife and I once refused my son from participating in intramural soccer one year after he kicked his sister in anger. He was about eight years old if I remember correctly. He lived for soccer and had participated in it for several years in a row. He never hit or kicked his sister again. However, my wife told me a few months later that she thought that punishment was a little too severe, even though it had been her idea to do so at the time. I agreed with her and after that we tried to reduce the severity of punishments and only increase them if they didn't work. We never had to increase them, because they always worked after that.

You will make some mistakes because you're learning as you go.
I struggle with wondering if punishments are too harsh. There were a couple times where my toddler didn't sleep and I didn't want to take her to swimming lessons since it was more chaotic to deal with no nap, but then I kind of felt guilty like is missing out on things that are healthy activities worth it?
 

dragonfire00

Sparrow
Woman
I do spank my children occasionally, but I always feel bad because I usually do it when I'm upset. Like you, I have a strong willed toddler and he responds well to time out. When he gets out of control we lock him up in his bedroom until he calms down. Now that my other two kids are a bit older we take away some privilege like tv watching or something else they enjoy. We're very strict about these punishments and they know that no matter what they say, it will not change a thing. This has been by far the most effective method. My mom used to do this with me. I recommend a book called A Family of Value by John Rosemont for ideas on this subject.
She typically does respond well to time outs! There are parents that think that time outs are cruel and abusive and they do "time-ins" which involves having detailed conversations with your toddler about why they did what they did, or something. I am not completely sure...lol.

We also lock her in her room! For 2 minutes for timeouts, and for 1.5-2 hours for her quiet/nap time (which I explain so she doesn't think it is a punishment). Since she's been a maniac lately we barely have done screentime the last couple weeks. Being consistent I'm sure is the best way to discipline no matter what method you choose. I'll check this book out thanks!
 

catholicmom

Sparrow
Woman
It's a pretty strong accusation to call parents who spank "sadists" or "perverts". I can easily and with a clear conscience vow before Almighty God that I am neither of these things, nor would I accuse my parents of such.

You're only a sadist if you get pleasure in hurting your child. I have never seen any friend or family member spank their child and appear to get any kind of pleasure from it. On the contrary, the cliche "this hurts me more than it hurts you" always seems to be entirely applicable. No one WANTS to punish their child (unless of course, they truly are a sadist or abusive). Whether it is spanking, grounding, removal of privileges, whatever, it always comes with a fervent wish that one did NOT have to do it. In addition, spankings are oftentimes used with young toddlers who are far prior to the age of reason. In these cases, a spanking can be a deterrent from further pains which stem from natural consequences (hot stove, car in street, etc.)

As for being a "pervert".... hoo boy. Those would be fighting words were they said to my face. I can't put into strong enough words how I feel about child molesters. Suffice it to say a hollow point is too good for them. The classification of the buttocks as an "erogenous zone" is bizarre to me. A quick google search reveals "feet" as an erogenous zone, too. Should we never give our kiddos a foot rub? Seems to me that the labeling of these "zones" is some kind of pet project of secular "scientists" who have their minds in the gutter. Not to mention, the majority of the times I have spanked my kids, they were toddlers in diapers, so the buttocks were not even involved, but rather the top of the leg. A smack on the hand can suffice to deter the touching of a hot stove.

I can't help but think this topic has been drastically affected by postmodernism. I do not believe this discussion would even be happening 75 years ago.

I don't believe all parents who spank are sadists or perverts. But I do believe that their choice to spank is at least somewhat informed by centuries of poor parenting practices that we have become collectively desensitized to.

I would analogize it to circumcision. Serious neurological harm is done by circumcision, but most people who have their children circumcised do so because they themselves were circumcised (survivor bias), they were given disinformation about the costs and "benefits" of the mutilation procedure, etc. While many who circumcise are not sadists or perverts...the practice was popularized by perverts who ritualized the mutilation and subsequent sucking of baby penises on the eighth day of life. Not to mention, more recently, there are sickos who capitalize on the baby foreskin trade (I remember a female celebrity going on Ellen years ago to talk about her adrenochrome baby foreskin facial). The whole thing mirrors the spanking issue.

I think there's something similar to be said about vaccines, too. I saw a post in the Men's Forum wherein some attention whore mom was pimping out her pre-pubescent daughter to a COVID jab trial for youth. Most normies are totally unaware of the dangers of [traditional] vaccines and believe vaccination to be in the best interest of their child, but the sadists and perverts were the ones who legitimized the practice in the first place, thrusting it into the consciousness of the normie.

That being said, I have absolutely encountered people who get sadistic pleasure out of beating their children, some of whom beat their children on the rear end until the day they turned 18. I realize most don't, but it has to be said. In my experience, the most enthusiastic proponents of peaceful parenting and the anti-spanking conversation are that way because they themselves were spanked and they are intimately aware of its deleterious effects.

Also, regarding the terms I used...I believe "spanking" almost always refers to the inflicting of pain on the buttocks. I think people generally refer to the inflicting of pain on other areas as "swatting," but I could be wrong. I referred to the buttocks as an erogenous zone because they unmistakably are - the nerves in that area are interconnected with the nerves of the genital region, and repeated blunt force trauma to the buttocks can result in genital issues like vaginismus.

My husband is from a culture where it is socially acceptable to cause blunt force trauma to the mouth of a child as a form of "discipline." One time his cousin's toddler daughter was acting out at the dinner table, and her mom took a blunt object and beat it on her lips until they bled. I think any heritage American would [rightly] recoil in horror at that incident (even minus the blood), but most would think it socially acceptable to spank a child a mere inch or two away from the genital region.

Lastly...there are many Catholic saints who taught against corporal punishment of children as early as St. John Chrysostom, who lived in a time far before postmodernism affected the conversation (c. 347-407). I remember reading about even more who lived during the medieval era.
 

Elipe

Kingfisher
There are parents that think that time outs are cruel and abusive and they do "time-ins" which involves having detailed conversations with your toddler about why they did what they did, or something.
This is honestly one of the reasons I don't oppose spanking (within reason). It's like veganism - this kind of conversation never gets settled, never goes away, because there's always some nuts that's going to take the extreme position that you're the epitome of evil for doing whatever you do, when that's honestly always been done by humans for thousands of years.

You're the epitome of evil for eating meat...
You're the epitome of evil for harvesting crops using machines that kill little baby bunnies...
You're the epitome of evil for eating food that little baby bunnies would have eaten if it wasn't for you being such a filthy hungry and greedy human.

And people treat them seriously, like people worthy of debating. It's all so tiresome.

Now you're telling me that there are people saying that time-outs are evil? Next thing you know, those "time-ins" are going to be considered evil because it's forcing the violence of speech on poor little children.
 
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