Please keep this friendly and light...To spank or not to spank?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think I spanked my oldest maybe three times. Some would say that's why he's such a brat now at 35 :) However, I'm just not one to spank and truthfully I don't think it would have made one bit of difference in 35.

    My parents were horrible. I could tell stories that would turn into a novel. But they didn't spank me. Maybe that's why it isn't in my nature to spank either. I don't think it helps kids. On the other hand, I've never gotten angry seeing somebody swatting a toddler lightly on a padded butt or on the hand. I think a belt is over the top and frankly I just don't like the idea of hitting to correct a behavior. You? Remember. Keep it light and friendly :)

    When I see somebody slap a child in the face...well, them's fighting words.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I don't believe in it. I've done it a few times.

    This seems to be what parenting a difficult child is like, not to shift the blame onto him. :(
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    I see nothing wrong with spanking in some circumstances. The problem is, too many people don't seem to know the difference between spanking and beating and also some people who believe in spanking don't do anything else. The object of spanking is not to physically hurt the child. The object is to get his attention immediately. I never spanked my kids much but I do remember once spanking the younger one (he was about 3) when he ran out into the street in spite of my yelling at him to stop. To me, that was an important enough lesson that he needed to see that it was different from some of the other "don'Tourette's Syndrome" he heard. Spanking doesn't work if you do it too often and it should certainly not be a way to vent your anger or to hurt your child but there are times that it can be an effective tool among many others, to be used sparingly.
    I grew up in a generation when most children were spanked. We did not grow up to be a bunch of sadistic psychos. In fact, a lot of us grew up to be what seems a little more balanced and responsible than the generations who followed us who were not ever spanked. Kids need to know there are consequences of their actions and some of those consequences can be pretty dire. Being spanked once in a blue moon is preferable to ending up in juvie (don't start yelling at me for over generalizing - I know I am but it illustrates the point). Spanking will not turn a difficult child in to a easy child and it will not solve every problem and it is probably not even the response of choice in a lot of situations but it is one tool and used judiciously, it can be effective.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    After difficult child, I spanked strictly for safety issues - just a swat on the behind, once. Stuff like touching electric outlets, running away from me in parking lot. Not for "misbehavior."

    I spanked difficult child the way I was spanked - for any infraction. What my son taught me is that it's not a good way to discipline kids (for me). When I realized I was spanking him more in anger and frustration than for any corrective action (for lack of a better term), I stopped. Spanking didn't work with him because he didn't care if he got spanked, and he sure didn't seek parental approval like most young kids do.

    Funny/sad story about spanking - I got my last spanking at age 13 (yeah, I know). It was in the middle of the energy crisis in the 70's. I heard my dad drive in the driveway and turned out my bedroom lights and ran down to great him. He was *livid* and just bent me over his knee, because he assumed I had left my lights on. I hadn't. I never again ran down to greet him. I think his reaction was more a reflection of his generalized unhappiness with his life (lousy marriage that he endured for another 10 years "for the kids"). We laugh about it now because... well, he is human too. When I realized that I was spanking thank you more out of frustration with his behaviors than anything else, and that I was turning into my father, it was a really shocking moment for me and helped me stop cold.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Spanking around here is reserved for safety issues or something really major........99.9 percent of the time it was a safety thing.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Depending on which child of mine you are talking about, we did spank. Billy...maybe 3 times in his entire life and those were all under the age of 3/4.

    Cory and Jamie on the other hand needed a much firmer hand. If I had to drive long distances with them, I carried a fly swatter with a long handle in the front seat so I could reach into the back seat. If not sheer mutiny went on. They were young then...and boy could they scream and hit each other and all I heard was how each of them was looking at each other and breathing each others air and all that jazz.

    We tried so many things with both of them and eventually more things worked with Jamie but Cory stayed where not much worked. The only way you could ground him was if you were with him and that wasnt always possible.

    Sad to say, Cory was probably closer to beat but nothing else even came close to working. He says he deserved every spanking he got though.

    I am trying to use different tactics with the grands but they do get spankings from their parents and if they are very unsafe like taking off seatbelts or running in the road...I will spank.
  8. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I feel the way mutt explained it. I was spanked as a child. I also had the belt, used in rage until my difficult child mother was spent of her anger. Welts, unable to sit for a few days, the whole bit. Thankfully not more than a dozen times with the belt I'd say, plain spanking for corrective purposes far more frequently. My mother wasn't effective in instilling lessons this way as it was never teaching, it was always a punishment and way overused. I think because so many parents used both spanking and belts, I never felt abused then nor do I now in hindsight. I do know that because I knew all it did for me and my brother was instill deep rooted fear of personal harm for every little action, I often didn't do perfectly healthy kids things because I feared harm would come. For that reason, I never really went the spanking route with my kids.

    difficult child probably had a half dozen spankings, short, open palm, through clothes, and when he would go to dash to traffic or something scary. I have no regrets about those incidents. I have once in my life lashed out in anger. difficult child was probably 6, I was largely pregnant. He was going through a stage (years long!) of rages and that particular day had been at his finest (sarc). He attempted to push me down a flight of stairs in our townhouse when I was gathering him to drive to a counselling appointment. Then in the car he reached from the back seat and grabbed the steering wheel to try to ram us into oncoming traffic. I was taught physical restraint (safely) at the counselling appointment where he ended up in the lobby (as usual) for refusal to participate and where I spent the appointment with the child therapist instead. Not positive developments when i was probably 8 months along for easy child. He was sent to his room back home and raged, trashed his room, smashing things and tossing furniture around and screaming and screaming. I thought he had calmed, walked in his room and he instantly raged and threw something (I forget what) at my stomach and called me a beeping B. (First time swearing) I snapped and slapped him across his face, not gently. I instantly recoiled at myself and he was stunned. He had bitten his lip when I came at him and it was bleeding a bit, which made me feel a ton worse ( I didn't hit him hard enough to cut his mouth, and used open palm, but either way, the hard face slap led to the cut lip). I remember stopping cold, walking out of the room without another word and collapsing in the hallway floor in racking sobs. I never spanked again for any reason, and obviously the actual slap never recurred. I scared myself so badly because in that moment of completely being overwhelmed, I had no control, gave it no thought and before I knew it, crossed every line I'd ever set for myself as instinctive. It was eye opening in the sense that I realized how truly out of control difficult child was often when he raged, hit, threw things, cursed me out, and couldn't stop himself. I was a grown easy child adult and I had snapped. I truly SAW difficult child that day, as the boy who didn't have the tools to self analyze and calm himself or realize in the heat of the moment how out of hand he was behaving. I finally realized that the remorse he always had after his rages was real. Previously I just thought it was his "get out of jail free" card and felt manipulated. I'd say that was the only silver lining that day, my insight into my difficult child which helped me be his mother immensely. I would however love that one day as my "life do over" moment, I would have walked right back out the door when he threw that item and called me that name.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Most of the time there are better solutions, but... I don't have a problem with A hand-swat on a diapered bottom or a small hand, expecially when the parent is obviously in control (i.e. not angry) and the situation is a significant safety concern. (25 swats is NOT a sign of a parent in control... in my opinion)
  10. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Obviously. I spank. I have spanked tk less in the last year because it doesn't do much. I also physically restrain when she rages at her brother .
    I do spank boyo he's 3 it's corrective for infractions and he has a 3 strike rule. I've told you threw times to stop and you didn't unless its a safety issue.

    I was spanked both with a hand and a belt I think I was spanked maybe 10 times in my whole life. It always made me sorry and I never did whatever it was I got sparked for again.

    But I was also beaten at age 11-12, I still don't know why. I was a straight a student with 5 extra curricular activities at the time i lived in a state of exhaustion. My aunt who was my care giver while one of the saner individuals in my family was about the correct age for the change of life. She also had major issues with females going through puberty as I remember her giving my sister a bloody nose when I was about 8 and sister was 16. She's a life long virgin and was a bible beater no offense. She's much more mellow now. I don't known if it would of continued because my mom came and got me and we moved to Oklahoma where she was living.

    Anyway being spanked seldomly left me ill prepared to be beaten.

    I don't think I'm a bad person or a bad mom though I guess people are entitled to their opinion.
    I don't spank more than 3 swats.
    I don't spank for mouthiness.
    I don't spank for being a brat.

    And one of the main reasons I stopped spanking tk is because it did less and less and just left me feeling angry at myself. Like the other day.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I don't believe in corporal punishment of children. And every reliable study I have seen have shown that it has more disadvantages than advantages and it has potential to cause harm while not being any more effective than other disciplining methods. All kinds of corporal punishment is also illegal there I live and I certainly agree with that law.

    That of course doesn't mean that we weren't desperate enough to try corporal punishments with our difficult child. Those experiences made me even firmer believer that spanking and other corporal punishment isn't very good child disciplining method. And it certainly didn't work with our kid and we ended up with very bad situation with it. Still I do think that most kids don't get harmed with moderate and sensible corporal punishment, though I do believe there are better methods and corporal punishment is never necessary.

    I myself haven't been spanked much. It was still legal when I was a young kid, but my parents were firm believers of libertarian child rearing in A. S. Neill's way. That doesn't mean that they would had been very good in executing those methods so I'm not at all sure how well that type of upbringing would had worked, had the parents been competent non-difficult children. With them being who they were, it wasn't much of the success and I did go to very different path with my own. I was spanked few times (three I think) by my grandmother when I spent longer periods of time with my grands. Didn't impress me much and I'm sorry to say I lost tons of respect for her because of that. i was also hit by one or two of my mom's husbands/boyfriends, but that was more abuse than any attempt to raise me up. Also my mom hit me few times when I was a teen, because I infuriated her so much, but again, that was her acting up, not discipline.

    With difficult child I first tried corporal punishment when he was two, closer to three and easy child was under the way and there were some behaviours I felt I just had to get stopped before we would have a baby in mix. It wasn't a great success. He didn't stop those behaviours, just got sneakier with them. Some he did less often, but it didn't go as I had hoped for. The worst part was, that he lost tons of trust for me and husband. Looking back, that was unacceptable result of any disciplining method. Our second try was two or three years later with big safety issues. He was growing up and with freedom came the risks and he had lots of risky behaviours. We spanked him for those. Again didn't work. He in fact increased those behaviours in very oppositional way. We live in old farmhouse with all the outbuildings associated to that and at that time they were all still used for farming purposes. We also have a creek a 100 yard from our house and a major highway half mile away. So lots of unsafe places for a child. When he got caught in places that were forbidden from him, we spanked him and more than few times he went right back there after being spanked, even while us watching. Major oppositional behaviour. We stopped spanking him, because it only made things worse. Our third try was few years later, when difficult child school truancy issues were intolerable. After we had taken everything away from him and grounded him totally because of the issue and there was no other way to punish him more we tried spanking again. We did take him school every morning and if he ran away from school during a day, he got a spanking. He was very provocative during spankings and husband started to use belt and hit harder. It went way over our comfort limit and abusive and ended with one time difficult child accidentally hurting his arm/shoulder badly and husband and difficult child in ER for that. We would had been in major trouble with law and CPS had the ER doctors done as they should had and examined difficult child as they should have when child with suspicious injury comes in. But difficult child lying how he got the injury and likely husband being middle class and presenting well made them buy the story and miss that difficult child's behind was black and blue. We got off the hook with that one but were really shaken up with there we had ended up and made a major modification in how we approached difficult child's school issues and other bad behaviour.

    Because of my experiences I would really think hard before using corporal punishment especially with difficult children. They do often not react normally to things and situation can easily either get worse or get totally out of hand as happened to us. husband and I really don't consider ourselves unloving, out of control or even quick-tempered people and still we ended up to very bad place with our very infuriating and oppositional child.

    Our easy child has never been corporally punished in any way.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think down here in the south that corporal punishment is looked at much differently. In fact, unless something has changed drastically since my kids were in school and I dont think it has, they still use it in the schools. The principals have a paddle in the office and it is the last resort before suspension. Or as was in Cory's case, he was suspended and told not to come back until he was willing to get his spanking.

    There were times I am completely sure that Cory would have ended up in juvie had the cops not known that he would have been dealt with far harsher at home than anything they would have done there. Several times they just turned their backs while Tony whipped the living hell out of him for some offense or another. This was when he was a teen. Young teen but still a teen. So many of the kids had parents who didnt even bother to show up when called about their kid being in trouble so they were thrilled when we actually cared. I dont know, no one ever much cared.
  13. frustrated04

    frustrated04 Guest

    No more spanking here.

    Little dude, 8, had a few moments where my first reaction was to whack him. But then he would go right back to the behavior and I realized that I hadn't taught anything beyond me being bigger and stronger. I have apologized for hitting him and he's apologized for hitting us.

    He knows now that while I'm not going to hit him, I also will not let him hurt me or daughter. I will restrain him when he gets aggressive and it will be uncomfortable. We're getting close to where he'll come to me when he feels himself escalating.

    As for safety issues, he's still young enough that I just prevent them. He knows that if he takes his seatbelt off one time in the car, he goes in the harness for 6 months. If he tries to run in a parking lot, he loses the privilege of walking and will be in his stroller for a month. If he so much as unlocks the front door without telling me, he loses the privilege of playing in the yard alone.

    We have basic safety covered. The world will stop if he refuses his medications.

    I can't see any other reasons to hit him.
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Oh boy...
    When she was little I didn't really need to spank. A swat on a diapered behind or hand for safety issues would stop her in the moment, but a raised voice actually worked better and she listened to "No" back then, and it stuck.

    As she got older, bolder, and her issues started coming out but without knowing what was wrong, I did spank more often, as time-outs didn't work for me. Did I spank in frustration or anger at times? Yes, and I regret those.

    Lately the only times I've spanked (as she is bigger now, much bigger!) is when she's gone after me physically and hit me first and repeatedly. When she won't stop her physical attack and let me walk away I will swat her on the behind if I can't restrain her, because that does get her attention and jerk her back when words don't do the trick.

    As a general rule, I'd say there's a difference between discipline and abuse, and spanking a child depends on whether it stops the behavior that needs to be stopped (safety issues) in the moment, and/or if the child learns something constructive from it. If all the child learns from it is that hitting is a proper form of behavior or to be more sneaky with their behavior, then it's not the right form of discipline for that child. Overuse of spanking does no good either, as it shouldn't be the only form of correction. If the child gets the same punishment for everything they do wrong, they might as well do wrong BIG, eh?
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Studies can show anything you want them to show, it depends on how they were done. If it is subjective data........take any study with a grain of salt. Personally, I don't buy into those types of studies as often they're rigged to prove a point.

    Nor do I see spanking as a "corporal punishment" either. It is a method, used wisely, that can be extremely effective on some children. As with any method, though, used too often and the wrong way can produce no results or actually worsen the issues.

    My mom used spanking for everything, I do mean everything.......and most of the time I wouldn't call it spanking either. When we were young it was extremely effective..........I mean no little kid wants a belt across their bare rear multiple times. As we approached pre-teen was so over used that it no longer phased us. We'd take it in stride and do as we pleased regardless.......while taking greater care not to get caught. Usually by age gave up. Because she used no other real method of discipline.....after that it was mostly empty threats.

    This is why I opted out of spanking for the most part. Instead I chose other more creative methods to deter unwanted behavior. I also leaned heavily on making the consequence suit the offense. Example: after a certain age if you broke something that wasn't yours you were required to earn the money to replace the item. If I thought one form of discipline was becoming ineffective due to over use....I slipped another into it's place. Spanking was a last resort or a means to quickly grab their attention or to let them understand how serious something they did was......such as the safety issues. By not over using it or relying on it heavily, on the rare occasion I did most certainly got their attention and had the desired effect.

    Now, I will say that I am huge in explaining to a child what they did wrong and why it was wrong too. If you never do this you might as well throw up your hands and just walk away. It drives me insane to watch parents just tell their kids No or Stop It or whatever or just up and punish them and yet they never actually tell the kid what they did wrong. How is the child suppose to know?? Osmosis? And yes, I've had parents tell me their kid is "just supposed to know" what they did was wrong whether they're a toddler or a teen. Or they assume because they told them once, or twice, or ten times that it registered and they remember minutes, days, weeks, months or however long later. omg Children have short memory when it comes to this stuff or they're testing boundaries....if you don't point out those boundaries when they overstep, they don't think it is there. Yes, it gets repetitive and monotonous as all get out for the parent (especially if you have more than one child) but that is just part of parenthood.

    My mom never explained what or why something was wrong. We were left to guess. If we guessed incorrectly......we got the belt. (we got the belt for everything minor or major) Since her rules were somewhat subject to change with her state of mind.......we guessed wrong quite often.

    When I state that my mom abused me (and my sibs ) it's not necessarily the spankings (or rather beatings) that I refer to......although many did fit the bill, not all did. I certainly didn't walk away from it scarred for life. Sorry but the emotional / mental abuse was far far worse, thanks. Sibs say the same........and they're still trying to shake off those years of emotional/mental abuse.

    I've met many a parent who will readily condemn anyone who lays a hand on their child, but who is so verbally, mentally abusive to their children that it is deeply disturbing, yet the parent can't see it because "I never laid a hand on them." Words can be just as bad if not worse.

    The method doesn't create the abusive environment. It's the way the parent uses it. I knew a woman who used the suggested means of discipline on her daughter (I babysat her). She used time out and grounding. Great huh? Uh, not so much. Time out could last hours and grounding usually was for several months to her room. The little girl was FIVE. Mom had no clue of normal child development.......and also was often punishing her severely for things a typical 5 yr old will do when playing with other children. Mom wasn't trying to be abusive. Mom just had no real parenting skills and no one to use as a good example to base her own parenting on. So I spent a year educating her on child development and the proper way to discipline (with age appropriate methods).

    I personally think child development should be a required course in both Jr High and High School. I say Jr High because so many very young girls are sexually active at younger and younger ages.

    Sooo, yeah. It's usually not the method, but how it is used that pushes it over the line into abuse.
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Very true on making sure the child is aware of what they did wrong. I try to remember to ask Storm, "Do you know what you did wrong?" and see if she can figure it out for herself first. If not, I'll walk her through it, and how to handle a situation like it in the future. Yes, it does get tiring when it happens repeatedly, but she's making progress.
  17. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Hound Dog: I used 'corporal punishment' because I wanted to include some other, culturally more common, types of punishment used for kids that produce small amount of pain. Spanking (as in swatting kid's behind with open hand or more mildly, with birch twig) is in fact considered rather extreme side of corporal punishment spectrum there I live and it hasn't been common in longest time. More mild forms of corporal punishments are still rather commonly used even though also they have been illegal about 30 years now. The most commonly used around here (according studies) is pulling hair and almost half of the mothers have done that at least once (father's use corporal punishment much less than mothers according to those studies) and almost 20 % pinch, when only about 5 % actually has spanked. The first corporal punishment I used with difficult child was also hair pulling (Taking piece of his hair back of his neck between my fingers and (rather gently) pulling or just keeping my hand still and letting him do the pulling part.) I also swated his hand or brow with one finger. No actual spanking when he was still so small. That we did tried first time in our second attempt of corporal punishment.

    We of course always made sure difficult child knew why he was punished and he wasn't ever punished for something he didn't know was wrong before he did it. And I have to say we didn't have such a hot results with any punishments or other discipline strategy or in fact with anything. But corporal punishment gave us absolutely worst results and made difficult child just less trusting, more sneaky and oppositional. And when older, very provocative. Already during our second attempt when he was 5 or 6 and even more so the last when he was around 11 or 12.

    You are right that emotional abuse can be worse than physical abuse, but you have to remember that physical abuse is always also emotional abuse. But of course not all spanking is abusive. Even though I do agree with our laws that forbid it and even though our attempts with spanking ended up being abusive, I do believe that average child who lives in the culture where spanking is considered okay and is common and who is sensibly spanked by loving parents in culturally appropriate way and well raised in other ways (for example told what they did wrong, told what is a right way, taught to problem solve etc.) doesn't suffer much if they are spanked time to time. But I also believe that for certain type of children even sensible spanking can be harmful and I do believe that there are better disciplining methods than spanking.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    SuZir I totally agree there are some children that spanking doesn't work with, and that often make the behavior of the child worse. Travis was one of them. His were strictly for safety issues.....and was more often a swat to get his attention with the actual punishment being something else.

    Can't say I've heard of the hair pulling. But I've yanked on an ear or two when the situation called for it, or pressed finger nails into an armpit or the soft underside of an arm......not enough to actually hurt but enough to get either their attention or instant cooperation. (and sometimes that instant cooperation is necessary) I've popped a child on the mouth for biting, if that is the only way to get the message across that biting is unacceptable. (you have to remember I deal with autistics in this family who don't always connect the dots) Pop, not smack...... I've smacked my kids maybe once or twice in their lifetimes and I will admit it's as much reflex as anything. (don't mouth off to me, it will get you smacked......that hand has a mind of it's own) It so startled them they never repeated it, even now as adults they won't.

    Now I will say one thing................and I know many will believe it's abuse. I don't and no one will convince me otherwise. If a child physically attacked me I'd take them down without hesitation, quickly. I will use whatever force is necessary. If that child is young, it won't take much to restrain them. (I know how to properly do it) If it's a teen, they're going to be laid out on the floor in short order. I don't play around. I firmly believe that a person has every right to defend themselves when it comes to physical violence, including a parent. After such an attack the child would find themselves removed from the home, either to treatment or whatever. I don't tolerate abusive behavior from anyone, child or adult. And yes, I've spoken with cps /police in 3 different states and no they don't have an issue with it, despite what people tend to believe. Even if they did, I'd do the same. I'm not about to stand there and let someone use me as a punching bag or run from my own kid. Not gonna happen. Everyone has their limits, that one is mine. This was always clearly understood with my kids, both easy child and difficult child, and they had no doubt I'd do it. They chose wisely not to test those waters.

    Discipline has to be countered with plenty of love and affection, teaching/guiding, fun and laughter. It should never be doled out in the heat of anger. There were times when I had to walk away and a child had to wait to find out what consequence they'd have for whatever they'd done or not done, so that I could handle it calmly and with a clear head. I took great care as to what words I used with my kids, how I said things, I rarely raised my voice. In fact, they knew if I lowered my voice someone was in trouble. lol
  19. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I have popped Storm in the mouth when she's bitten me and not let go right away. Startles us both every time, but I've had animals far longer than I've had a kid and it's a reflexive response for me (just ask the cat, who still bites and hasn't gotten the message yet to knock it off right away when I pull away). The only times it's happened is when she's bitten down and stayed latched on, trying to do more damage, so really all she's learned is to bite quick and let go or to scratch me instead, but it's not a reaction I have any control over. When she bites quick I still find myself swatting, I just miss because she's out of the way by then.

    I have told her if she continues scratching me I'm going to trim her nails when she goes to sleep. She likes her nails, it's her only girly-girl thing, but if she keeps using them as a weapon against me, they're going to go.
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Creative parenting. :) I'd do the same thing.