Monday, September 27, 2010

Why Spanking is Never Okay

By Nestor Lopez-Duran, Ph.D.
Originally published at Child Psych. At Peaceful Parenting with permission.



The most recent issue of the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics included a report on the use of physical violence as a form of discipline (aka “spanking”) and its relation to intimate partner violence. The study examined a large sample of close to 2,000 families participating in a nationally representative study of families across the USA. The authors were interested in examining whether the use of spanking in 3 year-old children was associated with physical violence between the parents.

The results were not surprising:

1. 65% of 3 year old children were spanked at least once by their parents during the previous month.

2. The odds of using physical punishment doubled in households where parents used aggression against each other. This is not surprising since physical punishment is a form of interpersonal aggression.

3. Maternal stress significantly increased the odds of using physical punishment. This is also not surprising since physical punishment is more likely to be used by parents who are angry.

4. Maternal depression significantly increased the odds of using physical punishment.

5. The odds of using physical punishment were not associated with maternal education, but when the father had a college degree both the father and the mother were significantly less likely to use physical punishment. I am curious to hear my readers’ thoughts on this interesting finding.

The authors concluded (CP = Corporal Punishment; IPAV = Intimate Partner Violence):
Despite American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations against the use of CP, CP use remains common in the United States. CP prevention efforts should carefully consider assumptions made about patterns of co-occurring aggression in families, given that adult victims of IPAV, including even minor, non physical aggression between parents, have increased odds of using CP with their children.
Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics unequivocally recommends against the use of aggression as a discipline method. Why? Because the research on physical punishment is clear: it is unnecessary and is associated with a long list of NEGATIVE consequences. For example, although proponents of “spanking” argue that if you don’t spank, the child will not learn to behave properly, the research actually suggests the opposite. Children who are spanked, when compared to their non-spanked peers, are, among many others:

1. more likely to use aggression against their peers
2. less likely to internalize rules
3. more likely to engage in criminal activity during adolescence
4. more likely to engage in domestic abuse as adults
5. more likely to suffer from depression
and on and on and on.

For those who want to read more about the science behind the negative effects of corporal punishment, visit the research library of Project No Spank; http://nospank.net/resrch.htm

I unequivocally oppose the use of violence towards children as a discipline method for two reasons. The first is explained above. The scientific research shows that physical punishment does not work in the long run, is associated with an increased risk for many behavioral and psychological problems, and is simply unnecessary given that we have non-violent discipline techniques that are very effective. But I also oppose violence towards children on philosophical grounds.

Although I never talk about philosophy (and especially my views) on Child Psych, this time I want to share them with you. I am a secular humanist, and as a humanist I oppose interpersonal violence except in cases of self defense. I view spanking as a culturally accepted violent act towards a child. We use the words “spanking” or “corporal punishment” as euphemisms so that we don’t confront the reality of the act: when a parent spanks a child the parent is physically assaulting the child. Why do we accept such aggression when we oppose other forms of interpersonal violence? For example, in western societies we oppose marital violence. We believe that there is no excuse that could justify a husband for hitting a wife. A husband can’t argue that he hit his wife because the wife was “misbehaving,” or that it was “just one hit,” or that he used “an open hand,” or that the hit “didn’t leave any marks,” etc. Under all circumstances, we oppose the assault of a wife by her husband. We do not accept the premise that it is “the husband’s right” to hit his wife. Yet, our culture accepts the premise that “it is a parent’s right” to hit his/her child. We allow the use of violence against young children under the excuse that such aggression is “culturally accepted” or even “necessary” to teach the “child a lesson.” But I ask, what lesson? That we can use violence to achieve our goals? That it is acceptable to hit people when they don’t do what we want? That hitting those who can’t defend themselves is okay as long as you are teaching them a lesson?

Children are not possessions. Children are, albeit small in size, real human beings who have the right to live in an environment where they are safe from being physically assaulted. Being free of physical harm is the most basic human right, and children should not be exempt from it.

From a scientific and humanistic perspective, there is no valid argument that justifies the use of violence towards children in the name of discipline. It is unnecessary, ineffective, and leads to many negative consequences. My explicit recommendation to all parents is: Never use violence to correct a misbehavior or to teach your child a lesson.

Three final points. Please don’t confuse a position against spanking with being “permissive.” You can be very strict without the use of violence. You can provide structure, rules, limits and consequences, without being violent towards your child. See below for alternatives to spanking.

Second, be wary of the “my grandma smoked till she was 100″ excuse. That is, some people justify spanking, or even refuse to believe valid science, because “I was spanked as a kid and I’m okay.” That would be the same as believing that there is no association between smoking and cancer because “my grandma smoked till she was 100 and didn’t die from it.” Smoking increases the probability that you will get cancer, even though some people who smoke will be okay. Likewise, spanking increases the probability of a laundry list of negative outcomes, even though some people who are hit as children will be okay in the long run.

Finally, some have argued that spanking is OK in certain cultures as long as you provide nurturance and love. It is true that some studies have shown that high levels of maternal support can reduce the negative consequences of physical punishment. But, from a humanistic perspective, I find the argument that “it is okay to hit my child if I provide love” as invalid as a husband saying “it is okay to hit my wife if I show her that I love her.”


Notes:

Taylor, C., Lee, S., Guterman, N., & Rice, J. (2010). Use of Spanking for 3-Year-Old Children and Associated Intimate Partner Aggression or Violence. PEDIATRICS, 126 (3), 415-424 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2010-0314



Alternatives to Spanking and Related Reading:

Gentle Discipline Resource Collection

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain [book]

The Science of Parenting: How today's brain research can help you raise healthy, emotionally balanced children [book]

The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost [book]

Our Babies, Ourselves [book]

The No Spanking Page alternative ideas to spanking

Why Do We Spank Our Babies? 

Infant Pain Impacts Adult Sensitivity

Early Spanking Increases Toddler Aggression, Lowers IQ
  
Spanking Decreases Intelligence? 

Project No Spank 

Dr Sears: 10 Reasons Not to Hit Your Child


Aware Parenting

Natural Child / Jan Hunt


Love Our Children USA

Support NY Rep Carolyn McCathy on her efforts to ban physical punishment in US schools.
http://www.thehittingstopshere.com/







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76 comments:

  1. When my eldest was around 2 years old our pediatrician did not appreciate her temper during an invasive ear exam. He told us we should "nip this behavior in the bud" and "while he wasn't allowed to say so, he used to find a good whack with a wooden spoon would do the trick". Needless to say, we never went back to him.

    Thank you for writing this. I will be sharing.

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  2. We've started spanking in recent months because of my husband's ridiculous theory that "he had it done to him and he turned out okay". We have been very frustrated that our children will not do as they are told the first time they are told to do it and didn't know what else to do. I'm open to suggestions on that, but we had the discussion this morning that our children have become increasingly violent toward one another and to us. This is not how I want my home to be, but I am SOOOO fed up! I don't know what to do!!!

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    1. Paula - it is so frustrating to deal with aggression. One book that I found extremely helpful was "Siblings Without Rivalry." It taught me what to say to acknowledge each child's perspective. I find that when I can remember to use the techniques from this book, I can really diffuse a fight.

      Oh - an get your husband to read the peaceful parent's blog post on hitting. Violence begets violence. It's a rule in our house - "GENTLE TOUCH ONLY."

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    2. It seems like your children's behavior isn't to blame for your frustration; it's the assumption that your children ought to do as they're told. Think back to your childhood. You can probably think of numerous occurrences of being told to put on a coat when you weren't cold, etc. Besides that, does it matter if your child comes to help you with the dishes now or waits until the next commercial break in the show s/he's watching?

      You may or may not agree with me on this. Either way, I'm sorry you're feeling frustrated. Please take the stance that violence is not okay and go from there. You are smart and creative enough to find another solution. :) Your children deserve to grow up without pain and fear. You can do it.

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    3. You know, I keep rewriting this reply -- the bottom line is that I started out parenting with lots more yelling than I was happy about, and with a lot of surprising insights into my darker nature. I guess I want to let you know that it is possible to change : ) I now have four boys, very close in age, and for the past six years, I have not raised my voice in anger -- and we are very, very happy.

      One book that helped me a lot is "How to Raise Your Spirited Child" -- I think everyone's journey is different, and I do think there is not anything I have done in my life that was more meaningful or difficult, but the results are so worth it. It is possible. Don't give up. My husband also thought spanking was okay...I have consistently and gently informed him...in the end, though, what "won" is that (obviously) even if spanking is "okay" (which I don't think it is...but for the sake of argument) isn't is better to have a happy family without spanking?

      It *is* possible! Don't give up!!

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    4. this came across my FB feed, and I thought "that sounds like a good article!" Lo and behold, I've already read it! Happy to report 13 months later that things are better. I do the disciplining now. I realized that most of DH's aggression/anger/anting kids to follow orders, was because of his recent return from military deployment where he picked up some PTSD symptoms, and was a leader of troops that followed orders. Taking a year off from parenting made it really hard for him to get back into that groove. Things are going better, and I'm not spanking at all anymore.

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    5. Way to go Paula!

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    6. A few things, wanting your child to do as your told all the time is not necessarily a good thing. Children who are "obedient" and taught to listen to adults without question are much more likely to be preyed upon by sexual predators because they do not speak up and voice that they feel the adult is harming them. Also, children's brains process things at a much slower speed than ours because they are taking in so many things at once and have trouble focusing. Don't expect them to get it the first time, or the second, or third even. But don't give up.

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  3. While i may not condone spanking (or corporal punishment of any kind), I find it a very poor argument that it's the same as a husband hitting a wife.

    I do not feel that wives and children are on equal ground, nor should be treated equally. A wife doesn't need to be raised. Wives are (or at least should be) grown adults that are able (again, should be able) to take care of themselves. Children do need to be taught right from wrong by their parents. Putting your wife and your child on the same level is why so many kids in today's society don't listen to their parents, because so many parents treat kids like adults. Kids do need discipline when they do things wrong (I am not saying spanking, just discipline!)...

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    1. I'm confused as to why you don't think women and children aren't equal. In my house my husband and children are all equal. We all need food, water, shelter, clothing, to be listened to, respected (even children), and to be loved unconditionally. We do however have different roles. For example I am the mother so in our house I assign chores and my daughter is the student so her role is to listen learn question and explore. My husband in our house is the provider so he works. All still equal humans with equal rights and needs. Just different roles. We are this way because most importantly God views us equally. I am not more important to him as a mother than my daughter is as a child. He loves us equally. My daughter listens to her parents because she is respected and valued and equal. We also do this because we believe as Christians Jesus should be shown by example and he sure didn't think children should be treated as anything less than the adults were treated.

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    2. Thank you for pointing this out......excellent point.

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    3. Spanking does not help the child to internalize right and wrong; instead they may just learn to behave (as our dog does) when there is little chance of being caught! This does not devlop a conscience, just a fear of punishment. While "discipline" can be used to teach a conscience. For instance, my husband would ask our son how he thought the child on the street is feeling and why? When children are taught to notice and understand others' feelings and behaviors, tehy start to develop a conscience. Studies indicate that many adults NEVER get beyond the selfish teen conscience of just doing what others do (mob mentality) as long as one doesn't get caught. These adults have not developed a personal sense of right and wrong.

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  4. This picture made me sick in my stomach.
    I have a spoon just like that but in million years I would never have thought to use it like that!

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  5. I understand that there are these cases of physical abuse... but I will say my parents were spanked as children and never were they physically abusive to each other or to me... and my siblings and I were spanked and ALL 4 of us are in VERY healthy relationships with spouses that love each other and will never be physically abusive to each other. Spanking should be used as a last resort and when it is used it needs to be done correctly. Growing up I was sent to my room after I disobeyed and was informed that because I had disobeyed my parents there were going to be consequences (keep in mind this was a last resort for my parents!) Then my parents would come in, we would talk about what I had done wrong and then my parents informed us that because they loved us and wanted us to become good people I would have to experience this consequence. I was hit on the bottom, NEVER more than 3 times.. and I will say that even though it hurt it never was hard enough to bruise or draw blood. Then my parents in there tears and in mine told us that they loved us again and we would pray together and hug and I would tell them that I was sorry for what I had done and would try hard not to do it again.
    I do NOT have anger against my parents for this and I feel as though my parents did a WONDERFUL job raising us children and I admire them for all they did and ALL the disapline methods they used.
    Spanking is AWFUL when its done incorrectly but when its done in love it can make an amazing difference in how a child turns out!!!

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    1. My parents raised me in the exactly same way you described above, but unlike you I wanted to puke every time they wanted to hug me and pray after hitting me. I felt violated, and I once told my father that I did not like to hug people who hit me. I did not learn their "lessons in life", but I learned that I always would end up in trouble unless I lived in "heads down" mode. My mother now marvels at how well adjusted and happy my 4 year old is, and one of the main reasons for her behavior is that she can trust her parents - she will never learn pain from us.

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    2. I too was spanked as a child and in a similar way, my father would calmly explain to me that I had misbehaved and that as a consequence I was going to get a spanking, and then after he would hug me and tell me that he did not want to have to do that to me, so please listen next time, etc. (and usually the things I would do were very normal toddler/pre school behaviors)
      As the above poster said, it made me feel like I was going to throw up every time my father hugged me. How could I trust this man who hit me? I retreated into myself and became a very quiet introverted child and as I got older my true personality would come out in spurts but there has always been an underlying fear of 'being myself' for fear of some kind of strange judging punishment.
      Some kids' (like you, original Anonymous poster) personalities can translate the 'loving spaking' into something that some other kids can not. Every person is different.

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    3. Consider "Natural Consequences" instead, such as the child breaks an item, then the child must replace the item. Each of our sons was petrified for damaging our car. Each was immediately asked if okay, told that the car was just a thing, (not as valuable as him) AND that he would pay for the damage out of his allowance, at $7 a week. One son went to the library, got a book on car repair, purchased the items and paint, and did the repair himself for $60, instead of the $1,000 price tag estimated. They each learned valuable lessons and so did we.
      When our son fell through the ice and lost his glasses, he had to pay the scuba diver for finding them. His allowance savings took a big hit. She (the scuba diver) gave him a huge discount, but he never went where the sign said not to again.

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    4. Anonymous,

      THAT IS AWESOME. I love that your son learned car repair to avoid having to pay the huge fine. I would LOVE if my kids grew up to be that dedicated and resourceful!

      I told my (small) children just told that if they didn't stop throwing/running with the TV remote and it broke, they would not have TV to watch anymore. Their loss, right?

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  6. When I was a child, I saw my brothers spanked with a wood board and I knew then that I would never spank a child. The only time my mother ever aggressively laid a hand on me was when I ran in the street. She spanked me once and I never ran in the street again. I could tell that running in the street was a VERY bad thing, due to her extreme reaction.

    My husband and I have, in the past, considered following that example of only spanking when they run into the street/parking lot but I know I won't. Physical aggression towards a child is never okay. I prefer using timeouts and restrictions to discipline.

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    1. I dont understand the spanking for running into traffic argument. I much rather teach my child that she needs to be careful in traffic than to not run because she will get a beating. With a little one I just physically make sure that she cant run away from me. With my 4 year old I constantly remind her of how she needs to behave when we are getting out of the car or approaching a parking lot.

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    2. I agree. That argument has never made sense to me either. When my children are too small to understand that running in the street/parking lost is dangerous, they are being worn, placed directly from my arms into a cart, are carried, or their hands are held very tightly in mine or my husband's hand. Once my daughter (she is 4) was old enough to understand the dangers of cars in the road and parking lot, she has never ran out into traffic. I just don't understand why this is a hard concept. Our children CAN learn what we teach them. If they are too young or unable to understand safety concepts, then it is our responsibility as their parents to keep them safe. If your child runs out into traffic, YOU were not doing your job, not the child, so why in the world would the child need to be punished.

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    3. Have you even known a child who was perfectly old enough to know better get killed by a vehicle because the child did what children often do...get focused on an activity and run out anyway despite knowing perfectly well the dangers? I have. More than one. These parents all assumed that their child who had displayed perfect understanding of the dangers many times would always be aware. They paid the highest price for that arrogance. I'm not talking about 4 yr olds here. I am talking about children around the 4th grade. Sometimes it is ok for a child to fear something. It can keep them alive.

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    4. To the last Anon - there are many, many, many effective ways to discipline and to teach caution and wisdom and discernment among our children that do not involve hitting them... Not spanking does not equate to risk of getting hit by a car.

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  7. We must get out of the cycle our for bearers associated with. Parents "spanking" to appease the other. Parents we need to rise to our callings and get our act together and stop this cycle. When we make the choice to be parents we need to research every love & logic book out there. I'm a firm believer that we pick up from our associations the characteristics traits we think are best for us...sadly negative perceptions get created that are false and the cycle continues.
    We create hobbies and habits and even call them addictions for ourselves. I think we can all manage more understanding and time and dedicate to our families well being as we look through the eyes of our children. Be the child we all are. We are all still learning!!!
    Scolding and pain hurts feelings that create emotions that get trapped in each and every one of us. Choose the curiosity card and see why the child is choosing to react in such a manner. Hmmm, might surprise you of where it comes from. Look in the mirror before you reach a hand out to hurt and give your hand to help them up and out of whatever it is they're dealing with. Look in the mirror more often and say "I'm doing the best that I can and wink and smile". And take notice who you are and where your emotion is coming from that is making you react in disciplining your child with "spankins". Creating structure and a routine for a child is imperative to a world (HOME) of peace. I mean come on we all want that, right?

    In our home we have a reward/privileged system. We use tickets as our payments, since in our home we believe everyone needs to help. No $ is given for chores as we provide the things our children need. The tickets were given to me as an idea to instruct my children and teach them how to earn privileged activities. Yes, I get mad still at the small things and big things but when I internalize where the emotion originated I heal myself and heal my children.

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    1. We also would not pay for chores. But, giving an allowance gave them opportunities to learn about banks, a savings account, the cost of using money rather than saving, and a "natural consequence" for destructive choices made.

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  8. I perceive a "splitting of hairs on the definition of spanking/smacking. The truth is the emotional impact from experiencing one as a child and the parents verbal and physical act of spanking are both highly variable! No two are the same! ... There are no procedural rules for the parent’s action to punish in this manner. For some kids it's not overly traumatizing, for some it is devastating! In my case I sought and received professional therapy that exposed post-traumatic stress disorder flashbacks from spanking. I suffer with a lifelong psychosexual disorder, termed fetish, from it. It was a source of shame and fear about my sexual desires until the internet and then therapy help me understand it completely. Culturally people choose to believe this is just "different" sexual needs/ interest. Truth is such a sexual desire has no natural origin for genetically it serves no purpose in procreation or partner attraction and emotional bonding. It's a sexual abuse side effect from this sort of child punishment for some children. Truth is even hearing or seeing another child experiencing this punishment can create this sexual trauma. My mother ritually commanded the physical steps for spanking me, and she ritually removed my clothing and exposed me for maximum shaming and humiliation. Punishment was mixed with sexual arousal. I experienced that as sexual abuse, or at a minimum a sexual transgression. Parents bath and provide health care including medical for their children and in that context it's not perceived a sexual trespass, the same can't be said for spanking, especially when its intent is to create shame and humiliation. The emotional context, in this case for punishment value, with elements of sexuality mixed in it created psychosexual damage emotionally with a compulsive disorder as an adult to desire to be sexually humiliated by a mother figure and then spanked. Not all abuse symptoms of child abuse from spanking are sexual in nature but some are. They are many other types of emotional scars also. I sadly have met on the internet and in person MANY other adults living with these sort of psychosexual disorders that consider it a "normal" part of their sexuality, and they can be subconsciously motivated to spank for gratification rationalized as being morally a good disciplining parent even a spiritual obedient one! I should know my mother was one. Lastly, while I've learned living with this condition to avoid making this fetish a large part of my sexual desire and act it out with my wife any longer there is a lingering emotional void, that is far, far worse than the sexual attraction. I've been educated that the human emotion of feeling love and sexuality are very closely linked. I know that might be intuitive for many but it wasn't for me. Do to this I live with a sense of NEVER feeling completely loved in accompaniment of my sexual intimacy since I feel a strong degree of being loved by being sexually humiliated and spanked. This type of abuse damage is not common but it is a heavy price to pay going thru life wishing not having this burden or wishing one sought a partner who was afflicted with the same fetish to capitulate for a sense of fulfillment and well-being. I challenge the parent who thinks a quick smack is harmless. Remember you won't know you GAVE your child a sexual disorder!

    Here is an excellent resource that explains psychologically how this sexual abuse disorder occurs in some children from being spanked!
    Regression
    A Universal Experience
    Averil Marie Doyle

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  9. I was spanked as a child by my father and I remember thinking that he didn't love me because of it. There was never blood, he always told me he loved me, he never spanked me more than three times. I do not feel as though I was less likely to repeat whatever bad behavior led to the spanking, or that I "learned my lesson". I am not angry with him for doing this because I know he thought that it was the right thing to do, but I would be lying if I said our relationship didn't suffer as a result of the spanking. When I became a teenager I was angry at him and I acted out, and I can honestly say that I was bitter because he hit me, even if it was not severe enough to truly harm me physically. I will NEVER spank my children, and I will never allow my husband (who also claims "I was spanked and I'm fine") to spank our children. I don't ever want my children for one moment to not feel safe with us, or to doubt our love for them. I don't care how people try to justify it, spanking is NOT okay.

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    1. My ex-spouse told the judge (during divorce proccedings) that I was abusive because I made him look at the welts he made on our daughter's bottom. The judge sent me a letter that very day telling me that IF I returned to this man, he would see to it that our children were removed from the home.

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    2. I'm a woman, and one of the reasons I never had kids was that I might not be able to stop their father from spanking them . . . . . And enjoying it and joking about it

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  10. I think I was spanked but I can't remember any incidents clearly, I always knew I was loved though, and the spanking stopped as soon as I was old enough to be reasoned with.

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  11. I was spanked and have spanked myself. I don't think it is a good idea, but then again, frustration can make us behave irrationally. If a person is basically loving and loses it for a moment it needn't mean a lifetime of anyone being messed up. It is not an ideal solution to problems and there are better ways to help children improve their behaviour. It isn't logical to improve a child's behaviour by behaving badly yourself. But if you have ever spanked your child I wouldn't spend the rest of your life feeling absolutely traumatised by it. I have a very loving relationship with my kids and as they grow older we can talk things out more, and there is a strong love basis that we feel, know and share. My older kids said the other day that maybe my youngest should get a spank since he was behaving really horridly!!! They are generally very loving children, and close knit. They also kiss and adore said youngest, and think the world of him. I don't think they have been scarred for life by receiving only a very very occasional spank when all other options seemed exhausted, and when they were toddler age. I'm not exactly proud of it, I know I was just sheer exhausted and at my wits end, but even so I don't think articles like this are entirely helpful, in that it is all painted as very black and White. It's not the end of the universe if a child gets spanked very very infrequently. Daily, weekly or even monthly would be a big problem. But once or twice during a kids development? And providing it is without any sadistic or ritualistic intent, or performed in a publicly humiliating way, and doesn't involve the use of any tool, then I'm sorry but I can forgive parents for this action.

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  12. Spanking aka hitting a child is wrong period. I was spanked and from the first time, my parents lost my love, respect and trust. I never have and never will trust or respect anyone who hits another. No one deserves to be hit.

    As for children 'doing what they are told the first time they are told it .. ' well, I am afraid that most parents will tell you that THAT is not going not going to happen all the time! And the more you hit a child, the more angry, resentful and hateful it will feel. It will feel unloved - and no, telling him or showing him after actually hitting him does NOT mean they understand it. I didn't. I felt unloved, that they didn't understand or care about me, that they lied [they told me 'people don't hit each other ' ] - I learned only fear, pain, anger, hate and resentment. Quite a lot really .. except none of it was good.

    Why should a defenceless child, have less protection under the law than an animal, an adult or even a criminal? Makes NO sense to me whatsover.

    I never hit my children - and they are now great adults .. and my young grandchildren who are not hit either are doing fine ! Children learn by example and by direction .. not with violence.

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  13. Every kid needs a butt spanking sooner or later. I never spanked my child till she turned two and started acting up, and I see myself as a great parent and my daughter loves me very much, When I was a child I got spanked and a regular basis and turned out great. Same with my husband and hes been in the Army for 10 years and highly respected. Im not saying children deserve it everyday but sometimes says "No honey don't color all over the walls" dosnt do the trick I'll tell them once maybe twice not to do something and if they don't cant follow directions after that they should be spanked. You teach them what they can get away with my child is great and has learned to be very respectful. I've been around children who were talked to and not spanked and one was told not to do something and he bluntly turned around and told his mother NO and he was 4!

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    1. I don't see you as a great parent. I see you as a parent bullying her children into doing what she wants them to. you clearly haven't read a single thing on this post about the negative consequences of what you are doing.

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    2. No, your child hasn't learned to be respectful - only fearful. Oh and to hide his bad behaviour from you even better ie for when you aren't around. He isn't learning empathy. He IS learning however that 'might is right' and that your love is conditional. Rather than spanking for drawing on the wall - why not simply remove the pens? Seems so much simpler to me.

      NO ONE deserves or needs to be hit - which IS what spanking is. Children need to learn empathy, they need to learn not to hit others for any reason except self defence or defence of another, and they most CERTAINLY need to learn that a bully is a bully no matter WHAT the age and not to stand for it!

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    3. As a small child, I got into trouble for drawing on the wall. My punishment was to clean the wall. I remember that it took a very long time to completely remove the crayon. I never drew on a wall again. Please research and find alternatives to CP. Otherwise, you will only teach your child that people who "love" them, hurt them.

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  14. spanking is wrong. People can say anything they want. My body and my actions however belong to me and only, and I would not spank a child.

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  15. I dislike the word spanking as much as I dislike the act of it. If parents called it what it really was than we would all be so comfortable with the idea? Hitting is hitting. Just because someone coined a more acceptable term for it doesn't make it right. And if you disagree, then answer one question. How do you feel after you hit your child?

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  16. To all who say "My kids were spanked and turned out fine!": You can have all kinds of traumatic experiences in life and still turn out "fine". Emotional health exists on a spectrum, like most things. Your kids will take their experiences and do what they will with them (some may be traumatized, others may not). I think it is better to provide children with the tools to deal with their emotions/stress instead of just "put them in their place" with violent words or actions.

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  17. These scientific findings seem to say that people with anger issues use physical violence as a 'first choice' for correcting behavior end up harming their kids: I wholeheartedly agree.

    However, when a cool-headed parent has exhausted the bag of parenting tricks and the child cannot be reasoned with, the parent must use physical correction to break through the defiance and disrespect. Never in anger. Always preceded by warnings and followed by loving communication.

    Children are not adults. They are children. Please read 'Dare to Discipline' by James Dobson.

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    1. I would like to humbly offer that "must" is a strong word. As a Christian, I am called to raise my children as I believe Jesus would. I do not think Jesus would raise his voice or hit children. I do not see any evidence for it in the Bible, which is what I use as my guide. I use the "rod" to guide my children, as a shepherd would.

      As I mentioned in a post above, I started out parenting with a lot of yelling. I wasn't happy with how I was acting, so made a conscious effort to change. I have not raised my voice in anger for six years now.

      Our family is incredibly happy and loving and kind. My four boys are extremely respectful and responsible.

      We may disagree on how to parent, but I would appreciate not using the word "must" use physical correction. That is just untrue.

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  18. Precisly, children are children not adults. They are unable at the time of spanking/hitting to understand that this is being done out of love. To build an assosciation between physical pain and love is just strange to me. I would go so far as to say it is wrong full stop. If you have exhausted your bag of parenting tricks borrow from someone elses bag! Someone will always have a suggestion of something you have not tried.
    Learn more about child development so you can understand your childs behaviour and help them through it instead of punishing them for behaviour that is a normal reaction to life not a defiance that is threatening the status quo. Try to talk to your child about why they are showing apparant disrespect, why they are mouthing off. If they truely feel loved and safe they will be able ot tell you why they are so frustrated with how you as a parent are handling the situation. Then you can move forward. Spanking does not help to move forward like that. Lets face it we arent perfect just because we are adults and more than our children are. Lets show some humility in how we parent our kids.

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  19. I've read all these and must say that the one above about "no honey, you can't color all over the walls" is my favorite. I feel nothing but sorrow for a parent who simply can't take the crayons away or distract the two year old into another activity. How small is her "parenting bag of tricks" as someone else put it? I feel sad for the child too, obviously, as she will grow up with such limited choices and few ways to express herself. Assuming every parent spanked in love, (as in, sent child to private spot, went to them, explained the reason, administered the spanking, gave love after, etc.) we should not be afraid to use the correct words. Imagine leaving your dinner party and saying to the guests, "I'm going upstairs to hit my child repeatedly with this wooden paddle." Would that be okay? I can't imagine anyone being really okay with that. It is just wrong. Wrong on many levels.

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  20. I have had so many people respond to me with "but my parents hit me and I turned out okay."

    I have a quick response to this and that is "NO. You are NOT okay. Your parents taught you to hit little children and now you think it's okay to hit little children, too. There is nothing remotely 'okay' with that."

    Using physical punishment is never okay and not only does it not work, the very idea of it doing any good is completely ludicrous.

    My daughter has NEVER even once in her life conceived of me harming her in any way. She has complete trust in me. When I am angry with her and tell her to "come here," she does it immediately, without fear, without flinching, because she doesn't even have the concept in her mind that something bad might happen. This makes me SO PROUD. I am more proud of this than anything I have ever felt proud about parenting so far.

    What does this mean? It means that when the child of a parent who spanks does wrong, the child tries to cover it up. They deny it. They don't tell. When the parent eventually finds out, it's too late and the parent becomes angry. They punish the child who then becomes angry. This makes the parent even angrier. It's a horrible cycle of negative feelings and anger.

    But when my daughter does wrong, she immediately comes to me and tells me. She feels remorseful because she sees that it hurts ME, not her. "I accidentally dropped your nail polish and it broke on the floor. I'm so sorry, mama. I know you told me not to. I'm sorry." And then I don't feel angry. I feel PROUD. I feel proud and my daughter feels remorseful and then we clean it up together and she has learned a lesson and nobody is angry. No one is yelling. No one is crying.

    That is the difference between a child who is physically "disciplined" and a child who is emotionally and socially disciplined.

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    1. Exactly. I learned to hide things from my parents and blame others. Making your children fear you is not success.

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    2. Yes. Thank you.

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  21. Love, Love this last comment by amberskyfire

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  22. Ahh, I remember catching my oldest dd coloring on the walls at two. I don't believe that discipline should be about punishment, it's about teaching. My dd learned a lot more about why coloring on the walls is not okay by having to clean it up than she ever would have from a spanking. I don't think I even really yelled at her or got onto her for it (though I might have, it was 15 years ago). Just pointed out the mess and gave her a rag and some soapy water and left her to it for a few minutes.
    No she didn't get it very clean, I had to go back later and fix it, but that wasn't the point. The point was for her to fix her screw-up.

    The point is, there is a whole world of difference between spanking and letting a child run wild.

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  23. The idea of "spanking" or "disciplining" a child is to teach them that the when we make choices in this world there are consequences to our actions. Many children grow up and become adults still believing that they can make choices and someone else will clean up the mess. Teaching children that when they make bad decisions there are negative results is teaching children about life: When you speed-you get a ticket. Sometime other methods of parenting are better than spanking. For instance, I recall one incident in my childhood, where I intentionally ripped up my brother's book with the intent to hurt him because he made me mad. I did not get spanked for this. Instead my parents made be do extra chores and paid me in pennies until I had saved up enough money to buy him a new book. It took me weeks to do this and by the end, I wanted to have the spanking instead because it was a quicker resolution. However, what this taught me was the consequence of my actions and all the work it took to correct what took me seconds to do. All discipline by my parents was out of love and all four of us kids understood that. Around age eight all "spankings" were eliminated and we were given responsibilities for our actions and all the consequences that came with them. Over the years, as I communicate with other adults, I am still shocked by the number of adults that will get behind the wheel drunk and not plan on a designated driver. I attribute these and other sad events to people who are not aware of consequences to their actions. Maybe if their parents had taught them their decisions can hurt them and can hurt others they would think twice about making some of them when they are adults.

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    1. I'm not sure I understand what you are saying, for I know many people who were spanked as children and still gotten behind the wheel and drove drunk. We can teach that negative actions have negative consequences without hitting our children. You, yourself, pointed out that you learned much more when you had to work to replace your brother's book, than you would have learned from being spanked.

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  24. Is there nothing to be said for the fact that when you do something wrong there are physical consequences? As in the one parent who won't spank her children for running in the street. Would it hurt your child less to have a spanking if they repeatedly ran away from you in the parking lot and you tried holding their hand and they jerked away from your or if they got hit by a car? The concept is not abuse, it can become abuse, but spanking in itself is not a deplorable behavior that our ancestors were not intellectually enlightened enough not to know better.
    The concept actually exists all through nature. Have you ever seen the way that cats and dogs treat their young? They are very patient until one of them pushes it too far and then they get nipped. Not hard, just enough for them to recognize that the behavior has consequences. Would you rather a child burn their hand on a wood burning stove or smack their hand and tell them that they cannot do that because it will burn them?
    Spanking should never be the only discipline measure taken but on one occasion, I squated down on level with my daughter in a store and told her sternly to hold her aunts hand and I got a dirty look. Discipline on the whole seems to be frowned upon from where I stand.

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  25. Ditto to loving amberskyfire's response! I want that for my children!! I'm pregnant with our first and I'm reading up on everything I can to help me change how I react to situations. I shuddered just reading "come here". It made my stomach drop and my muscles tense up. I don't think that's a healthy response that an adult almost 30 should still be having. Do you? This is why I want a completely different environment for my home. For my children. I have loved my children even before knowing I was ever pregnant. I love them soooooo much that I'm willing to change my thinking and my actions in order for them to feel safe, secure and loved.

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  26. To Anonymous that spanks his/her kids... Spanking is not discipline, it's abuse. Our justice system doesn't use violence against us to teach lawbreakers a lesson and it certainly shouldn't be used on children. If you are spanking and your children obey better because of it, it's out of FEAR and not understanding. If you want your 2 your old to do what you say, the first time you say it, you're being completely unrealistic with your expectations of a 2 year old. And if you want your child to obey or respect you out of fear created by the threat of violence, than I'd guess you were affected by the spankings you received as a child more than you think....

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  27. When we talk about the "add love" scenario let's consider the Stockholm Syndrome scenario, how similar the two are in perpetuating cycles of violent abuse.

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  28. I agree with the article - here is what I wrote about it - http://loveparenting.org/2012/01/15/why-we-dont-smack/

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  29. As a parent I sometimes feel my hand raise and have to stop myself. It amazes me that the way I was raised makes my first instint to hit my child rather than find another solution. We have had countless arguments with inlaws and others about our decision not to spank. Anytime that I feel like I need to spank I realize that it I who is loosing control, in which case you should never discipline in a state of anger. My biggest come back to those who are against our choice, is that a teacher can control 25 kindergartners without spanking why can't a parent control 1. There are other choices, and it is up to us to find them. No one said parenting was easy, and expecting children to be robots who do as told simply because you said so is wrong.

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    1. I do that sometimes too. I have been working hard to not, and am seeing results. I have smacked my kids' hands a couple of times and I think popped one of them on the butt once or twice. It was incredible wrong of me, and I felt terrible after every time, I always apologized for the hitting, and would explain "Even if you did this, that was no excuse for me to hit you". Luckily my parents (whom I am living with) are on board with the no-spanking thing, and my ex (who ridiculed my desire not to hit) is out of the picture. I get crap from other parents sometimes because I don't hit my kids, but I ignore them.

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  30. Both of my parents were punished physically as children. My father was spanked and often had to go get a utensil himself, for his mom to spank him with. My mother was abused on a much more extreme level. Her father hit her like she was a man and she took many of her sibling's punishments. Because of their childhoods, they both decided spanking their own kids was out of the questions. I know there was some physical abuse between both of my parents, mostly in the early years of their marriages, and it went both ways. I'm not surprised about this considering their childhoods. Ultimately, we were not spanked, and I have to say we have always respected my parents and have turned out to be very responsible, well-rounded young adults. Even through my teenage years I did not go party and stay out past curfew like everyone else. I had a healthy "fear" if you could call it, of my parents, and it wasn't because I was hit, it was because my parents taught me well. My parents instilled their lessons in me by TALKING to me and TEACHING me. It is entirely possible to raise kids "right" without physical punishment. It is an EXCUSE when people say kids will turn out to be spoiled brats if they aren't hit. People hit their kids when they don't know how else to parent them. I don't spank my children because I like to think I'm smart enough to teach them a lesson without losing my cool and smacking them. I don't understand how people say they will spank but not when they're angry. How is that even possible? Won't that SERIOUSLY confuse a young child, say 2 years old? So your 2 year old does something, and you wait 10 minutes until you're no longer angry to hit them. The 2 year old has probably forgotten what they did wrong and have no idea why you're hitting them. What about when you decide NOT to spank them later? They do something wrong and then are waiting waiting waiting to be hit. Poor kids. I just don't think there is any good scenario for physical punishment. It's another ancient practice that needs to be thrown out the window.

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  31. I love this article. We practice positive parenting and would never ever dream of hitting our daughter. Unfortunately and it absolutely sickens me to say this but once when she was two she reached for a cord and yanked on it, I didn't even stop to think I simply reacted and I slapped her hand. I was so scared that she might be hurt that I in turn hurt her. I hate that I did it and it was not out of anger but it will never change the fact that I can not say that I have never hit my daughter. She is a wonderful caring child and it hurts me so much that I ever even for that split second raised a hand to her. I will never forget her face when it happened. We both cried that day. Now though we have moved past that awful incident and she knows that she is loved, that Mama and daddy will never hurt her for any reason and that she is in a safe environment. I can not change the past, I wish I could. But I can make sure that nothing like that ever happens again, I can speak out so that other people understand the depth of their parenting choices on the psyche of a child and I can make sure that my daughter has a peaceful life and in turn is a peaceful parent. Thankyou for every article like this and for helping put this information out for a generation of children that will not have to be abused. By the way my daughter Lil is almost four and she is doing wonderfully, if she needs therapy down the road for that incident than we will help her find the right kind.

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  32. Such a beautifully written article!! You've summed it up perfectly. I am constantly totally and utterly bewildered that corporal punishment still exists. I have shared this and hope that even just one parent will stop and think before they raise their hand to their precious child.

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  33. Thank you for delivering this important message so factually and thoughtfully.

    So many people still do not understand. To me, it seems that some people use spanking as a way to "break" their child. As a horse is broken. Their spirit broken so that they will be submissive.

    As much as I often lose sleep thinking of children being physically abused, it also is upsetting for me to think of who they may have become if they were not afraid of the people they most love and trusted and were allowed to flourish.

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  34. Hi I was physically abused from the age of about 8 to 16 by my step-mother who was later diagnosed with schizophrenia. I was very much traumatized by it by becoming very 'shy' as a teenager but coped by writing diaries at the time and hid my feelings for a long time. Now I am myself a mum to 2 kids under 3 and of course all these long-buried feelings come to the fore when I find myself disciplining my 3 yr old. I feel terrible that I have resorted to smacking him a few times in the past even though my hubby and I agreed that we would never smack before they were born, it was easier said than done in the heat of the moment when I was stressed and he was pushing my buttons and boundaries. I have learnt to be aware of my feelings now when they arise and instead of reacting, now I make sure to take a deep breath first and I find this makes all the difference in how I deal with disciplining him. I heard once that there has to be a balance between discipline and relationship with your children, both are equally as important as the other and if they aren't balanced then there will be trouble. Thanks for this article.

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  35. In regards to the argument "I was hit and I turned out okay."

    I have heard this argument many times. I eventually learned to see that people don't understand opportunity costs and potential. The people who make that argument are emotionally defending aggression against defenseless, innocent, little humans, and that is deplorable. So obviously they are not okay. But we can take it a step further by saying that the person in question has no idea how wonderful they would feel if they had been raised peacefully and taught how to think and negotiate from birth. They have no idea how wonderful and alive and robustly healthy their life would be if their brain chemistry had not been altered towards trauma and false authority. They claim to feel alright, but they have not experienced a superior state with which to compare. I've met people who were raised by peaceful, philosophically oriented parents. Those people are like gods to me. They seem so rare I've only met a few, but I was left in a state of total awe and envy. I do not get a do-over. Therefore, I will ostracize anyone who uses violence against children if they will not change their ways.

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    1. I think we need compassion for people who were hit as children. They need to heal and cry for their own lost childhood. It is an incredibly difficult process, and I really commend anyone who comes through to the other side. I understand your last line, but do hope you can move to a place where you can see that where that person who defends violence toward children is is only in this moment -- he can change. Ostracizing is a valid choice, but will that help the violent person move toward peace? Probably not...

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    2. Gosh I'd like to ostracise some people

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  36. Ughh - that little boy standing in his underwear waiting to be spanked with the spoon could have been me. Except my underwear would have been off as my mom always spanked me naked. After one of her spankings my bottom and penis would be covered with bruises. Spanking is so awful and should never be done to a child.

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  37. My sister and I were spanked as children. It was usually a result of my parents' temper and it was not very well-controlled. Both of my parents were spanked as well. I think children have to be given respect. I am a teacher for small children and I have always gotten kids to behave by speaking to them calmly and rationally, even some of the most difficult ones. I think being able to keep your cool while a child misbehaves will teach them much more than losing it and spanking them. I have a little boy and I will NEVER hit him. I honestly don't know what a little kid can do that would be so bad as to merit being spanked.

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  38. I was spanked as a child, as was my mother, her mother, and so-forth. I remember being angry at her for spanking me, and the spankings themselves did not correlate at all in my mind to the bad behaviors I was doing. I have heard the argument that spanking is alright until the child is old enough to 'reason with'. This really confuses me. If the child is not old enough to reason with, then how can it possibly know that what it is doing is wrong. If the child does not know it is doing wrong, then how can you hit the child? what does that accomplish?
    I feel my blood boil sometimes, and I don't want to hit my child, don't want to teach him that hitting is alright. I know it is a struggle and sometimes it is hard to control oneself... but I'm trying. He does time outs, and I talk to him calmly, explain that he is not behaving properly, and that his actions are unacceptable, and explain how he could have better handled the situation. In my honest reflection on things, there is nothing bad enough that a child can do that deserves hitting, and if they truly have done something horrible and destructive, it is usually because the parent is not watching-not parenting close enough and although the child should still be told it is not acceptable and put in time out, the parent is at fault too.

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  39. I'm 50 years old. I was hit for most of my life by my mother (my father never laid his hands on me). She used a dog leash, her slippers, her hands, and one time she was going to use one of those coca cola 2 liter bottles to hit me over the head (it was made of glass, not plastic at that time), but she didn't after I yelled "mom!?" because she looked like she was in a trance when she was going to hit me that time. She suffered a lot of trauma as a child herself, which I think explains why she did what she did, and probably had her own mental health issues that was never taken care of. I say "probably" because it's my judgement call, no one ever diagnosed her though her primary doctor gave her pills for her anxiety and no follow-up with talk therapy.

    She hit me and my middle sister; she never hit our youngest sister because my mother almost died giving birth to her, and so, as she would say, she could never hit this child because of that...but she continued to hit me and my middle sister. My middle sister, who was incredibly hyper, got hit more than me.

    I forgave her after she died, but while she was alive and I lived with her, I mostly hated her and I hated my life. I was depressed, I had suicidal thoughts, I was anxious (still anxious sometimes). It wasn't until I went away to college and talked with my roommate (she was a child psych major) that I learned that there were other ways to discipline a child. It was so refreshing for me to hear that. I knew that I wanted to parent differently that the way I was parented. Prior to starting a family, I read a lot of books about child development and parenting. I have 3 children now and they have never been hit. When times have been tough with little ones (I especially remember my oldest at 2-3 years of age being jealous to our new baby), I sought out parenting classes and that helped a lot...meeting other parents who were in the same situation, made it easier for all of us to understand that it's not just happening to me, it's happening to all of us, let's talk about what works for this age group. I still seek help for our kids and ourselves as parents as a family now that they're a little older with other life issues that come along.

    I joined an art-based therapy group for health professionals that was like a professional development sort of thing when I turned 40 years old. I joined because I was having problems at work with a particular co-worker. For some reason, I felt "undone" by her. It was during this therapy that I discovered that this co-worker represented my mom in the way she interacted with me. (she behaved like my mom, very passive-aggressive). I also learned about how angry, depressed, and anxious I was, and all I was holding in, from my childhood. It was in this safe space that I was able to come to the reality of the abuse I had, my mother's own abuse, be able to recognize "triggers" that affected me, and the ability to forgive her (she was already dead for 10 years).

    My lessons learned: seek resources, either parenting or therapy, to help yourself, your parent or kids. And be open to wanting to change and break the cycle of child abuse.

    Thanks for reading.

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  40. I was not spanked, I was beaten. Because of that, I don't spank my children or grandchildren.

    I am very even tempered and have a long fuse. I abide by laws and follow rules. I was not a truant, nor did I destroy other peoples property, ever. My words are my discipline to errant behavior. I am strong, faithful, and have always given the other guy a chance. I am not aggressive and I love and cherish my husband as an equal.

    I believe in setting boundaries for children growing up and teaching them to respect others property and persons. I see what I taught my children being taught to their children. I expect it to continue for generations in my family.

    We are compassionate and loving people. Violence is not necessary to raise an upright person who is self confident and who lives by a high moral code.

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  41. I really took a moment to try to see where you were coming from however your article about spankings never being wrong doesn't help me to sort out all of the issues that state and society has helped me to endure. I've brought in therapist, drs, school counsel, CYF and a number of respectable people on how to coach train rear-up my child only to have the actions of the child fall back on me. Because she was told by officials to report anything she felt was unacceptable punishment to her I became the target of a tantrum throwing child who has no fear of setting the house on fire with reprocussions because her parents aren't able to get things back in check. The lies that are pushed at me faster than I can swat them away also putting my other two older children in danger of losing there home and theyre mother. The only difference in my raising with the first two was that I spanked when it was necessary. Not sure how many people was in your study or if the criteria wasn't biased leading but I can assure you that I was spanked never went to jail and I even have a college degree. And I'm very non violent. Just my thoughts and my brother was the same and does better than I do. I'm not saying that everyday you need a beating or spanking but some lessons you just can't afford to learn on your own and at some point talking doesn't work. It's very easy to say don't do this it's wrong but it would be better if you gave examples on alternate for parents that want to switch

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  42. I was spank till I was old enough (18) to run away!! Both of my parents would push me, punch me and slap me in the face for little things as giving my opinion of something. I was never allowed to pay anything in the house and because of that I had no right to give an opinion or defend my self (that was their excuse). I was told repeatedly by them: We do not abuse you, there are kids that are really abused...and you are not being abused. They would repeat that every time they beat the crap out of me like trying to convince me that their behavior was okay. Social services went numerous time to the house because my teachers would see me with bruises and they used to ask me what was going on and I would only cry and say nothing, but for my bad luck my neighbor was my parent's friends and just like them with their kids. Every time when social services went to their house they would lie and then my neighbor would threat me saying that if I ever go to the police they would talk to all the neighbors and ask them to tell the police that I was a liar, also they would try to brainwash me saying that at least I had a roof and food. I am almost 30 yrs old now and I don't like being around them and what shocks me the most is that they play dumb and denied all the things they did to me as a child when other family members are around. One excuse they use is that they were beaten as a child, which I don't care how much someone has been abused I don't believe that is an excuse to abuse your child!!! You abuse your child DO NOT pretend that when your child gets older he/she will love to spend time with you....You will just probably end up being a lonely elder!!!!! Discipline and abuse are not the same thing!!! Get it in your head!!

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  43. This is an open letter to all the rationalizing parents who spank:

    Spanking is just a ephemistic word for "hit". And any small child could tell you that, but you've been "re-educated" so you call black white and white black.

    In future generations, people will look back on you and others like you and shake their heads and say: "Well, that was just how people were raised to think back then." Sort of like how we talk about the racism of older generations now. Bless their hearts, they didn't know any better.

    The problem is, most people refuse to learn any better, even when they're shown, and it pisses me the hell off to think of kids being harmed by spanking while the parents defensively yell and insist that spanking isn't hitting and spanking isn't abuse and "they" turned out JUST FINE.

    Sure you did. You turned out so fine you bizarrely think this is all okay and will go to great lengths to justify it so you don't have to face the discomfort of thinking your parents betrayed your trust and did something wrong to you or that you are doing the same to your own children.

    This whole argument about "degrees" of abuse making something less abusive and less a betrayal of trust... reminds me of teenage boys who say: "Let me just put the tip in" to their girlfriends instead of respecting their right to say no.

    Children can't say no to spanking. Well, they can say no, but they can't stop you. It's a violation, whether it translates in their little minds as physical, emotional, sexual or all three. Whether it's mild or extreme. It is abuse. Deny it all you want to but spanking IMO is the mark of poor parenting.

    If you can't parent without spanking and can't be bothered to learn more effective technicques that actually build trust between parent and child... then you shouldn't have had children. In the same way that people who are prone to kicking dogs shouldn't have dogs.

    As someone up thread said, children are not your posessions. They didn't ask to be in this world. You brought them here against their will because of your narcissistic need to replicate yourself and now you'll hit them on top of that? Shame on you.

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  44. I am going to go ahead and use the argument that I was spanked as a child and I am fine. This is why. My older brother and I were both spanked as children, mostly by our dad. Was I afraid of my dad? Absolutely not. I did however have the upmost respect for dad and knew what would happen if I misbehaved, as did my older brother. My two younger brothers however were not spanked very often because my dad died when they were both very young. Now that we are all grown up there is a distinct difference between my older brother and I, and my younger brothers. We (me and my older brother) stayed out of trouble in school, never got detentions, di our school work and got good grades, we respected the teachers and did as we were told. Why? Because we were taught respect by our father. The two younger ones were the exact opposite though. My 18 year old brother gets an average of 50 detentions a year for various things from hitting people to mouthing off or not doing school work. He was also kicked off the school bus several times for outrageous behaviour. My 16 year old brother has actually just been removed from public school because of his performance and behaviour. They also mouth back to my mom and stepdad like its nobodies business. Outside of the school my older brother and I are also much more respectful in general. We have always said please and thank you, while with the two younger ones its like pulling teeth. They won't hold doors open for the elderly because "they can do it themselves", they use profanity around small children all the time and many other things. The only difference in how we were raised is the amont of spankings we got. I will spank my children, and I do not appreciate the comments of it being abuse. There is a huge difference between abusing and spanking a child. Once you spank a child it is crucial you explain why you did it. This up coming generation is full of kids like my younger brothers because kids are not disciplined because everything is considered abuse. Society is going to judge everything we do no matter what we choose to do. I feel like you need to choose what isright for you and people saying spanking is abuse makes a lot of people feel like they are failing as a parent is wrong.

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    1. Hanna aren't you lucky you aren't afraid / weren't afraid of your father ?? So you think you are fine - but you think that hitting smaller human beings is 'necessary and fine' ?? Makes you very 'unfine' in most people's books.

      Your two younger brothers lost their father when they were 'very young'- and you don't see THIS as being part of their problem perhaps ?? Or that they are just very different people ? I know several women who had three children and said that if they had had the fourth one first .. there wouldn't have been any more. Children are not blank slates. I am quite sure that spanking your brothers would have only made them worse and into much more resentful and hurt children and more 'angry young men' than they appear to be already.

      There IS NO difference beween 'spanking and abuse' - spanking IS hitting and IS abuse. If it's abuse for you to hit me even just the once, then how much worse for you to hit a child?? Someone smaller and more vulnerable than you, that cannot really understand why you are hurting them .. and looks to you for love and kindness? LOVE does not equal being hit. Ever. Whether you do not appreciate being told the truth is neither here nor there. In most countries in Europe spanking aka hitting children has been banned - in some cases for decades - and children are respectful because they have been TAUGHT respect and not hit. Al one learns from being hit is fear and that is NOT true respect. If you the adult want respect then you have to give respect first .. it goes both ways. And not all adults DO deserve respect.

      You can explain the reason why you spanked your child as much as you like but some like me, may NOT ever accept that you had the right to hit them. From the first time my parents hit me they lost me. They lost my love, respect and trust. I don't love, respect or trust anyone that hits me! They taught me they didn't love me - even I knew way back then that you don't hit anyone, let alone those you love. And the post spanking nonsense of 'oh we love you' and attempted hug made me feel sick, and it meant nothing to me - they had just HIT me. Spanking ruined our relationship forever. So yes, I feel quite strongly that spanking is abuse and IS wrong and that there are many better ways of teaching a child right from wrong without resulting to violence.

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