Spanking Your Children Is Hitting Your Children

[EDIT: Comments are now turned off. I’m having to wade through a rather epic middenheap of awful comments and toss most of them into the spam oubliette.]

This meme is going around Facebook.

And hey, by the way? Fuck this meme.

Listen, I get it. We have a toddler and having a child is challenging — way more than you think. You buy into this myth that somehow the physical control you possess over an infant — MOVE KID HERE, PLOP THEM HERE, DROP THEM IN THE SLEEP CUBE, STICK THEM ON THE HAMSTER WHEEL — is infinite. You assume that you will retain physical control over that child.

But it’s not long before you realize this is total horseshit. You can’t physically control them any more than you can restrain a chimpanzee by arm-wrestling him. A toddler is 30-40 pounds of flailing, slack-limbed weight. Shifting weight. Disproportionate weight. And the toddler may hit. Or bite. Or shriek. And you can’t stop them physically from doing that.

And so, you think: I can spank this kid. That will teach him to stop.

It sure might.

Just like if I want a woman to shut up, I might smack her across the mouth.

Just like if I don’t like what some guy is saying to me, maybe I punch him in the throat.

You wanna teach somebody to shut up? Start slapping, kicking, throwing punches.

Maybe swing a knife, point a gun.

You spank a kid, you hit a kid. I know, this meme would seem to harken to a simpler time, a har har har I warmed my kid’s butt and now he knows not to talk back to me time, a time when caveman ideals hid behind the smiling face of a smug, pipe-smoking 1950s father.

What I know is this: you spank your kid, you’re demonstrating that you’re a lazy, impatient, frustrated bully. You’re a brute who can’t handle his own child, who can’t actually teach anything or help your child understand the vagaries of life. Your intelligence level is equal only to the smacks you give, whether they’re to a kid’s ass or across his face or with a belt or a paint stirrer or a wooden spoon or whatever your weapon — because, that’s right, it’s a weapon.

My grandfather used to apparently beat the piss out of my father, and my father reportedly beat the piss out of my grandfather as a result. My Dad used the spanking thing once — one time, when I lied about putting a cat in the dryer when I was five (no, I wasn’t trying to kill the cat, it was winter and the dryer was warm and I thought the cat would like it, shut up). He spanked my ass and I never forgot it. I mean — I never forgot it. I don’t know that I remember much from being five-years-old, but I sure as hell remember that. Not in the good way. I don’t remember it in the, “Now I understand why lying is bad” way. But in the “I should be afraid of this guy” way. In the “I gotta get better at lying so I can avoid the paint stirrer,” a device that sat forever on our counter and was referenced time and time again as a reason for me to “behave.” I acted up and him reaching for that paint stirrer was all it took to cause me to settle the hell down.

It worked.

It worked to scare me. It worked to keep the peace. Damn right I behaved.

But it didn’t teach me anything. It didn’t make me a better person. It just made me scared.

And it made me real angry.

I’m not saying my father was a bad Dad. Frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t meaner sometimes given the stories I heard of how my grandfather treated him. Abuse begets abuse. It’s kicked dogs all the way down. I loved my father and am still sad as hell that he passed just as we were becoming friends again. But we had a big gulf between us for a number of years and I can tell you at the very bottom of one of those deep dark chasms that separated us lurked that singular moment of him beating my ass — and then threatening to hit me again and again over the years.

Don’t hit your kids.

Don’t pass around a meme that encourages people to hit your kids.

Kids are smaller than you. They’re weaker. They’re a little cocktail shaker of emotions and hormones and unformed lessons. You’re supposed to be the rock they hold onto in tough times, not the rock you hit them with when they’re acting like all children do because they’re children.

People always say they can’t imagine hitting their own kids. I can imagine it. I can imagine hitting my son. What that’ll do to him. I can imagine the little mote of hate inside of him, that little ember of anger, the little seed of resentment planted — because here I am, a father supposed to offer him a hand up and instead I bring that hand against him.

It’s horrible. It gives me nausea just thinking about it.

So —

Cut that fucking meme out. Stop passing it around.

It isn’t funny.

It isn’t twee haw haw haw oh-what-a-simpler-time.

It’s called hitting children. And it ain’t cute. So cut that shit out.

217 responses to “Spanking Your Children Is Hitting Your Children”

  1. It’s good that we can’t spank out kids. They can do whatever they want, demand whatever they want – give me, give me, I deserve, you can’t hurt me, you can’t touch me, no matter what I do. It’s important that kids know that in the real world there are no punishments. We coddle them in their electronic padded cocoon so that they are prepared for the fair and nice world out there full of people who are giving. Good work. Nice slippery slope logic. I spank my kids, therefore I am going to murder them as well.

    No, the world is full of people who want and care only for themselves. A little dose of pay-attention and show respect would do everyone a world of good. It’s those coddled people who step out into traffic without looking, with no fear, because they are listening to their music or on a phone and they don’t care because it’s all about them. They are the main character in their heads and the main character is the whole world. It never occurred to them that they are mortal, and packing them into the back of that ambulance perhaps maybe they’ve learned their lesson. They might even walk again one day. Damned good thing no one spanked them.

    You NEVER forgot your spanking. Perfect. That’s what it was for.

    Maybe I’m a little skewed. I was severely burned as a child. I have always known what death is and that I’m going to die and figured I should avoid it. I have spent my life as a Firefighter and Lifeguard. A little pain sure screwed me up.

    I was spanked but there is a world of difference between a spanking and abuse. We used to know what the difference was. You spank the dog to teach it not to run out onto the street. You spank your child to teach them respect and that the world needs to be taken seriously. It’s one of a million tools for teaching, and like all the rest, it must be used right but throwing it away is just saying you are incapable of being a good parent so you shouldn’t try.

    • “You spank the dog to teach it not to run out onto the street. You spank your child to teach them respect and that the world needs to be taken seriously. It’s one of a million tools for teaching…”

      You don’t hit a dog to teach it not to run out into the street. In fact, you don’t hit dogs, period. You hit a dog, the first place it GOES is out into the street. To teach a dog to respect you and to come when called, you offer the dog reward. That’s how you teach a dog.

      Hitting your kids is not a teaching tool.

      End of story.

      • Yeah and giving your kids treats to be good teaches them to be spoiled. And that if they throw tantrums they get what they want. That’s why so many kids are spoiled and have no respect. If you want your child to respect you spank them then let them settle down and tell them why you spanked them

        • Nobody said you reward a child for a tantrum with treats. That’s called appeasement, and it doesn’t work.

          There’s a rather significant gap between “hit my children to teach them” and “spoil them with stuff they want.” Discipline doesn’t need to come in the form of an ass-whacking.

    • The best way to keep kids from spoiling is to not give in to every demand, not by hitting them. Not spanking doesn’t equate to no consequences. Logical consequences work a whole lot better to teach kids about the real world. When my toddler colors on the walls, I take away her crayons and make her clean the walls. Spanking only teaches that mommy hits and can’t control her emotions. It’s models the same out of control behavior. How can my daughter be expected to live to a standard that I myself can not reach? Kids brains are not physiologically developed enough to understand why what they are doing is wrong until we teach them. Spanking triggers a stress response and that is not conducive to learning. Teach, don’t terrorize.

    • @Mark, totally agree with you.if you love n care for someone, you want that person to be safe and happy in this world,and for that, you can do anything, even spanking,
      if you are ill,even if the medicine is bitter.

  2. Mark,

    not trying to be an asshole here, but how would you feel if I responded to your comment by saying, “You’re wrong. And if I hear you saying that again, I’m going to shut your mouth FOR you”?

    Now, you might say I have no right to do that, since you’re no child of mine, and you would be right. However, I do not see why threatening a child with physical violence should be any more permissable than threatening an adult. You’re NOT raising your child when you do it. You are NOT teaching them. You are THREATENING. At best, they will learn to fear your anger. At worst, they will go on to use violence as a means to get THEIR way once they are old enough to effectively threaten others.

    No one suggested that children should be allowed to act however they want. However, I would suggest that there are ways of dealing with bad behavior that don’t involve damaging your relationship to your child while teaching rhem that “might makes right”.

  3. To be quite honest, I was put in the corner where I was spanked with a leather braided belt, I have had so many spatulas,hairbrushes and I don’t even remember how many other items broken over my head or my ass.I had my pants pulled down and my ass beat until I couldn’t feel it anymore. My Mom had sole custody of my sisters and I and I grew up defending them from her temper. They don’t remember it but I do. Now, don’t get me wrong, my Mom was a great woman. She could could,clean,sew and blah blah. She was also adopted and raised in Georgia as a kid. My Mom’s history is muddled as she never talked about how she was raised or anything.

    Do I remember getting my ass beat? Yes I do. When I was a teenager I was still getting my ass beat for getting into fights, it wasn’t ladylike regardless of the reason. Every fight I ever got into was to help or protect someone else. But it didn’t matter. If I worked and got paid from my first job and decided to buy stuff i needed/wanted instead of helping mom pay bills (usually stuff i needed like toothpaste etc.), I got my ass beat. For the most part I got my ass beat.

    Fast-forward to me now, mid 20’s with a son of my own. Have I hit him? Yes, I have. In anger? Sadly, yes. I refuse to defend myself with the “but I was so angry” bit. It is a weak and pathetic excuse. After the first time I swore to never hit my son again,whether in anger or in punishment. Have I done ok at that? Yeah I have actually. I have managed to lose my temper only once in a long while and he gets his butt popped or his hand but only once. I usually attempt to talk to him a couple of times but seeing as he is 3, I still have a little while to wait until he gets what I am telling him. I always regret hitting my son even just the once.

    I am a Mommy. I am not perfect,we do lose our tempers at times or we don’t sleep because of this that or something else. There are no excuses for hitting children. But remember me telling you about getting into fights to protect others? My Mom taught me through absolute fear of getting my ass beat to defend others. Was it good? No. But something good did come out of it. I don’t get in fights anymore but I do stand up for what I believe and have even broken up adult fist fights by talking to people. Sometimes what we lived through makes us tougher in better ways.

    I am not for spanking. I freely admit to having lost my temper and having spanked my son. That is my very last resort. I have already taken the toys away,the corner has been used,talked myself to near death and I am out of options. It doesn’t happen often because I am afraid my son will hate me as a Mommy. Afraid he will fear me.

    As a Mommy I resolve to find a better way than spanking to try and teach my child. If I do spank him, it is not because I am a brute or as the author said so non-eloquently: “What I know is this: you spank your kid, you’re demonstrating that you’re a lazy, impatient, frustrated bully.”. A lot of parents do everything they can think of before turning to what they know works, and they know it works because they grew up with it. It is not because we are lazy, good God most “good” parents do every damned thing they can think of to encourage good behavior,treats,incentives etc. Impatient? What parent hasn’t been?? You are raising a mini person to be a good,big person. Impatience will occur at some part of the process! Frustrated? What parent has not been frustrated when their child goes on a full on meltdown because the child was supposed to pick up their toys or even eat their food?

    Full on beating your children is a bad thing. Once in a long rare while a well placed smack on the hand will do more than taking away the favorite toy or anything. But you better be prepared to make it better with hugs and kisses. It will never actually make it better. But I would rather pop his hand once than have him thinking it is ok to spit on people,hit/bite other people and more. It is all in moderation people. I am still experimenting with ways to do this parenting thing without any hand pops at all. Next I think he is getting old enough to try the go sit on your bed out of reach of toys thing, and see how long he screams and fusses on that. Better that than nothing. Kids do have to learn, but how do you teach them is what is the point here isn’t it?

  4. You know, I’d be willing to bet that a lot of people who think spanking is sometimes necessary because it’s the only way to control a kid or teach him consequences when nothing else works haven’t put in the time and effort, from day one, to build a relationship with their children where that is just never going to be a true statement. And I’d bet those who were hit as kids didn’t have parents who did that either. I’d even be willing to bet that a lot of parents who think hitting is a legitimate “tool” can’t even comprehend having the kind of relationship with their children that I’m talking about. Sure, there might be times, especially in the early going, where talking isn’t going to get the immediate results you want, but if you put in the time and effort to build a relationship based on trust and communication it will reap rewards in the long run. And I’m talking about building from the very beginning. Too many people don’t treat their children (especially young children) like thinking human beings capable of reason and deserving of respect.

    • I am one of the parents that have tried from day one to get this whole parenting thing “right”. I don’t believe it is necessary to spank your kid/s. My Mom used to have a day for each of us to hang out along with just her once a month and then every day we all spent time together. And then there was the beating thing. You are right too many people jump the gun and go straight to corporal punishment.

      The one thing I always try to do is treat my little boy with respect and I know he is capable of reason since he likes to try to bargain with me! He has done that since before he was mobile. COmmunication is key for sure.

      Can I ask what you do/would do if you have/had kid/s and they are at the testing phase were they try and see how far they can go before getting into trouble? That is where i am at and advice is appreciated.

      • I’ve got one five year old and I’m certain I’ve made and will make plenty of mistakes, I’m certainly no expert, but I’ve tried my best to always talk to him. We used to use time outs in the corner a fair bit where he just had to sit in a certain place and not move. I’ve recently noticed I don’t do that anymore, but that might just be because we haven’t needed it for a little while. I’ve also taken away things he would otherwise be allowed to play with or enjoy. The biggest thing for me personally is that I always don’t let a problem moment or resulting punishment really be over until we’ve had a true talk about it. At the end of time outs, for example I usually ended up sitting with him in the corner with him on my lap and we’d talk about why he did whatever he did, why it was wrong and if he can understand that. I think the one really good thing we’ve done with that is not just talking to him but talking with him. I always try to get him to say why he did something and how he felt about doing it, and getting in trouble, etc. Also, I’ve tried to respect him enough to keep my word. For example, a couple years ago we were visiting my parents at their camping trailer and he was acting bad at night. I think he through a pack of cards done we were using. I told him he had to apologize for what he’d done and if he didn’t he couldn’t watch the dvd he had been planning to watch in bed. He refused to apologize. Actually, he said fine, he wouldn’t watch the DVD. And that was that. I said ok, and there was no further punishment. When my father heard about it he thought I should have done more, but I realized at the time that, right or wrong, I had given my son an explicit choice, and, unexpectedly, he chose the punishment over the apology. I respected that choice and there was no further fighting or arguing about it. I thought it was more important for my son to know he could trust what I said to him to be true than to damage that trust in the name of forcing an apology he didn’t really feel.

        I have to say I’m certainly no angel though. I have lost my temper with him, usually when I’m exhausted or otherwise mentally worn out, and yelled and once, yes, I gave him a slap on the butt in a burst of anger- his face crumbled and I’ve never felt worse than I did that moment I betrayed the trust we’d built up. But you know what I’ve learned? When I lose my temper and yell the situation is never resolved, we just both end up more and more upset. When we talk it always works out and nowadays usually much faster than any fight would ever produce.

        My wife and I also have a serious advantage over a lot of parents in that we’ve always had job situations that allow us to spend a lot of time with our son. I think it’s important that the communication and respect isn’t just for when they are in trouble but it’s the basis of the relationship. I’ve watched all my sons cartoons with him at some time or another and when he talks about them I don’t just nod and say “that’s nice” on auto-pilot or something. We really talk about them. We play games together and I take all of his questions seriously. We have certain rituals and routines (like at bedtime) that he knows he can trust to always happen. We talk about what he dreams when he’s sleeping and what happened at kindergarten that day. Talk, listen, respect. That’s the philosophy I try my best to adhere to.

        BTW – my kid is also a major bargainer/negotiator, I think it’s great. I think any kid who is given a sense that there is room for them to express themselves is a natural at it. As for pushing boundaries I’ve never forgotten something my favorite high school teacher said about his own parenting. He always reminded himself that it was his kids job to push boundaries and explore the world and it was his job as a parent to reign him back in when he’d gone too far. That’s what I try to do too.

        Huh…sorry to go on so long.

        • Honestly Jeff I don’t mind that you went on so long. Quality over quantity in my book and in this case both were needed to express your thoughts!

          I try to talk to my little bug, he is 3 and has barely started talking, he has a slight speech delay. He can say a quite a few words but it is mostly still hand signals. I still talk to him like I know I should because he does understand a ton of what I say. I just get lost because I have to guess what he means and hope I get it right or we both get more frustrated!! Simply put, communication is difficult! He is learning to sign at his pre-k class he has a couple times a week and I don’t know any of the signs except hungry and when he wants a drink. Not for lack of trying to learn either but I just can’t seem to remember it! I recently got married and I know a lot of his issues are at knowing he has his bio dad whom he calls daddy and then there is his step-dad who is dadda. He created the distinction on his own, I never told him to call the hubs anything but his nickname which is Nessy, (short for ernesto). I know he knows the difference somehow. So that has been the cause of a lot of my son’s drastic behavior changes the last couple of months. Now things are starting to simmer down again but he still is pushing ALL the buttons he can push. In private he can be quite the hellion but he is a nearly perfect angel when we are away from home! That always trips me out…

          As one of those people that got hit upside the head with a hair brush or spatula etc., I am deathly afraid I will turn into my Mother. I do all I can to not be like that but there are days when I catch myself just imagining him across my lap and wanting to beat the snot out of him. It scares me and I don’t act on it but it terrifies me that I think those things. I don’t want to be like my Mom who would put us in the corner and either strip us down or just whoop us with her belt and made us stand in the corner for hours. I don’t want that.

          I am not the only parent that has ever pictured their kid across their knee and spanking them in a time of duress due to the torturous whining,tantrum throwing and such that kids can create am I? If so I would feel so much more terrible than I do. I mean I have had other parents tell me they imagine that stuff because that is what they want to do but it isn’t what they actually do. The kiddo usually gets in trouble at night mainly because (unfortunately) we live in a studio the 3 of us and his bed is in the corner and as I am in school during the day I do homework at night and usually after he goes to bed. He wants to hang out with mommy,which i get but then refuses to sleep! It doesn’t matter how much time I spend with him and he will throw stuff at me and the hubs and scream and just go full on tantrum and he will scream like he is being murdered if you so much as talk to him, touch him or go near him. The neighbor thought we were killing him one night because we were trying to get him off of sippy cups at bedtime and he kept screaming like that!
          I admit mommy lost her cool that night, she spanked his butt and put him in the corner for 4 or 5 minutes. Then I sat him down and tried to explain he can’t do that and he started again. My kid has me pegged on what sets me off and will even sit and laugh when i tell him to stop doing something!

          He still stands in the corner once in a while but that is about it. During the day i will clear his stuffies off his bed and strip it down to pillow and sheet and make him sit there and he hates that but he screams while i do it so I let him wear himself out. It is a lot harder to do stuff like that at night isn’t it? Again, any advice is welcome. I have tried being nice and try really hard to avoid being mean other than the taking of the toys and such.

          Pardon me for going on so long!

    • Oh, please. I don’t know about the author of this website, but I learned swear words from my father, who swore at me before a spanking. The only thing spanking taught me is how to manipulate people by hurting them. I learned respect by watching people who respect others. Kind of a no-brainer, eh?

    • Thank you spanking is a good tool, because there are going to be people who try and beat the shit out of you in the real world, and what are you going to do when they do.

      • Apparently bend over and take it and then learn a very important lesson about why you needed to be physically punished.

        It’s more than a little dubious to suggest that spanking teaches anything about… I don’t even know what you’re saying, getting into fights in the future?


  5. I’ve said it a million times: the only lesson the adults that hit me ever taught was that they were fucking buttplugs. And yes, I remembered it forever.

  6. My parents spanked me a couple of times when I was a kid(when I’d done some thing wrong repeatedly), I’ve seen 2 of my brothers also been spanked but none of us have any behavioral problems, in fact a people often give credit to my parents then they’ve raised their kids very well that we are very well mannered.i guess it depends on parents if they use spanking at a right time(when kids do something seriously wrong) and not when parents are angry for their personal reason.

  7. Yeah, I just watch “Cops” with my kids. Then I tell them…”See, if you don’t want to listen to me you can grow up and get the crap kicked out of you by guys with billy clubs, mace, and guns.”

  8. You raise your kids as you see fit, and I’ll do the same with mine. Both are respectful, intelligent, articulate and confident. I have a brilliant relationship with them, nothing makes me happier than walking in from work to a hug from my teenage daughter. They both had time outs etc.. but were also smacked. It’s not abuse nowhere near. They don’t fear me, there’s no fear in there eyes, they respect me though and it’s not something ive used for years. A good parent (not perfect) balances discipline with praise and reward. I don’t mean for just doing what they’re asked either but Achieving at school etc.
    At least I know they behave in public and when they’re out of our company. Mine aren’t climbing over furniture or running around shops etc.. all this supernanny “get down to their level” crap doesn’t work. Sometimes they need to do as you say when you say without question. Your relationship with your father deteriorated for more than being smacked, i was smacked as a child and don’t remember any single one that would stand out. As a teen I had the usual teen issues with my dad but my relationship was still great with him and just like I do he rewarded me for achievements. I respect him to this day, I’ve never feared him.

  9. You’re my hero. I’m not about to write my entire sob story here for all to see, but I do want to thank you for speaking up about this. A friend of mine posted the meme on Facebook last week and I privately lost my shit. I thought, is that really how most people think of people who grow up totally fucking lost and confused because “bad” behavior (read: normal) was punished with fear and pain? In what world would anyone NOT grow up with a psychological condition? People seriously don’t understand or acknowledge relatively simple consequences in this day and age? Then again, pet owners still think shoving the animal’s nose in shit several hours after the fact is an effective way to get him to stop shitting in inappropriate places. The internet is an idiotic place where people show their true colors and are found extremely lacking. Thank you for not being one of them.

  10. The fact that the phrase “spare the rod, spil the child” originated over 3000 years ago should provide some clarity on this subject. Since the dawn of civilization, parents realized that the notion that actions beget consequences must be instilled in their children for them to function adequately in society. One way of instilling this notion is through slight physical reinforcement. Now in no way do I condone the abuse of children, which is a heinous and disgusting crime. However, a spanking although somewhat jarring for a child provides the impetus to learn the difference between acceptable and unnaccrptable behavior. Opponents of this argue that positive reinforcement should be used instead. That is clearly bullshit. To proliferate the idea that an action demands a reward will only lead to a spoiled child, one with a strong sense of entitlement, which is undeserved. I am only a stupid immature twentysomething, so my credentials for parenting and child psychology are naught, but upon observation of my generation I can clearly see the lack of respect and display of social manners growing with each successive generation. All of which is a result of poor parenting and failure To establish guidelines that would otherwise reign in unruly behavior.

  11. Merry Christmas Chuck, and I’m with you here.

    Your kids are people. Young people with a lot of development still to come in every area. But people. Treat them like the people you want them to be.

    You touched on the big thing: if you wouldn’t do it to an adult, don’t do it to a child.

    The worst is the mixed message when a child hurts another child and the parents respond by hitting them. Do as I say, not as I do.

    I got reactive whacked twice in my childhood.

    Once I literally bit my Mum on the ass as a toddler, and it was pure accidental reaction and she was so sorry.

    The other was my Dad reaching back to whack me in the backseat while he was driving. I think I was kicking his seat or something in bad weather on the highway to the point of it being dangerous.

    I don’t have any conscious memory of either, just heard stories from my Mum.

    My sons are 2 and almost 5, and my wife and I haven’t ever spanked or slapped and do not intend to.

  12. Look I understand that you all don’t like the use of spanking, that you equate it as a use of Violence. That you find it offensive and wrong and that what I say will probably not change your minds.
    I would ask that you take a moment and read with an open mind.

    I am a product of spanking it was not abuse (And I truly feel for the people were it got to a point of abuse)
    For me it was a good thing and in the case of many people I’m sure it was the same.
    My parents tried everything else first med’s, therapy, consoling none of it worked.
    One spanking got my attention, made me listen and taught me to respect my parents.

    I’m sure I would agree with you all if there was a definitive way to raise a child that worked, but you can’t put every parent and every child into a nice little box and say this will work for everyone!!!

    Like everything else out there spanking is a tool to raise a child sometimes its needed and sometimes it will sit in the garage never to be used
    Just the same it is a tool and one that has been used to raise children since before recorded history
    And why is that, because it works.

    I have read the comments on this page people calling parents that use spanking lazy, abusive, or bad parents. Well take a moment and step down off the morel high horse and realize that what might work for you doesn’t work for everyone.

  13. My son is 2 1/2 and my daughter is 6 years old. The problem I am having is my son is aggressive-and he throws things-at everyone. Little hotwheels cars hurt reeeeeally bad when you get popped by one anywhere on your body. It’s like the equivalent of stepping on a damn Lego left on the floor with bare feet. I’ve tried taking away whatever he has decided to wield at someone, used time out, used the whole “look mommy has a bleed on her head now!” Empathy/concern angle, the return fire (except I don’t aim for his head or face-wish his aim sucked a bit as I’m sure one more blow to my face and my nose will be broken) and I’ve tried to spank (with all it’s diaper padded glory) his butt after a particularly brutal run-by spatula throwing that resulted in a shrieking 6year old (there arent words for how awful a noise that is) and day after day the kid still feels the urge send objects hurtling toward a optical orbit or occipital bone…..I still breastfeed him at night and occasionally during the day and I’m diligent in making sure he isn’t wearing a dirty diaper, hungy or thirsty, too tired or bored. Any other suggestions from people that oppose beating the holy living hell out of him??? (Obvious exaggeration about the extent of corporal punidhment) I’d really like to not hit my kids and end up with state involvement because that would be just my luck. Lately I’ve been trying to give a fuck less about things when they don’t hurt anyone else, but this issue is one I can’t ignore.

  14. I was spanked as a kid and it never had the negative results many here claim. Spanking must not be done as an angry reaction. It must be in a controlled, calm environment followed up with a lot of love, affection, and communication. I was spanked that way and I have always had a good, loving relationship with my parents. Spanking isn’t what causes bitterness. Angry, out-of-control parents cause that (probably the same type of people who write profanity laced posts like the one here).

    The same people who condemn spanking probably are fine with the concept of a prison: taking another human being and putting him in a small room for years. Oh … So treating another human being ins “cruel” manner CAN serve a good purpose.

    You’re simply wrong about spanking. Your views aren’t rooted in statistics or psychology. They’re rooted in a bad incident you had with a father you were at odds with for most of your life. News flash: the problem you had was an angry father. My father loved me deeply and showered me with affection and gave me communication my whole life. He was an amazing Dad. AND he spanked. The problem isn’t spanking. The problem is the character of the parent.

    • As I’ve said many times in the comments, these views *are* rooted in statistics and philosophy.

      Google “Effects of Spanking.”

      I’ll wait.

      I also think prison is basically a pay-to-play system that often fails to rehabilitate and has become an increasing money-maker across the US, but that’s a whoooole different post.

      Your father can have been amazing. It doesn’t change the fact going forward that spanking can have negative effect on kids.

      — c.

      • A side note on this: I actually DID google what you suggested, hoping to find some factual evidence. While there ARE in fact a lot of articles, news submissions, posts, etc…

        .. Actual factual findings and documentation of test procedures seem to be lacking somewhat. There’s a LOT of articles claiming ‘X’ or ‘Y’ test was done… But they don’t go into the ‘Here’s actually what we DID’ of the test. They claim they ‘synthesized 20 years of research’ on the subject… but that’s kind of just a lot of buzzwords, not telling me what they actually DID to determine it.

        If you can show me an article specifically showing how the tests were completed, preferably in lay terms (I understand most of these are probably written in medical jargon, as most documented trials are), I’m absolutely willing to take some of the points made on a little faith.

        That said, it strikes me as many of the methods may not be conclusive, given that every individual child is that, and not really indicative numbers-wise when it comes to testing in groups.

        • Sure thing.

          “The evidence is clear and compelling — physical pun- ishment of children and youth plays no useful role in their upbringing and poses only risks to their develop- ment. The conclusion is equally compelling — parents should be strongly encouraged to develop alternative and positive approaches to discipline.”

          Descriptions of studies. Tons of references.

          Same conclusions.

          Or, howzabout:

          “Conclusion: These results represent a strong test of the links between spanking and a child’s aggressive behavior and vocabulary, using prospective longitudinal models controlling for a number of family, child, and parent variables and earlier child aggression and vocabulary. We add novel information about the role of fathers’ spanking and add to an emerging literature on the effect of spanking on cognitive outcomes.

          Future work should focus on providing families a clearer picture of the out- comes associated with spanking and more information about what discipline practices may have the desired effect on improving functioning, so that they can move beyond punishment practices to the incorporation of positive parenting behaviors with the potential to encourage healthy child trajectories.”

          — c.

  15. I’m going to say something that I have to preface a bit. I know this won’t be popular here, but I feel it needs to be said.

    A LOT of people seem to think that everyone who spanks their child is some neanderthal bent on dominating the poor kid into submission. It seems most of them hang out around posts like this. I think that’s a MASSIVE fallacy to begin with, and while I PARTIALLY and respectfully disagree with some of the statements made in this article, I absolutely see the point you’re trying to make..

    “What I know is this: you spank your kid, you’re demonstrating that you’re a lazy, impatient, frustrated bully. You’re a brute who can’t handle his own child, who can’t actually teach anything or help your child understand the vagaries of life. Your intelligence level is equal only to the smacks you give, whether they’re to a kid’s ass or across his face or with a belt or a paint stirrer or a wooden spoon or whatever your weapon — because, that’s right, it’s a weapon.”

    In a lot of cases? I absolutely agree. Many people get frustrated and lose their temper. It happens daily. That’s no excuse to put that stigma on EVERY person who believes to some degree in corporal punishment.

    To give some backstory, I went through this as a child. For years I absolutely agreed with your point, growing up, having been through the ‘My stepdaddy beats me for everything.’ phase. However. Growing up and gaining understanding years later, I learned how much of a trial it was in his situation. I got to know HIM better, and understand he was going through a new relationship with a kid already there who didn’t like him much to begin with and didn’t understand why daddy only picked him up on weekends. Who blamed dear old stepdad for the loss. Who didn’t understand his father was a recovering alcoholic who’d beaten his mother and stepped over the line.

    Now, does that excuse his behavior? No. It begs understanding for the horrible confusion though. What actually made me change my mind about punishment to some degree came later.

    I spent years watching friends and family grow up and have kids. I got to see a bunch of different types, and over the last two decades or so, see them grow up in a different environment than myself. I also incidentally went into the military and gained a respect for the type of training they do. While I don’t condone the FULL physical and mental conditioning they use on young adults for children, I absolutely respect the hell out of the fact that it made me a better person in the long run. I felt better, thought better, and respected myself a HELL of a lot more than I had before.

    Now all of this eventually came together in my mind. I’d watched two decades and several generations of kids growing up, and what I had seen I hadn’t liked a whole lot. I’ve listened to people advocate this softer style of child rearing, and I can respect their choice. However, personally, I realized I HAD learned a few things, and whether anyone chooses to believe it or not, I came to believe several points:

    1) Children do need SOME hardships, and they need a bit of focus to realize that if they do certain things, there are consequences.

    I don’t believe that removing a kid’s Xbox priveleges for a week, or a month, constitutes a consequence. They don’t respect that. I feel a certain level of justifiable physical punishment CAN be reasonable, based on the severity of what they’ve done, (here’s the keywords for all you people ravenous to gripe at me!!!) PROVIDED IT IS NOT OVERDONE OR DONE IN ANGER!!!!!!!! I believe that needing to spank your kid is something that shouldn’t be an anger release, but you should probably feel just about as bad about it as the kid does. It should be a last resort, or used only for extremes as necessary.

    2) Teenagers going into the military experience what I like to call ‘Mental Toughening’. Lack of this in kids is what I attribute some of the softer mentalities to. I want my kid to be able to go out into the world and take command of his situation, not fold the moment something bad hits him. Not that I don’t want him to be emotional, or never cry, etc… But I want him to know when to cry, and then to know when time to cry is over and it’s time to ‘handle’ the situation.

    Once again, do I believe the same tactics that work for the military do for a child? Not completely. I think similar things could be used, but I balk at the ‘rebuild you from the ground up’ mentality they use. I’m not creating a weapon to use against another country. I’m just trying to help my child gain some resilience against mental and emotional trauma that he WILL face later in life.

    Does this sound like I’m doing the whole ‘Kids are getting soft’ thing you hear from old timers? Probably. To some degree, I do believe that’s true. I think beyond just physically (which, we ARE kind of raising a nation of couch potatoes. I know, I’m one of them.), but also mentally and emotionally, we’re trying to create this movement where we don’t want kids to face any hardship whatsoever, and that kind of bankrupts them and we’re not really preparing them for the trouble they have to deal with down the road. You may disagree, but I feel when not overdone, certain forms of punishment; a light spanking, a slap to the hand (for example if they’re about to touch fire) CAN teach certain consequences and help keep a child’s mind sharp.

    As I said, this is a respectful disagreement. Your child IS different than mine, and what I might do may never work for you or yours. Hell, it may not work for mine, and I may have to change my attitude down the road a bit. But it’s how I feel. If anyone feels able to comment similarly reasonably with ideas or thoughts that might impart information, it’s always appreciated.

  16. I belive The purpose of a punishment isn’t to relieve a parent’s anger, but to teach the kid about being a respectfull, considerate human being. but i just have to say that any parent who is talking with as foul a mouth as the author of the article, isn’t doing a big favor to the younger generation. this kind of language is only teaching major lack of respect to oneself and others. Verbal abuse isnt physical, but it can be just as emotionally harmful and painful. Seriously, there is a way of speaking and expressing oneself. sorry, but lack of sensitivity in the form of verbal expressions like this is one of the reasons this generation has a major lack of respect and doesn’t have issues with talking badly toward others. I just find something’s a little ironic. That’s all.

  17. […] I want to take an excerpt from a post I pinned on Pinterest the other day: “What I know is this: you spank your kid, you’re demonstrating that you’re a lazy, impatient, frustrated bully. You’re a brute who can’t handle his own child, who can’t actually teach anything or help your child understand the vagaries of life. Your intelligence level is equal only to the smacks you give, whether they’re to a kid’s ass or across his face or with a belt or a paint stirrer or a wooden spoon or whatever your weapon — because, that’s right, it’s a weapon.” [Read original post here!] […]

  18. […] Spanking Your Children Is Hitting Your ChildrenThis meme is going around Facebook. And hey, by the way? Fuck this meme. Listen, I get it. We have a toddler and having a child is challenging — way more than you think. You buy into this myth tha… […]

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