Should Corporal Punishment, Such As Spanking, Be Allowed In The Home And In Our Schools?

This wooden paddle has hung on our wall for years, but it was never used on the children.
This wooden paddle has hung on our wall for years, but it was never used on the children. | Source

Spanking is one of the most controversial discipline methods of corporal punishment. Some parents believe it is all right to spank their children. Some parents believe a child should never be spanked, but rather some other method be used, like “time out”, or maybe a privilege should be taken away from the child.

I grew up in the South where it was perfectly acceptable to discipline a child by spanking. People didn’t call it “spanking” back them. Some parents threatened their children by saying, “You are going to get a whupping”, or “You are due for a good switching”. I grew up in a loving home, but my parents believed in “spare the rod, and spoil the child”. I got spanked whenever my Mother thought I needed it. I got “switched” with a hickory stick. I was sent out into the yard to cut the switch and bring it to her. I would always choose a very small one in diameter. For those who don’t know what a hickory switch is: it is a small branch from a bush or shrub. If the stick I chose wasn’t large enough, Mother would make me try again for a more suitable one. She would switch my little skinny legs five or six times. She would always say, “This hurts me more than it hurts you!” This practice would probably be considered child abuse now.

I recently read an article in Time Magazine about a fifteen year old female student who was spanked by a male vice principal at a high school in Texas. He used a wooden paddle to swat her bottom. The spanking left blisters so badly on her bottom she had to sleep on her side that night. The article does not say how many times the vice principal hit her on the bottom. Surely, her bottom was not bare, so my guess is he had to have struck her several times with force through her clothes. I don’t know how you feel about that, but if that had been my child, this man would have been looking for a new job! The article does not mention what terrible crime this girl committed.

If you would like to read this article that was published in Time magazine I have supplied a link at the end of this article.

I haven’t thought of spanking in public schools for a long time. I have only one 11th. grader left in public school, but this article made me think of how discipline has changed over the years. As recently as the ‘70’s public schools where I live used corporal punishment. I never liked it, because I felt it was MY job to discipline my own children!

When I was in elementary school, the teacher would punish us for “talking out loud” or any other kind of bad behavior by smacking us on the open palm of the hand using a wooden ruler. If we had to have such punishment in school, we would “get it” again when we got home. Another method our teachers would use was to have us sit in a corner for a period of time. The amount of time depended on the “crime” the child had committed. I used that method for my own children instead of spanking them. I found that method very effective.

Sometimes we can get so angry with our children, we just want to snatch them up and give them a really good spanking. I don’t think parents should ever discipline a child when they are angry. That’s how babies are killed by the “shaking baby syndrome”. Sometimes parents will lose their self-control and literally kill a child.

While many people argue that hitting a child is always wrong, spanking children continues to be used as an acceptable form of discipline by many parents and educators because they don’t feel "time-out" works to correct a child’s bad behavior. This is a very personal decision parents and educators have to agree on; whether or not to spank a child.

Appropriate punishment for a child depends on the age of the child. If your 4-year-old uses crayons to decorate the living room wall, discuss why that's not allowed. Explain that crayons are only used on paper, and then let the child help you clean the wall. One of my children “decorated” her bedroom wall with a lipstick she had found in my purse when she was six years old. She still remembers scrubbing that wall! As children get older, timeouts and consequences seems to be effective.

I believe children should be allowed to discover for themselves the consequences of their own actions. I used to stress myself out over my children's homework. I later developed the attitude of letting the child find out for themselves what the consequences would be if they didn’t turn in their homework. They would have to pay for that with a bad grade. If your child doesn’t mind getting bad grades, this won’t work. You have to think of something else! It is natural for us to want to keep our children from making mistakes, especially mistakes that could cause them harm. Parents should do them a favor by having them learn what behaving improperly can mean to them. Maybe the next time, they will make better decisions. This is a very difficult thing for parents to do.

Teens Need Boundaries

Teens need boundaries. We have a duty to guide our teens. They must not be allowed to disregard the rules we have set up for them. If they disregard those rules some form of discipline is imperative. There has to be penalties for bad behavior. If your teen breaks their curfew by coming home later than they should, I think they should be grounded. If the teen is already driving, that’s an easy one: take away their privilege of driving for a time.

One of my friends had the right idea, I think. When her 12 year old son who failed to take out the trash and do other chores around the house he was supposed to do, she refused to take him to his baseball practice. One Saturday morning, he got dressed in his baseball uniform, and when it was time to go, she firmly told him she would not drive him. She calmly told him when he learned to accept his responsibilities; she would accept her responsibilities as a Mother. From then on, her son did his chores.

States In The United States Where Corporal Punishment Is Still Allowed


Corporal Punishment Is Still Allowed In 19 States In The United States

Over 20 states have banned corporal punishment in schools, but it is still allowed in 19 states. In some countries it is illegal to use corporal punishment on children. I read that in China, before one can adopt a child they must sign an agreement they will never strike the child. Isn’t this the country where human rights are not enforced?

I think every parent wants their children to grow up to be responsible, law-abiding citizens of the world. So, the question is: how do we do that? Do we do that by punishing the child by spanking them when they break our rules? Do we try to reason with them to make them understand why we expect good behavior from them? Are there alternate methods that could be used?

Countries Where Corporal Punishment Has Been Abolished


Do You Believe Parents Have The Right To Use Corporal Punishment On Their Children?

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Do You Believe Corporal Punishment Should Be Allowed In Public Schools?

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As a loving and doting Grandmother and Great Grandmother, I would never think of striking any one of these beautiful eight children. They are just too precious. I will always find another way to have them behave.

I also think it is very important that we reward our children when they do behave. It's good for them to realize that we do notice good behavior!


I do believe we are living in a very permissible society, and that bothers me a lot. I see children every day when I go out shopping or eating in a restaurant who are behaving badly. I always bragged about the fact I could take my children anywhere and they would not cause me any embarrassment by bad behavior. I would give them “the look”, and they would immediately stop what they were doing. I raised four children to be good upstanding members of our society. They always had respect for their parents, their teachers, and the law.

I maintain it is possible to raise good, respectful children without using corporal punishment. I know there are parents who will not agree. As I said before, this is a very personal decision. Both parents must agree on how they will handle punishment with their children.

So, the debate will go on: Should parents and schools be allowed to use corporal punishment on children?

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Comments 85 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I don't like the idea of whipping kids...Even though it was done many years ago without a thought. Now you could get picked up by CPS. I did occasionally spank my kids but I never beat them..I don't remember getting spanked. I liked the example of the kid going to play baseball...Great hub and Voting UP.

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

It is an interesting topic for discussion. I was raised in Catholic schools and you better believe there was corporal punishment in them....having said that, my reason for leaning against it is that there are so many poor parents nowadays, people who seem to be lacking the common sense necessary to parent, and I don't want them having the ability to physically punish a child.

Anyway, great job!

whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

CP has been proven to be ineffective in the development of kids in the positive influences that it so destroys. It has always been used as a "quick fix" for misbehavior and a lazy attitude in dealing with behavior when "time-out" or rebuking privileges would be more effective. A stern talking to, or letting a child know that a behavior is unacceptable is also a positive approach. Spanking is not the right way in teaching kids to behave. It leaves permanent scars, and promotes then, as adults in doing the same with their own kids. Rewards are certainly effective in improving behaviors, and there are others that are better approaches.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, carol7777. A lot of children grew up as you did, without ever getting a spanking. I sure got my fair share. I never spanked my own, because I kept thinking of new punishments!

Thanks for reading and taking the time to vote, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, billybuc. I have friends who grew up in the Catholic schools and they have told me of the discipline they received. I'm just curious? I wonder if they still discipline children as sternly?

Thanks for reading, and for the nice compliment, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi whonunuwho. Thank you for your very insightful comment on my Hub about corporal punishment. I agree with everything you said. Rewards for good behavior is very important, and I should mention that point in this Hub....thanks.

Like I said in my Hub, all I had to do was give my kids "the look", and they would stop misbehaving!

ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

Grrrrr...i wanna know how many BOYS he spanked in that manner...omg - RAGE!

i'm a believer in corporal punishment AND rewarding good behavior - and i believe the evidence for it is the narcissistic, entitled, and often cruel behavior of the generations since corporal punishment was no longer 'allowed'..

Having said that - i don't agree with it being meted out in the school - unless the parent is notified and present if he/she so wants!

AND definitely - if a spanking is to be had (which it should not - actual hands on is ridiculous) - it should definitely be given by a staff member of the same sex! D'uh...i'd think that'd be a no-brainer - but - not in this devolving civilization..

as far as corporal punishment being 'proven' to have no positive impact - i'm sure there's as many studies - or more - that say NO corporal punishment also has a negative impact (see

And finally - Bill has an excellent point - are parents these days even fit to effectively punish their children? Most of them grew up in the era of no corporal punishment - would they be able to control their own impulses and frustrations? I do wonder/worry about that...

It's a catch-22..

i have a headache..

sharing anyway!

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Mary, this is a very interesting hub and is bound to get lots of comments because people tend to have strong opinions on this. I have never raised my hand to my daughter - I have shouted at her and I also have a 'look' which seems to do the trick most of the time. I think it should be completely banned in schools; no other adult should have the right to lay their hand on your child. Violence is not the answer and slapping or caning or whatever is like something from the Victorian era.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi ImKarn23. Thanks for reading and for your insightful comment. I was so shocked when I read that article in Time mag. I'm wondering today if this man still has a job! I haven't heard any followup about him.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing, I appreciate that. Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Jools99. Thanks for reading my Hub on corporal punishment. I'm glad you found it interesting. I am guilty of sometimes raising my voice to my children, but then I feel guilty about doing that! I agree: I don't think any educator has the right to strike a child, and I think Florida should abolish that right.

As always, I appreciate your reading and support on my work. Mary

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lovedoctor926 4 years ago

I am against corporal punishment. Neither the school nor parents should use this method. It's a form of child abuse. Whipping a child with a wooden pallet might have been used back in the days, but no teacher or school official has the right to discipline a student in this manner. It's a form of child abuse if you ask me. Spanking, on the other hand, as long as it's not with a belt is not that bad. Every once in a while, a child needs a good spanking on the bootie if he gets out of line.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, lovedoctor926. I totally agree with you....I don't think any teacher has the right to strike a child for any reason. In my opinion, it is child abuse. I was appalled when I read that article in Time mag.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Interesting hub and fascinating subject, mary. No one, parent or teacher, should resort to spanking a child. We are supposed to be more mature and intelligent as adults.

If you are a teacher, you can send the child to the principal's office. If you are a parent, you can send your child to his or her room. Right!

Some punishment! They have Wii, or Xbox, a computer or iPad, video games.

You should take something valuable away for a given time period. Like the above named equipment or ground them for a certain period of time.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Hi Mary. I do like this article. I believe children deserve respect and kindness just as adults do. If one strikes an adult, it is illegal and the offender will end up in court. So how can striking a child be any different? Only because they are little and defenseless. I do not (and no one else better) ever lay a hand on my child. It is not necessary and causes more harm than any good one tries to believe. Entitlement? Yes, absolutely. A child is entitled to love, gentleness and a parent who stands up for them, not one who cannot be trusted.

I put a link to this Hub on my blog, actually inserted it into the post. Thanks for alerting me that you had just written this fine Hub.

mpropp profile image

mpropp 4 years ago from Minnesota

Nicely written hub. I have two boys and really haven't used corporal punishment, but that doesn't mean that I think it should be illegal or anything for parents. I think there is a fine line though between "spanking" and "beating". And there is NO WAY I would agree that it was okay for a teacher or principal to dole out corporal punishment. Very thought-provoking article.

shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

I grew up in a loving environment, three older siblings and two wonderful parents who stood me in the corner when I misbehaved. I also remember thinking my right ear would be longer than my left when, on a rare occasion I was directed to my bedroom with someone harmlessly holding my ear. I was not, in any way abused. If any of my siblings or I was reprimanded we had it coming 100% of the time and it took a lot to get put in the corner or directed to our room.

On the flip side of this thought, I know of several situations where old children or teens use the system to their advantage. I have actually overheard some stating that they were not going to be grounded our they would tell the authorities their parents physically abused them, so I do believe it can be harmful both ways.

Great write.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, drbj. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about spanking. I totally agree with your comment. When my 17yr. old son does not do his homework, I take away his privilege of the TV, or his video games for a few days.

I certainly don't want a teacher striking my child!

My best, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, Hyphenbird. So nice to see you! I know through your writings you are a caring Grandmother and we agree that children should be treated with love and respect. Thank you for including this Hub on your wonderful blog about grandmothering?

I hope you have a wonderful day, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, mpropp. Having two boys has to be a challenge! I only have the one son (grandson that I adopted), but he is such a good teenager. I like to think he is "good" because we have a mutual love and respect for each other.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave your comment. Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi shingirisheyes. Sounds like you had caring parents. I found the "sitting in a corner" worked well for me, too. Your comment about older kids using the threat of reporting their parents to the authorities reminds me of what a friend told me once: her 8 year old son told her if she spanked him, he would report her to the IRS! Of course he meant the HRS as we call it.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

I will say that I knew a 14 year old girl who did not want to get up for school. This was becoming a habit and the father decided he was going to put his foot down. Her father, who I know well and is a good parent and hard working individual, made her get ready and he personally walked her to the bus. While the bus was pulling up he scolded her and told her it was stopping or she would be grounded. As she settled in for the bus ride, some of her friends were goading her as teens do. She was embarrassed and proceeded to tell them her father beat her. Someone told the school (which was the correct thing to do) and before you know it, the knock comes at the door. While investigating she was removed from her loving , warm and wonderful home. When she realized the repercussions, her father explained that this is a hard lesson to learn and it was now out of his hands. He and his wife received a stellar report, the daughter was let back in the house but sadly, the relationship was never the same again. This should be a lesson to so many who think they are being "smart" by damaging the very laws put in place to protect them.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hello again, shiningirisheyes. Thanks for coming back to add another insightful comment on my Hub about corporal punishment. I'm sure this girl regretted making the remark that her Father beat her, but as you said, the damage was done. Too bad.....

Thanks again, Mary

Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

I got spanked with a belt on my bare behind when I was a kid. I don't believe I ever felt bad about what I had done, but rather felt resentful and angry about the way I had been punished. Perhaps I altered my behavior to avoid spanking, but I don't believe I ever really learned anything from it.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Sherry Hewins. I can't imagine getting a belt on my bare behind. I don't blame you for feeling resentful and angry. I have known parents to discipline their children by using that method, but I sure don't approve.

Thanks for reading and for adding your comment. Mary

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

You covered this topic well, Mary. I believe in discipline, not punishment to correct a bad choice. Children must be guided through loving care on how to make good decisions. The discipline must match the error. I don't think schools or child care services should be allowed to administer corporal punishment, it cannot be monitored for safety. Voted up!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, teaches12345. I'm so glad you read my Hub on spanking children. I value your opinion on this subject. You and I agree that children should be guided through loving care to make good decisions. I hope you read the article Time magazine published. I'd like to know if that educator still has a job: I hope not.

Thanks for your input on my Hub, and for the vote, Mary

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I read the article, thanks for the link. The key is: can authority figures outside the home administer discipline (even spanking) without an internal agenda, such as anger or prejudism, to promote the goodness in a child? Can they do it so that the child knows it is for his or her good? A child respects people, but love is quite a different thing when connecting with a child on right and wrong. I think they do need further research on it and better methods of administering discipline. Don't get me wrong, I do believe there is an appropriate time for parents to administer a heavier correction method, such as spanking, but it has to be in the right light and in the right way. It would only be in extreme cases though and parents need training on this too! And, I hope the teacher is long gone.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi again, teaches12345. Thanks for coming back to let me know you read the article in Time Mag. I feel so bad for this young lady who got the paddling from the educator; how demeaning and humiliating that must have been for her.

I've always thought that parents to be should be required to take classes in parenthood. Oh well, that's another subject for another day.

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I believe that the educator was in the wrong in that situation. Overall, I'm on the fence about spanking in schools- especially now with a lot of parents not feeling it's the school's right to assert what works for their kids.

In terms of at home discipline, I think parents should be allowed to do whatever is necessary to keep their kids in line. Sometimes it takes a firm hand to set a child straight. And other times, as with the example of your friend- it takes a strong stance against disobedience.

As long as there are problems in the schools, I think this will be an issue that continues to linger. Voted up, interesting, and shared!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Alecia Murphy. I agree, parents should be allowed to discipline their own chldren as long as the two of them agree on the method, and it is done with care. I don't envy teachers and educators at all. I just don't want a teacher to strike one of my children or grandchildren.

Thanks for reading, commentin, voting and the share. I appreciate that. Mary

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi, mary615. I was raised by non-hitting parents, and that's how I raised my own three. As kids, my siblings and I were well behaved. We did things we shouldn't have, like all kids do; but my parents would talk about it (and talk about it and talk about it and talk about it; which, as far as I was concerned, was punishment enough lol). I did similarly with my own kids, although I spared them the unnecessarily tense duo-lecture about how hard it was to understand why a kid would do such a thing, the talk about being disappointed by them, or the apparent assumptions that because I did something once I was headed for a life of doing it on a regular basis. My parents were extremely loving but could be too intense when I messed up every once in a while. We were good kids - really good kids (kind, caring, appreciate, good students, well behaved in school; and most of all, kids who felt horrible about thinking something seemed like a good idea at the time, only to have it turn out not to be. We didn't go out and do awful stuff. We did the occasional stupid thing that all kids are going to do.

So, although I saw my parents as awfully close to perfect and about as solid and loving as any parents could ever be; when I had my own kids I decided that I'd make sure they knew that I saw and knew what good, good, caring, kind people they were; and that I'd help them understand that if they did something that "wasn't great" it was because they were kids - not because they were any different from any other kids or good adults. If they were old enough there might be consequences, or, like you, I'd let them see what the natural consequences were (and then put it all in perspective for them, once they did). In spite of their worrying a little too much about any misdeeds I occasionally did (and it was pretty rare), I always felt as if I loved and respected my parents more than a lot of other people did theirs; mainly because my parents did not choose to physically hurt us when, either, we didn't have the impulse control of adults or else thought something "was a good idea at the time" (would be fun), only to discover it wasn't.

I don't want to come across as self-righteous or bragging here, because - honestly - I'm not. I'm trying to point out to people that it is more than possible to raise well behaved, respectful, appreciative, kids without hitting them. In fact, I think that not hitting them contributes to the positive traits that a lot of people fail to achieve in their kids when they hit them. My kids have told me that they appreciate the way I handled things and plan to handle things with their own (future) kids the same way. If any school person had dared to touch any of my kids I would have been ready to sue; and if the deal was that I couldn't sue because a school district or the state gave schools the right to strike my child; then I would have sued the school district or state for giving the local schools that "right".

What other people do with their kids is obviously their business - not mine. I know that and respect it. It just really bothers me, though, that so many people can't even imagine that it's possible to raise well behaved kids without hitting them. My thing with the schools is this: If a kid acts up in school the school should contact the parents and expect the parents to address it. I think the school should also (of course) be free to suspend a kid, have detention, etc. etc. Just no hitting (or shoving or getting against a wall, or any of those other things I've seen teachers/principles do. If the kid acts up too much in school, and the parents don't seem to be able to get the kid to stop; then it should be the procedure that Social Services gets called in to figure out why parents aren't better able to get their child to behave. If the child has a mental disorder it will be revealed. If the parents need counseling or other help, that would be determined too. Things like detention usually work for a non-chronic "misbehavor", and if the kid is a chronic problem then there's something that needs to be looked into and addressed. Educators and administrators should have enough understanding of kids to know that a) they have no right to assault other people's kids, and b) hitting is obviously not the solution for either a non-chronic issue OR a chronic one that most likely indicates that the kid and/or family needs help - not assault. (Sorry for the long post. I won't be offended if you don't post it. I just think it's an important subject to discuss. :) )

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Lisa HW. You have added so much to this discussion by your insightful comment. I wouldn't think of deleting it! I agree with your thoughts 100%. We read in the news all the time about child abuse, and it just sickens me. I have a daughter who is getting her teacher's certificate. I asked her if classes in child psychology are being offered, and her response was NO. Educators should be able to address problem children and how to deal with them. They should not have the right to strike a child. There are other ways to deal with these children as you mention in your comment.

I have linked your wonderful Hub on parenting on this one, and I thank you.

Thanks so much for reading, and adding so much to this important subject, Regards, Mary

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Mary,

I am amazed by your last comment about your daughter who is getting a teaching certificate and NO child psychology classes are a part of what she is being taught. I had to take it for my nursing degree as well as many other psychology classes. It would seem that it should be mandatory!

As to corporal punishment, I grew up in an era when it was quite common. My parents used it sparingly, in fact I only remember one spanking. It was always accompanied with a scolding and explanation of why it was about to occur. Normally "the look" and scolding was sufficient. Dr. Spock was just coming on to the scene around that time.

In parochial school Sister Lucas, the principal had her "board of education." Occasionally a swat on the rear would be administered up in front of the class. Of course when students got home, they would be punished as well because the infraction would have been told to them. No one objected back then.

These spankings were not beatings...far from it.

I agree that any kind of punishment is less effective if the parent is angry. Also, when kids get older...losing privileges is much more effective.

My husband tells me that the boys in class used to consider it a badge of honor and had bragging rights to getting a swat in school....usually administered by the coach according to what he said. So as to effectiveness...probably not. Ha! More of an attention getter.

Good conversation with regard to this subject. I did not realize that there were any states that allowed corporal punishment in schools. I do not think that is appropriate. From what I see on television, kids seem to be beating up on other kids in schools these days. Is it because of all the violence they see on television and other forms of media entertainment? That could be another hub...

Up votes and sharing!

Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

Very interesting hub Mary. Corporal punishment was banned in UK schools several decades ago, thank God. I never had to endure it but once a teacher took all but one of the boys in our class out and "belted" them (hit them over the hands with a strap) because they had go less than 50% in 3 homework assignments. That was not discipline, and hitting of any kind never is. How can you teach children not to hit, by hitting them. Violence begets violence. There's a lot of research that shows children don't even learn obedience by being hit - they learn to get sneaky to avoid getting hit.

A great hub, and you know, I feel sorry for that teacher in Texas as much as for the girl. He was doing what he did because he has so few emotional resources to imagine a different way. And your mom was probably right - it did hurt her to hit you, but she probably thought that was what you were "supposed to do" to make kids good.

Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

Such a hot topic, well written hub. No to schools, and then it's up to each parent. Hitting resolves nothing as far as I'm concerned.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Peggy W. Thanks for reading my Hub on corporal punishment, and for your comment. The "switching" I got as a child from my Mother were far from a beating, and my mother and I were very close until she died. I really did think my discipline hurt her as much as it hurt me!

I was appalled when I read the story in Time Magazine! I certainly did not think that was appropriate, either.

Thanks for your continued support by reading and commenting, by your vote and sharing. I appreciate that, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Melovy. Corporal punishment is lawful in the state of Florida where I live, but we never hear of an educator using it. I would have someone's job if a teacher ever struck my child or grandchild!

I just can't imagine hitting a child with a belt, although I have heard of that form of punishment.

Yes, my sweet Mother did what she thought she had to do to "make me a better person", and maybe it did in the long run.

I agree: it should be left up to the parents, not the schools to discipline children.

Thank you for your insightful and thoughtful comment, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Thundermama, I also think spanking should be left up to the parents, not the schools!

Hitting doesn't resolve problems with children, there are other ways that are much better, I think.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, Mary

Mellonyy profile image

Mellonyy 4 years ago

Hitting kids is a sign of helplessness. I think parents should explain first the reason to their kids when they do wrong, not spanking them. Voted up! Thanks for sharing!

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Hi mary, it was interesting to see the results of your poll about spanking at school, most people said no, I actually said yes. The reason being is that when I was at school back in the 70s it was a normal thing to do to kids when they were naughty. It never hurt us, and of course there was so much more disipline back then. My mum grew up with the same sayings, spare the rod etc, the one thing about living in England is that it is totally banned everywhere, in fact people have been arrested for just slapping the child on the legs over here! the strangest thing of all though is if we look at our laws it does state that yes we can smack a child as long as its only gently. Not many people know that, even the police! I think children are treated to softly these days, a telling off and sitting on the naughty step is just stupid, it does not work. A small slap to their legs will shock them, not hurt them, great hub mary, nell

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Nell Rose. I think it is so interesting that spanking is banned in England, but yet the child can be slapped on the legs gently. Seems like a contradiction, doesn't it? I'm like you; when I was growing up I got spanked (switched), and I don't think I was harmed in any way. I just don't like to see an educator paddle a student such as the one in Texas.

Thanks for the compliment on my Hub, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Mellonyy. Thanks for reading my Hub about corporal punishment and for your comment adding to this discussion. I maintain that parents should agree on how they will discipline their children, and then decide on a suitable and fair punishment for them.

Thanks for reading and for the vote. I do appreciate that, Mary

midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Some parents resort to it because it's the only way they know how to parent, which is sad. Building relationships is not part of the vocabulary. What is needed for parents with the problem is counseling, and the children too. Easier said than done, and it does take time! Thanks for sharing, Mary! I will share this too.

abbykorinnelee profile image

abbykorinnelee 4 years ago from Ripon Wisconsin

Not at school it shouldn't. But spanking openhanded on the rear-end should be allowed. It is not abuse. In fact when I lived in Texas you could still spank your children. However, it should be for the kids that respond to it and not for every child because some don't need it and will respond to other forms of punishment. I do believe no child with Autism should be spanked or be around others that get spanked as their behaviors can get worse. I think it should be in the parents power to make that choice and the reason we have out of control youth is because they don't fear any authority. They know we can't touch them.

Your Cousins profile image

Your Cousins 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Like you, I was spanked with a hickory switch when I was younger. And I did discipline my kids. I think you are right that it should be a parent's job to discipline their children. However, not all parents are fulfilling that role and their kids can cause disruptions in schools in which the administrators have no good way to deal with it. It's an interesting dilemma.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, midget38. I agree that some parents need counseling. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world. We try so hard to be a good parent, but a lot of people just don't know how.

Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and the share. I appreciate that.

Hope you have a wonderful day. Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, abbykorinnelee. You made a great comment here that will add to our discussion on the topic of spanking children. I would never tolerate a child with Autism being spanked! You are so right when you say that children have no fear of authority. I was fearful (and respectful) of my parents, teachers, and the law when I was growing up.

So nice to see you, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Your Cousins, So, you were "switched" too when you were growing up. That seems to have been more of a Southern punishment from what I have read. You are so right that parents are not disciplining their children as they should, and that adds to the permissive society we live in. I do believe parents can punish their children in other ways than spanking or corporal punishment.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment on this subject.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 4 years ago from Philippines

Very interesting article. I appreciate your adding your personal experience as you investigate this issue. I was also spanked as a child, but I find that hurtful words were what you remember years afterwards, rather than the spanking.

CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Mary, I rated this hub 5 out of 5! Very well written and details are neatly laid out. I never spanked my children; there's no reason for me to. I feel blessed and proud to say that my girls didn't give us headache while growing up.

I grew up the same. I never give my parents any headache and I never get any spanking. But, I've witnessed how my cousins would sometimes get that whip for misbehaving. They grew up well disciplined, nevertheless.

CP is common in the Asian culture but not to that extreme and most kids, I would say are rather well disciplined and grew up with respect to their elders with this system.

However, we now live in a different world and as you said, "I do believe we are living in a very permissible society, and that bothers me a lot." ---it bothers me too.

Here's my vote: Up, awesome and interesting.

Thank you.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, grand old lady. Thank you for reading my Hub on corporal punishment. You are so right, we do remember hurtful words. Verbal abuse on children is also wrong, as it is with adults, I think..

I'm glad you found my Hub interesting. Goodnight, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi CrisSp. Your comment about Corporal punishment being common in the Asian culture, and I must say that the Asian children my own children came in contact with in school were very polite and well disciplined.

Thank you for reading, commenting, the rating, and the votes, I do appreciate your input in this discussion.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

I agree that children can be raised effectively and disciplined without corporal punishment. Reasoning with the children and matching the consequences to the actions make much more sense.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Millionire Tips. I don't think corporal punishment is the answer for ad behavior, either.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Mary

xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

I only had one child, a daughter and did not believe in spanking, seems that the old adage about spanking teaching a child to hit rang true to me. I was raised in Texas with plenty fo corporal punishment at home and some in school too. I went to a parochial school in second grade and Sister Collette would use a ruler on the back of my hand while exclaiming that I was a "bold child." I guess I was too.

I had to pick my switch off a peach tree, peel the leaves off and present it to my mother. It raised pretty good welts on my bare legs, but left me more angry than sorry as I recall.Got paddled only once, Edison Jr/Sr High in San Antonio. Mr. Greer heard me say s---- and used a paddle tennis paddle, two swats, hurt like hell too. I made sure he never heard me again.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, xstatic. So nice to see you! You sound like you had the same upbringing I had. I don't think the punishment that was given me made me a violet person as some people tend to think will happen. If anything, I think it made me a better person! My Mother could use raise some welts on my skinny little legs, but I always knew she loved me very much.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Must be the time of day: I wrote violet person instead of violent! Sorry about that.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

I just love that about spanking grandma.

Four children and each one twice was spanked. No more than that and no other corporal punishment. Not one ever had trouble in school of with the law.

I was beaten severely. Part of the deal and my parents did a great job. I hope we are growing as humans.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, Ericdieker. It's so nice to "meet you" today. Thanks for reading and commenting on my Hub about corporal punishment. It is a very controversial subject among people.

Hope to see you again, soon. Mary

OnePerspective profile image

OnePerspective 4 years ago from Idaho

Hi, great article, well written and thorough. I grew up with spankings being the norm and I like to think I turned out okay. We respected our parents and knew better (most of the time) not to get into trouble or we might see a belt. Now, with my own children we tend to use time outs more frequently and spank less often. Occasionally though, it seems completely necessary to spank our son (who tends to have a mind of his own) Now, we never hit out of anger, and no more than a swat on the butt (with a diaper on, it's usually nothing more than a love tap) but it gets the message across and usually he only gets a spanking once a month if that. I will tell you, count downs have saved time, energy and frustration (for all parties involved) My kids are very well behaved and polite. I am thankful for the direction I see them going in and well, the occasional spanking has not hampered their development, not in the least.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, OnePerspective. Thanks for reading my Hub on corporal punishment and for leaving a very meaningful comment. Sounds like you are certainly doing the right thing in the way you handle discipline with your children. Even though I did get spankings when I was growing up, I don't think it "damaged" me in any way nor did it make me a violent person. Each parent has to do what they believe is the right thing to do, I think.

If your kids are well behaved and polite, you must be doing something right!

That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

I don't have a problem spanking a kid in my family. My sister's husband is very permissive. His children kick and punch him. They don't treat me that way. When I am there they are respectful, do as I ask (mostly) and they do not push me around the way they do their Father. However, to me a spank is one smack on the butt, no more than one. If you do it in a way they know you mean it, being firm not apologizing and let them see you are angry, one smack on the butt is all that is needed. They know I expect something from them and that I'm not namby pamby about it. We also have a lot of fun. I take them out shopping, doing all kinds of things which their parents claim they are too wild and can't behave enough to do with their own children. Also, once they know you mean what you say and will back it up the kids don't need a smack at all. Just a firm word does the trick. I don't need to curse at them, yell or bitch. I can just say their name in the right tone of voice and they listen. I wish my sister and her husband could grasp the concept.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi That Grrl. Thank you for reading and for your meaningful comment on my Hub on Corporal Punishment. You added a lot to this discussion of a very controversial subject of whether or not to spank a child. I agree with you: A firm word can serve to stop a bad behavior rather than strike a child. My kids knew when I "gave them the look", to stop what they were doing!

I think it is so wrong to allow a child to kick or punch their parents. I'm glad these children are more respectful of you. That's because of the way you seem to handle the problem.

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Good points and good discussion. Up, Useful, and Interesting.

I did not vote in the polls, because it is not an either / or question. Just because a parent has the legal and moral right to use corporal punishment, it does not follow that using corporal punishment is necessary or best. Nor does the right to use corporal punishment judiciously in moderation grant the right to use it as an excuse for sadistic abuse.

Schools and education methods is another topic.

My parents and grandparents used corporal punishment but very rarely. I can count the getting spanked times I recall on one hand with fingers to spare. I grew up law-abiding and well behaved.

When I took care of younger siblings, I was authorized to swat when needed. I learned by experience to spot trouble coming and to stop it with a warning word or a distraction long before a swat was needed.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, B. Leekley. So nice to "meet you" here. Thanks for reading and for adding your thoughtful comment to my Hub on corporal punishment. I never felt it necessary to strike my children. When they misbehaved in public I just "gave them the look" and that was enough. They are far too many other ways to discipline children than to use CP, I believe.

Thanks for the votes, I do appreciate that, Mary

leilabarda profile image

leilabarda 3 years ago from Marikina City

anything we do for the kids to discipline is good, but not everything is applicable to the kids. others tend to think that they don't love them when we hit them. for me it is better to understand and talk to them whenever they commit a mistake. and make sure to be firm when we implement a rule to them.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, leilabarda. Thanks for reading and for your comment. Yes,I agree, when children make a mistake we have to be firm (but fair)

Nice to "meet you" today. My best, Mary

midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Sharing this again, Mary!

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

Hi, midget8. Thank you so much for sharing again. I appreciate that! Mary

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

I taught in school years ago where corporal punishment was used and truthfully it made no difference in the behavior of those those children and how they behaved.

There is a better way and it needs to begin from the time the child can understand that he behaviors they are exhibiting are not acceptable.

Thanks for highlighting this Mary.

Have a lovely weekend. Angels are on the way to your home. ps

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

Hi pstraubie48. So nice to see you. Your statement is so interesting that it didn't seem to matter if corporal punishment was used or not in the school you taught in. I think spanking makes children worse behaved, not better. There are better ways to teach children, I think.

I hope your weekend is going well for you, my friend. Mary

Que Scout profile image

Que Scout 3 years ago from Sydney Australia

Hi Mary

My mother spanked the poop out of me when I was little with the stick end of a feather duster. I remember spinning on the floor like a dying fly. I was a nightmare of a child. Burnt the garage down at age 8 !

Today I believe kids never need to be spanked. All kids want it to please adults. With that in mind, wonders can be performed. If they have misbehaved then reason with them, and issue a warning or punishment like taking away privileges etc. The opposite is also true.

That said, this just "by the way". The purpose my of comment is to express where I think this "no spank" has headed:-

Physically hitting a child is violent. It shows children that violence and hurting people is a solution to a problem and is an accepted means to resolve a problem. This they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. It breeds bullying, fighting and finally wars. The new way of thinking ( no spankings) has created a new generation of people who deal with punishment in a non violent way. Dominoing all the way to world peace talks and a happier world.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, Que Scout. There are definitely two schools of thought on this subject. Like you, I was spanked when I was a kid ( I deserved every one), and I am certainly not a violet person.

I never spanked my own four, and they turned out to be wonderful adults with good morals and values. I took away priviledges!

Thank you for reading and for your meaningful comment. Mary

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 24 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Mary,

As you probably know, there is now a mini-series on television called "The Slap." This very subject is being addressed and brought to light again in that manner. Wonder if you are watching it? Will share this hub of yours again.

Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 24 months ago from West By God

I did spank and I was spanked and none of us turned out violent either. I also deserved every swat across my behind and that is the ONLY place that I was spanked or spanked my two daughters. After they reached the age of 8 or so I did the time out thing and it did not work for them. That was when we started taking things away from them and that worked. I think it is more of a trial and error type things. Each child is different.

School should not do this though. When I was in 2nd grade a teacher pulled my hair and my ponytail almost everyday. She also kept me after school and never called my mom to let her know that I would not be on the bus. Her excuse was that I did not leran my times tables fast enough for her. I would fear that a teacher or school could punish a child for watever reason they felt they could and get away with just about anything.

Happy ending for mom went to my school and got my teacher fired. I will never forget that.

RGraf profile image

RGraf 24 months ago from Wisconsin

I was one that was spanked when I deserved it. It didn't hurt me. I was even spanked once in school. It didn't destroy me though I still debate that the reason was beyond stupid. It's like a lot of things - In moderation is good.

mary615 profile image

mary615 24 months ago from Florida Author

Hi, Peggy W No, I haven't heard of that TV show. I'll watch for it. Our school district is very strict about striking a child in any way. They have gone overboard by not allowing teachers to even hug a child! No touching of any kind.

Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and the share, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 24 months ago from Florida Author

Hi, Lady Guinevere I wish I had a dime for each time I got a spanking from my mom. I'm sure I deserved every one I got. She would always tell me how much she loved me afterwards, and that the spanking hurt her more than me. I am certainly not a violent person, either. As I just said to Peggy, our schools here are very strict about corporal punishment in any way.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 24 months ago from America

You don't dare spank a child now days they will call the cops on you. The schools tell them to do that. They make parents frighted to do anything with their children.

I don't believe in corporal punishment in schools. There are to many crazy teachers (not all ) out there they don't need to be touching our kids. I do believe schools need to have some kind of punishment but not hitting. The child needs to also be punished by parents.

Oh and by the way I'm addicted to "The Slap."

mary615 profile image

mary615 24 months ago from Florida Author

Hi, RGraf. I think spanking or any form of corporal punishment has been almost eliminated by schools, but old fashioned parents still practice it in the privacy of their own homes, though.

RGraf profile image

RGraf 24 months ago from Wisconsin

I popped my daughter on the bottom in a store once because the little one more than deserved it. A woman actually came up and thanked me. :) Made me feel good. And my children have grown up polite and respectful.

mary615 profile image

mary615 24 months ago from Florida Author

HI, moonlake I agree, I think any form of punishment to our children should be left entirely up to us, the parents! I just have to find that TV show!

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mary

mary615 profile image

mary615 24 months ago from Florida Author

Hi, RGraf Some "do-gooders" would have called the police if they had seen you pop your child on the bottom. Bet that did make you feel good, that lady was a caring mother. I sure got my share of "pops", and I think I turned out OK, LOL. Goodnight, Mary

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

It is indeed a controversial subject. And I never saw it change behavior. When I was a teacher for many years spanking was allowed in school . And the kids that were spanked never changed how they acted afterwards. I even saw one child spanked with a belt and the buckle end was used...and this was done in a school by the Principal in front of other kids.

It just does not work.

I was not raised in an environment where that type of punishment was used and did not raise my daughter that way nor are the grands being raised that way. There are too many other ways to teach children without resorting to beating And many times that is what it becomes rather than a spanking

Angels are on the way bringing blessings to you this morning Mary. It is always good to visit you ps

Voted up++++ and shared

mary615 profile image

mary615 23 months ago from Florida Author

Good Morning, pstraubie48 So nice to see you today! I have to agree with you. I don't think spanking encourages good behavior with children! I do believe children should be taught how to behave, but there are many other ways to do that.

Thanks for the visit, the votes and the share, Thanks for sending me the Angels this lovely day, Mary

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