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Spanking Children

Updated on March 24, 2017

Should We Spank?

A few days ago, I saw a news segment where a mother was putting hot sauce on a young child's tongue, then, giving him a cold shower. My skin crawled, and I can't get the image out of my head. How or why would anyone think that his method of discipline is an acceptable form of punishment, ever? Even spanking children to discipline them seems less cruel.

Is spanking a child better? Many parents in our society today use spanking as an acceptable form of discipline. Is it? Here are a list of reasonable reasons why people spank their children and my own experiences in this area.

Spanking Children: Reason #1

Often I have heard this argument for spanking, "I was spanked as a child, and I turned out okay." Just for the record, let me say, we all think we are 'okay.' Alright, a few of us don't, but, since I have heard this argument for spanking so frequently over the past 35 years, I am going to guestimate that 95% of us think we, ourselves, are okay. I guarantee you that there are people that look at us (you and me) and think, "You are totally screwed-up." So, the "I'm just fine," argument isn't valid.

Holy Verses


Spanking Children: Reason #2

The second most common reason I have heard for spanking children is because it says to in the Bible or Koran. In fact, both holy books justify this as a necessary means of disciplining children. In fact, both books even go so far as to tell us to kill our children for various reasons, like disobeying . All religious people pick and choose the verses in their holy books that they want to use in their lives to justification for just about anything. This removes responsibility for your actions. Just admit that you live by a certain set of rules and standards and have adapted holy verses to support them.


Spanking Children: Reason #3

Some people spank their children because they don't like them. Their intent is to inflict pain to give themselves the satisfaction of having done so. They don't want their children to be a part of their lives. For example, my son-in-law's step-father used to randomly say, "Okay, head to the bedroom for a spanking." He made them get naked, then, hang from the top bunk bed while he hit them with a belt--about once a week.

A Book on 'No Spanking'

I was the parent who was spanking my child because I was spanked, and I turned out okay . One day, in 1975, when I was watching the Phil Donahue Show on television, Phil interviewed a man who wrote a book about raising your children with love and without spanking. At the time, my first of 5 children was 2-years-old. I smacked her with my hand on her butt at least once a day to discipline her. So I thought, "There is no possible way a child could be raised without getting spanked." I bought the book about 'no spanking' just out of curiosity. I couldn't imagine that what that guy wrote could actually work.



Experimentally, I decided to try the 'no spanking, just love' method. It was a big step into the unknown. My entire family and everyone I knew thought I was crazy! To my surprise it seemed to work! I remember once when my youngest two were ages 7 and 9, someone asked me how I discipline them. I was a little embarrassed because I couldn't remember the last time I had to. We were in a loving family relationship where we were honest and trusted and respected each other--as crazy as that sounds!

My Daughter Teaching Art

Grown Children

How lucky was I to have seen that television show with the book author who advocated raising children using love instead of spanking? I learned a better way to raise children from how I was taught. Like all families, we had some bumpy teen years, but we got throw them. My grown children are all responsible, hard-working members of society. I recommend using love, honesty, and respect to raise your children. Let spanking children to discipline be a thing of the past for you, too. Don't just take my word for it. Read a few books on the subject yourself.

Raising Children Without Spanking

Cast your vote for Spanking

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    • greatparenting profile image

      greatparenting 6 years ago from philadelphia, pa and corolla, nc

      I am so impressed by your ability to change your ways. Bravo! Good hub and right on!

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station

      Debbie--I'm a little confused about trying to make the tears flow over not getting a cookie, but I guess it depends on your parenting style. My children are very successful in life without being spanked or forced to cry over cookies.

    • profile image

      LINC 6 years ago

      Spanking in the 'old world' used to be used instinctually b/c our grandparents knew it would bring the much needed tears the child needs to adapt to th e situation ie: no cookies before supper.Today we can no longer use this b/c we don't have the capacity to control our own anger and frustrations that we let out when we spank. If we can hold our charges in the 'experience of what is not working' to help the tears flow (ie: "you really wanted a cookie but you are angry b/c mommy said 'no'", then we are priming the adaptive process for our children and sending them on their developmental path.Great hub discussion thanks for initiating it !!


    • Maggie.L profile image

      Maggie.L 6 years ago from UK

      A superbly written hub with very valid points. You are so right about why people smack their children. It's especially true that people choose to interpret the holy book in a way that will justify their actions and therefore remove responsibility from themselves. I myself think that is totally wrong to spank a child. Thank you for writing on such an important subject. If it makes just one parent rethink their actions then that would be amazing. Voted up, useful and awsome.

    • Becca Sullivan profile image

      Becca Sullivan 6 years ago

      There are no words to say how true this hub is :D

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station

      Thanks, Goyakla. You're so right. We do what we are taught--until we learn better.

    • Goyakla profile image

      Goyakla 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for such a great hub. You are a wonderful writer and explain things in a thought provoking way. I too did spank my children but gladly like you woke up to the complete worthlessness of such a form of punishment. We do what we have been taught to do but it doesn't make it right. We each of us can break the cycle and reject any inheritance we deem detrimental to our own and our loved ones well being. You have my respect and admiration for writing this article and I look forward to reading more of your articles. You now have a new follower in me.

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station

      Jack, there has been research done on people who were abused and continue the cycle of abuse with their own children. Spanking is a form of abuse. We all learn to raise children based on how we were raised. Most teens say to their parents that they will raise their children differently, then don't because everyone falls back on what they know, through their experience. The reality of what you were taught hits you when you have a situation to deal with and can think of no other way. It was hard for me to stop using spanking as a way of discipline. I'm glad I did.

    • profile image

      JACK 6 years ago

      As about the " I got spanked and I turned out fine" thing. I think it's just a personal opinion of people who are probably in denial. It's not a science based fact.

    • Monisajda profile image

      Monisajda 6 years ago from my heart

      Thanks for this hub, the more people know the truth the better. I particularly agree with your statement that these people don't always turn out to be OK, that's what THEY think.

    • profile image

      Deb Barr Stevens 6 years ago

      I agree Beverly. I finally had an epiphany about corporal punishment, including spanking, when my children were about 7 and 8. I promised them and myself to not use corporal punishment any longer. Once I set my mind to not do it, it was really quite simple-"Do not hit". I also had read many books and articles that helped me choose another way and that helped me discipline in more fair and respectful ways. I wish everyone was taught this in school and that there was no choice of whether it is right or wrong. I have 8 grandchildren and have never once spanked any of them. We have relationships filled with love and no fear. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this.

    • Beverly Stevens profile image

      Beverly Stevens 6 years ago from College Station

      I don't think paddling a child is ever all right--ever! It is just not necessary.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago from Philippines

      In school, we used to remind ourselves this motto, "Spare the rod and spoil the child". Paddling an erring child by the parent is all right but it has to be done to let the child know they do it to make him realize his mistakes. After the paddling, it is a must to have him understand why he had to suffer a little. This is where love is applied.

      I'm intrigued by this book on "No Spanking", but I guess it sums up to focusing more on loving than punishing an erring brat. Nice hub!