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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Is Spanking Okay?

As usual, facebook has sparked a gnarly conversation that has me thinking...

One mom posted, out of desperation, about her niece's horrible, abusive behavior towards her new sibling and her own child (the girl's cousin). I commented about spanking, with lots of exceptions and explaination.... I was immediately attacked for my views. I feel like I need to share that my view of spanking is very different from how I was spanked as a child. Richie and I do not believe that you should spank out of or while angry. It should be a last resort on the list of disciplines. It should be done with our own hands so that we can appropriately control the spank.
I was spanked as a child with various household items, mainly a leather belt. I squirmed, as most kids do, and my mother always spanked me while she was angry, which inevitably caused irratic swinging resulting in my legs and lower back behing hit. Of course, it was always my own fault because "If you would just be still and let me hit you...."

Have you been to Wal-Mart lately? Have you read the news lately? Have you been to a mall or heard how children speak to their parents and siblings? Often Richie and I comment on these behaviors with "If I had done that when I was a kid...." Always the implication was that we would have been given "the look" and would have surely been spanked upon arriving home. Though I am not an advocate for first-response-spanking, I do believe that many of the behavioral problems in today's kids could be prevented and solved if more parents spanked (the right way). I have seen parents appropriately spank in public, which usually renders a quite "way to go" attitude from on-lookers. I have also seen parents hit their kids in the mouth or swat them so hard it lifted them from the floor. I have, more than once, commented on the roughness of a "spank". Sometimes the parent walks off quickly, and on one occasion a man argued with me to the point that we had an audience! I told him, kindly, that if he didn't want his discipline methods to be publicly scrutinized then he need not do it in public...he needed to take his daughter outside or to a restroom. He was in my face before the ordeal was over. He was enraged to say the least.

I do believe that sparing our children of appropriate, solid, consistant discipline robs them greatly. I think it does them and our society a disservice. It seems that children are allowed to get away with more, behave more badly with less consequences and are encouraged to "do their own thing"...but at what risk?

When I was a kid, which was only 20 years ago, I was raised to say "yes m'mam" and "yes sir". I was given the stink eye by my mother if I didnt' say please and thank you while looking the person in the eye! I shook adult's hands when introduced to them. I was taught to be quiet while adults were talking, but not in the way that I was made to feel inferior to them. I knew my place just as I do now as an adult...if the conversation doesn't concern me then I have no place to speak. I was taught to be polite to everyone, to smile back, and to say hello if someone spoke to me. I was taught to be honest, and modest.

At what point did our generation become so lazy with our children? Did we not spank enough? Did we give them more than we had?

Tags:  Children, Society
Spare the rod and spoil the child. Time outs have their place but so does spanking in my book. Now I am not talking beatings but a good swat on the butt everyone now and then makes a difference.

I used to get the belt which I am sure now a days in this politically correct society would be deemed as child abuse but the wussification of America definitely has legs
RickMonday   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The problem came about when parents decided to be their children's friends. I am not my children's friend, I am their parent. I do spank my children but it isn't done out of anger and it is usually one swat. I use a spoon. I usually just have to go get the spoon and they stop their behavior. They are raised to say yes ma'am and no ma'am, please and thank you, call adults Mr. or Mrs. or Miss Collette or whatever the name is. I have "the look" and can give it across a crowded sanctuary and they stop immediately. People think I am too strict to my children. But those are the same people that compliment me on how well behaved my children are. I think spanking has its place and that children need to NOT be given an option on getting punished or have everything discussed with them.
runt   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Some of the reasons not to spank were "spanking is hitting" and "punishing violence with violence". This was posted in a forum of pretty liberal, crunchy moms who tend to coddle (sp?) and wussifYy their children by only providing positive reinforcement and the worst discipline thy give is a stern "no" with a 5 minute time out.

I had a friend who used to make her son run laps around their house for punishment. As it turned out he became type high school track star. Lol
I'm with runt, the complainers alway seem to be those who lack the true understanding of discipline and spanking. Woman are still comi g in behind my comment and ripping me apart stating that spanking is never the answer.
Richie & Ashley   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I have never spanked my children for hitting. That IS stupid. However, when I DO spank they know it is serious. By the age of 2-2 1/2 my children stopped immediately if I said stop. Why? Because if the didn't I gave them a swat on the butt. I never had to worry about them running off in a parking lot or a store. If they spill a drink I don't spank them. I have them help me clean it up. Write on the wall? Wash it off. Break a toy? Don't get a replacement. Break a sibling's toy? Buy a new one or work off the cost of a new one. Make a mess? Clean it up. I believe in "creative" parenting. I like the punishment to fit the crime. Of course, I am also the one that makes my children start doing their own laundry at the age of 9. If I find an article of their clothing in the laundry I do, I charge them a quarter per article. That stops them from just throwing it in the laundry because they don't want to wash it. My children have chores they do because they live here. I don't pay them to do them. I am either very mean or just old school. lol
runt   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
You are old school. My mom did our laundry till I was probably in high school, but then we were taught how and that was a chore. I was paid to do ironing, only b/c she didn't like to do it, and she wouldn't pay me if I did it "wrong". She got lots of free ironing. ;)

As parents our past, our childhoods, our raising strongly dictate how we raise our own kids; I get it. I was spanked harshly and for things that did not warrant it because my mother had a hard time controlling her anger. Richie had few chores growing up because his mother mothered her siblings and acted as their mom so she didnt' want he kids to have chores. Neither Richie nor Trae knew how to do normal things when they go out on their own b/c they'd been raised to be dependant on her. They had no sense of reality or the real world. I knew people who had their children do all the housework...I mean ALL the housework and they got severely spanked (beaten sometimes) if they didnt' do it correctly.

there simply must be a middle ground somewhere. I agree with your punishment fitting the crime ideals. I get a harsh tone and am very stern with Noah when it comes to things that are "dangerous"...We use that word with him, too. I don't run to his aid everytime he falls, he doesn't get into trouble for punching the buttons on the cable box, unless it becomes an ongoing thing (and trust me he knows the difference)...he is not allowed to run from us with something he's not suppose to have. And if he is super cranky then he is put in his crib for "time out". 99% of the time he falls asleep immediately b/c he was acting out b/c he was tired.

Each kid has their own currency. what works for one may not work for the other children. I think being an attentive parent and recognizing your childrens' differences is key. Being able to discipline and love according to their needs and understandings is CRUTIAL! :)
Richie & Ashley   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I think you hit the nail on the head with "each kid has their own currency." I rarely have to punish my 6 year old daughter because she listens so well and rarely does anything wrong. Usually if I let her know how disappointed I am or give her a time-out, she sincerely feels bad about what she did. She's extremely sensitive and thoughtful. On the other hand, my 4 year old son will have days where he repeatedly gets in trouble and gets time-outs or has privileges taken away. Then he'll go through the motions of saying he's sorry and giving hugs, but I usually doubt his sincerity. I'm not a spanker, but if things don't improve with his behavior soon, I might consider severe noogies.
jef   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Noogies!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!!!
Richie & Ashley   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I am not a spanker. I was spanked as a child and I am strongly against it as a parent. However, I have fairly obedient kids. While I would like to say that spanking has no place in parenting, I know that I have not walked in some peoples' shoes. I cannot make that broad of a statement. But I have a very very very difficult time imagining a time and place and incidence where spanking really is the best option.
My kids don't say "yes m'mam" and "yes sir", but frankly, I think that's a southern thing. I wasn't raised to say that either. But now that I'm in TX, my trainer at the gym says them to me. =)
I ask my kids to say please and thank you. They don't do it all the time. But then again, neither do I. I am always on them about looking at adults and saying excuse me and hello and such things, but my older one especially has some issues with social situations so it takes him a bit longer to figure these things out.
My kids have some chores. They are slowing increasing with age. Laundry on their own comes a middle school. =)
girlcarew   Thursday, July 12, 2012
I was abused as a child. I understand where some would say spanking is wrong across the board. I also agree that each child has a currency. My oldest is her bedtime. I stopped most behaviors when I started taking her bedtime away in 15 minute increments for ill behavior. It was mostly her mouth. I started that about 4 years ago and I don't know if I have had to actually take away time in a couple of years. I just say her name and give her the look. lol My youngest, also a girl, I just look at. I rarely have to give her any type of punishment. Now my son is a totally different story. I have tried everything on him; timeouts, taking away privileges, talking to him, the list goes on. The only thing I found to work on him is the spoon. Now I don't just arbitrarily go and grab the spoon and start swinging. I don't do that with any of the punishments. I give a warning that their behavior is unacceptable and that punishment will follow if they don't stop. If he doesn't stop I get the spoon and give him a swat. A swat, not done in anger, not swinging mindlessly just a firm swat on the hiney. Like I said earlier I now just have to touch the spoon and all ill behavior stops. It took maybe three times for him to get the message. As far as the yes/no ma'am thing, I don't live in the south and never lived in the south. I think it is a respect thing. I even say it to my elders. My children don't do all the chores or even close. However, I do believe one of my jobs as a parent is to raise children that will be productive members of society and will know how to take care of themselves as adults. In that regard my 13 yr old can cook several actual meals and does a fine job. I have had her make a menu and then a list of what she needs and sent her to the grocery store. I stood back and let her find all the things herself and everything. Do you know how long I was in that store? lol I really, really just wanted to go get the stuff myself! But that wouldn't have been a complete lesson. : ) I think middle school is a good time to start laundry. I started at 9 because of the oldest. I was sick of washing her clothes that were already clean. Since she started at nine the boy child begged to start his own laundry. Believe it or not my youngest is already looking forward to being 9 so she can wash her's. I have weird kids. lol And here is my general rule of thumb for behavior is this: If it isn't life threatening, immoral, unethical or disrespectful I let them do it. So I have mostly well behaved children that still have the freedom to be children and not little robots. I will let you know in about 10 yrs if it worked or not. : )
runt   Thursday, July 12, 2012
Runt...I think we are on very close pages. I just can't quite take that last step to the spoon. But, like I said, I haven't walked in other parents' shoes. And I like the bedtime thing. I am definitely using that!
girlcarew   Thursday, July 12, 2012
Oh girlcarew the bedtime thing was the best punishment I have EVER come up with!!! This is how I did it: I sat her down and told her, every time you sass me, roll your eyes, sigh, whatever, I am going to take 15 minutes off your bedtime. Asked her if she understood and continued with my day. When she exhibited the behavior I told her "that is what I am talking about. 7:45." She would huff or whatever "that is what I am talking about 7:30" and on and on. I swear the first week the kid had to go to bed as soon as she got home from school. lol But like I said I now just have to look at her and she stops. As far as the spoon goes...I HATE using the spoon. But I seriously have tried everything I can think of with that boy child of mine and NOTHING seems to have worked except the spoon.

Another example of my parenting style: My 13 yr old just informed me she washed her phone with her laundry. I told her that was horrible and I felt bad for her. She asked me to buy her a new one. Uh no. She has three jobs. She mows a lawn, not mine, for $20 a week. She cleans my dad's apartment for $30 a month and she babysits for me while I work and I pay her $20 a week. Now to make the point really hit home I am going to make her use the housekeeping money to buy the phone. The other money she earns goes into savings after she tithes off of it. Well that won't hurt her pocket at all! so she is going to have to use the $30 she gets as spending money per month to pay for the phone. I bet she checks her pockets next time. ; )
runt   Thursday, July 12, 2012
Yeah, I know I am going to have toughen up both myself and my kids as they get older.
girlcarew   Friday, July 13, 2012
You know how I feel about it, so I'll just say that I'm fairly consistent with Girlcarew on this one. :O)
Angi   Friday, July 13, 2012
I pretty much think spanking is the result of the parent not knowing what else to do. Been there! -- though I wish I hadn't. I had many friends who were creative enough to figure out different ways to deal with their misbehaving children. All of them (and mine) ended up being kind, respectful, successful human beings.

Discipline can be achieved without spanking, but it often requires parents to reach far beyond their own growing up experiences. Thinking parents work hard to do right by their kids (as you all prove). It's the parents who never question why they do what they do who scare me.
pegi   Friday, July 13, 2012
Ok I was thinking of this last night. Here is my final take on this. It doesn't matter what your form of discipline is, except beating. The true main factor is consistency. If you give a time out for hitting the dog, then you have to give a time out EVERY time they hit the dog. If you tell them if they do something you will take away something, then you have to take it away, EVERY time. While I have spanked my children it hasn't been much. And I always give a warning....if you do whatever again I am going to give you a swat. That usually stops them because they KNOW I mean it! You can't tell a child to stop a behavior or you are leaving the fun place and then not leave or just keep telling them you are going to leave if they don't stop. DO IT! I got my children to clean their rooms by telling them this: If you don't start cleaning in the next 5 minutes I am going to throw away your stuff. And I did it. I didn't bag it up and put it in the garage for later. I didn't just keep saying that until I gave up and cleaned the room myself. I threw the toys away in the kitchen trash can with all the other ick. And they didn't get the stuff back. Since I do what I say my children know I mean business. They know that if I tell them they aren't getting something at the store that they aren't getting anything at the store. No fits, no whining, just acceptance. So there ya have it...wisdom by runt. lol Be consistent in your discipline and you will have well behaved, well adjusted children. : )
runt   Sunday, July 15, 2012
pegi   Sunday, July 15, 2012
My parents were TERRIBLE at hollow threats. And as I got older I would call them out on it, "No you're not; you never do" and they'd be SO angry with me that they saw red....but they never changed. Always hollow threats. I don't plan to do with that with Noah. Kids are smart and they remember. If Noah gets fussy or (what we consider) out of control in public we leave. We don't check out, we will leave our meals (and pay) and head home...but we will not allow him to misbehave, fuss, cry, squirm or disrupt others in public at all. They didnt' sign up for that. I hope that we an conintue that sort of consistance with discipline. I think we do a fairly good job now; although, all we deal with at home is the fact that he gets into our books and movies. There are some things he's allowed to have and some he's not. He clearly, even at 1, knows the difference.
Richie & Ashley   Sunday, July 15, 2012
I worked in a pre-school setting for 2 1/2 school years. It amazed me at all the empty threats parents made to the children. I really just wanted to look at the parents and say "THEN DO IT!". lol I never did though. My BIL is horrible at the empty threats too. My children see it too and really don't like going over there any more.
runt   Sunday, July 15, 2012
Children who are disciplined don't like being around those who aren't. :)
Richie & Ashley   Monday, July 16, 2012
I'm beginning to see that. I also think some of it is they don't like not knowing what is going to happen at the BIL's house. They have also started to complain about the cousin. They used to play together all the time. AND the cousin no longer seems to want to be here. The second I correct them, like don't jump on my couch, he wants to go back to his house. I guess undisciplined children don't like being around disciplined children either. ; )
runt   Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I grew up with yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, and no ma’am to all adults without exception unless I wanted a reminder spanking. I am raising my kids the same and constantly get praise from teachers and other parents about how polite my boys are. Why did parents ever stop insisting on god manners from their children?
Dan Peters   Thursday, April 19, 2018
My husband and I require our 4 boys to always use their sirs and ma’ams With all adults. No exceptions! Our boys are extremely, polite and well mannered. I agree with Dan Peters in that why do many parents fail to teach and insist on good manners. On rare occasion, one of the boys might get a reminder spanking from my husband if we have to correct them multiple times in a day.
Maryann Hastings   Monday, June 4, 2018
My pet peeve is children who don’t say yes sir, no sir, and yes ma’am, no ma’am. I was raised this way and my children are certainly being raised this way. Nothing wrong with having well mannered and respectful kids.
Tyler LaRoca   Tuesday, October 22, 2019
We are a yes sir/no sir and yes ma’am/no ma’am family. Our kids are required to respond to their elders using respect and manners at all times. We started insisting on yes sir and yes ma’am as soon as the boys could talk. By age 3 they each had this mastered with only a few slip ups. By age 5 no slip ups at all.
Colton Williams   Monday, May 11, 2020
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