I am tired of hearing that spanking is child abuse. This un-Biblical viewpoint seems to be growing in popularity, with some states even setting out to ban the discipline method altogether. So called “child psychologists” quote unnamed, vague studies that claim to “scientifically prove spanking is abusive.” This has many Christian parents questioning themselves and their methods. Below are 2 points that I hope will give parents some reassurance that spanking is not child abuse.
These surveys categorize spanking as a form of violence and then lump a few swats on the behind into a broader “category of excessive violence.” In other words, there is no control group in these studies for parents that give their children a few swats on the behind and a drunken father that flies into a blind rage and nearly beats his son to death with a 2 x 4!
Using similar logic I could argue that nearly anything is abusive. For example, I could point to a mother who starves her children to death and then draw the ridiculous conclusion that forcing a child to skip a meal is child abuse. Or, I might point to a mother who drowned her children in the tub and then argue that forcing children to bath is child abuse. I could take a father who verbally berates and curses at his children, and then use it a proof that scolding children is child abuse. Or, I could tell you about parents who chained their children up in locked rooms and then use that example to condemn groundings and time-outs.
Of course, all these arguments are intellectually dishonest, but that doesn’t stop the “no spanking” crowd from terrorizing loving parents with their vicious rhetoric! They love to point to instances of horrific child beatings and then tie them to all parents who spank. There is a huge difference between “spanking a child” and “beating a child!” No one is for “beating children,” but don’t tell me spanking is the same thing. If you can’t see that, then don’t spank your children, but stop telling everyone else that they are committing child abuse! It is Offensive! WE DO NOT ABUSE OUR CHILDREN!
2. Isn’t inflicting physical pain on children child abuse? Of course, not! Is giving your son a shot child abuse? Is forcing your daughter into a painful, but life-saving surgery child abuse? Again, no. So, the proponents of this statement, “inflicting physical pain on children is child abuse,” probably don’t mean what they say. What they really mean is that pain inflicted without cause and real benefit to the child is child abuse. On this point we agree, but then I can quickly point out all the causes and benefits of spanking.
Hopefully, these two points will give you some reassurance that spanking is not child abuse. Now the questions are: “Does spanking work?” “Is spanking the best form of discipline?” “Is spanking Biblical?” and “Is there a spanking technique that works best?” My answer to all of these is YES, but I will go into all that in a later post.
I realize this can be a polarizing issue, so I would love to hear what the rest of you think about spanking. If you have an opinion, please leave a comment.
If you liked this post, Please like me on Facebook or Follow me on Pinterest. Thanks for your support!
Linking up here!
I definitely have an opinion on this one and I agree with you 100%!. Spanking is not abuse!!! And you make very good points. I believe it is all in the “how” not the “what”. I believe passionately that the government or whatever entity it is that is trying to govern parent’s discipline style is stepping way over the bourndaries. That is completely out of place!!!
Bernadette Veenstra says
There is a vast difference between spanking and child abuse. I think you made your two points very logically.
Also, generally the people totally against spanking and physical discipline can’t stand to be around children either.
Pam Andrews says
I happen to agree 100% as well. I was spanked as child not only by my parents but they were allowed to spank us in school then and it worked, we grew up to be respectable, well-behaved young people with a moral compass. I spanked my children and only once did my daughter have something to say to me and I just handed her the phone and said call them, see what happens, of course she did not and now she is a wonderful, loving daughter and mother herself. I spank my grandson and so does she when he needs it. We have certain rules and expect that they be followed, if not then there is a method for punishment, spanking is not always the first choice and is not always necessary, but when it is, it is used.
Spanking should only be done by the parents!
No, I think it is much more abusive to let your kids get away with all the junk that kids get away with these days! If you can’t teach your kids about proper behavior then you are not doing your job as a parent to raise decent adults. I get so many comments from sooo many folks about how they never hear my kids when they are on the phone or internet with me. Because they know the rules and the consequences to breaking those rules. :-)
Should every child be spanked? No, probably not. The “I am so disappointed” line works REALLY well with my middle son. My youngest could probably be beat with a razor strap until he bled and he would continue to giggle – LOL! So, spankings are kind of pointless for my fearless child. However, he LOVES an audience, so we have found that time out works VERY well for him. The oldest boy – yeah spankings work really well for him.
I really disagree with some of the comments here. I too believe that spanking has its place; “Spare the rod, spoil the child” and all that, but a quick tutorial: the bible was speaking of discipline of any type when it said this…if you read the Greek and Aramaic it actually translates as discipline and NOT as spanking. We are not looking to PUNISH our children as Pam above said, and unfortunately, non-Christians and Christians alike are too swift to use corporal punishment as just that. Giving a child “swats” is usually a parent out of control, doing it out of anger and trying to “control” their child rather than trying to discipline and get at the heart of the problem and then change their child’s heart back to God. And by the way, I would NEVER allow someone else, even my mother, to spank my children. It destroys trust in that person and my childrens’ trust in me. They may verbally correct them but it is not their right or place to physically touch my kids. It is a parent’s responsibility as they will answer to God in how they steward their children.
Also by the way, a “human moral compass” is an oxymoron. Our moral compasses are broken…they don’t point true north. The prophet Jeremiah said (17:9) The human heart is wicked beyond all understanding and cure. Who can fathom it?
Pam Andrews says
To anonymous and anyone else for that matter. I am never out of control when spanking and it is generally only given for specific behaviors. For instance he likes to say “No, I’m not doing that” for this behavior, he gets to “bite the bar” of some scented soaps and he hates it so guess what, he does not say no very often at all anymore, it only took a couple times and he learned, so it is with spanking. It usually only takes a couple times and they realize that their behavior is what causes it and it is better to do the right thing. I think we can teach our children to have a moral compass, yes our world is broken, but we can teach our children that the correct moral compass points directly to God.
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
I agree 100% with this: “Giving a child “swats” is usually a parent out of control, doing it out of anger and trying to “control” their child rather than trying to discipline and get at the heart of the problem and then change their child’s heart back to God.”
Which is easier? To take the time to actually discipline (and disciple!) your child, or to just swat them a time or 2? I believe that spanking isn’t discipline, and it isn’t teaching your child anything except to fear punishment. I want my kids to understand, not just be robots because they are scared of punishment. We need to teach them.
The problem is that what people hear about are those who use spanking incorrectly, which WOULD constitute abuse. Most of the people I know who still dare to spank their children on occasion do not do so out of anger, and I think this is the form of spanking the author is referring to. In fact, spanking my children makes me sad. I don’t like to do it on the rare occasions that I have to. We also have a specific “spanker” and number of swats to protect ourselves and our children from an “out of control” situation. For us, spanking is always, always a teaching opportunity. We make sure our children understand why they are receiving a spanking. We talk about their choices and about what could be done differently in the future. We always end with forgiveness and an affirmation of love, which is why they almost always walk away with a smile even after tears. In our home, spanking is usually reserved for use when other methods have already been tried, and now that our children are growing older, we rarely need to use it. Spanking may no longer be politically correct, but neither is distinguishing right from wrong. I have no doubts that my children will value their upbringing just as I value the upbringing my Christian parents blessed me with.
Jen recently posted…Much Ado about Missions: The Experience
Janine LaTulippe says
Crystal, thank you for your comment. I not sure if I understand your statement about, “spanking isn’t discipline, and it isn’t teaching your child anything except to fear punishment.” Shouldn’t kids fear punishment? I mean isn’t that the point? Whether we use timeout, spanking, no desserts, no video games, ect, aren’t we hoping that our children will choose to do right for the fear of the consequences. We have all seen children that do not fear their parents, the law or God, and they are often very wicked.
The Bible says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Also, their is a huge difference between “living in fear,” and fearing the consequences of wickedness. Children do not need to fear spankings, if they choose to be good. When my children choose to be bad, they have chosen a spanking for themselves. If they have anything to fear, it is not me or spankings, it is their own bad behavior.
Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook says
No, that isn’t the point. What I am teaching my child is to do right BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT. Not because of the consequences. When he does something wrong, I want him to feel a sadness and wrongness that is totally within himself, regardless of whether or not anyone ever finds out about it, and torments him until he repents and returns to the Lord and seeks forgiveness. Yes, there are real-world consequences to most of your bad choices, but I teach my son that accepting the consequences does not restore his rightness; he is not right again until he confesses to God that he truly regrets what he did. I was not raised as a Christian, but I was raised to feel that wrongness, that feeling of I’m Very Disappointed In Myself. Spanking didn’t make me feel that (often, it distracted me with humiliated anger, which delayed my awareness of my wrongness) and it didn’t “pay” for the sin and make me feel right again. As a child I struggled with finding relief from the wrongness and developed a sort of confession prayer on my own; it was wonderful to find that Christianity provides a formal structure for this that makes it easier to know what to do.
I explained more about my beliefs on the role of fear in discipline toward the end of this article.
Yes spanking is abuse. You have to be a bible basher from the US to the believe the opposite. But you know what : more and more folks are getting fed up woth the bible , the holly koran and all these old dusty books and religions which brought tears, pains and misery for centuries. To hell with them and their supporters!
Ok, like the alternative is so much better. Like the people who ‘rejected’ Christianity for the religion of evolution and thought that the Irish were subhuman. You need to re-learn your history. Religion has done a lot of good in this world; people trying to live for something more than self-gratification. Sure, people will be sinful and try to abuse it in some cases, but if you look at the majority of non-profits and charities, religion is what fuels them to do good for their fellow man. It is what keeps people in-check and helps bring accountability to our selfish appetites. What is your perfect world and what are the rules that govern it? Please tell me it isn’t the governmental system we have now where the rich are becoming richer, the poor are becoming poorer; where spanking is ‘abuse’, but drugging children up, castrating them, and allowing them to live a life of debauchery is not abuse; and where babies are sacrificed on the alter of higher education and sexual freedom?
Spanking is not abuse I agree with that however it can quickly become abuse when the parent who is doing it is so angry that they have no control over themselves and leave marks on the child. Yes I speak from experience (my childhood).
I think our culture is on a pendulum swing away from “punitive” forms of discipline. We’re sort of reacting against some of that scary, corporal-type punishment that was actually detrimental in the past, but now we’re landing on the far side, shying away from ANY kind of punitive discipline. For example, many preschools in my state are now being ranked by the Qualistar program–and the standards for that program say that if you do time-outs in your preschool classroom, your score suffers as a result. They argue that ONLY positive discipline–redirection and positive reinforcement–are acceptable measures of discipline. Well, try that with a violent child who likes to stomp on other people’s fingers just for fun–according to the program, you’re not allowed to give a time-out? You think it’ll work to say, “OH, hey, instead of stomping people’s fingers, let’s play with puzzles!” Yeah, right. It’s cruel, to teach that child there are no consequences to his actions. Because punitive discipline exists in our society…so one day when they grow up, they won’t understand the punitive measures our society takes when you willfully hurt someone.
So this cultural attitude is filtering over into the home environment, with plenty of people offering all kinds of opinions on what sort of discipline is acceptable in the home.
Personally, I think spanking is a perfectly fine way of disciplining–as long as it’s done with love, and not out of anger. I do think that BADLY spanking–flying off the handle and swatting a child–is more detrimental than choosing not to spank at all.
I don’t spank my daughter, though, because there are other forms of discipline that are just much more effective with her. 🙂
Thanks for this thought provoking post! I am a proponent of discipline for my children based on attempting to get them back on the right path. Sometimes this can mean a simple, “that is not appropriate.” Sometimes a more forceful, “No,” is in order. And others a spanking is in order a. to get their attention and b. to point out a consequence of bad behavior.
But I think the problem most people have with spanking comes from a lack of understanding that one’s motives can be pure and it can be done without anger. Sadly, we do live in a fallen world and our sinful hearts drive us to sinful emotions, which can result in sinful behavior. The Christian parent must be mindful of the nature of not only his/her child, but also of his/her own heart. Being driven by emotion, as we are often wont to do, will lead to what could be termed abuse (even from a Christian parent). Hitting in anger is NEVER appropriate, but a spanking for the purpose of grabbing attention and gently directing the child back to a correct course is necessary. Even with children the passage about, “taking the log out of your own eye, so you can see clearly to remove the speck from another,” is appropriate. As parents, we must be mindful of the emotions we are led by, making sure that the Spirit is the ultimate leader.
Thankfully, we have not had to spank our little one very often, but when we do, we have worked out a process whereby she understands forgiveness and restoration are just one word away. She understands that the spanking is not because we don’t love her or are angry with her. And her little heart is sensitive to the bad things she does (most of the time).
Leah @ Simple.Home.Blessings.
Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says
I haven’t read the other comments, but we personally choose not to spank our children. We choose other forms of discipline. We absolutely believe that our children need discipline and structure, but we don’t believe that should involve hitting them (and whatever you choose to call it, if you’re striking your child, inflicting pain on them, it’s still hitting them). I also think that there are many other factors to be considered when deciding what is the “best” form of discipline, and I don’t think there is enough evidence to me that spanking is the only/best/most effective form of discipline for children.
Also, I know that most people say they “don’t spank when they are angry” and I’m sure there are a few people who abide by that, but I have been in MANY situations where children have been spanked (almost everyone we know spanks their kids), and ALL of them were angry or frustrated with their child when it happened.
It’s just something we choose not to do and I don’t believe it makes us less godly parents. Also, our boys (3 and 5) are very well behaved.
Becca @ The Earthlings Handbook says
On one hand, I agree that spanking is not always child abuse. It is possible to use spanking in a way that does not injure the child physically and serves as an effective reminder to the child that she needs to correct her behavior right now. My parents used spanking this way. However, they spanked me less than 10 times between the ages of about 3 and 8, and never before or after that, and the same with my brother. They used other methods of discipline most of the time and spanking only for totally out-of-control defiant behavior.
I don’t spank my child. As a developmental psychologist, I have read a lot of research, and I work directly with data from a research study in which we see strong, long-term correlations between physical punishment and criminal activity. You do have a point about the difficulty of making a distinction between spanking as a carefully used method and spanking done by angry, out-of-control parents. However, I can find no good reason to spank. The Bible tells us to guide and teach our children and make sure they understand when they’ve done wrong–it doesn’t say that the only Godly way to do that is to slap them on the bottom.
The biggest reason I don’t spank is that being spanked taught me that when someone does what you don’t want them to do, you hit them. My parents spent far more time trying to convince my brother and me that we weren’t allowed to hit each other, than they did spanking us. We really had a hard time learning that. My son is 8 now, does not have a sibling but went to full-time childcare for over 3 years and then to school, and he has hardly ever hit anyone.
A child should never be hit for any reason. When it is spoken of in the bible about not sparing the rod it is meant as a tool to lead a child to behave in socially appropriate ways as the shepherd leads the flock. It is simply easier to spank than to take the time to teach and instruct a child. Our world is filled with violence because violence is taught at home. We all talk about teaching our children not to hurt others but the ones who are meant to love and provide safety for them are the ones who hurt them. I know of many people who, because of the 4th commandment, will not tell the truth about what it really felt like as a child to be humiliated, hit, and degraded by their parents. I cannot make someone else stop hitting their children but I will no longer condone the behavior by my silence. I have spent years in therapy healing the wounds from being “spanked” and “disciplined” and I do not wish to pass it on to the next generation. I like to believe that we as adults can rise to the challenge and take the time to teach our children love, kindness, and to not hit anyone.
Thank you for commenting, but I really have to disagree. Proverbs 23:13, 14 says, “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell.” I don’t think it is referring to a shepherd’s staff.
I disagree that the world is filled with violence because it is taught in the home. I have spent a lot of time teaching children and I have observed just the opposite. Children who are not spanked are the most violent, while children that are spanked (not beaten) tend to exhibit self-control.
I am sorry that you resent being spanked. I cannot comment because I do not know your particular case, but from my experience the vast majority of adults who were spanked as children, think that spanking did them good. I am one of those adults.
Also, I do not think that we have to choose between spanking and teaching. I do both. Spanking alone will not work, but teaching alone won’t either. The two compliment each other.
Thanks again for voicing your opinion. I know that many others share your viewpoint.
as someone who was actually a victim of child abuse, I can agree strongly that spanking, used in a discipline method, is NOT abuse, I was spanked as a child when I was bad or naughty or worried my parents about my safety which was honestly very rare, and abuse (though not by my parents) but neither of those two things are linked.
long story short saying spanking is abuse is an insult to actual child abuse victims.
Wow, your view on spanking is pretty digusting. You are abusing your kids. Period. There is no other situation in life where you are allowed to hit someone with the purpose of inflicting physical pain. You would be arrested for assault, and rightly so. And talk about the punishment not fitting the crime. There is nothing a child could do to ever warrant a physical beating( that is what spanking is). Your one sick twisted bitch, and if I ever saw you doing that to your kids, you would quickly find yourself on the receiving end of a “spanking”, but it will hurt me a lot more than it hurts you, don’t forget that line of shit!
Dantheman… what a silly name for a “man” who visits “mommy blogs” and threatens women. Also it seems a little illogical, to threaten me with a spanking – for spanking. Perhaps if you would have received a few spankings yourself, you’d be able to express yourself without lashing out and threatening to assault people. I hate to say it, but I spank my children so that they will never act or talk like you. Thanks for the comment, Dantheman.
Dan, you are a real tough guy. You are apparently disgusted about proper corrective action against a child, yet you are quick to call names and threaten a woman with physical violence. If I ever saw YOU threatening a woman, you’re face would be in the pavement with some broken teeth faster than you could say “I wasn’t disciplined as a child”.
Just food for thought.
Hey Nate, I really truly wish with all my heart, that we get to meet face to face someday, I’d love to give you the chance to try that. It wouldn’t end well for you. 😉 Food for thought
I’m not going to pretend to have read this in its entirety. Do you know what is “unbiblical”? Not being willing to stone your child to death if she crosses the line. Somehow, you left that out. “So called child psychologists” Holy cow! Do you know why they’re “So called” that? Because they are child psychologists. You can claim they are wrong and explain why. “So called” doesn’t prove anything other than that you’re childish. Maybe you were not spanked enough? ” “…quote unnamed, vague studies…” Now you’re flat out lying. They often quote specific studies that ate not vague at all because that’s what scientists do. Again, you can explain why you think they’re wrong, but to blatantly lie to try to prove your point is disgusting. I did notice that one of the comments claimed lying to be one of the times spanking is necessary. I guess your parents didn’t hit you enough.
sabrina moore says
i totallly argee that spankings is not abuse! but i think that there are limits to your punishments, and if you go above and beyond with those punishments that it can seem like abuse.
Theses are actual proven studies, I understand you do not have much experience with this since you reference the bible so much but spanking is child abuse you might be teaching your child a lesson but you are still hurting them which is is not excusable. If a kidnapper wants to prevent his hostage from trying to escape he might hurt the hostage while the kidnapper is teaching the hostage discipline it is no way excusable that he is still abusting the hostage
That is a horrible example! I totally agree if a kidnapper is beating people that is assault and against the law. There are already laws against abusing your kids. Spanking is TOTALLY different! We are not viciously attacking our children and neglecting them or keeping them against their will. We love them and want what is best for them. Pain is a powerful motivator. It can save a lot of people from hurting themselves and others. For example, if we didn’t have nerves, touching a stove could be deadly. As society gets further away from physical punishment, do we see a kinder and gentler people? Look at our prisons! Spanking is becoming less popular and do we see less bullies? Do we see more respectful kids? NO! If you evaluate the studies, you can find many biases. They are conducted by organizations that are against spanking. Since you are so familiar with those studies, I’m sure you know that they usually confirm what the organization who sponsors it already believes. Well, I like to see proof. Children are more violent and less compassionate today than ever before. I think your definition of abuse needs to be reevaluated.
Janine, you are deluding yourself. Pain is not a powerful motivator and the Center for Disease Control has published numerous information on the dangers of physical discipline/punishment as well as the fact that it causes damage to children and society. And it does identify “hitting” as child abuse. Children are not objects that are to be controlled. Their behavior can be managed successfully without using any physical force. You can always try and force a child to behave with fear of inflicting pain, but YOU will pay a price that you can never repay – that is the healthy loving relationship with your children. Children grow up to have little filial affection for parents who hurt them. You risk sacrificing your relationship with your children later in life. So, how would you like it if YOU got hit by your husband or friend or co-worker every time you didn’t function according to their expectations? Does pain motivate you? In addition, the Bible does not support hitting children. It is NOT a Christian ideology. Teaching children correct principles is a Christian principle but people grossly distort “spare the rod and the spoil the child.” A rod is metaphorical here which means teach them the word of God. A Christian God is loving and kind and doesn’t hit His children.
I have to respectfully disagree and would encourage you to look at the real evidence. There are many studies that show that children who were spanked are actually more successful and have better social processing. You have to look at who is putting the information out there. Our culture has an ‘anti-pain’ ideology that is cultivating a disregard for consequences. There is more crime, more violence, more bullying today than in our history. Murder someone? Oh we don’t want to let them feel any pain because that is cruel and unusual. No, you are creating an unjust system that no one is afraid of. You are also giving a ridiculous example. I don’t spank my children for every little infraction, I use it as one tool. You have to balance it, of course, by cultivating a relationship and letting them know you love them. Finally, you don’t know your Bible. There are tons of references to spanking your children to spare them from becoming bad people. My dad spanked me and I respected him and have no hard feelings. My mom didn’t and I gave her hell. There are lots of different kinds of pain that can be a positive in our lives, but our culture has brainwashed people to think pain-bad, pleasure-good. Well, I’m not sipping the Kool-aid.
You are really bad at segueing, surgery and spanking are 2 different things. I made sure my mother knows that her violence is wrong by using it on her. I will take it further and use it on my corporal punishment teachers if I stayed in Eucon International School just a little longer. I can’t believe at how bogus your arguemebt is. I hope someone strips you naked and hits you so you know how it feels you naive creatures!
No. If you condone spanking, you condone abuse. I was spanked, and I resent my parents to this day. And I make NO apologies for this. If you spank your kids, you are an abuser. PERIOD.
I was spanked and I do not resent my parents for it. So if you simply go by experience and the belief that all pain is abuse, then how can you explain what I experienced? I’m sorry you think your parents did such a bad job, but I appreciated my parents for teaching me a valuable lesson in the way that they did. You are welcome to do it differently with your children. As for me and my house, we will spank.
A 2016 study that took place over 50 years concluded that there was little difference in the effects on a child between spanking and child abuse. In both cases, they are inneffective for preventing poor behavior, both immediately and in the long term.
I know this is a very old article by now, but it still shows up near the top of search results.
Spanking is abuse. Period. I was spanked, slapped, got the wooden spoon, got the belt, and I have nothing but hatred and disappointment for people who still spank their children after being subjected to such treatment. How can you do that to your child after experiencing that? I believe in God, and I do read the Bible, but if everything in there is true, then everyone who eats crabs or lobsters is going to Hell. I’ll bet you eat seafood, don’t you?
You’re wrong. If you hit your children, you’re part of the problem.
Shame on you. Find a better way to get your children to obey you, or don’t have children to begin with.
Rennie Gade says
I grew up in the 1950s and ’60s when child spanking was practically commonplace. Parenting magazines had articles on spanking, and decorated wooden spanking paddles were sold as novelties in general stores and roadside gift shops.
Naughty children’s bottoms were understood to be naturally available for corrective warming and reddening. It was only a handful of times that my own backside was ever threatened with spanking. This was by my mum and my oldest sister. They might’ve threatened to spank, but I was invariably punished by the withdrawal of their affection.
Quite honestly, I would’ve much rather had my bum bared and turned up on the lap of authority for well-deserved smacking and paddling. Being denied those spankings simply made it that much harder for me to learn the critical lesson of Actions & Consequences.
As a boy who got the strap once at school, I don’t remember feeling abused. It was a distinctly unhappy experience that taught me something about the overriding authority in my life, and about being held to account for my behaviour. The wholesale denigrating of child spanking doesn’t impress me, no matter how many studies are cited. I needed those spankings denied me. To her credit, my mum in her later years felt the same.
Thank you for sharing your perspective, Rennie.
Rennie Gade says
Do count me as a steadfast believer in spanking as a disciplinary option in the raising of responsible, respectful children. My own childhood in the 1950s and ’60s was unfortunately deprived of the critical lessons sound spankings could’ve taught me as regards Actions & Consequences.
My naughty bottom should’ve been bared and turned up on my mother’s lap for stealing, lying, being rude and playing with matches. But even though she might threaten to spank, I was invariably punished by the withdrawal of my mum’s affection. Being held accountable for my mischievousness would’ve been consistent with my need for a certain order in my life.
Quite simply, when I misbehaved, I needed punishing. And when I’d been willfully bad (such as when I set paper airplanes on fire in our basement at age 14), nothing so much as a good, sound spanking across my mother’s knee would’ve emphatically closed the book on an episode of juvenile wrongdoing. As it was, I can hardly think of an instance growing up when my naughtiness was memorably punished. I know my troublesome impulsiveness was never spanked out of me.
Much is often disparagingly said about an over-the-knee, bare bottom spanking being a toddler’s punishment, and certainly something profoundly inappropriate for an older girl or boy – but that’s entirely the point. In a family where spanking is understood to be on the table as a wayward action’s unhappy consequence, the choice is always there: the child can either behave or very possibly be spanked.
The anti-spanking zealots delight in misrepresenting spanking as “hitting,” completely ignoring the corrective humbling of measured correction on a growing youngster’s bottom. Would a shy, respectful boy of 14, who’d been raised with occasional spankings, have ever even considered playing so recklessly with matches as I did, alone in the basement of our new home? A good bare bottom spanking would’ve shamed me and stood as a wake-up call to my emotional development. Actions did indeed have consequences…or they ought to have done. For my fiery fun, I never got so much as a single, solitary smack.
I realize times have changed in child rearing. Even threatening to give a young miscreant a bottom warming has been demonized. More’s the pity.
Rennie Gade says
I thoroughly admire and respect your online defense of child spanking, Janine. Your reasoned and restrained responses to some of anti-spanking’s most ill-mannered zealots was especially impressive.
It’s fair to say that spanking is as much a part of who I am as my blood type. Thanks for giving its role in the raising of respectful and responsible children such an eloquent voice.