Spanking magical? I think not!!!

Found myself on a blog that extols the necessity to spank, something which I am opposed to. Will it scar a child forever in and of itself? Likely not. Will it set a tone and affect the parent child relationship in a negative way? You bet. The following is the commentary I made on the aforementioned blog. I thought it may have more of an impact here on my own blog than lost amongst the pro spanking, bible quoting, "God" said to do it, I wonder what I'm going to do when my child is a teen and too big for me to hit? type folks. So, for what it's worth, the following is what I wrote.

I was in line at a grocery checkout and the woman ahead of me reached for a magazine on the shelf. The young boy with her ducked down and cringed as her arm went by him. At the time my now twenty year old was just reaching toddler stage. It was at this moment I had confirmation that what I’d always believed was true. Hitting a child is wrong, no matter what the circumstances and that it was not something I would ever do to my son. That he would never have to cringe around me or fear that I would hurt him physically. I would be one person for sure that he could always feel safe with. People can argue that spanking is a way of “cultivating character, selflessness, obedience and self-control”, but there’s surely no way to argue that it sets an example of these qualities we so want to instill in our children.

The rest of this post is what I wrote in response to a woman who asks the questions, "So I ask again – how do you keep these negative emotions in check? how do you prevent from yelling at your child in anger? or being sarcastic (something I’m doing a lot more these days)? let alone swatting your child in anger…"

“K, you need to know I’m angry right now because you’re not listening. If you don’t stop what you’re doing right now I am going to take your favorite toy away for a whole day, and I won’t be changing my mind!”

“You know what son/daughter? I made a mistake. I said no too quickly and there’s really no reason why you can’t have another cookie. Sorry.”

“You know what? I think one cookie is enough for today because you’ve been eating lots of junk lately, and I won’t be changing my mind.”

“Wow. I can’t believe I just yelled like that. I’m really sorry. What you did was wrong but it doesn’t mean I should scream at you like that. Now, please just go to your room and I’ll tell when you can come out. What you did/are doing isn’t allowed.”

“If you continue to do that while we’re visiting you’re going to have to sit on my knee and not play with the other kids. Alright, you’re not doing as I asked so come on, you’re sitting on my knee for a bit.”

“We’re going to the grocery store and I’m sorry but you’re going to have to come with me. I know it’s boring and you get hot in your jacket but I’ll shop as quickly as possible. Please don’t ask me for anything because I am not buying any treats today. If you do start bugging me for stuff you won’t have any tv when we get home. Do you understand? Great, now let’s get this stinkin shopping done with sweetie, I love you and I know you can do this.”

All of these instances are obviously applied in an age appropriate manner. Remember though, young children understand plenty more than some people think. Very small children just have to be removed from the “Christmas tree” over and over to somewhere it’s an effort to crawl back from and they’ll tire of it. A firm “nooo” and removing them should be the practice. They’re babies and we took on the responsibility to watch and teach them when we decided to become parents. It’s tiresome but staying patient yet firm and consistent will pay off eventually.

If you are feeling especially grouchy one day for whatever reason, warn your child ahead of time. “Oh wow, I feel very grouchy today. I don’t know why and it’s got nothing to do with you but I just want to warn you I may have less patience than normal.”

And another thing, try and remember how YOU felt when you were a child. It’s the least we can do.


  1. While I agree in principle that it is not a positive interaction when dealing with children, I beg to differ. Each child is an individual and a swat on the butt for those that a simple exchange of logic means little (and they do exist), is a means to grab attention to what is happening.

    I don't believe in spanking, and only spanked my daughter once, I don't believe it is a horrible thing if that is what it takes to get the child's attention. Some kids just don't listen to words, especially when emotionally worked up.

    My parents spanked us, very sparingly - I remember twice in my life - but my mother could use that "mom" look to a T! You knew when you are in trouble.

    I have to disagree with using some word with children of different ages. The words used to explain the issue, and the way they are used, are more important than you know. Children don't understand a lot of the words you use- patience was so confusing to me.

    I think we all must parent as we see fit and as fits with our feelings and behaviors as well as the reactions of the child. There is no handbook.

    An example, I have one nephew who you can't say boo to - he will cry. His younger brother, you practically have to slap him to get his attention at all. He is not a bad kid, just a very hyper and easily distracted one.

    So, each must do what works for them and their child.

    I don't, under any circumstances, believe in beating a child! There is a huge difference.

  2. Hey Lori, yeah I was spanked too.

    I know people will always continue to spank and lots of times it's not beatings. All I can do is put my two cents out there and hope it has an impact on someone.

    I didn't spank and achieved what I set out to do in teaching my son to be a decent, good, law abiding, caring, polite, citizen of this world who knows he was never once hit by his parents and won't likely hit his children if he has them.


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