38 votes

DP Opinion poll on spanking.

I was commenting back and forth with another member about whether or not spanking a child was right or wrong. That other member happens to be from Sweden where spanking was made illegal back in 1979.

To clarify I am not asking if it is OK to abuse a child, such as a right hook to the face, or putting cigarettes out on them, but an open handed swat to the butt in rare circumstances, while keeping your cool, and with a measured amount of force. It happens to be legal where I live, (which is not what I use as a judgement of right and wrong).

The other member cited the non-aggression principal at one point, which I do not think applies fully to someone that is unable to understand their own best interests. We don't let 5 year old kids cast votes, nor do we cut them loose to live on the streets. Without the use of force, many kids would not ever bathe. Adults shouldn't be subjected to a nanny state, but I think kids should be, according to their maturity level/age.

So I am curious about everyone's opinion. If your opinion is one of a parent with practical knowledge of child rearing, as opposed to a single person's theoretical knowledge, I am curious about that too. If you never spank, what are your alternative disciplinary actions? I know my son would exercise civil disobedience if I tried to put his nose in a corner, or if I tried to imprison him in his room for a timeout.

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Didn't make me a better

Didn't make me a better person.

I would have been more responsive to punishment w/loss of a reward or participation in some activity.

Spanking as immediate

Spanking as immediate reaction to egregious acts is acceptable. It is the ritualized brand of spanking replete with trappings, reading of sentence, the capitulation of bending over etc. that I find appalling. Sometimes a kid needs a good pop to get their attention, but the fear the latter practice elicits is damaging.


The connection between the act and the punishment are lost when it is not immediate. And to be honest any kind of punishment that is not performed in a timely manner loses it's effectiveness.

These greens are mixing.

These greens are mixing. Sorry.


You think it's a good idea to strike a child in the "heat of the moment"? Rarely anything done in a fit of emotion/distress is the proper action.

I was raised by a marine corps drill instructor, he was the best dad I could have ever asked for. I rarely received corporal punishment but when I did it was after a long drawn out discussion on why I was going to receive said punishment. No one ever smacked/hit/roughed me up because the "felt like it" or couldn't calm down and sort their thoughts before punishment was laid out. I always knew that their were consequences for my actions and why I deserved correction for said action. I was NEVER beaten or abused, I was always respected as a person thought out the process. I was and still am a VERY strong willed person, and I needed my world shaken at times to get the message through.

I would advise you re-think you "spur of the moment" slapping. Your children shouldn't be gun shy that a hand is going to appear out of nowhere and whack them without first explanation. They shouldn't fear an unseen hand of discipline, you are teaching them that authority can strike you when they wish.

Do you find our legal system cumbersome because the accused get to talk with people about why their being accused and have a chance to present their case to be a ritualized brand of torture. Should the accused just be smacked around by the police and then they would be better citizens?


From dictionary.com

e·gre·gious [ih-gree-juhs, -jee-uhs] Show IPA
extraordinary in some bad way; glaring; flagrant: an egregious mistake; an egregious liar. Synonyms: gross, outrageous, notorious, shocking. Antonyms: tolerable, moderate, minor, unnoticeable.

I think my comment was misconstrued.

'Heat of the moment'

Sounds like an adult without self-control.

I'm sorry. I thought you were

I'm sorry. I thought you were replying to me. The greens are mixing.

No problem

This thread was smoking hot for a few hours.

See above reply to dbw8906

See above reply to dbw8906


You or your parents have anger issues.

Yes. When EGREGIOUS acts are

Yes. When EGREGIOUS acts are taken. See replies above.

I agree with this

sometimes children's actions are so egregious, or they are so defiant that a smack can be OK.

It is not so much for punishment, because it won't work with a strong willed child anyway, but it lets them know that something is very important to you. The " wow Dad freaked out over this, it must be important." message

But if the emotions aren't there, it is domination plain and simple, and has no place in Child rearing.

spank only when regular beatings can't be arranged.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Tough day today. Reading,

Tough day today. Reading, skimming, whatever, then "Pandas are the worst." Had to show my wife. Thanks for getting me to laugh my ass off.

10-15 million more voters need to believe in non-interventionism (liberty) at home and abroad to change America. Minds changed on Syria. Minds changing on privacy. "Printing money" is part of the dialogue. Win minds through focus, strategy.

You are on page 8 of a post on the merits of spanking...

that is a tough day of reading.

Glad I could help your day suck that much less.

Pandacentricism will be our downfall.

Cyril's picture

Ideally, spanking should be very seldom required, IMO.

Ideally, spanking should be very seldom required, IMO.

And past a certain child age (varying) if words aren't enough to convey the values, then the parents are in trouble...

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Son I am dissapoint

I was hoping you, as a European, would take a strong stance against spanking, at any age.

We raised two children to

We raised two children to adulthood, and while we spanked on rare occasions I now regret it and believe it was unnecessary. Thankfully, my two adult children don't seem to hold it against me.

Spanking is most wrong when it is the response of a frustrated parent to a child who has frazzled his last nerve. It is the action if a parent who has lost control of his wits and emotions. It happens to all of us, and if spanking is in your discipline arsenal it is almost a given that at some point you will spank your child in anger, which is not only abuse, it's dangerous. If you are going to be a spanking parent, you'd better damn well have learned how to deal with frustration without resorting to violence.

But even butt taps to keep an infant away from a hot oven burner are, IMO, unnecessary. You're bigger than the kid. Pick him up and move him. When you spank, the kid gets the message that it's okay to hit someone.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

"Spare the rod, spoil the

"Spare the rod, spoil the child".

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds”
-Sam Adams

Sounds like a Proverb out of context.


Free includes debt-free!

I don't think that spanking

I don't think that spanking is wrong by default, but it is just not an effective tool 99% of the time - especially long term. As for the NAP, spanking doesn't violate the NAP any more than capital punishment, so it depends on whether one believes in anarchy or minarchy (I'm using these terms etymologically here). I do think that children are tottaly owed the rights of NAP, but it might manifest itself differently because of the radically different situation of them being unable to rule themselves fully.

I say start with the rule of law at home with things like let the punishment fit the crime. Spanking for everything doesn't teach kids any values except to fear your rule, which may seem to work when they are young because they will learn some form of obedience, but it will not develop any deep understanding of right and wrong, just obedience. When they get older, what will that translate to? "Is this choice right or wrong? Well, what does my authority figure say?" A better form of discipline is restitution. You steal something, you give it back, double; you break something you fix it. Maybe if you hit someone you get spanked, but what does it teach kids if they get spanked for breaking stuff? It teaches them to fear punishment, but doesn't teach them the value of the someone elses property.

Full disclosure: I have three, but they are all under 5, so this is a mixed bag of empiricism and theory.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

People keep saying that

People keep saying that children don't "own the rights of the NAP"... that makes no sense, what so ever.. first of all the NAP is not a right, it is a principle. It is YOU, the parent, who needs to adhere to the NAP, the child has nothing to do with NAP, he/she doesn't understand what the NAP is or what the consequences is of using violence or violent coercion to achieve your goals.

I agree with that. What I

I agree with that. What I mean by "children are totally owed the rights of NAP" is that we owe it to them to give them the rights that come from the NAP, because the same rules should apply to children as adults, and you have the right to not be "aggressed" against because it is right for me not to do so; hence rights of (i.e. flowing from) the NAP.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

That is one way to say the

That is one way to say the same thing :)

I'm glad we agree

But I must stress that to confuse NAP as a right is really just making things... confusing for everyone. NAP is a principle, The right is self-ownership and that with that none can aggress(sp?) upon you without your consent

I'm glad your making

I'm glad your making distinctions between words. Most people are very sloppy with words, but words have meanings and so discussion of ideas cannot occur when people equivocate. Even accidental equivocation is a big problem.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77

NAP in training.

At what age should a child be given responsibility of their autonomy and be introduced to the non-aggression principle.

When can they start learning that their aggression brings resentment or indifference.

At two, they discover the liberty to say No!

Once the tree of liberty sprouts and grows will they have the skills to prune it themselves, as needed.

Sharp tools, like logic and Occam's Razor founded on understanding, producing and caring.

My biggest regret is taking so long to realize I was responsible for a wonderful adventure.

Free includes debt-free!

wolfe's picture

This is a very personal question for me....

to which I have no answer.

I spanked my daughter a few times when she was very young. The correction seemed to work. I abandoned the practice, however, when she responded to it in a way that bothered me. So I decided to never spank her again.

Skip ahead 10 years --

She literally acted out in ways I could not understand. Horrible ways that I had not raised her with and that didn't make sense and that she had never acted like before. Finally, at my wits end, I did try spanking one more time. But by that time, it was a useless gesture.

In the end, today, she is very remorseful for her actions and has become the daughter I raised again.

Children are effectively sociopaths with no concept of consequences. I will not judge others for reasonable spanking, but I won't condone it either. It's a complex question with no specific answer.

Further, it likely depends a great deal on the child. Spanking would not have been effective with me as a child, though my parents did try it once or twice.

Not all questions have definitive answers.

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