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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Phxarcher87's picture

I remember

when i was 5 in the front yard I blind siding my brother and knocked the wind out of him i thought he died at the time because he was just making gowning noises. My grandpa spanked me for it. My grandpa was the best man i ever knew.

James Madison

I was spanked constantly when

I was spanked constantly when I was a kid, apparently I was a little tasmanian devil. Though I don't feel any negatives about it, I'm fine with my parents. It was just culture back in the days that kids was spanked.

It was also 'culture' to beat your wife and own slaves

If you do not hold your parents responsible for abuses inflicted on you, you're simply going to help pass on outdated and immoral cultural practices.

I believe in a partial spank approach

I think as a teacher/parent/authority one puts a child in time-out to teach the pupil to think about his/her actions and associated consequences.

One spanks to communicate fear rather than logic in particular scenarios.

To me the difference is:

A child breaks a rule which does not place him/herself or anyone else in danger - timeout

A child doesn't listen to warnings and engages in behavior which places him/herself or others in danger - Spank


I don't expect a 2, 3, 4-year-old kid to understand fire or traffic... Until they're old enough to be taught to understand it I believe they should be conditioned to fear it.

At their inceptions, the #Liberty, #OccupyWallStreet and #TeaParty movements all had the same basic goal... What happened?

'Places him/herself in danger'

Who's responsibility is it to protect the child from dangers they do not understand? Yours. So if you fail to protect them from what they do not understand, why would you inflict pain on the innocent for your failures?

well that is up to the family.

i do not practice it. I educate and make the best of it. time out works great! when you have kids you dedicated your life patience's and love towards these bundles of joy.

I am all for it! Unfortunately my ex wife

Couldn't get into it......seriously .....spanked my kids.never more then a open hand on the bottom and everyone always comments on how well behaved they are.

Corporal punishment on human children, OH MY

As a rule I would say it is immoral to use force on a helpless child in an ideal world.

Possible exceptions for experienced old school parents and teachers:

1) "The law of the jungle principle", that physical "might makes right", is part of your educational curriculum that must be taught in order to survive in a violent morally dysfunctional world.
Why??? Because you can! You are five times their weight, no contest!

2) Venting ones anger and frustration to teach them a lesson not to piss you off and to always cower to your demands or else.

3) Show them who is the boss. (see exceptions 1 and 2)
After all, if you can't control them they will control you.

and then you die

Doesn't the child and circumstance determine the appropriate

measure of force?

All discipline must be measured and appropriate for each child

A strong-willed child may require a stern penalty while a meek child may not.
For some children, a verbal reprimand can be as effective as blistering their backside.
As for parental discipline:
My mother stopped spanking me when her hand hurt and I urged her to spank harder.
My father stopped punching me when I started to punch back.
Measured and appropriate.

I'm a better man for getting smacked....

....at grade twelve i exited on a Friday night and returned on a Sunday night, my mother woke up and lectured me. I told her to F off. I heard my dad get out of bed and he walked up to me and told me to never talk to my mom like that again. I told him to F off too. He smacked me and i dropped like a log. Since then, I have never cussed my mother.


And no relationship issues with your parents until you were 12, and suddenly you just decided to tell your mother to fuck off? That is not something that just happens.

And by the way, smacking you hard enough to drop you is straight up child abuse. I'm guessing there were plenty of other forms of abuse leading up to that.

By 12 you were a young adult

you were an adult, challenging a larger adult's mate in his own home.

What I've noticed...

...So many people want this NAP type, libertarian, mutually agreeable relationship with their children. They don't want to be parents. They want to be partners.
However, they are not equal partners. Parents have to work to feed the kid, to keep a roof over them, to educate them. They are "enslaved" to their kids for their well being. This is natural. What is unnatural is to be enslaved to their well being, but then give them the freedom of someone whom you have no responsibility for. I don't have to work to feed some random person on the street, thus, I have no control over them.
Kids think their parents were put here to serve them because parents set up their lives that way. The parents don't act like parents, rather they act like servants. They don't rule their children's live, but they allow their children's lives to rule them.
You are required by nature to be enslaved to your child for his well being. You cannot simply "let them live". You have to work for them to make them live. If you do your job but then you don't "force" them to do theirs', then you create a person who feels entitled by the fact that you were enslaved to them for 18 years.
You are your child's dictator. This doesn't mean spanking is the best option, but it does mean that force is logical and moral with your children even though it is immoral against free adult individuals.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

You're 'enslaved' to the child

If you don't hit them? So its the child's fault that you whipped it out or opened your legs? Their existence and dependence on you is not their fault. Try taking some responsibility and interact with them like human beings. You realize that being a dictator is the laziest thing you could possibly do, right?

Who said that?

I certainly didn't say or imply that "you are enslaved to a child if you don't hit them. I said you are enslaved to them regardless of whether you hit them or not. If you do not work for their benefit without pay, they either die, or get taken away from you because you've neglected them. Even the best parents are "enslaved" to their children no matter how they raise them. Don't try to read my words the way you want just to make your own argument sound better. Read them the way they were written.
How you discipline them doesn't change the fact that nature (and man's laws) intend for you to work for their benefit without any compensation. Nature already set it up for you to have a relationship with them which is nowhere near "libertarian". So why do so many here insist that you treat them like a free adult?

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

meekandmild's picture

Proverbs 13:24

Pr 13:24 ¶ He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

Jumping in here, Great Proverb, m & m! Loveth vs. spareth, eh?

Only obvious, just sayin'!

Thanks for posting The Highest Standard these words hold, in days when noble titles speak empty words way too freely, eh!?

Not like our, self-proclaimed, "most-transparent", administration has brought us so far? Right?!

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass


....at grade twelve i exited on a Friday night and returned on Sunday night and my mother woke up and lectured me. I told her to F off. I heard my dad get out of bed and he walked up to me and told me to never talk to my mom like that again. I told him to F off too. He smacked me with his fist and i dropped like a log and I never cussed to my mother ever since. I'm a better adult for that. How does one measure that?

Ron Paul Since 2007

Yes, the rod

is your authority. If you don't use it, it's as if your child were the hooligans walking by your window cussing. You don't have authority over them so guiding them isn't your concern. It's not literal hitting I'm talking about here. This comes from a shepherd society.

Defend Liberty!

Rod of correction...

Doesn't just mean a spanking. It can be another form of discipline too. Spank in love, controlled, measured, only on the buttocks (that's why God didn't put your brain there).

Let your kids know, right up front, what constitutes a spank-able offense ahead of time (disrespect, lying, stealing, outright disobedience). Then, when they do those things, take them to a private place, not in front of others. Calmly explain what they did, and let them know that you won't tolerate the offense. NEVER SPANK IN ANGER!

Spank to sting, but not to injure. You want to tame the will, but not break the spirit. Insist they hold still for their spanking and not throw a major fit (again, what's their countenance...is it rebellious? or repentant?)

Then, after the spanking, hug them, hold them, tell them it's over - they've paid the price. Coach them on how not to get another spanking, "You decide if you ever want to be spanked again son by your actions."

It never hurts to do a double whammy on them, at least once. When they've messed up, take them into the room, put the fear of God in them (as they know they have it coming). Then, when you go into the room, hand them the paddle, lie down on your bed, and tell them that you are going to take their spanking for them (and you probably deserve on anyhow for the failures you've had as a parent, spouse, etc.) Then, MAKE them give you a HARD spanking, even enough to bring tears to your own eyes. If you have a loving and caring relationship with your children, this will make them realize that it's hard for us to spank them too. Oh, by the way, this is what JESUS did for you...he took your spankings to keep you out of hell.

Restore the Foundations - "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?"


I'm not doing that to my kids. Draping it in ritual and borrowing terms from religion doesn't make it right.

Defend Liberty!

For all you opposed to spanking....

....Is it okay to take away their toy as a consequence for their behavior?

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

What I found was

spanking can get to be a short cut for the attention the child is requesting. Everyone child is different, what worked with one didn't work with the other.

In the end, I found that giving my child a minute or two of my attention was enough for him to feel secure and content to go off and play and let me then do my chores.

My second child was mischievous and required me to pay attention and when he was going in the wrong direction I playfully encouraged him in a correct direction. This misdirection worked where spanking him only made him act out.

I loved being a parent and I did best when I threw out the parenting books. A child will look to you for example and he will test your limits. If a parent does not teach his child, someone else will.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Sometimes it's needed

Of course it's a last resort, and it's NEVER something you do if you're not cool headed. But before it's administered spend time explaining why it's going to happen. You are not teaching violence to the child if done in that way.

Young parents have the most difficulty, as they are just learning about how to understand and deal with kids and may not have the patience to exhaust all other options. (besides all the stress in establishing and maintaining a new household - been there done that and made plenty of mistakes) This is where you must be careful, as that will teach them that violence is an acceptable first response.

Your job as a parent is to teach your children to become independent adults who can interact with others well. Being their buddy is not. That comes after they're much older. There is no substitute for patience when disciplining a child.

A well understood spanking teaches better decision making.


I don't spank and I don't punish

I still discipline constantly. Punishment and discipline aren't synonymous. I teach my children what TO do. I tell them to "try again" if they already know, but need to dig a little deeper to remember it. There are a million things TO do without punishing if the focus stays on teaching.

I want my children to develop their intrinsic sense of right and wrong and spanking is entirely about extrinsics. Part of spanking culture is to tell kids that they need to be spanked to develop properly morally. If the kid grows up believing that and doesn't question it early enough in life, he'll think he needs to spank his own kids for them to grow up properly morally. It's about not being able to face that your parents did it when they didn't need to and that's a rough thought, but people need to be brave enough to consider it to end the generational passing down of this practice.

Defend Liberty!

Well put

Well put

NO Spanking!

you are being a very poor role model to your child if you do! I have raised my kids with greatest sucess simply by being a rock of credibility.
1. you have to make some rules, write them down, make a schedule of when, what for whom and how...and make it SIMPLE! Be FAIR! Be Kind!
2.when a child breaks a rule it has to know already in advance what toy will be confiscated or what priviledge will be temorarily suspended.Always do what you say you would! Never argue w. your spouse!
3. in rare occasions you may have to physically contrain a child to transport them or calm them down. Do it as a strong, firm and loving, confident parent, with a smile.
4. you have to be a leader they look up to or they will disrespect and trample over you instead of being guided, feeling protected and inspired.

Gerald Mangold

Not quite.

It has actually been 'remembered' as something individuals have later respected their parents for. How on earth is slapping a child on a fairly fatty and non-sensitive body part, in a controlled manner, as infrequently as you possibly can - portraying the image of a poor role model? There's so much more than the 'spanking' action that goes into play in this ridiculous argument that so many people want to have.

The physical slapping of someone on a fatty, fairly insensitive part of the body, in a controlled manner, reserved for very infrequent, negative situations is not harmful whatsoever.

Some people actually hurt their children. These are unfit to be parents. Some parents are hit by and afraid of their children and refuse to physically discipline them at all - these are unfit to be a parent (mostly because they have let it get to the point where their own child strikes them). Some children will only respond to physical discipline such as spanking. I've had to watch children like this - removing a 'toy' or 'privilege' does absolutely nothing. I'm sure their parents have failed in several ways to lead to such children, but nonetheless, the 'toy taking' has no effect. Then again, some children won't respond to spankings at all. The type of mindset and stableness of the individual can lead to abuse, over-discipline, or complete lack of discipline.

The action itself, though, can very well be effective and harmless. Too many people try to make it seem as though the action itself needs to be debated, but often it's poor parents or 'team parents' on both sides just trying to either make themselves feel better, or win an argument for the team. But the argument at its core, is a failure.