3rd Trimester

Spanking As a Form of Discipline?

I was over at a friend's house recently and twice while I was there my friend slapped her daughter's hand.  I was surprised to see this because I guess I kind of thought most people didn't spank anymore, or if they do, it is generally not done in front of guests.  I also see some posters say they use this as one form of discipline for their child.  Please understand I am not judging.  Every child is different and responds to different things, I know I was spanked on occasion as a child and wasn't emotionally scarred for life.  It will probably never happen in our house, but I have the rare advantage of having been a nanny for many years and then a teacher, so of course spanking was totally out the question and I had to find other ways of curbing unacceptable behavior.  

So I guess my question is, do you think spanking is becoming more common or more accepted again?   

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Re: Spanking As a Form of Discipline?

  • I'm not going to get involved more than to say this: slapping a kid on the hand isn't spanking.

    My mom would flick our hand if we were about to do something dangerous, but that us the extent of slapping that went on.
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  • I agree with RissKay. A smack to the hand =/= spanking.
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  • image RissKay:
    I'm not going to get involved more than to say this: slapping a kid on the hand isn't spanking. My mom would flick our hand if we were about to do something dangerous, but that us the extent of slapping that went on.

    I agree with this. I don't think giving a little slap on the hand is as big of a deal as aggressive spanking. I don't plan on doing anything physical but I got pinched plenty of times when I was acting up and I survived just fine. 

  • I honestly don't know. I would say in my family, spanking/hitting is the norm when it comes to discipline and I didn't really know it wasn't the norm until I was much older. I can't see it becoming *more* popular considering the studies saying that it's actually not an effective form of discipline.

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  • I think if spanking as an open handed swat to the clothed rear end, so a swat to the hand doesn't qualify as spanking to me. As a matter of fact, I tend to see a swat to the hand as a very acceptable way to curb behavior in a young child. I am a fan of the "naughty cushion" in our home, however if my DD does something that could harm her or someone else then a swat to her clothed rear end is used. She has had maybe four "spankings" of this kind in her five years. 

    I was spanked as a child, and I can tell you my mother pulled her hair out trying to find another way to discipline me and the ONLY thing that worked for me was spanking. Now my older brother by five years never once had a spanking in his life. I tend to think that the discipline depends on the child, and though you may head into parenthood swearing up and down that your child will never get a spanking and that you will use the naughty corner, you may have a kid like I was that will change your views. 

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  • I don't think it is, at least in my area, among my peers.  It may be more prevalent in different social circles.   I do know some parents that spank or at least threaten to.   I agree I was spanked an not necessarily scarred from it but at the same time I won't be doing it with my kids.  If I want to teach them the correct way to handle a situation, I try to teach by example.  If I resort to getting physical with someone out of frustration, I feel it teaches them to do the same.  So I try to deal with negative behavior and frustration in a more productive manner. Somedays are easier than others..
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  • I guess I am missing the distinction?  Would spanking be a hit on the bottom and hitting a child's hand would be a smack?  It's an honest question, not snark.
  • image sschwege:
    I guess I am missing the distinction?  Would spanking be a hit on the bottom and hitting a child's hand would be a smack?  It's an honest question, not snark.

    That's how I see it. 

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  • image sschwege:
    I guess I am missing the distinction?  Would spanking be a hit on the bottom and hitting a child's hand would be a smack?  It's an honest question, not snark.

    In my opinion, yes. If you "smack" a child's hand away from an open flame or a hot burner I don't see that as spanking.  

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  • image Chocodoxies:

    image sschwege:
    I guess I am missing the distinction?  Would spanking be a hit on the bottom and hitting a child's hand would be a smack?  It's an honest question, not snark.

    In my opinion, yes. If you "smack" a child's hand away from an open flame or a hot burner I don't see that as spanking.  

    I miss-worded  my post then.  I guess I have always used the word 'spanking' to mean any kind of physical discipline that does not fall under the category of 'abuse'.

    Thanks for the clarification everyone!  Carry on!   

       

  • I don't have a problem with the prudent use of a spank or smack. Sometimes it's necessary. Both my kids walked at 9 months and were running at 10 months. Not quite the age to understand about where they should or shouldn't go. A bottom swat and stern "No!" usually got the message after a few times.

    Is it becoming more common? Hard to say, because I think it's not done in public as much as private.

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  • Personally I think a swift swat on the clothed rear is better than a smack on the hand.  1st: the bones in a toddlers hands are extremely fragile and can easily be broken compared to a swat on the cloth, and sometimes diaper, covered behind where there is also cushion from fat deposits.  2nd: I don't remember where, but I read that smacking a child on the hand can lead to more issues of violence than a swift swat on the rear.  I think it has to do with actually being able to visually see the "act of violence" take place so they are more likely to copy that behavior.
  • I really hope not. People are entitled to raise their kids as they wish, I just don't agree with physical punishment like spanking, slapping, inflicting pain in any way on children.

    There are other ways to discipline.

    EDIT Smacking a child's hand is wrong to me. If they are going to touch something hot I would move them, or take them out of the way, although nothing dangerous or hot should be within their reach in the first place. No need to smack.

    I'm not saying smacking your child's hand is going to cause life long damage but I just think it's wrong.

    EDIT to add, sometimes you can say with certainty that you will never smack or spank your children. I have never believed in it. I have two sons who are now 14 and almost 17 and they have never been thouched in that manner. When this next baby is born there is no way anyone will lay a hand on him or her in that manner. It will not happen and yes, I can say that for sure.

  • image Chocodoxies:
    I think if spanking as an open handed swat to the clothed rear end, so a swat to the hand doesn't qualify as spanking to me. As a matter of fact, I tend to see a swat to the hand as a very acceptable way to curb behavior in a young child. I am a fan of the "naughty cushion" in our home, however if my DD does something that could harm her or someone else then a swat to her clothed rear end is used. She has had maybe four "spankings" of this kind in her five years.nbsp;I was spanked as a child, and I can tell you my mother pulled her hair out trying to find another way to discipline me and the ONLY thing that worked for me was spanking. Now my older brother by five years never once had a spanking in his life. I tend to think that the discipline depends on the child, and though you may head into parenthood swearing up and down that your child will never get a spanking and that you will use the naughty corner, you may have a kid like I was that will change your views.nbsp;


    Exactly all of this! I was the same way, and my sister almost never got spanked.
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  • i think the majority of us were spanked in some form or another

    I think slapping/flicking/hitting ETC of any kind is wrong and doesn't teach kids anything other than its ok to hit someone if they are being bad

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  • image blush64:

    I really hope not. People are entitled to raise their kids as they wish, I just don't agree with physical punishment like spanking, slapping, inflicting pain in any way on children.

    There are other ways to discipline.

    EDIT Smacking a child's hand is wrong to me. If they are going to touch something hot I would move them, or take them out of the way, although nothing dangerous or hot should be within their reach in the first place. No need to smack.

    I'm not saying smacking your child's hand is going to cause life long damage but I just think it's wrong.

    EDIT to add, sometimes you can say with certainty that you will never smack or spank your children. I have never believed in it. I have two sons who are now 14 and almost 17 and they have never been thouched in that manner. When this next baby is born there is no way anyone will lay a hand on him or her in that manner. It will not happen and yes, I can say that for sure.

    Agreed, it might be extreme but my uncle died because he was spanked with a belt when he was a teenager, my parents then had the "sit on your hands policy". I fully intend to enforce the same policy in my home with my children, DH agrees

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  • What I have heard is that any discipline that involves purposely degrading or humiliating a child is counter-productive/harmful.  I think slapping a child's hand away from an open flame, for example, is very different than "go to your room and mommy/daddy's going to come up and spank/slap you" - which I see as potentially scary and degrading to a child.  

    I was spanked a few times and I don't think it really harmed me, but all I remember is the spanking and that it was scary.  I don't remember the particular lesson I learned, if any.  My husband had corporal punishment of the "go pick out a switch from the backyard and you're getting your hide pounded" variety...very harmful, mostly to his relationship with his father.

    I personally hope I find more effective forms of discipline than any kind of spanking...but since we're first-time-parents, I guess we'll see how it goes. 

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  • I am not ever planning on raising a hurtful hand to my child.  I will teach them that hitting is wrong and hurting others is unacceptable behavior.  Why would I hit my child then tell them not to hit others? This is a very touchy subject for parents but this is just my personal parenting philosophy. 

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  • I have friends who have never had to raise their voice to their child, and that is excellent, however when asked about it they themselves were never the child that needed to have a raised voice aimed at them. My brother has two daughters, both are easily disciplined with a stern voice and a firm "no".  My husband was similar in that his mother needed to "reason" with him from a young age. He rejected the idea of "just because" and his mother found that an explanation was important to him. Now me, I was a very head strong and stubborn little girl. Though a time out worked for me on occasion, I was known to run across the pool cover when I couldn't swim, knowing I shouldn't, or play on the roof and other such nonsense. I can attest, without a swat to the butt, I would do it again and again. It was fun, and it was worth the time out, or being sent to my room to do it just one more time. My mother and I have a very close relationship, and I am thankful that she was willing to do what was necessary to keep me safe and help me grow up with boundaries. That is right, I am thankful for her doing what she didn't want to do for my safety. 

    What I am saying is that, though I don't think spankings are ideal, and I use every other option, I do not feel that you are an awful parent if your child was like me. I was a handful and I can admit it. Now, I do not feel that belts, branches, switches, or any other implement are necessary. I don't feel that you should be attempting to "harm" your child, or that the level of pain felt is relative to the action warranting discipline.  An open hand, to a clothed bottom once is enough to get the message across and a quick tap to the back of a hand when reaching for a hot burner is sufficient. I don't feel "fear" should equal into it at all meaning, if you are sending your child to their room to await their doom, I think you are missing the point. 

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  • image RissKay:
    I'm not going to get involved more than to say this: slapping a kid on the hand isn't spanking.

    My mom would flick our hand if we were about to do something dangerous, but that us the extent of slapping that went on.

    This. I also think a swat on the clothed, diapered bottom is different than a swat on a bare bottom or spanking with an object like a spatula, belt, wooden spoon, etc.

    I avoid swatting my kids on the butt whenever possible. But if I ever do it, it's to get their attention, not to hurt them or scare them. 

    ETA: I have never and will never use objects to discipline my children, except the naughty zone (which is a giant ottoman in the corner... that my dog uses as a bed. ;) 

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  • image nk1220:

    I am not ever planning on raising a hurtful hand to my child.  I will teach them that hitting is wrong and hurting others is unacceptable behavior.  Why would I hit my child then tell them not to hit others? This is a very touchy subject for parents but this is just my personal parenting philosophy. 

    This. My SIL was caught hitting my SS with plastic golf clubs and when I asked her why she was hitting him she explained, 'he threw one at me' I was pissed, you don't hit to teach a child not to hit. It's been made very clear she hits him ever again and she won't be allowed around him, at least not without supervision.

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  • I'm a teacher too and obviously I can't spank the children in my care, but they aren't my children. :)  Both DH and I were spanked as kids and we spank (will spank...) in our home.  Most of the children in my care during the day are spanked at home by a parent. 

     

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  • image Chocodoxies:

    I think if spanking as an open handed swat to the clothed rear end, so a swat to the hand doesn't qualify as spanking to me. As a matter of fact, I tend to see a swat to the hand as a very acceptable way to curb behavior in a young child. I am a fan of the "naughty cushion" in our home, however if my DD does something that could harm her or someone else then a swat to her clothed rear end is used. She has had maybe four "spankings" of this kind in her five years. 

    I was spanked as a child, and I can tell you my mother pulled her hair out trying to find another way to discipline me and the ONLY thing that worked for me was spanking. Now my older brother by five years never once had a spanking in his life. I tend to think that the discipline depends on the child, and though you may head into parenthood swearing up and down that your child will never get a spanking and that you will use the naughty corner, you may have a kid like I was that will change your views. 

    This..

  • image sschwege:
    I guess I am missing the distinction?  Would spanking be a hit on the bottom and hitting a child's hand would be a smack?  It's an honest question, not snark.

    OP you're right; hitting a child is unacceptable, no matter what you call it or where on the body it occurs. It is a terrible way to try to discipline a child. I'm sorry, but if that's the best "tool" you can come up with to deal with your children you probably should have thought harder about becoming a parent. I'm totally judging. Go ahead and flame away, I have no *** to give. 

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  • I don't know what most people do as far as discipline to their children.  Most of my friends that live in the area either don't have kids or their kids are grown.  I was not spanked as a child, and I turned out just fine.  I have never smacked DS on the hand or the bottom. 

    I guess I feel like smacking/spanking are things that people do because they can't effectively discipline or handle the situation in other ways. To my mind it shows a lack of understanding how to use natural consequences or effectively use time outs/ time ins or because people run out of patience/ teaching.  I do feel like I am a bit judgmental, but I also am one of those people that never says never, so maybe one day I will spank but it will be at a point where there are no other options. 

  • I don't know if it's more common or not... but I think it's lazy.  I think spanking is for people who have no self-control and are too lazy to discipline their child in a better way.  I'm not saying there aren't times where I'd like to give my DS a smack!  But from being hit myself as a child, I know that all it does is create fear and distrust.  I will never spank - including on the hand. 
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  • I'm all for the old-fashioned discipline.
    Either a small switch off the tree, the belt or the hand.
    My Mom & Dad always used the belt or the hand.

    Even with my dad's brand new leather belt, i'm not emotionally damaged in anyway whatsoever. And that sucker left scars on my rear for weeks.
    I definitely learned my lesson though.
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  • I'm for spanking...I'm not proud of it and don't go around spanking in public (there is a time and place for everything) and I don't spank just to spank- If time out, discussing quietly and every super nanny trick has not worked then I bring in spanking- I never spank if I'm angry or have lost control and I never make them sit in there room waiting for it...

     

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  • image Aprilbaby92:
    I'm all for the old-fashioned discipline.
    Either a small switch off the tree, the belt or the hand.
    My Mom & Dad always used the belt or the hand.

    Even with my dad's brand new leather belt, i'm not emotionally damaged in anyway whatsoever. And that sucker left scars on my rear for weeks.
    I definitely learned my lesson though.

    Please tell me you are kidding. That is child abuse. I feel so sorry for your kids.  

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  • image sadsadie:

    image sschwege:
    I guess I am missing the distinction?  Would spanking be a hit on the bottom and hitting a child's hand would be a smack?  It's an honest question, not snark.

    OP you're right; hitting a child is unacceptable, no matter what you call it or where on the body it occurs. It is a terrible way to try to discipline a child. I'm sorry, but if that's the best "tool" you can come up with to deal with your children you probably should have thought harder about becoming a parent. I'm totally judging. Go ahead and flame away, I have no *** to give. 

     

    Best of luck to you. People will develop an opinion about your parenting style when you're the parent with the kid screaming at you in the grocery store/restaurant/any public place and your threat of naughty time/time out isn't working. 

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