To Spank or Not To Spank

Angry mobs are going to line up to spank me. I will get in trouble for this one y’all. But sometimes you gotta stand up and say what everyone else is thinking.

Pro or Anti spanking advocates are often inflexible on their position.

I’m a born and bred Southerner. I wasn’t beaten as a child, but I did earn my fair share of spankings.

I find it interesting that in the South spanking is more accepted. Yet in other countries spanking has been outlawed altogether.

Dr. Spock began changing the attitudes of parents toward spanking their children in 1946.

Spanking Defined

Understand that in this article I am speaking of spanking. Any obvious abuse, leaving marks on a child or striking your child in anger is not acceptable for anyone.

We have to define spanking, what it is and what it isn’t.

Spanking isn’t something to be used to let your child know how upset you are. Your words can do that.

Spanking is an extreme form of correction to be used sparingly and with great responsibility. Spanking is usually only effective from the ages of 2-6.

Spanking isn’t to be used as your ‘go to’ when correcting your child’s behavior.

Spanking is the top of the pyramid, the most rarely used recourse when correcting your child’s behavior.

Discipline Decisions

Deciding how to discipline or correct your child is a very personal issue, and one that should be carefully considered.

There are limits that must be adhered to when choosing an acceptable form of correction for your children.

There are limits when using any form of discipline. You wouldn’t leave your 3 year old in time out for 2 hours would you?

So why is spanking such a hot topic?

Spanking because you were spanked

Spanking is something that most people 30+ have experienced as children. Unfortunately (in that group) a large amount of us were not just corrected, often we were spanked in a way that is unacceptable.

We were spanked in anger, with tools intended to inflict harm, or simply hit because we were near and our parents were angry.

I roll my eyes when I hear “I was spanked and turned out okay”. I don’t know about you, but I have never wanted my child to turn out just okay.

I want them to become exceptional, well rounded members of society. That’s the reason I reject this reasoning when moms use it to explain their decision to spank their child.

Spanking as an extreme measure

A parent who chooses to spank and does so properly will not employ that method of correction often.

Spanking done properly is a last resort. Something that is thought out well in advance, and is done after other methods have been tried and failed.

There are some children who should never be spanked – children who are sensitive to correction for example should never be spanked. If your child is sensitive to any correction given will be able to correct their behavior with less extreme measures.

I Spank

With that in mind I will say that I have spanked my children.

There are many rules in our house about spanking. One of which is that it is only used when our children have not self corrected after doing something harmful to living creatures, or after other forms of correction have failed and an extreme behavior continues.

For example my daughter got a spanking for pulling the dog around by the tail. She was 4 years old, and well aware of our family rule that we do not hurt animals.

Before we spanked her we tried everything else to get her to stop. We took away toys, used time out, talked about how animals felt when they were happy and when they were sad.

None of this made an impact, so I took her aside privately and she got 2 swats on her blue jean clad bottom with my hand. We NEVER spank with anything other than our hands.

In that case she needed to see that I was serious enough about the treatment of our family pet that she got a correction that I rarely employ. She has yet to pull the dog’s tail again.

Any form of correction can constitute abuse when administered incorrectly.

Spanking is an effective form of correcting a child’s behavior when used correctly and with well thought out guidelines.

Do you spank your child? Why did you make the choice to spank or not spank your child?

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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2 thoughts on “To Spank or Not To Spank

  1. I think you have just the right approach and mindset to spanking, and the same that my mom had, including the age range.

    Under the perameters and consideration you’ve described, I am for spanking, but I did not spank my daughter when she was younger (she’s 8 now and too old) because her dad doesn’t believe in it at all. He and I are divorced and I never wanted to give him any ammunition to make life difficult for me and come between me and my daughter over it, so I didn’t. I believe that when spanking is used sparingly and as a last resort, as you stated, and yes ONLY with the hand and not to inflict marks or any harm beyond the sting a spank leaves, it’s acceptable.

    I was spanked as a young child, and yet I don’t even remember these times, so I know I had to have been young, it had to have been sparingly, and it couldn’t have done any real damage to my psyche because I have no memory that has lasted from it. I must have learned whatever I was supposed to learn from it though, because I don’t run across the street without looking, stick my hand on hot burners on the stove (or at all, really, lol), or what have you.

    I will also say, though, that any form of punishment, as you said, can take the form of abuse and can be misused. As I got older my mom found ways to inflict damage with her words, and that’s what really stuck over time, or some random other violent things she did every now and then out of nowhere like backing me into a corner while yelling in my face. Those were the times that were completely unpredictable, and weren’t really effectively “punishing” or “teaching” me anything, and were at times when we were disagreeing, but there was no disrespect or disobedience. She simply did not like that I disagreed with her and was expressing it at all/why. It’s possible to abuse and do damage other ways, too, and parents need to be mindful of that. A lot of the long-term damage my mom did was actually in my teenage years/when I still lived at home during college even, and wasn’t even a minor anymore.

    1. Thank you Emily. I am sorry you had to endure those things. I do pray that it has helped you to be more mindful in how you speak to your daughter. We sometimes forget how much words can hurt

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