(Closed) It's official. Spanking is useless. What do you all think?

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 31
Member
8027 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I was spanked exactly 3 times as a child. Once was when I took a marker to the new wallpaper!

I have 2 daughters and I have spanked them a couple times each- an open handed swat on the bottom. Never in anger, never with an object.

Post # 32
Member
839 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I was raised with the vague threat of spanking that I dont think ever resulted in any spankings. I couldnt imagine swatting my kid unless it was to prevent them from being hurt (smacking their hand away from something dangerous, yoinking them back if theyre running into the street etc).

Post # 33
Member
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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mrscali13:  I think spanking definitely has more of a negative outcome when other factors are present, such as children being fearful of their parent or inconsistent, frequent and very hard spanking is happening. But I have to wonder if another form of discipline would have been just as effective with you and your siblings. 

Post # 34
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

View original reply
maritimebride2016:  If your kid is throwing a fit, you reward him with a snack or treat?

Post # 35
Member
728 posts
Busy bee

Just because a parent spanks doesnt mean they don’t communicate with their child or know other forms of punishment. Some children respond to spanking, some might respond better to time outs, or maybe taking away a favorite toy. Spanking does not equal beating the shit out of your child. I was spanked a few times with a belt and I never “feared” my parents for being abusive. I feared doing something wrong which is the point. I will spank my children but that doesn’t mean I wont also discipline them in other ways.

Post # 36
Member
2597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

The myth is that behaviors that adults demonstrate as adults are encoded in their children as a statement of authority–ie, to spank your child affirms your authoritative position over them. This is halfway true, meaning it does exemplify authority, but not specifically to you, the parents. What it means is that the child learns that physical aggression is one way to express authority, and thus, they will be more inclined to use it themselves in situations when they want to dominate someone else (another kid, for example) or reclaim a sense of authority if they feel threatened (so, for example, when a kid hits their teacher). This also goes for other types of extreme behaviors (yelling/shouting, for example). 

I teach JrH/HS, but my colleagues who teach ES are staunchily against spanking because as teachers, what they see is that parents who spank their kids (and yes, there are nuances to how you define ‘spanking’ and the circumstances/frequency with which it’s done), aren’t actually disciplining them, but simply punishing them. Discipline is to teach your child what’s right and what’s wrong and why. Spanking doesn’t actually do that. What it does do is tell the child to do things (or not do them) to avoid pain and fear, rather than to actually change their behavior. And that’s pain and fear coming from ONLY M&D. So, a child who throws toys at their parents when frustrated and gets spanked will learn very quickly not to do that at home in the presence of M&D, but at school, where teachers can’t exercise the same discipline, they will still engage in the behavior–hence why so many teacher friends of mine think the practice is bupkus. 

Spanking in general is one of those things that is either a net-neutral OR detrimental. Never is it positive in terms of raising the child. Given that its highest possibility is to be zero-sum, then the question becomes, why engage in a behavior that is potentially harmful when there are no positive benefits to it, especially if there are more effective ways to discipline a child?

Most of the time, defenders of spanking were people who were spanked themselves and feel that they have grown up to be competent, reasonable, and well-adjusted adults–and that is probably true. I don’t think that spanking has the power to override all of the other parenting choices that one makes, and certainly an involved, loving parent who uses spanking as a form of discipline is unlikely to “ruin” their child as a result of that choice. But, I have to quibble with the fact that such defenders usually seem to believe that spanking is necessary and submit that perhaps they only think so because it was how they were raised, which gives the appearance of necessity. My child is only 3, but I have so far yet to see an occasion in which spanking him has ever been necessary–safety issues and all–and I’ve never heard of a single justification from any parent. 

I’m by no means one of those “Gen X” parents who feels that I should get down on my knees and have a touchy-feely discussion about parental rules and my choices when it comes to discipline, but spanking just makes no sense to me. There is a difference between effective and productive. Subjecting your child physical pain may be effective; it’s never productive, though. 

Post # 37
Member
1739 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I think it would be interesting to see the geography of each poster.  Spanking is soooo common in the south — it’s legal in the schools in both NC and SC (and several other states, although I don’t have the list in front of me).  There are definitely cultural differences at play here.  The vast majority of people I know were spanked (myself included, a few times), with no harm done.   I agree with

View original reply
gingerkitten: that giving a kid a toy or treat to stop a tantrum is going to produce a much worse long term result than a pop on the butt.  Having said that, I do tend to use time outs or other methods with my grandkids, but I know that sometimes it is very difficult to reason with toddlers, in particular, and I do not judge a parent for getting that toddler’s attention with a pop to the butt.

Post # 38
Member
1882 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I was spanked. I didn’t have any negative effects whatsoever… nothing like what the study listed. Definitely no aggression of any kind! But it didn’t really work in any positive way either, I was still a defiant little brat – the punishments that really worked to make me behave were confining me to my room with no toys, not allowing me to go play with my friends, and taking away my precious books. 

Post # 39
Member
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

There will always be a lot of anecdotal accounts of how spanking has not hurt their children or how they were spanked as children and “they turned out fine.”  However, the findings are research based.  You can argue that your grandmother has smoked a pack of cigarettes daily or has drunk an entire bottle of whisky per day and she’s still going strong at age 95, but that doesn’t negate all the evidence regarding smoking and excessive drinking being detrimental to one’s health.  There are plenty of other forms of discipline that can be utilized.  Not spanking doesn’t mean letting kids run wild and providing no correction or discipline.  It just means targeting the behavior and helping kids understand what is expected or not expected with words rather than hands.

Post # 40
Member
1739 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Okay, so this thread motivated me to look up where spanking is legal in schools again.  Here a map, according to Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/19-states-still-allow-corporal-punishment-2014-3).  They note that even in places where it legal, it is becoming less common.  But just the fact that spanking in schools remains legal in these states is interesting on a cultural level.  All the states where it is legal to spank a child in school are conservative states, with the arguable exception of Colorado (which is dichotomous – it has very liberal parts, and very conservative parts).  I’d be curious to see how the map corresponds to the replies on this thread (among the US Bees, of course).

 

Post # 42
Member
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

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secondtimecharm:  I can’t speculate, because we didn’t have another form of punishment; we were spanked. And I don’t feel negatively affected in any way.

Also, we were raised in Southern California (the OC). Definitely not the south.

Post # 43
Member
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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onceuponadream:  I would even argue that isn’t a “spank” I would say that’s an attention getter. That is basically what happened the one time I was “spanked” as a kid. I was probably 3-4 years old and I was standing on the sidewalk with my dad as he talked to a neighbor. Randomly I started to step into the street. And he picked me up by my overalls and swatted my butt and sat me back on the sidewalk. I never went in the street again but I wouldn’t even say that it hurt. It just startled me. I think that’s sort of a different thing. IMO 

I do think my mom tried to hit me a few times and I just remember being really scared of how angry she was. My mom and I have a strained relationship now. My dad and I are best friends. When there was a behavioral issue with me as a kid he sent me to my room. Then he’d come up and sit down and we’d talk about what I did, he’d say he was disappointed or frightened or something. Either because I did something that was unethical or dangerous. And he’d explain to me why lying is bad, or why I shouldn’t leave the house with out telling anyone etc. And I never wanted to to hurt my parents so I just learned what was and wasn’t okay. I would say I am firmly in camp no benefit to spanking. But I don’t have kids yet so who knows. 

Post # 45
Member
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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MelissainNC:  I am from Oregon. I don’t believe in spanking.  I also work in a child abuse assessment center, so I am very close to this issue and have seen instances where parents have completely lost their shit on their child.  I believe spanking is often for parents who want a quick result for negative behaviors, but aren’t always interested in teaching their children the ideas behind not wanted them to do or not do certain things, ie right vs wrong.

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