Almost 1/3 of Babies Under 12 Months Old Are Spanked Regularly

babyFor some parents, the question isn't, "should you spank your children?" -- it's "how soon can you start spanking?" The answer made my jaw drop. 30 percent of babies are spanked before they can even walk. Seriously, that's not a typo: 30 percent of babies under the age of one are spanked by a parent at least once a month, according to a study of 2,788 families. Spanking babies ... really, parents? How's that working out for you?

It's probably naive of me to be shocked at how many parents spank their babies. And it's clearly ... wait, hold on here. I have to stop in the middle of writing this post to point out how weird it feels to even write the phrase, "spanking babies." SPANKING! BABIES! This is something people are doing?!? That's so messed up, people. So messed up.

I can't imagine that if you're already spanking a child that young, it's not part of a well thought-out disciplinary program. You're just at your wits' end. You don't know what you're doing. And you're probably out of control yourself.

More from The Stir: Spanking Your Child In Public Makes It Everyone’s Business

Why in the hell parents would do that? According to the researchers, some parents just don't seem to know that there are alternatives to hitting their kids. Which ... okay, I'm digging around for compassion right now but all I'm turning up is exasperation. I guess that's why I never became a social worker.

Well thank goodness for those social workers. “Intervention to reduce or eliminate spanking has the potential to contribute to the well-being of families and children who are at-risk of becoming involved with the (social services) system,” says University of Michigan professor Shawna Lee. Some parents need just need more support -- they need to be shown what else they can do besides spank their children.

I think spanking is ineffective for kids of any age, even if you are thoughtful about it. But spanking very small children, especially babies, is simply abusive. And ultimately it just makes me sad that it's going on at all.

Have you ever seen parents or caretakers spanking a baby or toddler?


Image via Ryan McDonough/Flickr




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nonmember avatar msy

You can't just take those numbers as fact. How many people were asked? Probably not enough to get a true representation of the national average? Where was this survey conducted? Did it involve more than one region? Did they speak to people that currently have children that age or did they include data from people who's children are now grown? This data is probably very skewed. That being said who the hell thinks it OK to hit a baby? Not good parents.

Stephanie Anne-Marie Miracle

i doubt its full on spanking. prob like taps on the hand and such. nothing wrong with that. stop parent shaming. smh.

youth... youthfulsoul

Who the hell spanks an infant? I have managed to raise 4 kids (3 of which are teens) and did it without hitting or spanking.

Todd Vrancic

Babies are not the same as toddlers.

Rando... Randomlady

a tap on the wrist is fine granted they are doing something awful like grabbing for a cup of hot beverage or whatnot but spanking a baby is just wrong.

lovem... lovemyboys8588

I agree spanking babies is wrong ... But toddlers and older children are different. I have a 7 yr old and an 8 month old. My 7 yr old will get his butt spanked if he did something he knows not to be doing. My 8 month old does not because he is a baby and he doesn't know any better yet. Now once he is old enough it will be the same as my older son. If he bits I will smack his mouth. Not had enough to hurt but enough to where he thinks "hey i dont like that maybe i shouldn't do that again" if he doesn't things like hit people or something he knows not to do he will get his but spanked. But that's not how u teach them what they shouldn't do. Before eer start spanking them for doing things u make sure u talk to them n let them know what they did was wrong. Like the first couple times he bites I won't tap his mouth I'll tell him no biting. After that u spank them for it.

lovem... lovemyboys8588

Spanking older children (not babies) is not wrong. As long as u don't go over board. U have to know and realize they are children u don't do it to hurt them u do it to kinda shock them a little into realizing hey that's wrong and mom\dad is serious when they tell me not to do it. I was spanked when I was a kid n I turned out fine. I was never beat ... Jus a little smack on the butt now and then

nonmember avatar Melly

You know how we here about all the violent, horrible things in the news and we think, "what is wrong with people?". I think we've found the answer, teaching babies the way to deal with something is with physical force before they can even understand the situation. Ridiculous. Stop teaching kids the way to solve problems is with violence. Use your brains and words to deal with your kids, and they will grow up to do the same, instead of beating the crap out of people because they don't know how to handle problems.

Frost... FrostyMelted

I'd want to see the study before I bought into the reported numbers and the conclusions. This is a group of researchers who might be biased. 

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