Spanking Your Child In Public Makes It Everyone’s Business

spankingI am one of those moms who doesn't take a hard line when it comes to spanking. It's not how I would ever choose to discipline my own 4-year-old, but I've tried to see both sides of the debate. I have always thought it was a personal choice for each parent and family. That said, I don't think parents should spank their kids in public, especially if they don't want strangers to get involved.

Not long ago, I standing on a subway platform waiting for a train when I noticed a woman swatting the behind of what was probably a 4 or 5-year-old boy. I guess the little guy wasn't acting much better after we boarded because the punishment continued. I'm not going to lie. I completely disapproved. I don't feel comfortable with the notion of spanking your kid in public. That feels like it's more about humiliation than discipline to me.  But I guess my face didn't reflect that because she looked at me and gave that exasperated mom look before saying, "He's a handful." She clearly expected me to sympathize with her. I didn't utter a word. I just turned my head, hoping that passive-aggressive move made it clear that we were not on the same page.

More from The Stir: Mom Arrested for Spanking Son With a Bag of Broken Glass (VIDEO)

Another passenger, however, took a much more direct approach to show her displeasure at the whole scene. "Spanking solves nothing," she chirped as she rolled her eyes. Not surprisingly, it totally set this New York City mom off, who shot back, "mind your own business lady." But doesn't hitting your child in a public place  make it everyone's business who witnessed it?

Let me just say, I don't think she hit the boy very hard. It certainly wasn't excessively violent. In fact, I think the kid was more embarrassed than anything. There are certainly much more violent incidences that occur. One CafeMom member shared a story that happened to her daughter, who was on a drive with a male relative alone. He pulled over the car, took the little girl out, pulled down her pants and underwear and spanked her on the side of the road. The mother was heartbroken that no one jumped in to help her child. To be honest, I am surprised no one did too. It's a natural instinct to try to help a child that someone appears to be mistreating. I don't know the formula for the "right way to spank" or even if there is one, but hitting a child in public invites everyone who sees it to comment on what's happening.

Do you think you have a right to say something when you see a kid being spanked in public?


Image via Ben Husmann/Flickr



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the4m... the4mutts

Nope. Its nobody's business as long as it's a spanking, and not abuse. And anyone with a brain can tell the difference.

nonmember avatar April

Agree with the4mutts. It's no different than if you choose to discipline another way and do it in public, whether it's a swat on the rear, a lecture, whatever.

MamaT... MamaTo2b2g

Um, no. And if you choose to make it your business you'll end up having a lot of business you don't want. Spanking is discipline. Abuse is abuse.

BeckyP. BeckyP.

I don't think you have a right to say something UNLESS you are making a spectacle of yourself which is what I see most often, when it comes to diciplining in public or if it's out of control and going beyond just a "spanking". Then you've MADE it everyone's business. Why you would even choose to spank your child in public boggles me anyway, but that's another issue.

jkm89 jkm89

Of course it's not anyone's business! If the parent is BEATING their child, that's one thing. But a spanking? Keep your pie-hole shut and worry about yourself.

Allis... AllisonWD

20 years ago this conversation wouldn't even be happening.

Sierr... SierraLynn

No, its no ones business other then the parents and the child being punished. Ive had my fair share of people trying to tell me to stop abusing my child. I dont take kindly to people thinking that everything is their business because its "public".

Mommi... MommietoJB

Its not your business unless you witness someone beating their kid up. Spanking to me is a last resort, showing an agressive response to a bad behavior is not teaching the kid anything good.

knitt... knittykitty99

I can't stop you from spanking your child, but it is rude to do so in public.  I don't like my own children exposed to that kind of violence.  I don't swear in public because I know it offends some people.  I think the same shoul be true of spanking.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

So if your kid is running around being obnoxious and you're not disciplining him, then that must be my business to step in too!

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