New Spanking Law Would Make It Legal for Parents to Leave Kids Black & Blue

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spankingSpanking. It's one of the most divisive issues in the world of parenting. To some, it's abuse. To others, it's the best way to keep a naughty child in line. Personally, my husband and I don't spank our child, but I've always thought it's a personal choice each family has to make. Those who fall in the anti-spanking camp won't like a new law politicians are trying to pass in Kansas. Lawmakers want to legalize harder spanking -- the kind that leaves red marks and bruises.

Right now, child protection laws in the state only allow spankings that don't leave marks. Democratic State Rep Gail Finney has proposed a bill that would legalize 10 types of hand spankings and smacks to use while punishing your child. Parents can also give permission to others to spank their children.

This is a bit extreme, if you ask me. I can't understand why a parent would want to punish their children in a manner that would leave them black and blue. The law does have some safeguards, however. You wouldn't be able to strike a child with a fist, in the head, or with a belt or switch. Still, something that legally protects a parent who leaves bruises on a child just seems so brutal.

It forces the question, what constitutes a spanking and what defines abuse? In my mind, it is those very marks that mean a parent had crossed a line. I would be horrified if one of my son's playmates came over with bruises from a spanking. On the other side, rules about what you can and cannot do may help curtail those parents who already take corporal punishment too far. Still, it's awful to think there will be a law on the books condoning giving your kids bruises and welts.

Finney's goal, however, is a noble one. A mother herself, she hopes the new laws will help restore discipline in families. I can't deny that children are out of control these days -- some children, that is. But does more violent punishment get them in line? Sure, for some, this will work. For others, this may teach them that physical brutality is an appropriate way to solve your problems. That could result in worse behavioral issues.

The bill is up for debate next week and it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Do you think a bill like this is a good thing for parents and kids?


Image via SuperStock/Corbis



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Bruic... Bruickson

I think if you leave a bruise or a welt on your child after a spanking then you are doing it wrong. We rarely spank our daughter but when we have it has never left a mark and we usually reserve spanking for situations that are dangerous. Like the time she tried to run in front of us in a busy parking lot without holding our hand. And I do agree that certain children become more aggressive when they receive a lot of spankings. As far as discipline goes I think that parents should do what works best for their child. In our case that is a mixture of rare spankings and loss of privileges. But NO parent should spank their kids while they are angry.

lulou lulou

I think parents who spank children should always tell them its because they love them and they deserved it.  Then that the child can realize its all their fault and mistake future violent relationships with true love.

the4m... the4mutts

No marks should ever be left on a child. That IS the line between spanking, and abuse. Or it should be. This law is dangerous.

Personally, I have never left a mark on one of my kids, or spanked them on their bare bottoms. I do spank, until they reach an age (about age 5) when other consequences work better.

I just grounded my 10yr old from any video games for a month. For slacking on his school work. And the grounding will only be lifted at month's end, if his grades improve.

Even if you spank, you cant go on doing it forever, and just spanking harder as kids get older. That is violent, and will not work.

Ellen Waltos

I was told by police that my ex could hit our son as hard/wherever he wanted as long as he didn't break any bones or knock him unconscious.


Sirena Robinson

I'm completely opposed to this and I believe whole heartedly in spanking children. When done correctly, with love and restraint, it is an effective form of discipline. This is legalizing forms of abuse. Marks should never be left on a child.

Porce... PorcelainPixels

I do believe that spanking works for some families. But I agree with everyone on the leaving marks issue. Spanking should not leave marks! And once a child can be reasoned with, the spanking needs to stop.

Lucki... Luckicharmz

I personally don't care how you dress it up, abuse is abuse no matter how light the hand. No one deserves to get hit even if the parent thinks it's a "loving respectful lesson"  There are more than enough effective ways to discipline children without putting a hand on them.

Spapi... Spapillion


If there are so many "Effective ways to discipline children without putting a hand on them" Tell me why it is that most children these days are self-entitled brats? You should NEVER leave marks, I do NOT condone that, But let me tell you if my child runs out into the street, you better believe they are getting a swat on their behind! Being gentle all the time with children, makes them think that there are no SEVERE consequences. When a child gets to the point where they ENJOY time-out, something else has to be done!

nonmember avatar Anon

I live in Kansas and I am a kindergarten teacher. Currently corporal punishment is legal under state law. However there are ZERO school districts that allow it. This law wouldn't change that. We just have crazy people running the state right now. It's an awful time to be living in Kansas. I know people have issues with Kathleen Sebelius in her national role but she was a fantastic governor. Sam Brownback is a tea party nut job. Kansas has been in national news quite a bit lately because of him.

bookl... booklover74

Spanking is never the answer. There ate always better ways. Spanking is a quick fix that puts fear not respect into a child.

Children learn best by examples set for them. So many children are "self entitled brats" because they are acting just as the adults around them are. It really is that simple.

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