I Was Spanked, Thank Goodness!


wooden spoonYou've probably heard the news: children disciplined by spanking are happier, better students, more likely to want to go to college, more likely to be charitable, and are generally more successful in life that kids who aren't, according to a new study.

But here's the thing: You have to whack them when they're under 6 years old. If you institute spanking when they're older, they develop behavioral problems.

This explains a lot for me growing up.

My mom's weapon of choice was her favorite wooden spoon. I think I used it last weekend to stir spaghetti sauce when we were over the house for dinner. And you know, all things considered, I think of myself as pretty successful in career, relationship, social status, education ...

I don't remember what age she stopped spanking, but I was still pretty young.

So, it does work!

Seriously, though. I know a lot of parents disagree with spanking. Passionately so. Some view it as a form of child abuse. It's banned in many states, and many countries in Europe.

But I'm sorry. I just can't get riled over it. Spank or don't spank, what's the big deal. So many kids of my generation were spanked, and we didn't think anything of it. And like me, they turned out normal (or as normal as any normal person can be).

I don't spank my kids ... so far there hasn't been a need because they respond pretty well to non-physical forms of punishment, and why hurt my own hand if I don't have to. Not that I haven't been tempted or thought that a good paddle on the butt every once in a while was called for.

All this from a former spanked child who grew up otherwise healthy and happy, and who still loves and shows no resentment whatsoever for my mother. And perhaps the most telling of all, I'm still able to eat spaghetti without flashbacks or panic attacks.

What's your reaction to the news that spanking is actually good for a lot of kids?


Related posts:

Spanking in Public

Spanking Illegal? Another Country Considers a Ban

behavior, discipline, in the news


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mommy... mommyheymommy

I was spanked and use spanking as one disiplinary tool.  I have found that the older my kids get, the fewer spankings they need (and they never got that many before).  I have some great, well rounded kiddos, if I do say so myself.

Peajewel Peajewel

I was spanked and even went to school in and age where you got swats if you didn't listen in school too!  I don't think it is child abuse and think it is crazy that people see it that way.  Sometimes a swat on the butt is the only thing that got my attention when I was running around like a crazed lunatic!  hee hee I do believe that there is a line that you cannot cross and some parents do but that is a whole other story. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

That's not news or a fact.  I can provide studies that show it's quite detrimental.  When the smallest members of our society - tiny children - are the oly ones not protected against physical violence, something is wrong with our culture.

mommy... mommyheymommy

RanaAurora, children are protected against physical violence.  The thing is, a correctly administered spanking is not physical violence.  Something is wrong with our culture, but my belief is that it is caused by parents that don't discipline at all (in any form or fashion) more than those that incorporate spanking.

auror... aurorabunny

I don't understand how spanking isn't physical violence.  It's hitting as punishment.  How is that not physical violence?  I don't get it.

At any rate since this myth seems to be highly perpetrated, I'd just like to say that just because a parent doesn't spank doesn't mean they don't discipline.  I'm pretty strict with my son actually and he has some pretty good manners.  But I don't ever spank him, I don't need to.

Salem... SalemWitchChild

I am the group owner of Moms who Spank so yeah, I spank. I do agree children turn out more humble, hard working, and considerate adults if they've been spanked as ONE form of discipline. There is a line to be crossed into abuse.

sodapple sodapple

i remember one time my dad "spanked" me with a slipper, and boy that hurt, lol, but i don't recall if they spanked me a lot or just a little or not at all, we do it to our daugther but sometimes it is pointless specially if she is wearing something thick considering is winter lol

Pollymom Pollymom

I agree with SalemWitchChild completely.

PDeverit PDeverit

Spirit of the law or letter of the law?: The vast majority of professionals agree that child buttock-battering isn’t healthy. A marginal few (mostly religious fundamentalists as those at Calvin) think that child bottom-slapping is good. They use the same selective literalist interpretation of the Bible as was used to justify “witch”-burning, depraved torture methods for those accused of sin and heresy, slavery, racism, wife-beating, oppression of women and a host of other social ills.

"The much-touted 'biblical argument' in support of corporal punishment is founded upon proof-texting a few isolated passages from Proverbs. Using the same method of selective scripture reading, one could also cite the Bible as an authority for the practice of slavery, adultery, polygamy, incest, suppression of women, executing people who eat pork, and infanticide. The brutal and vindictive practice of corporal punishment cannot be reconciled with the major New Testament themes that teach love and forgiveness and a respect for the sacredness and dignity of children, and which overwhelmingly reject violence and retribution as a means of solving human problems. Would Jesus ever hit a child? NEVER!"
      The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf, United Methodist Clergy (Retired), Hamilton, Indiana.

PDeverit PDeverit

People used to think it was necessary to "spank" adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual assault if  a person over the age of 18 is "spanked", but only if over the age of 18.

For one thing, buttock-battering can vibrate the pudendal nerve, which can lead to sexual arousal. There are multitudinous other physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won't list them all here. One can use the resources I've posted if they want to learn more.

Child bottom-battering/slapping vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child bottom-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

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