Moms Too Ashamed to Spank in Public: What Are You Hiding?

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handsDisciplining your child is a necessary part of parenthood. The big debate, however, is how best to do that. As a mother myself, I don't plan to spank my son. Every kid is different and I don't think it's the ideal way to teach his particular personality right from wrong.

That said, I have always believed the choice is up to the parent. Some think it's the only way to keep their kids in line. Who am I to tell them differently? Though, new research may have fans of corporeal punishment rethinking whether spanking is a good idea at all.

Researchers secretly watched parents disciplining their children in public places like parks and restaurants. They found that in 23 percent of the cases, mom or dad resorted to "negative touch" (like hitting, pinching, restraining, or spanking) to get their kids to behave.

More from The Stir: Spanking Isn't the Only Form of Physical Punishment That Should Be Banned

The parents had no idea they were being watched by psychologists and researchers. Though, when parents knew they were being monitored, the way they dealt with an unruly child was completely different. "I have also seen hundreds of kids and their parents in a lab setting, and never once witnessed any of this behavior," said scientist Kathy Stansbury.

The conclusion was that pro-spankers change their behavior when they know they are under the microscope. My question is why? There are no laws against spanking (as long as you don't take things too far, of course). I know some will say they don't want to deal with the nasty looks. But if you really feel you have the right to spank and that you are doing what's best for your child, then why hold back?

There have certainly been a slew of studies suggesting that physical punishment can lead to more aggression in some kids, not to mention horrible long-term effects, like mental illness. Research also shows that "positive touch" (think hugs, pats, gentle guidance) was a more effective way to discipline. In fact, when kids are happier, they were more likely to comply. Perhaps deep down, these once die-hard fans of spanking feel that it's not the best method anymore. If you really thought it was the right thing to do, you would do it no matter where you were or who was watching, wouldn't you?

Would you spank in public? Why or why not?

 

Image via dsearls/Flickr

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cmjaz cmjaz

So far, I've only had to spank my 6 yo once. I think it freaked him out more than anything.

amazz... amazzonia

I give a kick in my daughters butt if she does something bad, I don't care if people sees me, I'm not beating her up, just a kick in the butt...but now she's outsmarting me, when she does something bad and she sees me coming she sits right away so I can't get to her fanny lol

Akash... AkashaGermaine

I do not spank in public to save my daughter the embarrassment. But, that being said, I do not spank unless the offense is a major one. The last spanking she got was for taking of from me in a parking lot because I told her no about something. She knew she was in trouble from minute one and I think the anticipation of the punishment was almost as bad as the swat itself. BTW spankings are always fully clothed with bare hand only; belts, switches, and wooden spoons are abusive IMHO as well as bare skin spankings.

vlk_2012 vlk_2012

I'm all for spanking. My brothers and myself were spanked and the good Lord knows we learned our lesson from it. That being said, I don't mind seeing a child spanked in public for a good reason. Apparently around here, the only thing you get spanked for in front of the world is crying. Moms, your kid is going to cry. Beating his/her ass in front of everyone isn't going to make it stop.


My parents didn't spank us in public unless we messed up big time, but they usually waited until we got home. I seriously doubt gentle patting, hugging (seriously?), or kind words would have solved any problems. Why don't you just give the kid some ice cream for being a little hellion?

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

They don't do it while being watched because they know it's wrong. They might talk the talk and claim they think it's just fine but only the most psychotic people really think it's OK to physically attack a child for not obeying their every command.

vamom08 vamom08

I dont spank in public if my 3 year old plans to get a toy that day if she be bad she isnt allow to get it I think this hurt more than spanking I dont spank anyway I pop her hand but we have the talk before we go anywhere if she be bad she isnt allow to get anything she usually will want a coloring book and markers or a new cup she cant get those items if she misbehave. I know my mom was the parent who will get a belt from the department store and spank me and my sister then go up to the register and say I will pay for it but my mother and I parent different my daughter dont do nothing wrong in her eyes she dont even pop her now but my sister and I got it but it made me appreciate her alot more she was a single mom raising two daughters it was about respect.

keriley1 keriley1

I will do it if really needed. Usually we don't need to in public tho. She is pretty good, I think spanking needs to be reserved for really bad offenses.

nikol... nikolita87

RhondaVeggie, I agree with you. But I will say this. I know some people who spank their children, and they are not afraid to do it in front of others. But the effectiveness is questionable, because in my personal experiences with these people who spank, their children are still absolute brats. So spanking does not guarantee that your child will listen or behave. My husband and I do not spank. I agree that some people might be ashamed to do it publicly, but it's kinda scary to think about what they are willing to do behind closed doors. Not everyone who spanks is an abusive person, but I do think it's easier to cross the line into abuse when you are using physical means of punishment. 

hotrd... hotrdumommy

Could it be that there is an anti-spanker who is ready to call 911 if they saw a parent spanking their child. The last thing a parent who is trying to parent their child needs is a visit from the cops or CPS. Just saying. I will pop my daughter if she cuts up and other non-physical forms of discipline do not work. And I have spanked her in public for running from me in a parking lot where a car was coming.

vamom08 vamom08

I dont spank in public if my 3 year old plans to get a toy that day if she be bad she isnt allow to get it I think this hurt more than spanking I dont spank anyway I pop her hand but we have the talk before we go anywhere if she be bad she isnt allow to get anything she usually will want a coloring book and markers or a new cup she cant get those items if she misbehave. I know my mom was the parent who will get a belt from the department store and spank me and my sister then go up to the register and say I will pay for it but my mother and I parent different my daughter dont do nothing wrong in her eyes she dont even pop her now but my sister and I got it but it made me appreciate her alot more she was a single mom raising two daughters it was about respect.

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