​Dad Gets Legal Permission to Spank His Son

court ruling gavelA court ruling last week is being seen by some parents as a victory, but it really is anything but. The state Appellate Division found that a Long Island father's spanking of an 8-year-old boy "was a reasonable use of force." This comes after a judge had determined last year that the dad had abused his son "by inflicting excessive corporal punishment."

Allegedly, the dad had spanked the child with an open hand as punishment for cursing while they were at a party in 2012. What's more, according to the court's ruling, "the father and the child returned home from the party, the father repeatedly struck the child with a belt on the buttocks, legs, and arms." If that sounds like a completely unreasonable "use of force" to you, you're not alone, but the dad denied the latter, and apparently, there was insufficient evidence to uphold that charge. But the court's decision to give the dad a pass on this spanking altogether is disconcerting in itself.

The language in itself should send chills up moms' spines: "reasonable use of force." Sounds like an oxymoron, right? How could ANY sort of force inflicted on a child be considered "reasonable"? Do we really still live in a time and place when resorting to physical violence as disciplinary action is A-OK? 

Surely, there were far better ways for this father to send a strong message to his child that cursing was wrong. In fact, perhaps the punishment could have fit the crime, and the two could have used proper language to talk it out. And the child could have learned how to better express his emotions in the future. Instead, the father reacted with "force," and that's supposed to be helpful?

More from The StirAlmost 1/3 of Babies Under 12 Months Old Are Spanked Regularly

At least, according to this court ruling, yes. It was an acceptable "form of discipline," which, "under the circumstances presented here, did not constitute excessive corporal punishment,” the four-judge panel ruled unanimously. Some parents may cheer this decision, believing it's a win for them -- and their children, who will be better off having been exposed to this form of discipline. But others know full well that the ruling simply serves to reinforce antiquated beliefs that do no one -- parent or child -- any good whatsoever.

How do you feel about using corporal punishment to discipline your child?


Image via powerofforever/iStock

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IKnow... IKnow0101

My children are 5 & 7 and I don't spank them. I usually just need a good talking session or lost of a toy. However if a parent feel the need to spank because talking has failed then all means its not my business. I don't believe in using objects only open hand on the behind. As they get older punishment should include household chores. But apparently parents can be arrested for telling their child to wash a dish.

nonmember avatar Jocelyn

With a belt? I would never spank my kids. I won't judge anybody who does or would but it's not something that I agree with.

Elaine Cox

Go outside and get a switch

Jennifer Lynn Leible

I have swatted my kids with a plastic kitchen spoon. They are 9 and 10. They know the punishment for lying but I rarely if ever have to use it.

nonmember avatar r lopez

This type of thinking is what has made the "new generation " thats has been running amuck. .. no respect, a sense of entitlement, spoiled rotten brats! We were all spanked as kids (not abused) and look at us. I raise my kids "old school" and have been praised by many people about how well behaved my kids are. Spanking has apparently done something right because compared to mos of the fit throwing brats i see in public and all their mom does it talk to them... HA! Ridiculous! It no "physical violence ", its called discipline and for the sake of the public who will ave to deal with your kid in the future, please try it.

nonmember avatar Abby24

Honestly it all depends on the parents....I have a 3 year old that I do spank, but would never beat her with belt! There is a line that is drawn when it comes to spanking and taking punishment too far. If you leave marks, you taken it too far! I was spanked as a child and a couple times as a teen (lol) and it never hurt me any!

nonmember avatar daughter12

I'm sorry but I think it is wrong to spank your kids with any type of tool whether it a belt, switch, spoon and paddle. I feel like using a tool is just trying to cause extra pain. Now this should been seen as abuse "And the Minnesota Supreme Court cleared a father who hit his 12-year-old son 36 times on the upper thighs with a wooden paddle, ruling that spanking isn’t necessarily abuse." Most of the time any parent arrested for spanking won't get charged or not even arrested. Everyone says "yes I spank but I don't leave any marks or bruises." Belts cause welts and to me that's a bruise and a mark.

AliPa... AliParker

I would never use an object but I have definitely open handed on the bottom spanked my kids. I agree with r Lopez. Some of the worst kids I have come into contact with are the ones that their parents don't spank. They are usually out of control, entitled, don't really care what mom or dad says and are the ones that argue back. I rarely spank my kids. It is 100% a very last resort in my home.

nonmember avatar daughter12

@r lopez its people like you that ruin debates and discussion like these. You do not live with them so stop assuming they aren't getting spanked. If a child gets spanked for touching a hot stove while young how does it teach them not to have an attitude? If a child gets spanked for throwing a temper tantrum how does it teach them to be respectful to their elders? My point is you people act like a spank cures everything. Unless your going to spank for everything then I suggest you stop praising spanking as why your child is so perfect. How do you know when a child is disrespectful that when they get home they dont get a spanking? How do you know that that child isn't getting spanked? Let's face it! Spanking doesn't have the exact same effect as it did to your generation. Do you know how many people can say the lousy "my child gets compliments everywhere they go." Seriously people, all you guys are doing is believing the stereotypes of kids todays. Yes steroetypes come from somewhere but that is not how every kid and don't tell me that majority of kids are that why because you do not know that.

nonmember avatar daughter12

@aliparker oh wait so they tell you if they do or don't or are you just making assumptions because they cant be spanked because they are rude and talk back? Now this is where I have problems with statesment like yours "I rarely spank and it is 100% the last resort" but yet here you are agreeing with r lopez that more people need to spank and saying the non spanked kids are the worst when you "rarely" use spanking as a punishment. How do advocate for something you barely to do?!? R lopez is saying people who talk and resort to other things before they decide to spank are the ones who adding to this "self entitled" generation so how could you agree with her? I'm really trying to let you people have your opinion but they are so many flaws in your statements that I don't understand how you are saying. I'm not trying to start an arguement but I can't help but respond to comments that don't make sense!

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