Dragon's picture

Mild physical punishment

Many people say: "don't ever use corporal punishment on a child as it will only teach him fear and that it is okay to use violence to get whatever you want".

I was spanked by my father maybe 3 or 4 times in all my childhood. I remember that I was naughty in each occurence.

I am now 32 years old. I have never assaulted anyone, never stolen anything from anyone and I have never had any dealing with the police.

Please explain to me why in my case the spanking did not result in me believing that I could use violence to get whatever I wanted.

I am not posting this to tease you guys, I just want to understand why so many people fiercely oppose even a mild, last-resort physical punishment to a misbehaving child.


tamz's picture

The reason people oppose physical punishment is because of selfish irresponsible parents. My boy is 8 and he had had two spankings so far. Your hand full of spankings is not what most low intellect parents practice. It's better if people just don't hit children at all than for them to abuse the punishment in anger.

junieg's picture

Can you define spanking, or mild physical punishment to us. Who can state categorically the borderline between "mild physical punishment" and child abuse. Better to use other methods such as distraction, positive reinforcement, and trying to teach your child negotiation and reasoning skills by using them yourself.
Think clearly about the situation you 'spanked' in. Ask yourself if you could have done it differently. Was there a danger to the child, property or another person involved. If not, why was it a problem?
Our nursery encourages 'risky play' as a child has to eventually learn to judge for themselves about the danger of a situation. We let the children adventure, keeping a watchful eye, but never uttering words such as 'be careful'. I have to add that we have very few accidents.

SnglDad's picture

There is nothing wrong with a couple of pops on the bottom. Those who would argue otherwise, are usually the ones with the screaming kids at a restraunt. Corporal punishment is not abuse in the minds of reasonable people.

acitez's picture

Some ceasarean sections are unnecessary. Does that mean that no person should ever have a c-section? Some relationships just plain suck. Does that mean you should avoid relationships?
Some physical punishment is abusive. If you are spanking your kid because it makes you feel better, that is abuse. If you occasionally slap a hand or swat a bum so that your kid will pay attention to the rest of the discipline you administer, then that is not abuse.
Putting a kid in timeout occasionally is advocated by a lot of the experts, but I think that they would agree that this form of discipline can also be abusive, because children fear isolation/abandonment more than they fear physical pain.

Dragon's picture

Thank you for the answers.

Tamz: That is a valid reason. It seems to me, though, that it would be better to be fully honest on this. For example, Sweden banned all corporal punishment in 1979, putting some good parents at risk.

Junieg: I use the same definition as described there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanking
that is, "striking the buttocks three or four times with the open hand".
The situation I was spanked in, as I remember, is that I was being extremely willful and defiant towards my mother or my father. Not sure if the other methods would have worked but this one surely did.

SnglDad and Acitez: I have the same opinion as you.

acitez's picture

I do think that if you are in a professional setting, rather than acting as a legal parent, that physical punishment of any kind is ethically questionable and legally dangerous. The real minefield is if you are in the gray areas. I read on the other spanking thread about an uncle whose out-of-control nephews were messing around with the gas stove. It seems that the boys' parents were not providing a firm hand.

I think that kids (boys and girls) need to understand that there is somebody in the world who is tougher than they are, and wiser than they are. Just think, if you are some wise-acre thirteen year-old, and you have come off victor in every confrontation you have ever had. You would think that you and idiots just like you are the ones that have power. That would be really scary.