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spanking, child abuse, sad child

If You’re Spanking Your Kids, You’re Parenting All Wrong

by Deborah Cruz

Do you believe in spanking your child as a disciplining technique? Do you spank your kids? I’ve threatened it lots of times. I may have even tapped my daughter’s tush once or twice but it just never felt right. It felt wrong. I’ve written about whether or not you should spank your kids many different times on various different outlets and my opinion has always been that you probably shouldn’t spank your kid but it’s YOUR kid so it’s really up to you. Parenting is a touchy subject and I remember how pissed off people got when I said that cry it out was like abuse. I never truly wanted to offend anyone’s parenting technique; not on purpose. The other day a photo appeared in my FB tread and it’s been sitting with me and bothering me ever since.

spanking , child abuse, bad parenting

Deep down, I think that if you are spanking your child you are a jerk.

You either don’t know how or don’t want to use your words. You’d prefer to get angry, get frustrated and hit rather than dealing with bad behavior and sorting it out. Hey, I get it. I do. I have moments when I would love to spank my girls. Sometimes they behave really badly. They talk back and they don’t listen and sometimes I am just too damn tired to argue and grabbing a belt or a switch would make that all disappear. One good, swift smack would probably stop them out of pure shock and awe.

But as a child who used to get hit often, as in it was the primary source of discipline, I can tell you that your child will fear you. They will not respect you and they will avoid being caught doing bad behavior and lie if they are caught. It is not a deterrent to stop bad behavior. It is a deterrent to being honest with you. Your child will learn to fear you and hate the feeling of fear. Your child will be afraid of you. Your child will not trust you. And you can spin it anyway you like, spanking is not going to get the result you want. It will not teach discipline and promote good behavior, it will make your child afraid to get caught doing something wrong and there is a difference.

If you’re spanking your child for biting their sibling, what kind of sick and twisted, ass backwards message are you sending?

Don’t bite your brother but it’s okay for me to hit you. So, I am here to recant any wishy-washiness that I may have ever led you to believe that I have on the subject of spanking. It is never all right. It is always wrong and if you spank your child, you are most certainly not disciplining them in any meaningful way.

You are teaching them that physical attacks are okay to deal with your anger. You are teaching them that they can’t trust you. You are teaching them that you are mean and angry, that they should fear…not respect you. By spanking your children, you are undermining your own authority. So don’t spank your child. Love your child. Discipline your child when you are calm and thinking clearly because responding to bad behavior when you are angry only leads to bad choices that will inevitably damage your relationship with your child.

Think back to when you were a child, if you were spanked, was the feeling you felt when being spanked fear or respect? I know for me, when I was spanked, it was fear 100% of the time. Not once did I think to myself, wow, I respect my parents so much for sticking to their guns and punishing me with physical pain.

Do you think spanking is an effective form of discipline?

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leighann 2014/02/19 - 10:39 am

we don’t spank. I think that spanking is a form of agression and that parents who spank have lost control of their emotions. there are other ways to disipline a child. Thank you for writing this.

Tracy @ the UnCoordinated Mommy 2014/02/19 - 12:50 pm

I was spanked as a child and I have very mixed feelings about whether or not I should spank my children and how. I am doing lots of soul searching on this lately. But I can confirm as a child who was spanked and as a parent who has spanked that there are two very different kinds of spankings. There is the I am so angry that I am going to spank you to teach you a lesson. This is VERY wrong in my opinion. The second is the if you exhibit bad behavior a then you will get a spanking. This is authoritatively delivered. I am still undecided on this. The biggest problem is that if you spank for negative reinforcement it makes it harder to hold back in the first situation. It can be a slippery slope. Like I said I am still trying to figure this all out, but I am leaning more towards not spanking and have stopped in the meantime.

Lisa 2014/02/19 - 4:14 pm

If I was growing up in today’s world, versus the 70’s when I did grow up, I would have been removed from my home for abuse. I was definitely afraid and lied a lot to my step-mom to avoid getting beat. You are dead on there. I don’t spank my son, not because I think its wrong, it’s because I’ve only ever seen it done in anger and I’m afraid I’d lose control. That being said, my dad spanked me only once and he did it because I behaved in a manner that he did not approve of (justifiable, looking back with adult eyes), and I can tell you that I never ever repeated that behavior again. Who knows? LOL

Brittany 2014/02/21 - 8:01 am

I used to be wishy washy on this for others but I have never believed in spanking. Like you, the more I read and the more time I spend with my kids, I realize that there are much better ways to discipline that help build the relationship between a child and a parent rather than break it down.

Carla 2014/04/30 - 10:56 pm

So your kids talk back and pretty much run over you, definitely sounds like the peaceful parenting thing is working out for you! I was soaked and I don’t fear my mother I respect her, I didn’t have a father growing up, my mom was both parents and I love her even more for it, I respect the fact that she worked her butt off and raised for girls without help! I spank my children when necessary and I also show them more love than discipline! I believe that is the deal breaker, if your discipline but don’t love then your kids only know fear from you because all they receive is negativity, but if your you love and discipline then they know sometimes I get in trouble, but mommy always loves me! It’s called tough love! Sounds like some of you may have been victims of physical abuse and I feel for you, there it’s a line between discipline and abuse, so think about which one is worth the battle! From the end I’m looking at we need concerns ourselves more with physical abuse cause Lord knows there are many cases of it that go unnoticed!

google.com 2014/05/23 - 7:40 am

Very good blog post. I absolutely love this site. Keep writing!

Kris 2014/06/18 - 5:15 am

Hitting someone does not make them respect you, period. And you can say you hit with love, you hit when you’re calm, etc etc etc, but you’re still hitting. And I think in a way, its even worse. You love your child so much, and then when they’re out of line you hit them. So that child grows up, and they do something their partner doesn’t like, and that partner raises a hand to them. You taught them, well you can love someone and hit them when they do something bad.
Why is it okay when they’re kids, but wrong when they’re adults?

Kris 2014/06/18 - 5:20 am

You send a dangerous precedence when you spank your kids. That people that love you hit you when you’re bad. So that’s okay when they’re 3 or 5 or 10. And you do it out of love and so they’ll respect you and others. Because your words aren’t enough.

What happens when they’re 20 and in a relationship, and they do something their partner doesn’t like, however small, and that partner raises a hand to them? What message did you teach them?

You never, ever improve a relationship by laying a hand on a person, ever.

Seeker 2016/12/24 - 5:28 am

The absolute truth is that spanking and love is meant to and must go together, it is a world of false teachings false pride and false shames that has mislead us into accepting otherwise, but the Lord God wants us to come out from this world and to be not a part of it. (Of its ways) Little kids like two to six year old’s absolutely need spankings, it is perfectly natural at that age, far from it being an disaster it absolutely doesn’t have to become one, please allow the following example, five year old has trouble sleeping at night, refuses to go to and/or stay in bed, infantile or childhood hyperness or hyperactivity A bare hand lovingly and patiently applied to a little bare bottom until eventually there are some few little sniffles or tears but nothing terrible really, nothing rushed or done out of anger or with yelling, a child CAN and MUST feel safe even when receiving a loving true age appropriate loving spanking, the parent should allow the child some few little minutes of privacy to word it out of her system but soon follow it up with only tender understanding words, deep hugs and even kisses for the child as any drying tears are sponged away. The truth is that by this time a great peace and calm is overcoming the normal younger child, it is just as if all of the hyperactivity was relived and released when she got lovingly properly spanked without anger, shame or terror. The child found no difficulty in settling down to sleep after that. She will grow up to lovingly spank her own younger child when she grows up because she knows it’s natural does work when done out of love, even if or when the child finds it challenging in the peak of the moment but that shall very quickly pass and become resolved, It really is the kindest way in this imperfect world of inherited sin. It’s only those people who are dead set against spanking who never had a good one done when they were little and needed it.


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