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'Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child' Still a Reality

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

The other day, during the school registration process, I heard a great-grandmother telling the tale of how she successfully raised nine children. Most of the parenting advice she dished was outstanding and had to do with setting boundaries and enforcing them, which is, in 2008, probably the trickiest skill for parents to master. And she agreed with Stacey’s take on Monday that timeouts were a relatively useless tool when it came to changing behavior.

But then she let loose with her can’t-miss secret: using the switch once every few months when boundaries were violated.

Given the fierce debate that even timeouts can generate, I would have thought that corporal punishment was something out of another era, a punishment that only great-grandmothers might remember. Then I came across a report out this month from Human Rights Watch that said that more than 200,000 kids in the U.S. received corporal punishment – mostly paddling – during the 2006-2007 school year. That includes nearly 50,000 children in Texas and more than 7 percent of all students in Mississippi. And this, HRW says, is almost certainly a conservative estimate.

The bright side is that most parts of the country – including Virginia, Maryland and the District – ban the procedure, and that most large school districts in the mostly Southern states where it is legal have also eschewed the practice. But it still amazes me that there are any places left in this country where it is a standard part of school policy to mete out beatings to curb discipline problems.

Of course, once you start asking why anyone in their right mind would allow a school principal to hit a child, it leads to the obvious question of why spanking is still a matter of debate. I have no doubt that physical violence can be a very effective short-term way to keep kids in line (though even that is open to debate), but the long-term lesson learned -- that force is an excellent way of getting what you want -- would seem to have disastrous consequences.

There is usually a vocal minority on this issue, so I'll throw the question out there: Are there ever situations where this kind of discipline is acceptable?

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  August 29, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Discipline
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Comments


Brian,

Do you read this blog? Did you read the OB blog, where you were a regular Guest Blogger?
This topic has covered many, many times. There will be no surprises. Are you using a polarizing topic to guarantee a lot of responses?

Posted by: Weird | August 29, 2008 7:17 AM | Report abuse

Correction:

This topic has been covered many, many times.

Posted by: Weird | August 29, 2008 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Oh for goodness sakes. Referring to spanking a child as doling out beatings?? Come on. Spanking is extremely effective when done the right way... i.e. never out of anger. I can't stand how people who are so against discipline automatically leap to spanking = beatings and child abuse.Just like everything else in this world, there is a right way to do it and a wrong way.

We spank our children. We give ourselves a time out if need be before that happens (sending them to their room or somehow removing them and ourselves from the situation), so that it is never done when we are angry. We spank, have a talk with them afterwards about what they did wrong and how they can do it better next time, and always end with a hug and an "I love you". My children are healthy, well-behaved, and know they are loved very much.

Again- spanking does NOT equal "beating" or child abuse.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Mary,

"spank, have a talk with them afterwards about what they did wrong and how they can do it better next time, and always end with a hug and an "I love you".

Let me get this straight:
spank-talk-hug-"I love you".

Sounds like bedroom stuff,who knew? ....take it away, Liz D.

Posted by: Wowie, wow, wow | August 29, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Mary,

"Spanking is extremely effective when done the right way... i.e. never out of anger"

If spanking is so effective, why do you need to do it over and over and over to the same kids?

Posted by: Norman | August 29, 2008 8:04 AM | Report abuse

If a kid is heading towards a hot oven or something else dangerous and a "no" isn't working I have no problem with a smack on the hand to coincide with another "no".

Posted by: Me | August 29, 2008 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Spanking has so many levels that it is almost useless to discuss whether or not it is violence/abuse or simply a correction. Spanking ranges from what Me said about a smack on the hand to literally a beating.

I have no problems with a single smack to stop dangerous behaviour like touching a hot stove or running out into a street. I would rather a smack than a dead or severely injured child.

I have serious issues with the way our parents 'corrected' us. My mom kept wooden spoons in the kitchen for not only cooking but spanking. Many of those spoons were split in half because we were hit so hard that the spoon part broke. It was a lucky day when we were allowed to pick the spoon we got spanked with because a whole spoon hurt a whole lot less than the sharp edge of a broken spoon.

But where do you draw the line between spanking being corrective to spanking being abusive? There is a whole lot of grey area between a smack on the hand or a diaper and a beating.

Posted by: Billie | August 29, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Me - I agree completely. Unfortunately the legion of perfect moms with perfect children that overpopulate this blog will jump all over you for that one. So I'm offering myself up to share their wrath with you.

(Sign on my back says kick me, so go ahead)

Posted by: Me too | August 29, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

we spank for very few things and now that they are older really only for lying. When they were small, we spanked for those things where there was no second chance to get it right (e.g.,running in the street). When meted out in a measured and consistent manner, spanking can be very effective. I'm no fan of the people who smack their kids on the butt every single time they don't listen. As far as the schools is concerned, I never knew anyone who got paddled, but the paddle on the wall and the threat of it was a significant deterrent. The problem in schools is that the kids know that the administration has no hand at all.

Posted by: moxiemom | August 29, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

You hit your kids for the things you hate most about yourself.

"we spank for very few things and now that they are older really only for lying."

Posted by: moxiemom | August 29, 2008 8:27 AM

Posted by: Psych 101 | August 29, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Off topic, to Fred and Frieda: please take care of yourselves! If necessary, get the heck out of town well before the storm. We'll be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers - stay safe.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 29, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

School paddlings are nothing but legalized child abuse. The paddle is a torture device specifically designed to inflict severe pain, and every year there are students that require hospitalization because of massive bruising and even hemmoraging from its use.

Our society doesn't subject our most violent criminals to this kind of punishment. How can we possibly justify its use on our children?

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 29, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't think hitting is the answer to anything, unless you're playing ball. Hitting your children teaches that it's okay to hit people, and you can't expect kids to be able to figure out WHEN it's okay to hit. I just think it's a bad idea all around.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | August 29, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Our society doesn't subject our most violent criminals to this kind of punishment. How can we possibly justify its use on our children?

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 29, 2008 8:50 AM

It's a sheer ego/power thing. What do these parents do when their kids are too big to hit? Abused kids are more likely to abuse others, including their elderly parents.

People who have been harshly judged & excessively shamed as children tend to do the same to others all of their lives. It's a big red flag in relationships.

Posted by: Oh, no | August 29, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Brian -- There is a big difference between a spanking (a swat on the butt) and a beating. Beating is abuse; spanking is discipline.

You folks should read "They F*** You Up" by Oliver James, a noted clinical child psychologist. One reviewer says "If every parent were forced to read it before raising a child, it would do greater good for the happiness and prosperity of this country than anynumber of government initiatives." Yes, this is about how parents f*** up their kids and then wonder why the kid is screwed up.

Posted by: TGIF | August 29, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Men used the same excuses for hitting their wives as they used for their hitting kids....and dogs.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Hello everyone!

We have our hotel reservations made for the middle of Alabama and will be gone if necessary.

On the better side, Frieda finished her radiation treatments yesterday. She is now finished active medical treatment. It has been a tough 9 months as many of y'all who have beaten cancer already know.

Posted by: Fred | August 29, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"Beating is abuse; spanking is discipline."

Spanking isn't discipline, it's punishment. Calling it "discipline" is merely sugar coating the term to justify it use.

Call it anything you want, but if you use the same tactics on an adult against his/her will, the legal term for it is "assault and battery".

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 29, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Frieda! Glad to hear y'all are finally free of the treatment treadmill.

Posted by: Laura | August 29, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Fof4 -- An adult shouldn't have to be disciplined. They should know how to act and to behave. You need to get a kid's attention and until a kid is 18, the parent has control. Or at least should have control. I'm all for corporal punishment when needed.

Posted by: TGIF | August 29, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

fred & frieda, good luck to you.


in answer to brian's question, is there any situation where that type of discipline is acceptable? my answer, no. now my question, why is it that we will take the word of somebody who is older & who has raised a large number children? i guess i can understand the large number of children. they recognize that not all discipline methods work the same on different children. but it seems to me that a lousy parent will be a lousy parent no matter how many children they raise. what's the name of that family that has 16 children? do you think that the mom is a better disciplinarian with 16 than she would have been at 6?

Posted by: quark | August 29, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Norman- They're children. Sometimes it takes more than once for them to learn. The same could be said about timeouts, or any other method of discipline. "If __________ is so effective, then why do you have to do it over and over to the same children?" Think about it.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if someone had spanked Brian he wouldn't have turned out to be such a colossal wuss.......

Posted by: can we spank brian? | August 29, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if someone had spanked Brian he wouldn't have turned out to be such a colossal wuss.......

Posted by: can we spank brian? | August 29, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Opps, that was me that posted links to Frieda's columns. Meant to sign my name.

Today is the 3rd anniversary of Katrina. I am just sitting at home today reflecting on the last few years.

Hi to Brian. Are you settled yet?

Posted by: Fred | August 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

If a kid is heading towards a hot oven or something else dangerous and a "no" isn't working I have no problem with a smack on the hand to coincide with another "no".

Posted by: Me | August 29, 2008 8:05 AM
Why not just grab the hand and hold firmly? If the child is so young that they don't know a hot stove is dangerous you should be able to hold them, etc. Is the idea that you must inflict a physical pain to get your point across? If you can reach a child in time to swat them to stop them you can reach them in time to grab the hand or the child. They will be stopped from doing what they shouldn't be doing (being stopped from desired activity is a punshiment) and your tone of voice will definately show disapproval.

Posted by: jbl | August 29, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Maybe if someone had spanked Brian he wouldn't have turned out to be such a colossal wuss.......

Posted by: can we spank brian? | August 29, 2008 10:14 AM

I'm sure AB would volunteer. I think he likes to spank other men.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Seconding AB's wishes for Frieda and Fred. Take that Creepy Van and get out of town if it looks bad. Glad to hear that Frieda can look forward to recovery now. Keep us posted.

Posted by: anne | August 29, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jbl | August 29, 2008 10:31 AM

This is the kind of ninny on TV wailing when his kid gets hit by a car :" Why oh Why did this happen to my baby? "

Posted by: common sense every time | August 29, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with Fo4. Spanking is ineffective and has no legitimate place in child rearing. There are better ways to get a child's attention. I also don't see why you would spank a kid not in anger. That is just plain weird to me. Inflicting pain out of love is not something that I want to model for my kids.

Posted by: Emily | August 29, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"Sometimes it takes more than once for them to learn. The same could be said about timeouts, or any other method of discipline."

If spanking is no better than any other method of discipline, who go there? Why is it so important to inflict physical pain if it is no more effective than something else, like for example, denying privileges.

Posted by: Emily | August 29, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

"If __________ is so effective, then why do you have to do it over and over to the same children?" Think about it.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 10:10 AM

I prefer not to hit my own flesh and blood.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

You need to get a kid's attention and until a kid is 18, the parent has control. Or at least should have control. I'm all for corporal punishment when needed.

Posted by: TGIF | August 29, 2008 9:55 AM

Norman- They're children. Sometimes it takes more than once for them to learn. . . . Think about it.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 10:10 AM

Yes, parents should have control. Parents who are in charge of their household do not need to commit crimes in order to teach proper conduct. If it would be assault, and barred as illegal, for you to do it to another adult or someone else's child, it should give a parent pause to justify criminality. What you are teaching is, "don't get caught" and "since I'm bigger than you, I get to inflict pain on you" - not exactly the thinking of a model citizen.

Mary - we HAVE thought about using physical force to teach appropriate conduct. After much thought and numerous scientific studies, we aknosledge that the great weight of evidence is that corporal punishment constitutes "abuse" and its use is an indicator the goal isn't to shape kid behavior - it is the product of a lazy mind set on rationalizing ineffective methods. Try that thinking exercise some time. You might be surprised at the results.

Teach your kids that hitting another is okay and don't be surprised when they grow up thinking that hitting, fighting, and using power to cause physical suffering is an appropriate way to get what they want.

Posted by: sasquatch's wife | August 29, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

WOW, history changing election. I'm speechless...

(much better topic than what we've got)

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jbl | August 29, 2008 10:31 AM

This is the kind of ninny on TV wailing when his kid gets hit by a car :" Why oh Why did this happen to my baby? "

Posted by: common sense every time | August 29, 2008 10:40 AM

Those kids are on leashes...another weird sexual thing.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't recall us ever spanking any of our kids, but I can't say I would never do it.

Was I spanked as a child? You bet - whenever I was picking on/beating on a child smaller than myself - like, say, my younger brother - who couldn't defend himself well. Couldn't tell you how many times it was - a few; not a lot. The First Sergeant and the English Teacher generally didn't need to hit anybody to get their attention - they were used to being in control of situations and that came across very, very clearly.

What was the lesson they taught? That you should never pick on someone who is younger/smaller/not able to defend himself. If you do, someone bigger and stronger than you will come in to give you what you deserve. It was very effective, trust me.

Aside: I went to high schools where corporal punishment was used. To be honest, a lot of the clowns who were causing minor disturbances preferred it to some of the other punishments. If you were horsing around, causing problems/damage/getting in a fight, you generally got your choice of a paddling, detention, a parental conference, or suspension depending on how bad it was. A lot of the boys used to choose being paddled because then the punishment was over and done with.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 29, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

If spanking is no better than any other method of discipline, who go there? Why is it so important to inflict physical pain if it is no more effective than something else, like for example, denying privileges.


"Jr. if you run in front of that car no snacks tonite." Gee that makes me feel much better, thanks. What a stupid argument.

Posted by: grow a pair | August 29, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

A lot of the boys used to choose being paddled because then the punishment was over and done with.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 29, 2008 11:26 AM

No, it was the weird sexual thing about paddling...

Did the bad behavior stop? Or did the boys get so used to the pain that they didn't feel it anymore (dehumanization)?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I am all for spanking...at home, by me. Paddling askinny kid with a paddle is assault. I know, I was paddled by a 6ft 4 coach in the ninth grade. I would sue his butt if he did that to my kid.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I wonder which parents get dumped in crappy nursing homes.....

Posted by: ???? | August 29, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

there is a serious difference between spanking and beating and I don't think that can be mentioned enough. Children are not just small adults so talking to them and reasoning that they will correlate the loss of candy or whatever with what they did is expecting a lot. When my son was 2 he ran into the stree exactly once where he was promptly spanked. He never did it again. So, yes, if my kid stays out of the street because he is fearful then I am very o.k. with that. We used time outs with great success for other transgressions.

Finally, sometimes the child needs to behave immediately and you don't have time for a therapy session to discuss why Timmy is misbehaving at church. The is where the time tested ear pull or spock pinch, which with practice can look like a loving hand around the child can work wonders.

All these anti spaking under any circumstances people are the same people whose kids pull everything off the shelves at the grocery or hit their parents while the parents stand around saying "Now, Zachary, its not o.k. to hit mommy" as the kid just goes to town and the rest of us have to listen to this and walk around the mess that they leave behind as well.

Posted by: moxiemom | August 29, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

All these anti spaking under any circumstances people are the same people whose kids pull everything off the shelves at the grocery or hit their parents while the parents stand around saying "Now, Zachary, its not o.k. to hit mommy" as the kid just goes to town and the rest of us have to listen to this and walk around the mess that they leave behind as well.

Posted by: moxiemom | August 29, 2008 12:05 PM

How do you know? Kids that get hit in public also misbehave.

Hitting the kid in church? What's up with that? Can't you run over the rules with the kid before you go to church? Is there something wrong with your kids?

Posted by: Church lady | August 29, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

The First Sergeant and the English Teacher generally didn't need to hit anybody to get their attention - they were used to being in control of situations and that came across very, very clearly.


blah, blah, blah, blah. Here comes the wind........................

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"blah, blah, blah, blah. Here comes the wind........................"

they call the wind Mariah!

(Sarah Palin? What's up with that? Michael Palin, maybe? Seriously, her oldest son enlisted in the Army and will be deployed to Iraq next month. High officials having kids in the line of fire - that's a good thing, IMNSHO.)

Posted by: Mariah | August 29, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

You need to get a kid's attention and until a kid is 18, the parent has control. Or at least should have control. I'm all for corporal punishment when needed.

Posted by: TGIF | August 29, 2008 9:55 AM

Oooh, sexy. Did you find a mate with the same point of view? I'm not into the control thing.....


Posted by: Interesting viewpoint | August 29, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"When my son was 2 he ran into the stree
exactly once where he was promptly spanked. He never did it again."

I've never spanked any of my kids. None of them have ever run into the street. Obviously my parenting technique is better.

The logic for spanking a kid for running into the street is faulty. It's a sign of poor parenting to even let it happen in the first place. I mean, what's up with parents that neglect their kids to the point of extreme danger, then expressing with pride that they spanked the child as a result of their own mistake.

Posted by: Parent Superior | August 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Moxie, with all due respect, I have to differ with you on this one. The key to discipline is consistency, not spanking. I don't necessarily think a swat on the butt is abuse. But I do think it's ineffective. Plenty of parents who hit, spank, and beat are lousy ineffective parents whose kids act up and misbehave chronically. The true is the same for parents who don't spank.

Posted by: Emily | August 29, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"The First Sergeant and the English Teacher generally didn't need to hit anybody to get their attention - they were used to being in control of situations and that came across very, very clearly. "

How to create the most screwed up person on the blog.......

Posted by: teehee | August 29, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

It's just to easy some days.

Posted by: toteehee | August 29, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't get why some of you have such a problem with ArmyBrat. This longtime lurker finds his posts thoughtful and articulate, even if I don't always agree with him. Those of you who belittle him come across to me as jealous, pathetic little nerds. Probably with teeny weenies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Well I'm grumpy with Stacey for not using my hair color topic, but oh well.

I am against spankings/corporal punishment because I believe it teaches that physical reactions/violence is ok. Then when it comes to throwing stuff in the house, hitting siblings, biting kids on the playground, and gets too much- suddenly it's "Don't hit!"

If you say kids don't understand methods other than spanking, you certainly can't expect them to understand why spanking is ok but hitting and biting is not.

Do I think all corporal punishment is abuse? Absolutely not. I think it can be done in a mature, non harmful manner.

But I don't think it's the best choice, the right choice, or the choice of a parent who really understands their options and plans.

I also think we focus too much on this and not enough on the VERBAL abuse that kids get far more often. That can be far more damaging and harmful than any spanking.

Posted by: Liz D | August 29, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't get why some of you have such a problem with ArmyBrat. This longtime lurker finds his posts thoughtful and articulate, even if I don't always agree with him. Those of you who belittle him come across to me as jealous, pathetic little nerds. Probably with teeny weenies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 12:36 PM

It's called the give and take of ideas....
How old are you?
Jealous of WHAT????

Posted by: Huh? | August 29, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Jealous of having hot air, an over inflated sense of self, a dad who was in the military a teacher for a mother.

What am I jealous of? He is annoying. I am allowed to be annoyed with him.

Posted by: Is it still a free country? | August 29, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Our society doesn't subject our most violent criminals to this kind of punishment. How can we possibly justify its use on our children?

Posted by: Father of 4 | August 29, 2008 8:50 AM

Of course our society uses it. Think Gitmo.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Jealous of having hot air, an over inflated sense of self, a dad who was in the military a teacher for a mother.

What am I jealous of? He is annoying. I am allowed to be annoyed with him.

Posted by: Is it still a free country? | August 29, 2008 12:55 PM


Army Brat is sooooo predictable. His insecurity is poorly masked by shallow and immature values (common traits of a braggart). He has no mystery, nor anything new to add to the discussion beyond bragging about his life and slamming the lives of others. Yup, his parents did a great job!

Posted by: Anon | August 29, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think ArmyBrat is predictably practical.

What seems strange to me that there seems to be someone out there constantly pressing the f5 key to see him post, then responding as soon as possible with an insult. And worse, the insults aren't even creative, clever norhumorous.

Maybe I'm expecting too much from anonymous trols, but I really think they can do better.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 29, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Maybe I'm expecting too much from anonymous trols, but I really think they can do better.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 29, 2008 1:30 PM

Do better? Like making sleazy, inappropriate remarks about young girls? Begging for a loan on the OB blog?

Is that the booze talking?

Posted by: Sober troll | August 29, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

church lady - absolutely I advocate beating the daylights out of kids in church - makes it easier for the dogma to soak in if they are a little addled. Re-read my post.

Parent superior - unless you leash your child, which I happen to find demeaning and dehumanizing, then your child is likely to make run for it at some point. Any parent who parents "so perfectly" that their child never makes a mistake has simply shut their child down. We all make mistakes, kids and adults too.

Finally, there is a huge difference between just hitting a child every time they don't mind or hitting them out of anger and spanking them in a measured, non angry fashion to reinforce an important lesson especially when they are too young to get the logic of the lesson.

Emily, I guess we can agree to disagree, but I will say that I feel this idea that children should never be spanked is reflective of a greater lack of discipline in our society and a yearning on the part of parents to be friends with their children and avoid all unplesantness. It is my experience that most parents who refuse under any circumstances to spank are short on all kinds of discipline. My two cents.

Posted by: Moxiemom | August 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Liz D.:"I am against spankings/corporal punishment because I believe it teaches that physical reactions/violence is ok."

In my case I don't believe this is true. It taught me that the response to physical violence against a smaller, weaker person would be punishment from a larger, stronger person - letting me learn the lesson "don't do that" fairly quickly.

More effective than "you hurt your brother so no TV today for you" would have been."

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 29, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

oh, and leave Army Brat alone. He's a good dude and at least he has the courage to use a consistent screen name and not call people names like 5 year olds who, by the way, could use a spanking.

Posted by: moxiemom | August 29, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"predictably practical"

And that's bad because???

Posted by: Just wondering | August 29, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

It is my experience that most parents who refuse under any circumstances to spank are short on all kinds of discipline. My two cents.

Posted by: Moxiemom | August 29, 2008 1:48 PM

You need to get out of the house more...
Don't you know any adults who weren't spanked and "turned out ok"? The few peers of mine who were spanked by their parents came from homes where the parents were stubborn and lacked character - brutes.

Posted by: Hard to believe | August 29, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

oh, and leave Army Brat alone. He's a good dude and at least he has the courage to use a consistent screen name and not call people names like 5 year olds who, by the way, could use a spanking.

Posted by: moxiemom | August 29, 2008 1:50 PM

Courage on the Net???????????

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

moxiemom,

"oh, and leave Army Brat alone. He's a good dude and at least he has the courage to use a consistent screen name "

How do you know?

Posted by: Biblio | August 29, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

My word! You bloggers are just rude people, attacking me for absolutely NO reason. I won't address how horrible the comments made about me were. Just know that I will show them to my DH.

On that note, why don't we change the topic to people who are good and gentle and nice celebrities?

Posted by: Nancy | August 29, 2008 2:29 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I guess one of my main reasons for not believing in corporal punishment (whether that be a smack on the butt or something more severe) is that I think that it can get out of hand, and often does get out of hand, and become excessive and abusive. Where does one draw the line between punishment and abuse when it comes to inflicting physical pain? It is a slippery slope that I just don't want to travel. I have seen too many bad examples of corporal punishment gone bad. Also, if you think leashing is demeaning and dehumanizing, how is hitting, smacking, pinching or what have you any better.

Children deserve better.

Posted by: Emily | August 29, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Todd Palin was born in the western Alaska town of Dillingham to Jim Palin and Blanche Kallstrom, who is a quarter Yu'pik Eskimo. He met Sarah Heath at a high school basketball game and they eloped in 1988, six years after graduation, to avoid having to pay for a wedding.

"We had a bad fishing year that year, so we didn't have any money," Todd Palin said. "So we decided to spend 35 bucks and go down to the courthouse."

At home, Palin takes care of the cooking, the bills and other domestic paperwork, in addition to driving the kids to extracurricular activities like basketball and soccer, according to his wife. He divides much of his time between Wasilla, where Track is recovering from shoulder surgery, and the capital in Juneau, where the Palin daughters are in school.

"He can go on just an hour or two of sleep a night. He says, 'I can sleep when I die,' " said Sarah Palin. "There is no way I could have done this job without his tremendous contributions to the home life. He's able to keep it organized, like a well-oiled machine."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 29, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

hard to believe - guess what that means? we had different experiences?

Emily, I get what you are saying and certainly I can only speak for myself, but I guess you'd have to see the way we do it and let me reiterate I can count on one hand the number of times my kids have been spanked, but it is never out of anger and includes a discussion about why it is happening. Leashing in my opinion and in my experience (hard to believe) leads to people treating their kids like dogs and not interacting with them in a respectful way (e.g., tugging on the leash when they want to move) and talking to them without looking at them.

Posted by: Moxiemom | August 29, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Fred, glad to hear that Frieda is finished with the chemo and is doing well. That's great news! I'm glad you two have plans and a place to stay when the weather gets bad. Leave early and stay safe!

Posted by: Lynne | August 29, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

AB, love your comment about how it taught you to not pick on people smaller than you were. The last time I got caught biting someone, my mom grabbed my arm on the spot and bit it hard (there was no bruise or broken skin, but you could see teeth marks). I was shocked! But I NEVER bit anyone again. Not only that, but my sisters saw that and never did it again, either.

The sort of corporal punishment I'm against is the "wait until your father gets home" kind, where the paddle is waiting on your pillow when you come home from school. It seems kind of creepy to me to let your child know that you have been planning all day on administering a paddling, then making them wait for it as well. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by: OldBAM | August 29, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Well, I was the person who raised the bolting-into-the-busy-street situation on the timeout topic earlier this week.

It happened. The kid was 15 months old, and I was holding his hand, not ignoring/neglecting him, as someone above suggested. He slipped his hand out of mine and bolted, and I practically tackled him as he jumped off the curb. At that tender age, he didn't have the language skills to understand the danger he was in.

So, he got a good loud *POP* on his little diapered bottom. Big scary noise, no pain (didn't hurt my hand either), but it made a tremendous impression, and he never did it again.

It's been a couple of years since we had a conversation about it - he's 16 - but he said he still remembered. I think it made the impression that it did with him because of the rarity of getting spanked in our family.

Yeah, I think *extremely* limited spanking is justified when the letting the kid experience the natural consequences of his misbehavior could be lethal - otherwise, I prefer to let my kids take the consequences and learn from their experience why I told them not to do it in the first place.

Posted by: Sue | August 29, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

AB, love your comment about how it taught you to not pick on people smaller than you were.

Posted by: OldBAM | August 29, 2008 3:04 PM

AB doesn't pick on people smaller than him? How about when he was slamming his brother's ex-wife on the OB while she was DYING OF CANCER???

Posted by: Really confused | August 29, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Emily. She's another one that I find predictably practical. It's not a bad thing.

A few other thoughts:
1 If corporal punishment is to be consistent, then if your child acts up in public and "needs" (so to speak) to be punished for an infraction of the rules, it really does make a bad scene. Inflicting pain on a child while he/her cries is ugly.

2. How can anybody hit a child without being angry in the first place? I think for those who choose to spank their children are acting on their own emotions rather than the best interest of the kid - frustration relief.

3
Q: . What's more annoying than an adult negotiating and pleading with their kid to behave?
A: An adult constantly threatening to punish their child if they keep misbehaving. Maybe not worse, but on the same level.

4. the most cooperative, well balanced kids I've known are products of parents who work with their kids, pay attention to them, and treat them with courtesy, kindness and respect. Parenting by harsh punishment is completely absent from their family atmosphere.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | August 29, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

How about when he was slamming his brother's ex-wife on the OB while she was DYING OF CANCER???

Posted by: Really confused | August 29, 2008 3:09 PM

Someone's way too interested in Army Brat here.

Really confused, what an appropriate name, even though you probably didn't think it out. Don't worry, the men in the white coats with nets will be pulling up into your driveway in a few minutes. If you go peacefully you won't get hurt.

Posted by: stalker alert | August 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Moxie,
I understand your point.

I do think that a lot of us see spanking, etc. through the lens of our own experiences. So if we grew up with spanking as a pretty benign punishment, we might not see anything wrong with it under certain circumstances (as you describe). Others might see it as the only effective solution. Still, others who experienced physical punishments of the more extreme variety, might be so put off by it that they can't justify it. And sometimes, people who were abused end up repeating the cycle themselves. It is really a very complicated thing to come to grips with, and everyone has a different nuance to add to it.

My sense is that if you don't think it's right for you, you probably shouldn't do it.

Posted by: Emily | August 29, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"Someone's way too interested in Army Brat here.

Posted by: stalker alert | August 29, 2008 3:39 PM "

More like a much, much better memory....

"Really confused, what an appropriate name, even though you probably didn't think it out.
Posted by: stalker alert | August 29, 2008 3:39 PM "

Um, it's called irony.......think it out.

Posted by: Really confused | August 29, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Fred (and others) -- Yup, I think I'm finally settled in here among the cornfields. Thanks for asking!

Posted by: Brian Reid | August 29, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse

In my experience, it is more effective than any other method of discipline. It may take a couple of times, but if you do it right, you have a well-behaved child. Again- there is a HUGE difference between spanking and "beating". The poster who related the wooden spoon story? Yes, that's going too far, in my opinion.
I was spanked as a child, and I'm glad I was. I agree with moxiemom, the parents that I see that are completely against spanking are usually light on any other forms of discipline, as well.

I just really don't like that all of us who choose to spank our children are constantly made out to be violent, child-abusing horrible parents. Not true.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"I just really don't like that all of us who choose to spank our children are constantly made out to be violent, child-abusing horrible parents. Not true."

Then you shouldn't be so quick to judge parents who don't spank as being lax on discipline of any kind. This is not true either.

Posted by: Emily | August 29, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

AB doesn't pick on people smaller than him? How about when he was slamming his brother's ex-wife on the OB while she was DYING OF CANCER???

Posted by: Really confused | August 29, 2008 3:09 PM

I thought she wasn't on that blog. If she was, then yes, he was picking on her. OTOH, if she wasn't, then he was talking about her behind her back... sort of, anyway, since none of the people he was talking to knew her.

But if his remarks weren't made *to* her, I don't see how that could be construed as picking on her.

Posted by: Sue | August 29, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"Then you shouldn't be so quick to judge parents who don't spank as being lax on discipline of any kind. This is not true either."

That was simply my opinion, based on my own personal experiences.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"I just really don't like that all of us who choose to spank our children are constantly made out to be violent, child-abusing horrible parents. Not true."

Then you shouldn't be so quick to judge parents who don't spank as being lax on discipline of any kind. This is not true either."

That was simply my opinion, based on my own personal experiences.

Posted by: Mary | August 29, 2008 6:35 PM

Then your opinion is insulting and your personal experiences are inadequate. As I am certain you've discovered, opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has them. Only some are valid. If you don't like sweeping generalizations that have no basis in reality, don't furnish them.

Posted by: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary | August 30, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

fr Mary:

>...We spank, have a talk with them afterwards about what they did wrong and how they can do it better next time, and always end with a hug and an "I love you". My children are healthy, well-behaved, and know they are loved very much.

Again- spanking does NOT equal "beating" or child abuse.

It most certainly DOES equal BEATING AND CHILD ABUSE. Get a clue, and grow UP. Get help. Would YOU want someone bigger than YOU to BEAT you???? No, you wouldn't. It's assault.

Loving a child does NOT allow you to BEAT them.

Posted by: Alex | September 1, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

to ALEX:

Do you ALWAYS type LIKE this? shut THE hell Up!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 3, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

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