Five Decades of Research Confirms: Spanking Produces Similar Outcomes in Children as Physical Abuse.

In the opening paragraph of the University of Texas article outlining, “the most complete analysis to date of the outcomes associated with spanking,” it states that: “The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by experts at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan.” Of all parenting topics I write about and raise awareness to, spanking is, by far, one of the, if not THE most controversial ones. People put a lot of energy into defending their right to hit their child. What they have forgotten is their impact. Children learn what they live. If you cannot control your hand and temper in times of frustration and high sensation, then you cannot and should not expect such from your child.

According to this research, “The more [they] were spanked, the more likely they were to exhibit anti-social behavior and to experience mental health problems. They were also more likely to support physical punishment for their own children, which highlights one of the key ways that attitudes toward physical punishment are passed from generation to generation.” When I speak out against hitting children, I often get the comment, “But look at you. You were spanked and you turned out fine.” Fine. I cringe everytime someone uses the word “FINE” to justify harmful actions being carried out on them or their child. But look at us! We’re all FINE! I AM NOT FINE. I grew up and still deal with anxiety (mental health problems). Making eye contact with another human can be excruciating (anti-social). I have hit and physically attacked my partners in the past. Not fine. If by fine you mean functionable in a trauma based society, then yes, we are fine. People get raped, too, and can still have relationships, kids and go to work everyday, but those things are no measure of “fine.” Behaviors we often believe to be totally normal human behavior, are not. It is the result of being raised in a society who promotes and carries out disconnected parenting. For one, F.I.N.E is a great acronym for “Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.” Ask almost anyone how they are and if they insist they are “fine!” I can almost assure you they are not fine. Because if you are fine, like truly fine, then you don’t use the word fine to describe how you are. Think about it. If someone asks how you are and you are feeling good, do you say, “I’m fine?” Fine is a word of settling. Fine is deflection. Fine is, “I am fine but not really and I don’t want to tell you how I really feel so I am fine.” People, we don’t want to be fine. In this society, what is fine, what is normal in many cases, is actually fucked up. We are fine because we are not feeling, because we were taught that feelings were bad. We are fine because we are all walking around as half versions of ourselves because our authentic expressions were spanked out of us. Jiddu Krishnamurti says, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Fine simply means you have adjusted to a society who primarily believes that hitting children is an acceptable and even necessary form of discipline. You are not fine for being hit and neither am I. There is a reason spanking has been banned in 52 countries. With this new research we now know what these countries have known all along. That, “spanking is linked with the same negative child outcomes as abuse, just to a slightly lesser degree.” Spanking has nothing to do with the child and everything to do with the adult’s inability to hold the uncomfortable sensation being triggered by their child, and hitting is how they dissapate the sensation. Spanking reflects your lack of self control. The very thing you are trying to teach your child to have, you are inadvertently teaching them the opposite, which is also confirmed in this reasearch. To read the full analysis of this research, CLICK HERE. And if you lack the skills to parent your child without using physical force, then please read the works of people like Janet Lansbury and Laura Markham. Finally, take responsibility of your own emotional state, but don’t take it out on your child.


 

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58 Comments

  1. Thanks for your post on this highly divisive issue. I am surprised the number of apologist that come out to defend spanking every time it comes up. There seems to be an emotional protection that arises in order to defend the parents that spanked them or perhaps the guilt felt spanking their own children. People don’t want to be seen as bad parents so they seem to double down to defend spanking whenever it comes up. Thanks for being brave enough to talk about it, I am sure you will get a lot of angry responses.

      1. Am I missing something then? You provide 4 links, 2 of which link to an article that basically says the same thing as your article and the other two link to Amazon to buy parenting books. The article you link to also purports to link to research data but when that is viewed there is only what looks like a paragraph long synopsis of perhaps a research paper but that still isn’t clear and the data it mentions is of little use. If we’re going to argue against spanking then we’re going to need the actual data on the conditions that this experiment underwent.

    1. Matthew, I don’t think most of us need research and facts to figure out that spanking is a negative and harmful way to teach kids what they need to learn. Just use common sense, and I think the universe will give you the answers you are looking for.

  2. Hillary and Trump are “divicive”.

    I would think those with more money and a higher IQ would NOT “do Santa Clause!”

    It is us poor who have to “invent” some sort of HOPE in our lives to survive each day!

  3. While I understand the results from this article, having coached many many many kids, I dont 100% agree. I watch kids control their parents, yell at their parents, demand and throw tempers who have never been spanked. Then I see kids who are spanked, not regularly, but when they are beyond listening and they listen and respect those around them. I dont see a problem with spanking as long as it is only used as a last resort and not the go to punishment. Like everything, moderation is key. I do feel that no parent should spank a kid while angry. I often remember my dad crying while spanking me, because he didnt like doing it. I respect him now for it. I also feel every study should be taken with considerations but not hard found truth as they are quite often flawed.

    1. That’s all very normal childhood behavior. It’s all about how you handle it. Kids are not being bad when they do those things. They’re having a hard time and it’s your job as a parent to help them, not hurt them. Why do parents take these behaviors so personally? Very childish.

      1. It called operate conditioning. When a child acts appropriately you reward them, when they do not you punish them. simple. Not ALL children respond to time out. Yes this method should always be utilized first, but when this method has no effect you must use another one. Science has shown that physical pain is one of the strongest deterrents of repeated behavior. Now, you can raise you child in any way you see fit. Yet, you have no room to tell another how to. I was spanked as a kid, I am not just fine, I am great. I have a healthy respect for authority, strong work ethic, and mildly successful. I have great stress coping skills and by no way do I have anxiety issues. I have also looked at this article and currently can only find an abstract of this article. However, out of 111 effect sizes, only 17 above zero doesn’t tell me anything at all. In fact in this case the effect sizes probably mean absolutely nothing as the heterogeneity of this study is probably strong meaning the effect size means nothing. I would be interested in reading the full text when it comes out.

        1. I care more *why* than *what* my child does; there is much more happening within a growing human than mere difiance/misbehaving. To mention operant conditioning as the cruxtible of science is ignoring a tremendous amount of history and context. Applying skinnerism to human motivation is reductionist at best and highly dismissive of dignity and the development of intrinsic motivation at worst. If spanking ‘gets the job done’ we should ask ourselves at what cost? http://io9.gizmodo.com/why-b-f-skinner-may-have-been-the-most-dangerous-psych-1548690441

          1. “Applying skinnerism to human motivation is reductionist at best and highly dismissive of dignity and the development of intrinsic motivation at worst.”

            Skinnerism is hardly just about punishment, and it absolutely does apply to human learning as it does in the case of every other organism. And of course the principles of operant conditioning have to be viewed and used within the context of the entire internal and external environment whether you are dealing with a human, or any other species. However, to dismiss it is every bit as big a mistake as to consider it the whole story and the be-all, end-all of behavior.

        2. I have raised a son from birth to age 18 (as a single mom since he was 5 months old) and did not hit him ever. He almost never threw temper tantrums (probably less than 10 in his whole life, one at age 2, and probably 5-6 at age 3-4). He never had teen rebellion and has always been respectful. Punishment and manipulation is not necessary to raise a child. It’s just not. And time outs are not a thing I use, either. I mainly talk to my kids. And my second child is 6, not genetically related to me or his brother, so it’s not just lucky genes or something. He is very different from his brother (energetic, dramatic, outgoing), but also respectful and affectionate.

          There IS a better way. Any parent can learn it.

        3. Kyle i completely agree with you about everything you have just said. If youre spanking your child while angry or in a rage thats abuse. My children never get punished while im upset about whatever they did its always calm and calculated when i decide they need to be spanked and if im still upset i wait until tensions drop thats what should be done if one decides to spank. Spanking while upset does show lack of restraint and control. Shows them when ypure upset ypyr emotions take charge but if you wait and spank only bc you told them if their behavior didnt stop what itd result in and they continued after having privileges taken away and a time out they see that you’re not angry or raged only following through on ypur word and dont want to have to spank them they can tell the difference and wont ve learning to give into urges and anger bc they saw their parents do it. I would challenge them to do a study with parents who dont lose control and spank out of anger and only spank when calm amd as a last resort i bet the findings would be much different. Since this study was done on kids whos parents are spanking out of lack of self control as you put it then i imagine the findings would be the same compared to those who were abused considering if thats when you spank your kids it is abuse. Spankings are never to make the parent feel better and if it does youre abusing your child bc anyone else would say it absolutely crushes you when you have to do that it shouldnt dissipate any negative feelings towards your child, hence the saying this hurts me more than it hurts you.

          1. “If youre spanking your child while angry or in a rage thats abuse. My children never get punished while im upset about whatever they did its always calm and calculated…”

            That is somehow far more disturbing than striking a child in anger. How is calmly and calculatedly overpowering a child and forcing it to submit to a painful and humiliating procedure not abuse? And how bewildering to a child to have a parent – the person whose job is to protect it – calmly and calculatedly overpower it and hurt it.

            I find this more appalling than occasionally hitting a child in anger.

        4. Well said, Kyle. And your original reply is spot on and I share the same feelings. I have a 16 year old son who is well behaved. I can count on one hand the number of times I have spanked him, and the last time or two, I cried because I didn’t want to hurt him physically, buy knew it needed to be done to deter bad behavior that did not stop by me talking with him. I also explained to him afterwards why it needed to be done (last time I spanked him, he was maybe 8 years old). I have yelled at him in the past more than I’d like, and that got better with experience and checking myself as the one he looks to for love.

        5. It’s not called operate (sic) conditioning, it is operant conditioning.

          Within the context of operant conditioning punishmen is any consequence of a behavior that results in a decrease of frequency of the behavior. There are many different consequences that can have this result, and that do not involve forcing a child (or animal or adult) to submit to a painful and humiliating procedure that has harmful side effects.

          And, in fact, there are ways to bring about a decrease in an unwanted behavior that do not involve punishment at all. The problem is that those require self control, thought on the part of the adult, they’re more work than using physical force and pain.

        6. you can publish them in a million way that don’t involve voilence. Also, it may be that the “bad” behavior is signaling something that needs addressing, not punishing. Like perhaps they feel they aren’t not getting enough attention, or ability to help make decisions etc.

      2. Kids are not being bad? Puhleeze! With all due respect, ma’am, if a child is hitting on a parent, then something is usually wrong with the parenting skills. My niece, who is now 3, gets away with hitting her ‘papa’ because he doesn’t set any boundaries with her. She tried that with me when she was about 18 months, and I popped her hand. Say what you will, but she knows now that auntie does not operate like that. And I’ve had not had to lay a hand on her again. I am an educator, so like Kyle, I deal with children from all walks of life. While I agree that spanking should not be the first resort in handling bad behavior, it may be required from time to time as a child learns what is appropriate and what is not. If you think that a child hitting their parent is normal behavior and should be allowed, then that parent may want to keep their child out of mainstream society because the rest of the world is not going to allow a child to hit on them. Not cool.

        1. Where did I ever say to not set boundaries or to allow that behavior? Toddlers hitting when they are frustrated or emotional is developmentally normal behavior. And just because I don’t hit back doesn’t mean I don’t have boundaries or don’t teach that hitting is not a smart choice. Are you really suggesting that I need to teach my child to not hit people…by hitting him? They learn what you model. It’s not rocket science.

      3. Your ignorance and hubris is astounding.

        YOu are nothing but an ignorant blogger.

        No discipline, means your children will grow up to be undisciplined, these are the people society has to take care of.

        Your son, if you have one, will be a criminal, and taxpayers will have to pay for his incarceration.

        Your daughter, if you have one, will be a whore. Taxpayers will pay to raise her children.

        A lack of discipline is far more debilitating for a child then the occassional spanking.

        BTW, your links are a joke, just like your blog.

        1. Who said anything about not disciplining? I’m simply promoting not using physical force and hitting people. Why is discipline synonymous with hitting for you? You actually think humans need to be hurt to have the drive to do good? What kind of fucked up world are you from?

    2. Kyle, I am willing to bet that those out of control kids that you speak of, are that way because they haven’t been disciplined correctly. There is a HUGE difference between punishment and discipline. Punishment means suffering a penalty. Being controlled by fear, not by consequence. Discipline is the highest form of love. Without it, a child will grow up to be without structure and self discipline as an adult. With discipline you still show love and respect, but you teach them that they must control themselves or else there will be consequences. It is their choice. This allows them to grow. With punishment, such as hitting or spanking, a child grows up fearful and resentful. They may follow the rules, but it is not because they want to, it is because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t. It’s not only physical abuse, it is emotional abuse as well, as evidenced with the long-term effects that show up as an adult, or earlier.

    3. Hi Kyle…I would ask, do they obey out of respect? Or fear? There is a huge difference. Respect is mot born out of fear. It is developed when both sides feel safe and validated. Children test boundaries, as they should, and it’s up to the parent to model the behavior that those very children will one day play out, as adults.

  4. While admittedly it’s been 16 years since I wrote my 20-page research paper for the child psychology course I was taking when I was in college, but I recalled research showing it not to be as simple of an issue as to spank or not spank. Rather, as the child developed and matured cognitively and emotionally, so should the parents’ methods for correcting undesirable behavior. If my memory recalls, the findings were that spanking (as measured punishment, not emotional retaliation) was an effective method for correcting the behavior of children until around the age of 5 to 6 years. Again, according to the research, it was recommended that spanking be phased out in favor of behavioral corrections appropriate for the child’s mental and emotional development. The effectiveness of spanking alternatives (again, according to research) was increased with the foundation of spanking, as older children often preferred the spanking alternative as a corrective response to their misbehavior. I’m not saying one side is right or wrong; the mistake that most people make is trying to paint a topic in simple colors of black and white, when it very seldom is the case. The reason why people are so divided on such issues is those for or against a topic make the mistake of polarizing sides, even though neither side may be entirely correct or wrong.

    1. I won’t disagree that spanking corrects unwanted behavior. If I want a candy bar stealing it gets me a candy bar. If I want my partner to shut up, duct taping his mouth works. Obviously if a small child is doing something and then gets hit, they stop. I would do. Who wants to get hit again? But this research shows that they aren’t actually learning anything but fear. Because of how children are wired they will usually do the behavior again, hence why most parents don’t only hit once. But what are the long term effects of using physical force on children? On anyone? Why is it so hard to believe that as adults, we’re affected by someone hurting us, but small children are not ?

      1. I understand what you are saying, and would argue that while spanking – positive punishment in the context of operant conditioning – might make a child less apt to do a particular unwanted behavior, it doesn’t necessarily correct it. What it actually does is suppress the behavior without addressing the issues behind the behavior (as duct taping your partner’s mouth suppresses the unwanted speech behavior, at least until the duct tape is removed). However, suppressing the behavior does not stop the unaddressed issues from giving rise to 1) repetitions of the suppressed behavior, usually at a time when spanking is less likely to be the consequence, and/or 2) other unwanted behaviors.

        And, of course, it is very telling that spanking takes place during the ages at which children are unable to defend themselves, and are therefore most vulnerable. When the kids get big enough to fight back spanking somehow loses its attractiveness.

      2. Thank you for speaking common sense in a world of chaos which promotes violence. I could only imagine your frustration being called ignorant by these people who aren’t willing to put forth the real effort to teach their children properly. The fact is it takes proactive effort not reactive violence. We don’t teach by hurting. We teach our children to be kind humans by example of kindness and that takes time, patience, and effort. That entails not hurting them. 100% of the worst behaved children I know are all spanked regularly. There are many factors involved but Yes, it’s not rocket science to see the big picture.

        1. Nailed it. Thank you. I can’t imagine seeing life through the lens of humans need to be hit to be good. What a shitty view of reality.

  5. I would add to this that waiting to spank when the parent is ‘calm’ is even more alarming to children ( which seemed to be the hallmark differentiator when I was a kid as to whether it was abuse or not) because the emotion doesn’t match the action. Yes I really think everyone should be talking about what it is we would like to achieve long term and whether our ‘discipline’ is bringing us closer or farther away from those goals. I for one do not remember what my parents were trying to teach me when they spanked me, only how much anger humiliation and betrayal I felt when it happened.

    1. “…waiting to spank when the parent is ‘calm’ is even more alarming to children…”

      Yes! Thank you! A child can at least understand being hit by an angry or frustrated parent as having something to do with the hitter being angry or frustrated. How on earth are they supposed to understand that someone who professes to love them, and whose job it is to protect them uses her or his superior size and power to calmly, coolly, and calculatedly subject them to humiliation and pain. To me this is more damaging that when it is done in the heat of emotion.

  6. LOL at all these people like Kyle. “I was spanked as a kid, I’m fine.”

    Yeah, except you have a desire to physically hit your children. You are not fine. Hitting and abuse is not fine. The victim becomes the abuser, like in so many other aspects of abuse.

    1. I do not have a desire to hit my children to the hit anyone for that matter. I have repeatedly said that it should be used as a last resort and only after all other options have been extinguished. Yes, i was spanked as a kids, but believe me, i do not fear either of my parents. I also understood why they spanked me as they told me why when they do it. I also grew up in a home with four boys, four boys who would not listen to their parents. I personally do not care if you spank your child or not. It makes no difference to me. I am not emotionally distraught from my experiences. Yes this is anecdotal evidence, but I have a lot of that as with all of my friends. I also know many people who were never spanked and have all kinds of issues with anxiety and depression because they never learned how to deal with the world because they were cuddled to much as a child. My main arguement isn’t with the fact you dont want to spank your child. It is that you want to use a research article that doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means to back your arguement. Also, as it was put earlier, if your think raising a child is A or b your just being niave. There are so many factors that go into raising a child and the results from such a multi demensional characteristic to be affected by a study with no controlled for variables is just not accurate and is quite irresponsible to act as it is such. I will raise my children the way I see fit, and I hope that my children do have some fear at a young age that later developes into respect as I did for my parents and my wife did for her parents. Neither of us are afraid of our parents and have quite a healthy affection for our parents. As do all of my friends. If this study looked at only those children who were spanked all yhe time versus those who were spanked seldom, I bet they would also have quite different results. Again, this is an opinion peice, many will agree and disagree. Research will also be found to support both methods, so I my OPINION raise your child as you see fit, but remember that they have a large crazy world that you need to prepare them for.

  7. My parents spanked me & I spanked my children and we are better parents because of it! Our society started going downhill when discipline was taken out of the homes. You now have children threatening to have their parents thrown in jail for child abuse if they discipline them so the child can do what he/she wants. That is not right!! ABUSE is beating someone…molesting someone…even yelling and . swearing at someone. SPANKING is not abuse!!

    1. Who said to take discipline out of homes? Discipline comes from the word disciple which means to teach. If you can’t think of a better way to teach a human than by hitting and hurting them then you’re not ok. You are a product of abuse and continue the cycle. If you think people need to be hit to turn out good then you have issues

    2. Agree 100%. Now a days kids are out of control. They get rewarded with ipads and cell phones and continue to get whatever they want. Kids aren’t growing up to be proper members of society because parents don’t do anything, period. Their kid is a brat and they get things. This all happened when the tv and computer became parents instead of the real parent. Theres a difference between a spanking and beating your kid. Those who beat their kid need help. Giving your kid 3 spankings a year isn’t abuse. So keep feeding your kid technology (which is abuse in itself) and maybe worry about how you raise YOUR KIDS.

      1. Why does everyone think if someone doesn’t hit their kids then they aren’t disciplining them? Do you really think the only way to teach children is to hit them? Do you completely lack the awareness to communicate in any other way? Do you really think the only way humans are motivated to goodness is by getting hit?

  8. I believe in spanking and I don’t disagree with ur point of not spanking kids. I have a 2 year old kid n I can’t even think of spanking her. But at the same time I got spanked but I don’t have any signs or symptoms of what u highlighted. The only thing missing in this article is the facts for example on how many people were researched and how many had problems with things like anxiety and all that. It’s ur opinion and I respect it but I don’t agree with ur opinion since it’s not backed by facts.

  9. What about when spanking is not off the cuff and emotional? I was spanked as a child, but it was seldom, and I was warned further behavior would warrant a spanking. The act itself was always “scheduled” in the sense that they would not grab me and spank me but say something like “okay you were warned, we are going to go into the living room and I am going to give you a spanking.” I also specifically remember them not actually hurting, it was 2-5 taps on the behind over a knee. While I also suffer from anxiety, I don’t think that’s evidence to anti-spanking. I think we all suffer from it and the degree of which and amount we’re willing to admit it is what changes. It’s a human emotion. Anxiety kept our ancestors alive at night in the dark. I guess this is just a long winded way of asking if you think ALL spanking is bad or just reactionary, violent spanking. Or is it just violent by default?

  10. To the people disagreeing with this, your solution is violence because you’ll get controlled and run over by your kids.

    Firstly, heaven forbid, children who are growing up and don’t know right from wrong are acting out, how bizarre and strange, if you grew up and think you need to discipline your kids through force? Sorry to alarm you but, you didn’t, grow up ok.

    If you have an infant able to outsmart and control you to the point your reaction is violence,

    As a disciplinary action for them being out of control, when you as an adult have no other plan than physical force?

    Come come now, have a think on that.

  11. It’s all pretty simple. If you are spanking your child you have only two possibilities. You either have psychological issues or you have low intelligence. Have you spankers ever thought about finding out why your child is throwing a tantrum or acting out? It could be the fact that some mother fucker like their pedofile step grandfather kept them from their own father and when the father finally got custody he had to learn how to handle a child who had no father for 3 years. That father would be me. My son is now the most amazing straight A Student and kid. Never spanked him. Now he even thinks kids that are spanked are being abused. And he is right.

    1. My daughter knows spanking is abuse too.

      If it’s wrong to do to an adult, it’s most certainly song to do to a child.

      They need parents like us to soak for them as their voice is snuffed out for being a child.

    2. Sorry for your life John but your situation is totally different than the norm. Of course, your child had psychological issues from a sexually abusive relative which would explain his behavior. Saying a parent who spanks their child has low intelligence is quite a stretch and obviously a result of your personal situation and the grudge you hold about it.

  12. I was NEVER spanked. I was an out of control teen. Sex, drugs, in trouble with the law, you name it I did it. I also suffer from depression and anxiety as an adult. I had had countless abusive relationships and most of the abuse was from me! Still never being spanked, all while being respectful to my parents. Only in my late 20’s did the light bulb go off that it was ME who needed to change. I wish someone would have spanked me.

    1. You do know that spanking isn’t the only indicator of those behaviors, right? Did you have parents who were not present? Did they yell? Shame? Neglect? Maybe you were fed a poor diet? Trauma? A million other possible reasons, but please, don’t blame not being hit. I would hate to know how much worse it could have been for you if you were. I was exactly what you described. I was spanked. Plus other dysfunctional things in childhood.

    2. Glad you were able to come to that revelation. I hope you’ve been able to get your life in order and enjoy some happiness.

  13. The irony here is deafening. There has also never been a randomized controlled trial for spanking. To randomly assign someone to a spanking group or to a non vaccine group is unethical, because we know the consequences: emotional instability in the case of spanking and high risk of deadly disease in the other. The point of science is not to confirm what we already believe; it is to try to disconfirm what’s been put out there. If you accept the meta analysis about spanking being wrong then you also must accept the millions of data points confirmed by independent researchers that vaccines preventing illnesses that can and have been deadly are better than the less than 1% chance that you may have a health event occur at the same time as the vaccine that most likely occurs because it was going to happen anyway and triggered by anything in the environment. You don’t get to choose which science you believe just like you are telling your readers that they don’t get to choose which science to believe.

    1. As a consumer, I actually do get to choose which science I believe. Given scientific evidence is always changing and often conflicting and some is a paid for by the companies they are supporting, I have every right to be investigative of the science I choose and so do my readers and the general public. I also don’t need science to tell me hurt people hurt people and injecting disease and toxins causes diseases and illness….but some people need proof of that so that’s why I like to drop the word science here and there but really…. cmon. In other news, water is wet…

  14. You know as read your responses (feministmom)most of them end with a jab or insult, I for one think that most of your credibility is lost. When people don’t agree with your way of thinking you lash out. Sounds like a spoiled child who should have had better discipline in thier childhood.

    1. You mean like spankings? I got plenty. Let me be a case in point 😉 also, violence begets violence isn’t my opinion. I don’t make the rules. Simply spreading the message.

  15. If done sparingly and at the right time, it is very effective. My children only had two spanks each early on in their childhood. It wasn’t a “go to your room for a spanking.” It was a “I need your attention while you’re tantruming” slap on the bottom. It let them know they were not going to control me. Now, I’ve also countered that with love, understanding, and respect for their whole lives. They are 17 and 20, and two of the most respectful and caring children I know. We have mutual respect for one another.

    1. You don’t need their attention while they’re having a tantrum. They need your attention.

  16. I read all of these comments from start to finish and most of you are completely hilarious. Yes, for some reason, in the last 70 years or so, we seem to think that what has worked for humanity fine up to this point– what his driven us to create societies and gave humanity the discipline to create fine art, mathematics, and science– is somehow, all of a sudden, broken and creates victims, NOT decidedly successful people, as is shown by much of history. It has absolutely nothing to do with our society in general, of course, and the disadvantage we all share of awareness and complex thought. Anxiety is the human condition– it’s present in any animal capable of intricate multilayer process. Its’ causes are growing, and will continue to, as our world and human interaction further complicates itself. I fail to see how these slanted soft science studies keep producing the same results and everyone looking to justify their anger at their upbringing jumps on them, and uses them to shame those who respectfully own their personal history with positivity. And so many of you keep making this so black and white, instead of a case-by-case. Spanking isn’t going to be for everyone, nor will it be necessary, and that depends on, both, the natural abilities and personalities of, both, the parents and the children. My oldest has had a spanking, when needed, after several warnings and time-outs, and privileges taken, because he actively chose not to do as he knew he should. My second, from the start, was a genius and calm, and patient, and though she’s two, she listens well and can be reasoned with. My third, listens somewhat in-between. Even within my own household, I can tell you each child is different. Yet, you anti-spankers always contend that, across the board, it’s not healthy for any child, ever; without taking into account that everyone is different, and despite countless anecdotal accounts to the contrary. You just want to seek victimhood in everything! I’m reading all of your comments and you’re literally telling people who are making claims that they were spanked and are normal, that they are damaged. You’re FORCING them to feel victimized, when they are certain they aren’t. I’ve got news for you: Our fancy opposable thumbs aside, we’re still animals. A fear response is natural and intrinsic to animalistic behavior. Correction through mild violence is the inclination of most animals, and the desired response is always the same. A mother cat who nips at her kitten to teach him and keep him in line is no different than a swat on the hand or butt, we simply have the option to talk to ours offspring more extensively first. I don’t care that we think we’re better than that, it doesn’t defeat our biology, folks; we aren’t that far civilized… Bottom line? My mother was stern and strict, and ran a tight ship. The few times I refused to behave accordingly, I was spanked– only after I had time alone, and toys taken. I know it was just, because she balanced it with love beyond measure and ultimate sacrifice. We lived in a gang neighborhood, she worked all the time, my father wasn’t living in the home, but I never faltered, and even made scholarships. Just like hundreds of other people I’m sure you’ve all heard tell similar stories, me being spanked didn’t ruin me, it offered me chance to understand consequences and respect. I’m sure if you could somehow map the incline of juvenile detention rates, gang membership, arrests, failing grades, and general disrespect and decline, along with the decline in physical discipline since the movement began in the 40’s, it would match equally with one another in rise and fall…

  17. What the OP, Sherry, Andromeda, and others, say here sounds correct and resonates with me.
    Sherry, I agree with what you say here, and particularly with this: “How is calmly and calculatedly overpowering a child and forcing it to submit to a painful and humiliating procedure not abuse? And how bewildering to a child to have a parent – the person whose job is to protect it – calmly and calculatedly overpower it and hurt it.
    I find this more appalling than occasionally hitting a child in anger.”
    Andromeda, I agree with you – there is a HUGE difference between punishment and discipline. And as the OP said, “Who said to take discipline out of homes? Discipline comes from the word disciple which means to teach. If you can’t think of a better way to teach a human than by hitting and hurting them then you’re not ok. You are a product of abuse and continue the cycle.”
    As Jenni said, “If it’s wrong to do to an adult, it’s most certainly wrong to do to a child.” And as the OP said, “Why is it so hard to believe that as adults we’re affected by someone hurting us, but small children are not?”

  18. I believe that physical pain as a teaching tool is a totally natural process of learning boundaries. Even if you are a parent that does not EVER hit your child… they are going to learn lessons about not touching something hot by getting burned, or that it’s not a good idea to jump off of the monkey bars at the playground by crash landing, or to be more careful when turning their bicycle with a skeet knee, etc. To say that spanking your child only teaches them violence, is taking out a big portion of the equation.

    1. Those are called natural consequences. Hitting your child isn’t natural. It’s a trained response because you were likely dealt with the same way…

  19. Every spanked child’s story is different, some maybe in their 40s before they realise their childhood daily spanking is why, they can’t look at anyone and have a conversation. They can’t start a conversation, unless spoken to first. They can’t shower at sport,with their class mates,as they associate that with the spankings, on the bare flesh.they go through life allowing people to take advantage of them.these facts are endless…….