Why is Spanking NEVER an Option?

Spanking is never an option!

I am deeply disturbed about something that is going on behind closed doors.

And sometimes even out in the open.

A fellow blogger, who posts a ton of wonderful parenting ideas, posted a new tip on getting your kids to cooperate with you.

It was actually a trick we use in my house… but at the end of the post, she commented that they use spanking when it fits. [Cue scratching record sound.]

I normally steer clear of judging someone else, but in this instance, I just can’t keep my mouth shut. I was so horrified to see that parents still think it’s okay to spank.

I’ve been walking around for weeks mulling it over, and this notion that hitting a child teaches them how to be “good” has left me nauseous.

Would you slap your child across the face to make your point? How is that different from spanking?

One Mom's Please... Spanking is NEVER an Option | Mommy Evolution

What is the Purpose of Spanking?

Let’s look at spanking for a minute.

If you wallop your kid with his clothes still on, the very act of spanking is designed to create shame and embarrassment.

Leaning your child over your knee, you’re forcing your physical dominance over someone… and it’s your kid!

And what if you make your child lower their pants so you can inflict pain on them.

Is hitting them really going to develop the character you’re hoping your child has as an adult?

My Facebook feed has been overflowing with articles and comments about stopping bullying at schools.

But what about physical bullying at home?

How is using physical violence and force to get the behavior you want any different from the playground thug?

A friend of mine was made to lean over to grab her ankles as a kid to get spanked and she still talks about the humiliation.

At the same time, she talks about how it didn’t really teach her anything other than not to get caught.

While the idea behind spanking is about discipline, its methods rely on pain and fear.

As a mother, the last thing I want to instill or use against my child is pain and fear.

Fear of Spanking Stops Behavior?

Spanking is a temporary stop to behavior at best and a long-term crusher of trust with your child and of building their own internal consequences.

My parents didn’t believe in spanking.

Instead, they worked hard on instilling and teaching me the characteristics they hoped we would have as adults.

When we got in trouble, there was usually some reset time in our rooms (which is smart from a grown-up perspective because sometimes we need time to cool down ourselves). And then came the BIG talk.

These talks weren’t nasty.

They weren’t mean. 

They were painful from the fact that I knew I had done something wrong and felt terrible about it.

And now I was going to have to talk about it and face what I had done.

My brother and I came up with a term of these talks — we called them SOLs (pronounced souls) – meaning Speeches on Life.

We called them SOLs mainly because my parents did a lot of the talking. But those talks were where we learned from our mistakes.

These civil discussions are where we internalized what we had done wrong and how to be better not just to the people around us but to be better people in general.

The outward punishment couldn’t even begin to match the internal consequences we felt for what we had done.

I still think of some of the doozies I laid on my parents.

But rather than wielding a belt against me, their teachings let me see just how wrong I had gone.

I still cringe sometimes when I think of them.

But that is what taught me how to be the person I am today.

Giving compassion, understanding and patience when all you want to do is scream and punish is difficult at best.

By approaching your child as a civil adult, you give that child the opportunity to truly learn and internalize their mistake.

The Answer to WHY Spanking is NEVER an Option | Mommy Evolution

Do You Spank?

If you’re a parent who spanks, I encourage you to ask yourself why you choose to use that method of discipline? Is it because that’s the way you were raised?

Because times change and our understanding of how children develop has changed as well.

Is it because you’re angry and want to get your point across? Anger in the moment isn’t a way to teach your child.

As adults, we need to step back from the situation and really think about the best way to reach our kids.

Whatever the reason, I’m asking on behalf of your child to think about the long-term consequences of spanking and look for alternative and compassionate ways to help your child to learn how to be a giving, empathetic and mindful adults.

Scientific Studies About the Negative Consequences of Spanking

Don’t take my word that spanking isn’t the way to go.

Experts from multiple universities and research groups have found that spanking develops negative consequences.

These are just a sampling of the peer-reviewed studies out there. There are hundreds of them! 

This isn’t fake news. It’s real science.

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    1. I agree with you 100%. When my daughter was 3, she yelled at me and went in the bedroom and slammed the door. When I went after her, being angry I opened the door to fast and she was right there! I almost died! The bottom of the door scrapped one of her toes and it bled a little, omg! talk about being nauseous! I would never spank. My parents gave us what is today called a time out. We (my sis and me) had to go to the corner. Great article, thank you!

      1. We actually stopped using time-outs and started using reset times for when they were emotionally out of control. It was a chance for them to regain control of themselves. Once they were calmed down we would talk about what happened, what we could do differently. And I would always tell them I still love them. Even if the talk was for 1 minute, it was important for them to know they can mess up but that we need to learn from it.

        1. Jennifer- I love the idea of a reset time especially as our daughter gets older! I think it would help grow emotional regulation independently which is a hard task to learn. We usually do more of a time in, I’m usually with working towards calmness with our daughter since she is still learning self-regulation.

          1. We found the reset time (rather than time out) as a better way to approach things. For our son, it doesn’t mean he’s in trouble for having his emotions, but it does signal that he needs to manage them in a different way. Usually by the time reset is done, he’s calm and we can spend just a minute or two talking about how we could have handled things differently.

    2. Thank you so much!!! I agree 100% and have wanted to write this very post. But since you’ve already done it I’ll share it on my FB page. I wish I could find it, but there is a very old story (I believe the author of Pippi Longstocking put this out??) of a child being sent out into the woods to find a switch with which to be beaten. They couldn’t find a switch, but came back to the mother and handed her a rock as it was all they could find. It’s amazing how people justify spanking. If you do that to an adult in public it’s called assault.

      1. Thank you for sharing. I was quite nervous pressing “publish” but it’s been bothering me and I just had to get it out.

        I have heard of stories of kids getting switches from the backyard… but that rock story is just even that much more terrible.

        I’m so surprised at how many people think corporal punishment is just fine because they turned out fine. The evidence is just too overwhelming of the impact it has on kids.

    3. I am having a touch moral debate with myself over this. I have a VERY tough 2.5 year old. Yeah, I know. They all are. I have tried EVERYTHING with him under the sun except spanking. Something inside of me just doesn’t feel right doing it. I’ve thought about it but just can’t seem to do it. I didn’t do any of the research as mentioned above in your post… I just can’t. He listens fantastic to my husband… He knows I’m just a pushover. I need to be more firm on punishment regardless of how hard he cries. We do time outs for now and they work (when he listens and stays in the chair)

      1. Erin, I know every time my kids are out of control or not behaving, there’s a bigger issue going on. And it’s up to me to figure out the tools I need to get the house back on track. We’re the adults in the house… and it’s up to us to figure it out. (Sucks, I know, but it’s true.) And 2.5 is REALLY tough. Just pick one boundary and set the expectations and have the child work with you to help make it happen. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for!

    4. I don’t disagree with anything said here and I certainly don’t condone spanking. I’m only commenting because of the poor choice made for the title image of this post. Since when does spanking involve a belt?

    5. This is the most ridiculous, liberal thing I have read in a while. Our society has the highest crime rates in history. Not to mention the fact that kids are, in general, disrespectful. Respect for others and respect for property went by the wayside when parents stopped disciplining their children. Having a child “reset” and go to their rooms might work for an older child who is generally good but it will not work for younger children. Spanking, when done correctly, can be one of the most beautiful things between a parent and a child. In no way is it meant to shame a child and it should never be done with a belt as you described, it’s ludircous and uneducated to even suggest that! I highly doubt your friend who spanks uses a belt. When a parent and child know how to do a spanking correctly it is highly effective. What a spanking should be: a few quick swats to the rear end of a child who compliantly lies over their parents lap followed by hugs and kisses and an age-appropriate talk about the way the child is expected to behave. A spanking shouldn’t be done out of anger or frustration and it shouldn’t occur after a child has pushed the parents buttons to the point the parent feels as if they have no other options.
      To suggest these harsh, awful ideas about spanking is uneducated and narrow-minded. Perhaps you need to do some more research. Research the crime rates in countries where spanking is illegal for starters. I’m sorry if you disagree, but I for one would much prefer to swat my child’s very resilient rear end a few times while they are young then visit them in prison when they are older. Think about it, research it, read a book that is pro-spanking and then come back and re-evaluate. Every adult I know who was spanked (not beaten, that’s totally different!) will admit they are so much better off for it and that it in no way damaged them as people but it instilled a healthy fear of their parents and authority. If you choose not to spank, that’s fine. But don’t use your blog to shame other parents into feeling as if they are abusing their children if they choose to spank.

      1. A beautiful thing? How could inflicting fear, pain, humiliation on your own child by the person they love more than anyone else ever be referred to in that way? It’s lazy and destructive and shouldn’t be termed something cute like “spanking “ . Have the guts to call it what it is; hitting, slapping, punching, whichever term applies. As someone who was hit as a child and watched my six siblings also hit, I will testify to the lasting damage it inflicts.

    6. “hitting a child teaches them how to be “good” ” Are you stupid? SPANKING..not hitting is in no way a means to teach a child how to be good, it is a method of teaching a child consequences.
      Spankings should be a last resort consequence to answer a challenge to parental authority. It is the ultimate response to the challenge “Make me!”
      Once you have firmly established that you can and are willing to, “make them” you might never have to spank that child again, and they don’t end up OD’d on drugs they got from some 40 yr old as a “party”.

    7. Trish your the perfect mum and u punish the right way. Spanking will never be a wrong way in sociaty. Kik me gardenerwill91

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