The Spanking Debate - FamilyEducation

The Spanking Debate

Parents speak out about spanking.

Do you believe in spanking as a form of discipline? Does it build character and teach respect? Or does it teach kids that violence is the way to solve problems? See what parents are saying about spanking, then tell us what you think.


We do spank our child, but only when it's necessary. We use time-outs, or other non-physical punishments first and if the behavior or situation isn't corrected, then we'll spank her, but only on her bottom. We tell her if she doesn't behave she will get a spanking -- so it's her choice to correct her behavior or take the spanking. For the most part, time-outs work sufficiently. But I do believe that a spanking now and then, if deserved, is okay.

-- Heidi1969

I use spanking only as a very last resort and never more than two or three whacks. Spanking loses its effectiveness if it's done every time a child does something that he shouldn't do. It's better to yank privileges away. Make sure the privileges are related to the wrong deed/behavior. For example, riding a bike in the street should result in revoking bike privileges for a certain amount of time. After the punishment is over, parents should ask their children to talk about it.

-- Sagtodd

I used to think that spanking was absolutely wrong. Because I was beaten regularly myself as a child, I vowed never to hit my children. I think I was wrong. I'm not for wholesale beating -- or even light spanking, for that matter -- as an answer to everything, but I do think spanking has its uses. Sometimes when I look at the spoiled rotten kids of today (not just my own), there are times when I think it could hurt a lot more not to spank. But parents should never spank (or discipline in any other way) when angry. Stop, cool down first, and then act appropriately.

-- Marlboro Man

I believe that each and every child is different. Parents should take that into consideration when deciding on their choice of discipline. Some children do no not respond to time-outs, grounding, reasoning or whatever. We should use our best judgment, based on the seriousness of the misbehavior, the child's personality, and character. I believe in spanking as a last resort and not as the primary choice of discipline.

-- Chesney

Spanking, to me, is okay if the child is intolerable, but a parent needs to know the difference between spanking and beating! Also, spanking shouldn't be the only form of discipline enforced on a child. You don't want the child to grow up fearing his parent(s).


I don't condone child abuse but a slap on the butt or hand does admonish bad behavior.

-- bcinc


It's never right for a bigger and stronger person to inflict pain on a small child, especially the child who looks to you for protection and love. Children remember being struck. NEVER strike your children or anyone else EVER!

-- Idenuciao

Spanking is a cop out! There are better ways to teach a child. Children learn as they grow, and sometimes they do forget things. As a parent you don't follow all the rules all the time, do you? Kids are going to screw up, just like you do. Talking gets more results than hitting or screaming. If you talk to kids, they might be more understanding of where you're coming from. Remember, kids are people -- they need guidance, not brutality!

-- Connie Michelle Holt

Spanking is always wrong. Spanking doesn't deter kids from doing the wrong thing, it only makes them more likely to be abusive to others.

-- Barbra

I have three children: a teenager, an eight-year-old, and a baby just seven months old. I've had lots of time and space between children to think about discipline. Spanking and using physical force only teaches your children that when you're upset with someone, it's okay to be physical. A child loses self-esteem every time he's spanked and also learns fear. One day, your child doesn't fear you anymore. What lessons did you teach?

As parents, our job is to teach, and to love. Sure I harp and sometimes even yell if I'm really mad, but later on, I call my child in, and I say, "I want to talk to you." We sit down and have a very deep conversation. Even if the talk doesn't go anywhere and your children act up a little, they'll respect you for taking the time to work it out with them. They learn to like to talk things out. This shows them how they should handle real problems in the world.

-- Foreverbusyme

Why not take the time to talk and explain to children the reason(s) why we don't approve of whatever it was that they did wrong? What do you teach kids by hitting them? Time-outs give children time to think about how to take responsibility for their actions.