Do you hit your kids?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by TSE, Jul 9, 2009.


Do you hit/spank your kids?

  1. I plan on/I do spank my kids

    83 vote(s)
  2. I do not/don't plan on spanking my kids

    72 vote(s)
  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Do you hit/spank your kids, or correct them someway through pain if they get out of line?

    If you don't have kids yet, do you plan on doing this?

    Parenting has really become controversial, and this is the topic most controversial about it. I personally have been spanked by my parents, with their hands and a belt, and I think I have come out alright. Once I get kids, I plan on spanking them if they get out of hand occasionally, but not much. For example, if one of my kids is acting like a spoiled brat at a public place like a grocery store, they probably wouldn't behave just because I tell them," Okay, that's it, NO sugar cereals for a month, and no more video games!" because kids don't think in the long term. Therefore I would give my kid a quick, hard, spank in the butt.
  2. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    I hit 'em upside the head every single time I don't get my way.

    ...I'm far too young and gay to have kids... :p
  3. SuperCompu2 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2006
    Great topic idea, I'm excited to see how it turns out!
  4. mcnicks macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2006
    If you smacked an adult in a store or at home, it would be considered assault. I think we have to ask: how are children different from adults in this respect? Are children not entitled to a number of human rights because they are unable to understand them? Or because they are unable to take responsibility over their actions? Parents have a duty of care over their kids, and that grants them leeway to intervene when their childrens' safety is at stake, but is smacking an intervention or an expression of a very skewed power relation between parent and child?

    I think we also have to question whether children really "do not know any better" or "do not understand deferred gratification" or "only respond to instant pain-based correction".

    Would you accept a nurse smacking an adult with learning difficulties in public or private in order to correct errant behaviour? What about teachers smacking pupils who step out of line? Or if corporal punishment is deemed acceptable, could it be used within the legal system to punish minors? What if a stranger smacked your child in order to avert some dangerous situation from transpiring? I am asking a lot of questions because I think that there are a lot of hidden assumptions.

    I think that parents often smack children out of desperation, and lord knows that kids can be unruly and manipulative. However, fundamentally, I believe that using violence to correct behaviour in children is wrong and tantamount to assault. In more general terms, I think that violence begets violence. By smacking children, we are teaching them that violence is perfectly reasonable as long as you are on the powerful end of the relationship.
  5. jecapaga macrumors 601


    Jul 1, 2007
    Southern California
    I was hit growing up, I didn't appreciate it. When in the position to use hitting as an option to deal with problems as a parent, I did it a bit slightly in the beginning, but ultimately I felt communication and my brain, and treating my child with the ultimate respect would win over. And it ended there.

    Not a believer in hitting kids. To me it's a quick sign of failure on the parent's part. And hitting your own child? I can tell you what goes through your mind as you dish out the's a total lack of control on your own part. And in any other instance in life, you'd wince when seeing your child in pain and yet there you are physically dishing it out. So totally not good. Spanking should've ended in the 70s along with terrible parents.

    Probably won't be a popular opinion.
  6. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I see no real problem with spanking as a disciplinary action in certain situations. I certainly don't think it is the responsibility of the government to tell me whether I can or cannot spank my child. Obviously it can cross the line to abuse if you're beating your child, but a standard spanking, IMO, isn't.
  7. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    If I had children I would have no problem hitting them if they badly misbehave or be disrespectful. Especially if it meant they won't do it again. :)
  8. Ivan P macrumors 68030

    Ivan P

    Jan 17, 2008
    I don't, by any means, condone smacking a child. In fact, in the rare instance that I ever had to witness it, I've cringed and felt sorry for the kid (but that was years ago now anyway). But I've always seen it this way - parents mainly want a child to grow up and become accepted in society and, therefore, they must learn certain social abilities in order to succeed in this. Clearly a parent needs to 'steer' their child in the right direction - making them understand perfectly well when they've done something wrong.

    There's a point in childhood where a parent can use threats or other tactics in order to combat this (for example, "if you don't do x and do y instead, you're not allowed to watch television for a fortnight, so that you learn your lesson"). Young children simply don't understand reasoning with a situation, mainly because that communication factor simply hasn't been established yet, therefore parents have to find another route in which they can demonstrate what's acceptable and what isn't. If this doesn't occur then there will be problems later down the track - the child will think they can get away with anything they can because there has been no upholding of discipline in the household. As I said above, young children simply cannot be reasoned with, leading to the parent having to find another outlet to get them to understand they're not doing the right thing. Of course, other 'punishments' could be used instead, but unfortunately a lot of parents are too lazy and just resort to something that can deal with it quickly, even if it's morally wrong.

    In some circumstances it may be the one thing that ends up working. For example, where I work there is a lady that brings her 18-month-old toddler to work. I work in local government, so I think it's just not the right profession to be bringing a child in to work. On top of this, we have a massive office with many different departments (for example, finance, environment, administration, we have a library and medical facilities, etc), and the mother pretty much lets her run wild through the building. I have had to write countless letters to the State Library (the organisation that owns the books we have in our library here) having to try and explain why several of their books have been destroyed - when no one's looking she seriously sits their stripping books bare. And yet it's us other workers, not the mother, that are expected to deal with it. Not ONCE has she had to pay to replace an item that's been destroyed. The kid constantly screams, rips things off of pin-up boards, tipped a computer off a table and killed it, the mother gives her chocolate and she rubs it all over the walls. For five months the mother's office door had dried mashed banana all over the door handle because she simply couldn't be bothered cleaning up and telling her daughter to behave. And if she messes up too much, she just picks her up and says she's going home - and the boss expects me to clean up after her. And the boss himself, while really annoyed with the child, doesn't have the balls to tell the mother that it's not acceptable. Quite frankly, it's ********. In extreme circumstances like this, though, I think it may be the only thing to do, as simply telling her off hasn't worked.

    Once again, though, I must say that I do not condone smacking a child.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I agree.

    Personally, I wouldn't spank a child, but I do agree with you with regards to a 'standard' spanking, or at least the form that I have in mind.
  10. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    There is hitting/spanking fir behavior, safety, to get the attention of.

    Then there is flat out beating.

    Some people people can't differentiate between a beating and a spanking.
    My dad would woop my ass so I thought but looking back they were spankings far from a beating
  11. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
  12. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    I think we've got the same thing in mind. I'm not talking about using a paddle or belt, etc. or spanking your child many times successively. If you're doing it to leave a lasting physical injury you're going too far.

    I think age comes into play in this issue as well. Spanking a very young child, who doesn't really grasp their actions is out of line. I recall being spanked when I was extremely poorly behaved and when the behavior last for an amount of time, but I don't think I was spanked until at least 4 or 5 and maybe not even until 6. I think if done properly it can be an effective form of discipline and help a child to understand and feel consequences for extremely poor behavior. It certainly shouldn't be used excessively or particularly often and it definitely should not be the only form of discipline used, but it can be an effective form of discipline for some children, it certainly was for me when I was a child.
  13. macjram macrumors 6502a


    Dec 20, 2008
  14. MegaMillions macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    Interesting topic. I myself am viciously against the idea of spanking. I see it like this. Spanking a child because they "misbehaved" doesn't help you at all. It's violent, it's painful for the child, and it didn't help you understand WHY the child was doing what he was doing. What if children NEVER "misbehave" and we just need to learn to understand why they do what they do, and how we might have played a part in that?

    I myself was raised with unconditional love, affection, understanding, autonomy, and respect. Not only was I never punished or spanked for anything, but because of this, I never did anything that would be considered even by authoritarian parents, to be worthy of a spanking. People would ask my parents "how do you get them to behave so well? How do you get them to sit silently through a two hour classical concert?" and my mom would always be somewhat at a loss for words. The response was usually something like "I loved them, nurtured them, and met their needs."

    My mom has actually written a book on parenting, but I don't think it's appropriate for me to use this board as an advertising platform, so if anyone is interested they can PM me.

    But in any case, I consider myself to be the living proof that spanking is totally unnecessary.
  15. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I was raised in the Latin American culture where kids take many spankings in growing up. Many parents here do it as a way to correct unaccepted behavior; however, there are those parents (new ones mainly) that are adopting other means to teach. Nowadays, spanking has become more less harsh and more common to teach kids respect towards others and specially adults (in the past it was a beat down); rather than spanking for small problems.

    I agree that there should be spanking. However, anything beyond what is needed (spanking wise) to teach a lesson is what I called barbaric.

    Here, a kid can take a beating (that's a small word to use to describe it) if he/she doesn't do x thing well or forgets to do it.
  16. messedkid macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2007
    Oshawa, ON
    I am NOT advocating the beating of children.

    I was hit/spanked as a child, and I believe I turned out better because of it.
    When I see and talk to my friends, and even see other people's children these days, and how disrespectful and just outright obnoxious these kids can get in certain situations, I believe the only way to knock it out of them is a smack upside the head.

    I'm not saying we should go UFC style on these kids, but children need to know how to behave in situations that call for a little quiet time, or when it is just disrespectful to throw a fit. If they misbehave, they need to learn that that is not going to be tolerated and need to learn the consequences.

    I am NOT advocating the beating of children.
    But when I do have children, I will most likely have to give them a quick and small slap on the bum or for instance smack their hand when they're about to do something they're not supposed to.

    For instance, when I was younger (I'm 22 now) and in Kindergarten I used to pick my nose. Just shove a finger in my nose and dig for gold. My parents would smack my hand as soon as they notice I was going to pick, and guess what... I stopped picking my nose.

    IMO some children crave discipline, it is the only way they learn. Was in a Burger King the other day, and this lady (I'm guessing late 20s - early 30s) was there with her son, ~4-5 years old. This kid was running around the building, screaming at the top of his lungs, because they didn't have the toy he wanted. WTF? The parents should step in, smack him upside the head, and tell him to sit down and be glad he even gets a toy.
    When I go to work and listen to the new Dads I work with, all who have sons at home ages 1-5, who talk about how their sons do something stupid or wrong, and they send them on their little "Time-out" but they never learn from their mistakes... I have tried to give my opinion, but they all say, "oh, you know, they're at that terrible age. We acted the same way at that age".

    Yeah, we were the same at that age, BUT WE GOT FREAKING SLAPPED!
    If Time-out doesn't work for your doesn't and won't work! So long Time-out, find some other family to ********!
    Time to try a new method of punishing your children.

    I am NOT advocating the beating of children.

    Long story short, I do not blame children for acting up in public places. I blame the parents. Parents need to let go of their fear of slapping their child once in a while to knock some sense into them.

    PS. one again, I am NOT advocating the beating of children. I am talking about a simple, open handed smack on the bottom, back of the head, or across the hands. Parents with alcohol problems (or other emotional problems) who go all out on children is downright wrong, and IMO is what most people think when hitting or spanking your children comes up.
    My parents were spanked when they were little.
    Their parents were spanked.
    Their parents were spanked.
    I think their parents were fired out of a cannon into the sun. :confused:
    But theis parents were spanked too, and they were all better, Authority Figure respecting people because of it.
  17. MegaMillions macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2009
    We are not Gods. We cannot decide for a child whether what they're doing is right, wrong, "acceptable," "not acceptable." Who do we think we are?

    @messedkid, I used to pick my nose when I was little too, and my parents never stopped me. Apparently it's really healthy and boosts the immune system. You speak about your childhood with an unquestioned assumption that of course you should not have been picking your nose. That's how this all starts. Parents assuming that their kids shouldn't be doing what they're doing, and then the kids later believing that it's true that they shouldn't have been doing those things as a kid.

    What i'm saying is, what kids do is what they're supposed to do, and if they do something totally outrageous or unacceptable, look at yourself to see how you taught him to behave that way. Spanking will not help.
  18. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Yes, I get that feeling. Down here in Latin America (Honduras more precise), younger parents are becoming like that. The whole Time-Out and let the kid scream/do what he/she wants routine. It's becoming that way because people have started to take up on... can you guess? No? Well, they are starting to see shows like Super Nanny.

    It's gotten to a point where kids are no longer respectful and obedient. I am not saying every time a kid requires a smack. However, its most certain that it is needed as the whole Time-Out thing is not working.
  19. neonblue2 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2006
    Port Pirie, South Australia
    Just do what my mum did with my sister one time.

    While out shopping my sister (who was about three or four) threw a tantrum over a sparkly hat (those plastic ones that kids wear at birthdays). It was pretty much a full on fit. So my mum took her outside and just let her yell. She even egged her on, saying that our grandparents probably couldn't hear her yet, to make her embarrassed. It worked but not after they both learnt a lesson; don't scream loud and long enough to cough up blood because it's freaky.

    On the topic of smacking/spanking/slapping kids, all I can say is that it depends on the child and their age. I was smacked on the bottom a few times when I was very young, as was my sister, but it never went further than that. It was usually one or two then I'd cry and then after a while I'd calm down. When I became more rational they tried more intellectual punishments like no TV and no video games. They worked extremely well.

    Although they once threatened to take away all my toys but instead of trying to stop them when they started, I actually helped them. They weren't bluffing but it wasn't going to be much of a punishment if I was going to stick to my guns and had accepted the loss of my things as a small price for whatever I had done.
  20. AdamLikesMusic macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2009
    I typed up a big long post about this, but couldn't bring myself to hit submit.

    Long story short - absolutely not. I remember the times my father would "discipline" me, and they were nothing short of abuse. I never want my kids to have such memories. (Even if I wasn't to "abuse" my kids, and "properly" physically punish them, whose to say they won't remember it as such? I don't want them to even have to think about it.)

    For those of you who do, I'm curious, at what age (child's age) do you decide that physical punishment is no longer an appropriate punishment for wrong-doing?
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I can see where you are coming from. I do not promote abuse also. Now, back to your question.

    When will I decide when its no longer appropriate? Well, it will depend on the age and maturity level.

    Long Story short - My parents stopped smacking/spanking me at age 15, but I was still immature, so to deal with me, they came and grounded me on the TV front, hanging with friends after school front, the video/computer games front. In short, they grounded me in ways that actually hurt more than smacking. I craved to go out and having that privilege taken away from me for a week or weeks was like being stabbed to me. I'd rather much endure the spanking than to loose my video games or permission to go out.
  22. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Heh I thought this was going to be a joke thread at first.

    I plan on spanking yes. I got in trouble a lot when I was a kid and it definitely made me behave. That and having my mouth washed out with soap. Bleh! I learned my lesson pretty quickly.
    I mostly plan on emulating my parents. Spanking until 10, after that the gadgets get confiscated and groundings kick in up until 16, 17. Then I pray they'll be good on their own :eek:.
  23. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    There are far too many douche bag kids that do exactly as they please because no one has ever told them no, and/or reinforced this with a good old slap.

    Should kids be routinely beaten for every little thing? No.

    Should they get a smack on the butt when they just won't knock it off? Probably.
  24. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Well since I'm not going to be a parent — at least in this life time — I can't really answer the question directly.

    I am not sure spanking/caning etc is the right way — although I do sometimes wish people would be less indulgent of their little preciousnesses™… and give them a few smacks about the bottom when they are running riot in Sainsburys pulling tins and boxes off shelves.

    Certainly when I was a pre-teen I was spanked regularly by my parents — but certainly not beaten up or abused — and I most certainly deserved it. :eek:

    My father caned me up until I was about 14 years old. So after that caning I turned round, thanked him(!:eek:!) and said: "Don't ever do that to me again."

    And he didn't. :D

    School on the other hand was a different matter.
    I went to an all boys school where caning was the preferred manner to get results.
    The headmaster, maths and Latin teachers were all firm believers in the power of inflicting pain and fear — although I always thought humiliation lay at the bottom (so to speak) of their sadism…

    But for all their efforts, I turned out quite OK. ;)
  25. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    I wasn't hit as a kid and I was never badly behaved, treat and talk to your kids like small adults and they'll act like adults, they'll just pick up your behaviours.

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