Does spanking create dumber, more aggressive kids?

A new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University found that children who are spanked as 1-year-olds are more likely to behave aggressively and did worse on cognitive tests as toddlers than children who were not spanked.

HealthDay News reports:

” ‘Age 1 is a key time for establishing the quality of the parenting and the relationship between parent and the child,’ said study author Lisa J. Berlin, a research scientist at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. ‘Spanking at age 1 reflects a negative dynamic, and increases children’s aggression at age 2.’ “

The study, which is published in the September/October issue of “Child Development” examined data on 2,500 white, Mexican American and black children from low-income families. The data included parents’ reports about their children’s behavior, their use of spanking, as well as home visits by trained observers to document parent-child interactions at ages 1, 2 and 3.

“About one-third of mothers of 1-year-olds reported they or someone in their household had spanked their child in the last week, while about half of the mothers of 2- and 3-year-olds reported that their child had been spanked.”

“The average number of spankings for 1-year-olds was 2.6 per week, while the average for 2-year-olds was nearly three.”

“The study found that children who were spanked at age 1 had more aggressive behaviors at age 2 and performed worse on measures of thinking abilities at age 3.”

“Being spanked at age 2, however, did not predict more aggressive behaviors at age 3, possibly because the spanking had begun at age 1 and by age 2 the kids were already more aggressive, Berlin said.”

Apparently just scolding your kids doesn’t increase their risk of bad behavior, as long as the mother is generally attentive and supportive.

In a related story ABC News examined how being raised by abusive parents affects your parenting. According to ABC News, studies show that one in three people who were abused as children will grow up to become an abuser.

“For more than a month last year, ABC News followed three parents in Florida who are trying to overcome those odds. Cameras rolled as the parents struggled to deal with their kids monster tantrums and meltdowns that could test anyone’s patience. The families volunteered for a mentoring program for at-risk parents called Parent Aide, run by the Toledo, Ohio-based National Exchange Club Foundation.”

PrimeTime on ABC showed the footage last night of how the families were handling their children’s discipline and how they could do a better job. The online story also reviews what the parents were doing wrong and how else they could have handled the situations.

In another related story on ABC News, a doctor offered 10 TIPS TO DEAL WITH DEFIANT CHILDREN, and I found them very interesting. Obviously they don’t want you spanking a child or even using time-outs repeatedly. The big thing this doctor recommends is just recognizing good behavior from your kids and constantly pointing it out.

Dr. Alan Kazdin of Yale University Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic, says in the ABC News story:

“Positive attention to good behavior can be a smile, a touch or praise — or all three — but do it right away and be specific about what it was the child did right every time. ‘Great job taking your dishes to the sink!’ works better than ‘Great job!’

I’m actually going to try his tips and email them to Michael. I like the idea of telling them frequently when they are good (I do it now but probably not enough!).

What do you think of each of these stories?

Do you buy that spanking at 1 or under will increase the child’s chances of behaving badly and doing poorly on cognitive tests? Did you notice how often these little 1-year-olds were getting spanked?

Do you spank? How young did you start spanking? How often do you spank?

Do you believe that abused children are more likely to abuse?

What did you think of the coping tips offered in the second story, as well as the 10 tips offered by the Yale professor?

202 comments Add your comment

HB

September 17th, 2009
12:21 am

I’m not surprised that the study showed one-year-olds who are spanked are more likely to become aggressive. I’ve worked with families in different areas of the country, and the ones that used spanking as their primary means of discipline were the ones whose kids were the worst behaved overall and the most aggressive. I did not see much difference in behavior overall of kids who were not spanked at all (usually northern families) compared with those who were spanked rarely (southern). In those rarely spanking families, the parents didn’t spank at all under age 2, and when they did start only spanked when children did something potentially dangerous or had a rare, really bad day and were clearly warned after a few incidents punished by other means that the next one would bring a spanking (last resort).

nurse&mother

September 17th, 2009
12:22 am

I wish I could see the study in more depth. I wonder if the data is skewed if they only looked at low income families/children. That in and of itself could be a factor in low test scores. Why didn’t the researchers look at middle or upper class?

For some reason, I have this mental image of what I think the typical mother in the study looks/acts like.

We rarely spank in our house. But on occasion, we feel that it is necessary. We did some swats on behinds when the children were toddlers and it seemed to work nicely. (actually, the 3yo still gets them every now and then.) Once again, it is not often. BTW, my 12 yo is in the gifted program and scores VERY well on all of her standardized tests. The 3yo seems to be pretty bright and observant. His preschool teachers tell me that he appears to be very bright as well. Do I think that the spanking has harmed my children? Of course not.

I would also be interested to know/see how hard the typical parent in the study spanked. I would think that could be a factor in the results. There is a difference in spanking and abusing. You CAN spank without abusing a child.

Cephus

September 17th, 2009
12:26 am

I could not imagime spanking a one year old baby. A two year old can at least understand that there are negative consequences to misbehavior. The results of this study make sense to me

Shannon, M.Div.

September 17th, 2009
12:31 am

There is no reason or excuse to hit a child, *ever*. It has no good consequences. It is morally wrong. It teaches children that might makes right. It teaches them that violence is an appropriate way to deal with unwanted behavior in others. What it doesn’t teach them is that they are loved and valued. What it doesn’t do is teach them why their behavior is wrong.

There is never a reason to lay a violent hand on a child, in anger or not, with the intention to cause pain.

Never, never, never.

Never.

motherjanegoose

September 17th, 2009
2:23 am

I do not believe in spanking small children as the primary course of action. I am not sure that I ever spanked our children when they were one….a pop on the hand with a firm NO….maybe.

It takes more time to come up with a solution that corrects wrong behavior and for both parties ( parent and child) to understand the how and why. Sometimes , you CANNOT reason wiht a 2 year old. Kind of like sitting down with your dog and trying to explain why it was a bad idea that he/she just ate an entire pkg. of Oreos at one time as they were left out on the counter and the dog pulled them down to enjoy. Two year olds are not usually old enough to comprehend logic, other mtheods need to be used and not just resorting to spanking.

Having had hours of Psychology classes ( that most parents and especially my own never attended) I understand that there are ways to redirect behavior and also offer an alternate punishment,

My parents were spankers. I remember having marks on my legs and buttocks many times. Ditto for my husband. Many adults are familiar with whippings.

I have spanked my kids ( on occasion) and am not at all opposed to it. As parents, some children’s behaviors need a quick resolve. Especially if there is danger involved. I was always careful not to spank out of anger. When you are actually a parent yourself, you know that there are times you will lose it with children. This is not the time to spank .

IMHO if more children were disciplined ( I did not say spanked) today, we would not have the problems we have. The pendulum seems to have swung in the other direction and parents are afraid of their kids or do not know what to do with them.

While my own kids have a lapse of judgment moment, they often tell me that when their friends come up with crazy ideas they say ” I cannot do that…my parents will kill me..” Not really but they know what we expect of them. You do have to start when they are little but spanking a one year old may not be the best course of action.

@ Shannon, respectfully if you have a Masters of Divinity ( am I correct) , how do you handle the Bible Verse about Spare the Rod Spoil the child…just curious.

motherjanegoose

September 17th, 2009
2:28 am

OOOPS I am not usually up at this time and sorry for the typos…back to bed for me!

When I say most parents, regarding the Psychology classes, I mean in the entire U.S. and across all cultural, social and economic norms.

notgonnagiveone

September 17th, 2009
6:16 am

Love how you slyly worked into your piece that story about abused children. Sneaky little way to show a ‘related story’ and therefore relate those who ABUSE their children to those who SPANK them. I guess we see your opinion…care to take a guess at my opinion on your tactics?

catlady

September 17th, 2009
7:04 am

I have to LOL at the idea that this study shows a link, and folks impute causation. That spanking CAUSES dumber, more aggressive kids. Could it be that kids who are dumb get spanked more because they fail to heed their parents’ warnings/body language signals? Could it be that kids who are aggressive get in trouble more and thus are spanked more? Geeze.

You would also find that lower class parents spank more. Does that mean that spanking your child makes you poor? C’mon.

Could there be causation? Sure, but this study will not parse it out. You have to have controls and statistical methods far greater than these.

On spanking: my children were spanked when they needed it: when they defied what they had been told to do, or standards that had been clearly set. I would guess less than a half dozen times for the oldest, a very compliant child, less than 10 for the son, and about a half dozen for the youngest daughter.

I was NEVER spanked on my bottom as a child, but got my hands spanked once for throwing red clay mud on my mother;s clean white sheets.

catlady

September 17th, 2009
7:17 am

As a teacher, I can tell you few children are getting spanked. Too much effort, I guess. Parents just ignore bad behavior and the child escalates it. An occasional spanking when a child defies the parents’ authority is a spanking well used, IMHO. Or you get what we have now: kids who have no respect for any authority at all. These are the disgruntled, job to job workers of a decade from now.

The devil is in the details. What is a spanking? Hitting the kid with a brush or a stick?

M. Div, I am reminded that God smote the Israelites for their lack of obedience to him repeatedly in the Bible. Are we not to be wise fathers to our children?

first time poster

September 17th, 2009
7:32 am

“M. Div, I am reminded that God smote the Israelites for their lack of obedience to him repeatedly in the Bible. Are we not to be wise fathers to our children?”

You’re kidding right? Sorry, but justifying doing harm to anyone based on a book is just illogical.

KidsRpeople2

September 17th, 2009
7:44 am

The TRUTH is that school children are treated differently in our great nation based on where they live. A middle school student in Texas DIED by having his chest crushed when his teacher sat on him to restrain him, a Texas high school student suffered deep bruising and welts to his lower back, buttocks and back of his legs when he received 21 “licks” with a wooden canoe paddle, which broke during the beating and had to be taped to continue the beating, a 9-year-old Georgia 3rd grader suffered deep bruising injuries when he was PADDLED WITH A WOODEN PADDLE 3 TIMES IN ONE DAY and a Publicly Funded Charter School in Memphis, Tennessee physically punishes middle/high school boys and GIRLS weekly during a ceremony called “Chapel” by hitting them with wooden paddles and/or whipping their hands with leather straps IN FRONT OF ALL THE OTHER STUDENTS AS A DETERRENT to publicly induce shame, humiliation and fear! The school employees in the above actions have LEGAL IMMUNITY and are STILL paid by our tax-dollars to be ENTRUSTED with the care and education of our children! Arkansas is one of the states where Physical Punishment of Children in schools is legal and practiced.

“Children are the most vulnerable members of our society. Adults have constitutional and legal protection from physical violence. Why are children still waiting?”

Physical punishment of schoolchildren is NOT education’s “Best Practice” if it is ILLEGAL in 30 states. U.S. Congress is currently holding hearings on Abusive and DEADLY practices in SCHOOLS and MUST ABOLISH Physical/Corporal Punishment Nationwide of ALL Children in ALL Schools, The Cost is $0. Doesn’t it just make sense for all of us to keep our hands off of other people’s children?

Pushing for anything less than an outright ban on all forms of classroom abuse reveals a gap in the administration’s professed commitment to making schools better, safer, and stronger.

motherjanegoose

September 17th, 2009
8:00 am

@ Kidsrpeople2…Am I the only one who thought we were talking about OUR OWN CHILDREN?

I taught for years and NEVER punished a child with any type of physical force. I would never dream of it. How many ONE year olds are actually in school….daycare maybe and those folks would lose their license in a minute! I guess there might be some children using in home day care that could be punished physically.

I am not getting how your post relates to the topic, as I thought the word parent was mentioned frequently in the report above. Perhaps you wanted to extend the topic?

Again, I love catlady’s insights and did get a chuckle out of :
“Could it be that kids who are dumb get spanked more because they fail to heed their parents’ warnings/body language signals? Could it be that kids who are aggressive get in trouble more and thus are spanked more? Geeze.”

catlady

September 17th, 2009
8:03 am

First time: depends on what you mean by “harm.” If you mean teaching the child to do as they are told to avoid getting run over, for example, I would think that “harm” would be not enforcing your teaching, rather than a spanking for pulling away and heading for the street.

Many folks think that “book”, the Bible, provides information on how to live. Obviously, not you, but perhaps the M.Div does accept that.

Kidspeople2: the subject is parental spanking. Stay on track and focus!

By the way, if you follow the line of thinking this “research” promotes, you believe that serving coffee on an airline flight causes turbulance!

first time poster

September 17th, 2009
8:13 am

By “harm” I mean hitting them. I managed to teach my child to not run into the road, or touch a hot stove without hitting her.

Retired nurse/mom

September 17th, 2009
8:27 am

This is just one study of a long list of studies that definitely repudiates spanking. To the other nurse and mom- in my child development classes – there was not one mention that spanking was a helpful or useful tool in child rearing. I was brought up with it and decided NOT to use spanking whatsoever. And that is really because I believe that I wouldn’t be able to use enough self control. In other words, just because my parents did it to me, was not an excuse for me to use it on my kids. I think a lot of parents just spank because it is easy and short lived – ‘or so they think’, but don’t think of the long term consequences. The worse a child becomes, and the louder and harder you yell and spank…all you do is desensitize the kid and it becomes less and less effective. If you were raised with abuse, you are more likely to become an abuser. If you were raised with spanking, you will more likely become a spanker. The science and stats prove this.
Personally I think spanking – of any kind – is poor parenting plain and simple. BTW to the other posters – it is true that corporal punishment does go on in schools. That fact is sad and disgusts me personally. I think it’s strange that any parent in Georgia would allow someone else to paddle their child. Personally I believe it needs to be outlawed ASAP. The other study that was recently published called, Impairing Education, particularly spotlights Georgia. If the lawmakers don’t wake up on this, children will continue to get injured — and yes, they do get injured according to Impairing Education and student achievement is lower as well. I believe it is a serious problem.

workingmom

September 17th, 2009
8:35 am

We have never felt the need to spank our children. While I am not necessarily against the idea of spanking in certain situations, I do believe if spanking is a regular form of punishment (i.e. you are using it at least weekly) then it is not really working, is it? I was spanked as a child, but probably can count on my fingers the total times I was spanked in my childhood. The threat always seem to work well for me. I have a friend who seems to regularly spank her children for misbehaving. In that case, the child knows there is a spanking coming for misbehavior and does it anyway…you need to find a different motivator. In that case, all you are doing is teaching your child to hit IMHO.

Retired nurse/mom

September 17th, 2009
8:35 am

catlady – I must ask – you state you are an educator, Did you take child development class? It seems the reason you spank is not based on logic, but only out of habit. Because you were hit, you use it to hit your kids. Why would anyone in education even think that spanking is a reasonable form of child rearing really concerns me. I don’t care if you say you don’t punish your students with corporal punishment. The mere fact that you spank your own kids concerns people like me who have raised their kids without any sort of hitting. Spanking is hitting, let’s not just dress up the word. I really don’t get educators who are college educated, surely have taken child development classes, and still do this. And then you wonder why parents sometimes don’t trust educators?? I think this is why. It troubles me that any educator says they hit their own kids…who’s to say you won’t lose control and hit someone else’s kid?

HB

September 17th, 2009
8:42 am

“Spare the rod, spoil the child…”

I know no one who takes this literally, whether they feel spanking is ok or not. A rod?! That sounds like caning! It also sounds like the Bible says not to use the rod sparingly. So if you’re not going to stick to the literal meaning, I don’t see where a metaphorical rod of timeout, grounding, etc, is any less valid of an interpretation than the rod being a rare, open-handed slap on the butt.

Becky

September 17th, 2009
8:51 am

Doesn’t a lot of this depend on the child’s situation?

Andrea

September 17th, 2009
9:16 am

Forgive my brutal candor but HECK NO – spanking does not create a dumber child. I have never heard of such foolishness! I have to agree with one of the other posters, the child was already dumb or probably, hard-headed.

(Aging myself here) I did get whippings as a child. In hindsight, I can say the very thought of getting a whipping would scare the crap out of me. As a parent, I do believe that there are circumstances where an old fashioned whipping is necessary.

I do agree that abusers begat abusers. But, IMHO, those who equate discipline with abuse are just not being honest. Sure there are some parents that abuse their kids, but not all parents do that. Most do not. I think you are doing your child a far greater injustice by giving them the false hopes of thinking that people in the real world aren’t going to give them real consequences for their actions. I am so tired of parents that allow their kids to co-parent with them. That is absurd. Children are not miniature adults.

I have spanked my kids. I have given them the “hand pop” where I give them a pop on the hand. If I do spank their bottom, it is only with my hand. It is always done rarely and they would have gone through levels of punishment before it gets to that final consequence.

I do like the alternative punishments also and do use them regularly.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 17th, 2009
9:17 am

I think you guys are reading too much into my grouping of stories — I say related because they are about discipline — and give alternatives to spanking in general.

Becky (original)

September 17th, 2009
9:23 am

OK, guess there is another Becky on here, so I may have to change my blog name..

No, I don’t think a child should be spanked..They can learn without being hit on..As others said though, a swat on the back side or hand is (usually) enough..No child under at the age of one should ever be spanked..

Do I think that spankings casue dumber, more aggressive kids? No..I know kids that were never spanked as children that are aggressive.. I think it just depends..

Stan

September 17th, 2009
9:26 am

catlady,
I said exactly what I was thinking, only you said it MUCH better than I could have. Awesome posts!

JJ

September 17th, 2009
9:32 am

I was spanked, my brother was spanked, and my child was spanked. No violence in our family, nor are we poor or stupid……

I do NOT believe spanking = child abuse. To me, that is absurd. If a child is acting out, sometimes a good swick smack on the butt will get their attention.

Now what I think is worse, is the parent who cannot say NO to their child, and just lets them do whatever. I have numerous friends whose children rule the household, as young as 5……it just drives me crazy……

My ex sister in law, is on the verge of bankruptcy because she can’t say no to her kids. She will buy them anything and everything they ask for. NEVER has she once told them no.

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
9:39 am

What spanking teaches a child, if done correctly, is that the consequences of their actions become more severe the longer they persist. This is how REAL life works.

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
9:43 am

This is an addendum to my comment I made at 9:39 am.

And by “actions” I mean those actvities that negatively effect themselves or those around them.

Michael

September 17th, 2009
9:43 am

Man oh man this study is so wrong, I truly believe that there is a difference between spanking and abuse,My kids are spanked only as a LAST resort, and they are all top honor students, my kids started learning and reading by the ages of 3-4 and were always bright, my 9 year old is in highschool math and reading, and my 5 year old is starting Kindergarden and reads 3rd grade books.So I would say this study is very opinion related.
I have seen in my life the people that are agenst spanking are people that can’t or don’t have kids. Hum.. I have an issue with people that don’t have kids but yet they are all about telling people how to raise them. I have the privlage of living next to a few police officers and let me let you they see it all, they tell me all the time if more people would step up and punish there kids with a swat or two every now and again when they do something bad then these kids would understand that something negitive happens with you don’t follow the rules, they tell me about how half of the kids they know by first name out on the street are the “none spanked” kids that have no respect for anything adn have rep sheets a mile long. Plus in the real world is it all about positive behavior when you do something wrong….I think not. when you screw up at work what happens….no raise, or fired. you break the law…you go to jail… all negitive actions…..Dauh!!! Kids have to be taught that if you do something bad a negitive action will follow, this teaches REAL world!!!!!WAKE UP PEOPLE.

motherjanegoose

September 17th, 2009
9:44 am

@ JJ and do you ever wish some of those kids whose parents are letting them rule the roost while they are ruining your dinner at a restaurant at 8:30 p.m. would be taken out for a quick pop…I do.

Perhaps the parents who use spanking sparingly, as I did ( and you too), have children who can read the signs that their parents are not happy with them and if they do not quickly turn their behavior around, they are heading for something (neither the parent nor) the child wants.

I am all about positive reinforcement but as adults, we are punished if we do not follow the rules:

YOUR CLOCK IN TIME IS 9:00 A.M. FOR WORK….who gets a bonus ( positive reinforcement) if you show up at 8:55 ready to clock in….who gets docked for pay or fired if you stroll in every day at 9:30?

YOUR TAXES ARE DUE APRIL 15….who gets 10% off of their taxes if they file early or a penalty
( punishment) if they file late.

YOUR CAR PAYMENT IS DUE ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH …DO THEY LET YOU PAY LESS IF YOU PAY A WEEK IN ADVANCE OR DO YOU GET PUNISHED WITH A LATE FEE IF YOU PAY LATE?

I am not talking about saving interest money by paying loans off early…I am talking about month to month.

I’m just saying….the world is full of adult punishments and kids need to learn this early….some parents do not see it.

JJ

September 17th, 2009
9:51 am

MJG I don’t go out to restaurants very often, and when I do, I very rarely see children acting out that need to be removed from the establishment.

Now I was at Publix the other day, and there were two kids just screaming with excitement. They were starting to get on my nerves, as I heard them throughout the store, and I was there at least 30 minutes. The mom was oblivious to their screams. They weren’t crying, just very excited. But you could hear them everywhere in that store…..not once did Momma say, please be quiet….she must be one of those who allows the kids to do whatever they want. And they were younger kids too, about 4 and 5…….very cute, but very annoying.

I love kids, and love being around them, but I couldn’t get out of that store fast enough…….

motherjanegoose

September 17th, 2009
9:53 am

haha..@ Michael….maybe we should take a survey of PARENTS OF CHILDREN RIGHT NOW on this blog who did ( at some point) spank their child….not abusively and whose children are now admired by their peers, good students and that adults tell you what wonderful children you have. That would be my children ( although they do make mistakes). Who else wants to weigh in.?

@ Michael again:
“Hum.. I have an issue with people that don’t have kids but yet they are all about telling people how to raise them.” Me too and when I mention it to the folks I work with that those who have never been parents but like to tell the rest of us what we need to know…they all laugh and roll their eyes.
Not much I can do about it. Kind of like my Pediatrician telling me I needed to continue to breastfeed when my son was using me as a teething ring and I wanted to stop at 10 months…he was a DOCTOR but he was a MAN!

Yesterday, I did not chime in with advice about being a STEP PARENT as I have never been one.
I personally take advise more seriously if the bearer has actual experience in the area. May be it is just me~

Becky (the second one)

September 17th, 2009
10:00 am

Don’t worry, I will leave.

motherjanegoose

September 17th, 2009
10:16 am

oops…sory for my typos, I am doing 4 things at once and getting ready to go visit with children. Have fun and I can’t wait to see what comes up later.

@ Becky ( the second one) there are many posters on here who have been posting for quite some time….original Becky. New posters are always welcome but some new poster’s name’s can often be the same name as another poster and this is confusing. Please stay but if you keep the Becky ( the second one) we will know who you are. I have clients with the same first name and when they call and say, “This is Lisa…”, I need to know Lisa who and where. Please do not get your feelings hurt over it. I always enjoy reading new ideas from new people.

We had another Becky a while back and it was a bit confusing….

teeincsg

September 17th, 2009
10:21 am

I spank when necessary, but it’s not often. Like most posters said, usually as the last resort or when I’ve told them to not touch or do something because it could endanger them.

I was spanked as a kid (not often, I was a good kid ;) ). I don’t think I’ve become aggressive and certainly not dumb and I was from a low income family!
I think I’m a productive citizen of the world with a Masters degree, working hard to take care of my family and ground them with morals — an the occasional swat on the behind.

@ JJ — I thought you were talking about my kids for a moment LOL. But I would have said something to them and probably took them to the “woodshed”, so I realized it wasn’t me LOL

@ Michael — that’s great that your 5 year old is reading on an advanced level! I was an early reader too. My 3 and 5 year old love books and I hope they keep that going.

HB

September 17th, 2009
10:21 am

“I wonder if the data is skewed if they only looked at low income families/children. That in and of itself could be a factor in low test scores. Why didn’t the researchers look at middle or upper class?”

Nurse&mother, actually, this would make the study less skewed because they are looking at children of similar economic backgrounds who were spanked at age 1 vs those who were not — low income kids spanked as babies did worse than low-income kids that weren’t. If you compared, for example, low-income and middle-income children and found those spanked had lower test scores and worse behavior, you may also find that the 1-y-o spanked kids were dispropotionately lower income, so the income could be a bigger influence in that group than the spanking. Does that make sense?

It’s also interesting that the third of parents who spank 1-year-olds at all in the study do it often (2.6x per week on average). Not really surprising, though, since I would think parents who feel spanking should be used only as a last resort most likely are not spanking 1-year-olds who can’t really understand warnings and threats of greater punishment.

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
10:22 am

My parents would tell me to stop doing something, then if I kept doing it they would threaten to spank me, if I kept persisting, they would actually spank me, and if it was a SERIOUS issue, or if I flat out refused to stop even after being spanked, then a belt to the @ss was in order. Believe me, with that stepped approach I learned REAL quick. Often my mom would simply threaten with the belt after asking me to stop and that was enough to get me to stop. As I recall my mother brought out the belt maybe twice in my entire life….but the fear of it kept me in line.

I use this same approach with my kids and it works and I have also incorporated a form of “time out” as a step in the discipline process. I’ve not had to use a belt with my kids and I hope that I will never have to but if I must, then I will.

Again, spanking, if done CORRECTLY, can be as effective as any other form of discipline, but like everything else, I’m sure it varies from kid to kid as to what works.

Becky (the second one)

September 17th, 2009
10:22 am

Thanks MJG. My feelings are not hurt, I will just post under another id.

teeincsg

September 17th, 2009
10:28 am

Dr. Horrible, that’s what I do to mine: warn, threaten (LOL), then proceed with action.
I humor myself as well by letting them see me put the belt in my purse when we go out.
Do I use it? no. I usually surprise myself when go in my purse to get money or something out and see it LOL.
My 5 year old daughter reminds me that I can get the belt if her 3 year old brother is not listening to me when I tell him to do something.
Hmmmm… who’s the parent here? LOL

YUKI

September 17th, 2009
10:36 am

I have a 1 1/2 year old son and I do not spank him at this time. There is a huge difference between spanking and abuse. When I was growing up, I always had the threat of a “whipping” if I misbehaved and although I think my father only actually resorted to that once (and very mild I might add), the fear of it kept me in line. I’m not poor, aggressive or dumb. This is the problem with kids today, their actions have no consequences and they know it. Why not misbehave, nothing is going to happen??? I see nothing wrong with a small swat on the hand or backside. I obviously am not meaning to beat your kid until he has bruises, but people who are like “NO HITTING EVER” need to get off of their high horse and realize it’s not “abuse” if you use it as a form of mild discipline and a last resort. It’s ridiculous how “politically correct” everyone tries to be. Just take care of your own kids and teach them right from wrong and you won’t have to worry about someone else having to beat them at school!

Becky (original)

September 17th, 2009
10:37 am

Becky(second one)..I wasn’t trying to run you off..It’s just confusing when there are 2 Becky’s..So if there isn’t another name that you might want to use, I’ll be happy to use soemthing different..As MJG said, we welcome any and all and would love to have you stay and be a part of our family.

Thanks MJG..

Retired nurse/mom

September 17th, 2009
10:45 am

Why do people who spank discredit valid studies? And why do you not take it to heart and at least try some of the techniques offered? Did anyone watch the primetime show last night? Would any spanker on this blogpage be willing to be filmed as they hit their child? It really looks like abuse when it is on film, I don’t care how one can just brush it off.

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
10:52 am

@Retired nurse/mom

I think most of those of us here that say they spank do so as a last resort only. If I were to be filmed spanking my child the film had better also include the numerous times I had tried to discipline my kid without spanking them first. Then the audience would be more inclined to understand the situation.

Becky (Prime)

September 17th, 2009
11:01 am

I’ve gone crosseyed.

KidsRpeople2

September 17th, 2009
11:09 am

Regarding Physical/Corporal Punishment in SCHOOLS, I am the parent of 3 children attending schools in an UNRESPONSIVE Paddling School District where TEACHERS keep WOODEN PADDLES in desk drawers to show to middle school students and threaten them with physical punishment, which is administered in hallways, just outside class, then the battered child immediately faces classmates when they return to their seat, for stuff like not turning in homework, all WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT OR NOTIFICATION! We DO NOT HIT OUR CHILDREN and are strongly OPPOSED TO THEIR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT INCLUDING THIS VIOLENCE, LAZINESS AND STUPIDITY! We took the matter up with our local school board elected members in April 2008 during “National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month” and to date 9/09, have received no response, no letter, no phone call, they have ignored us! We also took the matter up with the State of Tennessee Department of Education and the Governor’s Office and the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and everyone says it is a “local issue”. Thank goodness local communities do not have authority to legalize and practice slavery! School employees are prohibited by LAW from hitting children with wooden paddles or any other physical punishment in 30 states, why are children in the other 20 states treated differently? Also, when the President addressed the nation’s school children recently, our County schools IGNORED THE ENTIRE ISSUE, no notes home, no discussion with the children or parents, they DECIDED FOR PARENTS that they would not participate. There was not even any mention of the President’s address to the school children in our local paper that comes out once weekly! Meanwhile, the recent shocking headlines listed in my earlier post are verifiable by doing an internet search, CHILDREN ARE BEING HARMED PHYSICALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY IN OUR TAX-PAYER FUNDED SCHOOLS! The COST TO PROHIBIT PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT OF CHILDREN IN AMERICA’S SCHOOLS IS $0.

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
11:16 am

@KidsRpeople2

Seriously, if I were you…I would either move out of that school system or find an alternative school for my children to attend. It sounds like that school system has way too much power and is corrupted by the power it wields. Good luck to you.

Retired nurse/mom

September 17th, 2009
11:24 am

@ Doc Horrible — The videos from last nights primetime show depicted exactly that, parents who could not control their kids who resorted to physical means. They were the adults that still appeared to be out of control when they resorted to physical punishment. You can excuse it all you want. Why not break the spanking habit, because that’s all it is. It is done I believe only because people were spanked as children and it is what they know. Once you implement other means, and stop with the ‘last resort’ mantra, you’ll likely have better adjusted children. Further, I doubt the spankers can cite one study that says it’s effective.. I will put you up to the task. Locate one study that says spanking is a good thing.
Spanking is hitting. Period. Let’s not dress it up as an innocuous word. Hitting a child is wrong. You can’t hit your dog in this country. You can’t hit your neighbor, You can’t hit your spouse but the pervasive attitude is that you can still hit your kid. SAD

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
11:38 am

@Retired nurse/mom

Your reasoning is why we have to deal with the “ME” generation of kids. Thanks for being part of the problem.

jack5656

September 17th, 2009
11:41 am

Michael…just a suggestion that maybe you should have your genius children spell check your blogs before you submit them…I’m sure they could enlighten you that “negitive” is actually spelled “negative”, “privlage” is spelled “privilege”, and “agenst” is spelled “against”.

You wrote “I have seen in my life the people that are agenst spanking are people that can’t or don’t have kids” Well, just to set the record straight, I have a child and I’ve never spanked him and he’s doing just fine. I don’t disagree with you that spanking can be useful in the right circumstances, but if you and your cop buddies think that spanking is THE BEST AND ONLY way to teach discipline, respect, and consequences for bad behavior, well that’s just as stupid as saying there is NO place for spanking ever.

You also wrote “Hum.. I have an issue with people that don’t have kids but yet they are all about telling people how to raise them”…well most of us (and I would think you would be included in this group) have an issue with someone who DOES have kids telling us how to raise ours just because they have had success with theirs.

Dr. Horrible

September 17th, 2009
11:46 am

Allow me to elaborate on my 11:38 am comment.

The “ME” generation of kids has come about because they have been brought up with the thought that they are entitled to be rewarded for doing something…..this leads to the “what’s in it for me” approach.

And now that generation “ME” is starting to join the workforce they are finding out that things simply do not work that way in the real world.

Parents should be more concerned with teaching their kids how the world actually works and less concerned with being the kid’s friend.

Retired nurse/mom

September 17th, 2009
11:46 am

@Dr. HOrrible. Thank you for indicting my kids before you even know them. My children are no angels but they have never done something that would warrant me or their father hitting them. NOsirree. What works for us is a united front. I am blessed to have a wonderful strong father figure for my children. We lead by example but we are not perfect. It’s parents who use their hands and fists as a means to discipline that raise violent people, that is a pervasive problem in this country.

I see you never did cite one study that say’s it’s beneficial. As I expected.
Please read the Position statement of Prevent Child Abuse America as well as many many advisories put out by Yale, Harvard and others in the medical and child welfare realm.

Did you know Georgia’s children are faring quite badly according to the latest Kids Count Report? There are multiple reasons, but maltreatment of children is a real issue here.

Still waiting on that study…..

jack5656

September 17th, 2009
11:52 am

@MJG….I’m going to have to take issue with your late on car payments, taxes, work metaphors. Let me just ask you this…if the next time you were late on your car payment your banker came to your house, told you to bend over (not in the good way) and smacked your ass as hard as he/she could…then said “THAT was for being late on your car payment”…would you just make sure that you made your car payment on time the next month or would you call the cops?

It seems to me that what you’re implying is that ultimately kids only understand physical punishment. I give kids more credit than that.