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Should spanking be outlawed?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I saw a report on Headline News today that Britain is considering making it illegal to spank or "smack" (that's what they called it) a child. Scotland has a law that makes it illegal to spank a child under 3 years old.

Besides the obvious argument that some parents cannot control themselves, and what starts as a simple spanking occassionally escalates into full out abuse or death (it was spurred by a case where exactly that happened), the proponents say that it isn't right that there are laws against hitting another adult, but none against hitting a child. One proponent stated that another country/area that has a law similar has not had a death of a child at the hands of their parent/guardian in years, while Britain sees about one child's death per week in this manner. (I find that first stat hard to swallow - no matter the law there will always be abusers.) Opponents maintain that most parents know the limits and should be able to decide for themselves how to raise their children, and that the law would be largely un-enforceable.

I don't have children, so it is difficult for me to say anything on this issue, except that I was spanked as a child and I'm none the worse for it. I could probably count the number of times I was spanked that I remember on one hand, though, and I deserved every one. It was reserved for only the worst offenses, not an every day thing at all. Of course, I'm also one of the only people I know (real life, I don't know these intimate details about all of you!) who wasn't abused as a child, physically or mentally.
post #2 of 20
No, I do not think spanking should be outlawed. Granted, some parents take it too far, then it should become a legal matter, getting way more attention that it now gets in the legal system. Used in moderation, at the proper times, for the worst offenses, it can be a useful parenting tool. I spanked my daughter, but I can count on 1 hand the number of times. My parents spanked me, again, I can count on 1 hand the number of times. They just made such a big deal out of us doing such a bad thing that we needed a spanking, the big deal was actually worse than the spanking. Spanking for every little infraction is cruel and counterproductive.
post #3 of 20
I dont see anything wrong with a spank on the bottom.

Repeated hitting with closed fists should definately be outlawed.

Funny how times change. My dad used to give me and my brother a good whack across the face at the dinner table if we misbehaved. We also got whipped with the belt, spatualas and whatever else (Damn Italians LOL) I did not grow up to be some psychotic killer or anything because of that. I think it does teach kids things in some ways. But nowadays you cant even touch a child without running the risk of child abuse, which I think is ridiculous.
post #4 of 20
My stepfather was a cop.

My mother NEVER spanked me.

I can't count how many times I've gotten a spanking from him. Or what he called a 'spanking'. Whenever he said it was 'spanking' time that meant three smacks. I had to bend over my bed and touch the other side of the mattress and if my hands came off it was three more. Do you know how hard it is to control your reflexes when you're being hit hard?

I had a choice.. and old leather belt or a really big thick wooden paddle. Thinking of it makes me shudder. There were times the back of my legs and my back had marks from the belt, because my father accidently 'missed'. Whatever.

I disagree with THAT. Spanking, if done properly can be a useful tool in parenting.

Don't spank like my stepdad did though. I'll never ever lay a hand on my kids like he did me. Smacks on the butt are meant to sting not bruise.
post #5 of 20
I agree w/ all of you. I don't have kids, and we were rarely spanked when we were children, but when we did get spanked, we had had numerous warnings, and knew it was gonna come. Spanking, when needed at the appropriate time, is beneficial.
post #6 of 20
I couldn't tell you, how many times I was spanked and my kids got a swat across the butt more than once. Even after being subjected to actual beatings (as opposed to spankings), from my stepmother, I don't think that I turned out too badly.
post #7 of 20
Like a lot of you I can count on one hand the number of times I was spanked. And like a lot of you said "They just made such a big deal out of us doing such a bad thing that we needed a spanking, the big deal was actually worse than the spanking. Spanking for every little infraction is cruel and counterproductive." or something to that effect, Was like it was im my family.

What I wonder is if they acctually do make it illegal what will parents have to use a punishment for bad behavior? Most of what I have heard of is no TV, Grounding, more chores, sent to bedroom, etc..
These probably work well but what if one day they make them illegal because they infringe on the rights of the child. What will the parent have then?

In the news I hear about kids who steal cars, beat people up, or even murder someone. I'd like to know if any of those kids were held accountable for any of their bad behavior. Maybe they should study the affects of spanking vs not spanking and see if there is any difference in the childs behavior afterwards.

I have no children but one day I hope to have some. What happens now will affect how I raise my children and how they grow.

It's kind of scary.

Sorry for the long post.
post #8 of 20
I don't spank my cats.
I think that pretty much sums up my thoughts...
post #9 of 20
Young children sometimes need a whack on the behind to get their attention, especially in dangerous situations. If you have a 3 year old that doesn't listen and runs into the street a well placed smack on the butt and firm words lets him know you mean business and if he goes in the street again he'll have a sore behind. As children age I think that spankings should be replaced with reasoning and withdrawal of privleges, extra chores and/or groundings. I'm a firm believer in discipline but there are many good ways to enforce rules and correct negative behaviors. I don't think spanking a child over 8 years of age is the best way to discipline.
post #10 of 20
Its a very difficult issue, because we all have examples that support any position.

Violence against children is reprehensible. Sometimes "spankings" are really violence.
I think that the concept of using any physical force in anger, or as punishment, is wrong. It can get out of hand, if a parent or any adult acts in frustration and emotion, they may not realize what they are doing. And a child may be unintentionally hurt. And sometimes children are intentionally hurt as punishment. Both are awful.

But sometimes, children need a quick intervetion to get their attention, and to know that adults are in charge. I am sick of hearing an adult try to reason with a screaming hysterical 2 year old "now, Johnny, you remember what I told you, if you stop crying, I will buy you that toy/candy"

Its just a shame that spanking is used for both - for discipline/punishment, and also to get a child's attention.

A friend of mine used to spank her kids when they were being disobedient or not paying attention. And that meant a tap on a diapered bottom. Then she found her two year old daughter hitting other children when she didn't get her way. Apparently, that's what it looks like to a toddler. Do what I say, or I will hit you. The friend stopped spanking, the child stopped hitting.
post #11 of 20
I call it smacking.

I never used to get hit hard. Just a tap or two when I put a toe out of line with the wooden spoon. If I have children, I will never hit them.

I don't think it should be outlawed, sometimes naughty children do need a spanking every now and then.

So to sum to up, I will never Spank!
BUT It shouldn't be outlawed!

*Just my views*
post #12 of 20
Smacking/spanking is a delicate issue. I was never hit as a kid, but I remember my brother getting a slap or two - most memorably when he stuck a fork in my arm . . .

However, as a soon to be new mother I would invoke physical punishment only as a last resort - not to get a child's attention, but as a rebuke for misbehaviour. This does need to be moderated, as to smack a kid for each small transgression can lead to habitual physical abuse, with the whole sitation escalating out of control.

So only in exceptional circumstances such as where a child repeatedly puts themself in danger (like running into the street or touching a boiling kettle), or for a serious offence (such as violence, malicious damage, etc) would I consider smacking/spanking a kid.
post #13 of 20

When I was 3 years old my mother had a licensed baby sitter to watch me, while she worked at a store. That teacher spanked me with a wooden spoon when I got out of line. However, she spanked me on my kidneys and she spanked HARD.

I ended up in the intensive care unit for 2 weeks, my mother lost her job because she was at the hospital so much. My grandma had to come to help her out financially. To this day I have kidney problems.

That woman only got a year and a half in jail, and I got a lifetime of kidney issues. The system really pisses me off.
post #14 of 20
Oh my Lord Cassie - that's HORRIBLE, how awful for you!!!

I do agree that childminders shouldn't smack kids in their care, there isn't the same amount of natural self-control there.

I do believe it is now illegal for childminders to hit children in the UK now . . .
post #15 of 20
The question is what is too hard and what is ok? What 1 person calls a light smack, another person might call abusive. It is a matter of perspective. If I ever have kids, I plan on using a light smack to the butt or leg in cases of really bad behaviour only. I definately prefer time-out method.
post #16 of 20
I'm with Yola here...
I don't have kids yet, but I think a spank on the bottom may be needed sometimes to prevent a much greater harm such as a burn from climbing on the stove, or being run over in the street.
I was only spanked a few times as a child, in a reasonably humane manner, when I REALLY deserved it. My parents reasoned with me, and were careful to disassociate spanking from their own frustration. A spanking was given as a direct consequence of my own actions, not because my parents were frustrated. I think that's a very important thing to keep in mind with child discipline...when a parent spanks because they're angry it can get out of hand.
post #17 of 20
I think spanking shouldnt' be outlawed because it's bad enough now that kids will say, touch me and "I'll call child welfare on you".
I've had friends that have had it happen to them. I think spanking is reasonable as long as like tuxdeokitties said, the parents "disassociate spanking from their own frustration" people my age, were spanked (even at school if we were bad) and none of us suffered any ill effects from it, in fact most of my friends and other people I knew from school, are doing very well from what I hear!
post #18 of 20
Cassie That SUCKS, That makes me so angry! I'm so sorry!

post #19 of 20
If someone were to slap me or hit me today I could file charges of aggravated assualt. Why should children have any less protection? Why is it ok for an adult (around 150 pounds) to hit a child (around 30 pounds) In school some big boys pick on kids and they are called a bullie.
When a man hits his wife she is called a battered wife. I'm sorry but hitting children is equally as bad as a wife beater, school bullie, and a guy with a violent temper.
post #20 of 20
i dont see a thing wrong with spanking on the bottom, not in the face or back, i think this is like everything elese its all blowed out of porportion, theres a big difference in a spank and a beat, but the laws are so tangled up they cant determen the difference, really sad dont you think
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