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Spanking as Discipline: Yes or No?
Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
To spank or not to spank? That is one of the more popular debates in our parenting communities here at WebMD.

What are your thoughts? Do you spank? Do you think it is ever an appropriate way to discipline your child?

What form of discipline works best for you?

Share your views and defend your stance!


(Again, remember to attack the position, not the member. Each person has his or her own viewpoint, and you are not likely to change a mind by name-calling or personal attacks.)
briannaleer replied to iocasta's response:
LOCASTA you deserve a hand, very well said
brunosbud replied to iocasta's response:

Although you make a convincing argument against corporal punishment, you wouldn't last 10 minutes with my 5 year old nephew. He'd have you a sobbing heap in the middle of the living room floor.

Actually, you are neither right nor wrong...just as "Tienanmen Square" and "Egypt Spring" were both equally effective and appropriate in bringing change.

Just realize that there are infinite ways in instilling courage and conviction and shaping our children's character.

And, anyone who is silly enough to proclaim that their way is "right"...

deserves a spanking...
An_241873 replied to brunosbud's response:
...very well said!
iocasta replied to brunosbud's response:
The problem is that your nephew's parents didn't do the hard work up front. My 5 year old is well behaved and well adjusted, why? Because we did the hard worked up front and continue to do the hard work. Moreover, hitting a young child does not instill courage, conviction or positively shapes a child's character. You are probably right I couldn't deal with your nephew nor would I want to. I bet that if his parents had worked with him like we did and do with our son, he would be as well behaved and adjusted as my son. Clearly, the fact that my son, who has never been spanked, would not cause a stranger fall into a sobbing heap is positive proof that spanking is not an effective means of raising a well behaved child.

Why is it that proponents of spanking feel threatened by those of us who reject it as a form of discipline? Could it be that you feel guilty? And why is that? Maybe because you know that it is morally and ethically wrong.
An_241873 replied to iocasta's response:
I thought this was a debate of opinion.. apparently it has become factual... uh oh.
iocasta replied to iocasta's response:
To add, my son is a willful, non-pleaser type. We have butted heads many times and I expect we will continue to but heads.
An_241873 replied to iocasta's response:
Apparently this debate has gone from opinions to facts.. uh oh...
Who's way is "right"... hmm. nobodys!
brunosbud replied to iocasta's response:
"Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits." Mark Twain

"A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't." Mark Twain

Locasta, I agree with you...

I do feel thoroughly threatened.

And, yes, you are deserving of a "hand"...

I just haven't decided which side of "it" I want to give you, just, yet...
naggingwife74 replied to iocasta's response:
The problems with your arguments is that you do a lot of assuming about other parents' parenting. You haven't finished raising your son so you have no idea how he will turn out from your form of discipline.

I can speak from experience which is something you don't have the ability to do yet. I have raised my son, I also spanked him from 3 to about 9. Yes, he did have some fear of his mother but you know what, he also stayed out of some serious trouble because of that fear. If your kids don't have some fear of their parents they will have nothing holding them back when they get to their teens.

Yes, I taught self control, I did use timeouts when they were the appropriate tool and I also spanked when I needed to get the point of how serious I was across. He had a tremendous amount of respect for me as he grew up and even more now that he is an adult. I am basing that statement on what he has told me, not what I assume.

He is an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army and still to this day knows how to make the right choices and how to follow the rules and orders from his commanding officers. I take a lot of credit for the amount of discipline he has shown in his life because of the guidance I have provided him. And spanking was one of the tools I used to get him where he is today.

I also have two young children, 20 months and 5 years old. I don't spank my youngest because I do feel he is too young, he is still learning about boundries. However, my 5 year old ONLY responds to a spanking. We have taken privlages, used time outs, sat down and talked about it, ya, she will laugh. Take away her favorite toy and she will tell you that she was bored with it anyways. Put her in time out and she will ask to stay there after her 5 minutes is up because she likes timeout. Talk to her and she will giggle and tell you that you are funny. We work with her daily about discipline and following the rules. We have no tv time Monday through Thursday. Night time is family time and we will eat dinner and play a game together or go for a walk to the park. So she does stay busy and active and she gets tons of personal attention. She is just like me, affraid of nothing. For her, spankins are the only thing that gets her attention.

There are different opinions and options for every form of discipline and child and just because something bad happened to one person that was spanked doesn't make it wrong. I go to the store and see those kids that are screaming because they can't have what they want. Then I see the mom keep shopping because she is affraid to damage little timmy's spirit by giving him a little swat. She ignores him and thinks that by not giving him "attention" he will realize he can't have what he wants. How about standing him up in the cart, swatting his bottom and teaching him that if he acts like that he will have an instant consequence. The rest of us don't want to have to deal with your screaming, under-disciplined child while we shop with ours that know better because they know mommy will spank them in the middle of the milk isle if we even thought about acting like that. That is what fear of a parent gives you, it's not a bad thing unless you twist the words to make it sound like a bad thing.

People with open minds make the best parents because they are willing to learn as they raise each child. Close minded parents don't learn anything about parenting because they think they already know everything.
naggingwife74 replied to iocasta's response:
"Why is it that proponents of spanking feel threatened by those of us who reject it as a form of discipline? Could it be that you feel guilty? And why is that? Maybe because you know that it is morally and ethically wrong."

And this above statement that you made is the most ridiculous I have read. Come down off of your pedistool and realize that we are not threatened by anything you reject or agree with. There is nothing to feel threatened by because you don't speak from any experience. You have only tried your form of discipline and it worked for you. Had you been blessed with a different child you may have had to try several forms of discipline before you found the right one. Believe it or not, your way now might not have been the best way had you had a different child no matter how much re-directing you did.

To assume that anyone feels threatened or guilty because of what you feel is right just shows that you are a very close-minded person. You have no experience to speak from, you have never spanked and have no idea what they end result would be from doing it. I don't think anyone here cares if you spank or not, we don't have to live with you or your son so you need to do what works for your family. Just like we do what works for ours. The only difference is, we aren't saying that we are the only ones that are right like you keep doing. We are just giving our opinions because there is no right or wrong answer. No parenting decision is black or white and no parent's ways are perfect for every family or child.
An_241873 replied to naggingwife74's response:
You go girl! Preach it! I fully agree!
Efficient01 replied to naggingwife74's response:
VERY VERY well said Nagging! I have tried spanking and it didn't work for my child but you are right, sometimes you have to try everything before finding what works for YOUR child.
brunosbud replied to iocasta's response:
"My 5 year old is well behaved and well adjusted, why? Because we did the hard worked up front and continue to do the hard work."

lmao, lol, 5 years old??? Talkin' smack after 5 years of parenting? Are you serious?
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....
tee hee...

DebiSp responded:
I never spanked my boys, I was consistant and I did what I said I was going to do, if I told them that if they did whatever the punisment stood, I rewfused to argue and bargin with a child. I never had to punish much because they new they couldn't talk their way out of it. I once made my oldest child write 10,000 lines for something and he wasn't allowed to do anything fun until it was done. He never did that again. They are now grown and in college, all president's list and upstanding members of society. I done good.
Anon_26 replied to DebiSp's response:
nice answer. i would agree. as adults, doing the wrong thing does not (and should not) be disciplined with physical violence. so why use physical violence as a discipline for misbehaving children? why not prepare them for being adults?

withholding something seems to be the best method. as an adult, if i do not do what my boss asks of me, i likely will not get the bonus i am looking for, or worse, may lose my job. he will not hit me.

if i don't compliment my wife, or take out the trash, or help out around the house, my wife likely will withhold something from me (use your imagination). she will not hit me.

what are we teaching our children by hitting them when they misbehave? certainly nothing they can use later in life as adults.

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