Posted by Jason Gilbert
Disciplinary spankings, are they just an old fashioned and outdated method of keeping children in line or is it a time honored method that is still sometimes necessary today?
Upon chatting with some highly intelligent and intellectual people, it is very clear that the issue of spanking in today’s society has changed drastically. Some would have us do away with it altogether, while others would like to see it brought back. Good arguments can be made either way, but unfortunately the discussion is often less than a rational one. Any articles or news feeds that cover it in any way are bound to be biased one way or another. Pro-spanking parents are often labelled as abusive or that they are setting their kids up to become bullies or have anti-social behaviors. “Spanking is just hitting” many of them will say and go on to tell us how wrong that is. Is it time that spanking is done away with worldwide? And why is this such a taboo subject? If you talk about spanking nowadays, then you better be talking about a consenting adult relationship or someone might report you to the authorities. But are all of those opposed correct? Is it just an outdated, old fashioned method of discipline that should have no place in today’s society? Furthermore, does the government have the right to tell us how we can raise our kids? I guess in a way they do, but how much say should they really have?
So, let’s say for a minute that we should do away with the spanking of children. What are good alternatives to spanking that will really sink in and help the child remember that what they did was wrong? Are things like time outs, writing lines, giving up privileges, being grounded going to be as effective as getting a spanking? I am asking these questions honestly, as I want to know what other means of discipline really work for parents that decide not to spank.
To make it personal for just a minute here, far too often I see kids running around department stores unsupervised, or can hear kids screaming in the backyard (not from pain, just because they can get away with it). What I am seeing for myself is that parents don’t punish at all. Never mind spanking their kids, they don’t even take them inside for a time out or any kind of punishment. Far too often, they get the hold back the reward type of punishment, like, “if you don’t stop doing that then you won’t get ice cream”. Well, kid stops doing it long enough to get his reward and then goes right on back to doing it afterwards. Too often, and this is not all parents, but I see it far too often where parents only want to be the kids friend and not their parent. Is this not far more damaging to a kids long term growth then laying down some firm rules and having consequences for when they are disobeyed?
On the reverse side, I have extended family members that still use spanking at times on their kids. It is not used often, but it is understood that it can happen. And surprise, surprise!! These are some of the most well behaved kids I know. This is just an example, but I think you get the point.
I know there are probably all kinds of parents that can point to how they successfully raised their kids and never had to use spanking on them. That is great!! Tell us how you did it!!
I do think it can depend on the temperament of the child. Some might require a firmer hand at times, while others are much more compliant and don’t need as much correction. I am sure all parents would love to just have compliant, easy to raise children, but it just isn’t that simple.
So, is spanking such an old fashioned idea that it should no place in the discipline of children in the home? Or are there still some merits to its use today?
I am putting this same discussion question on my forum on voy.com. If you are interested in getting involved in a civilized discussion on this topic, then I invite you to join us there. Thanks for tuning in for another edition of Let’s Talk Spanking!!
Link to my voy.com forum down below: