Poll Published By: 1World Online

A court judge in Long Island, NY, recently passed down a ruling on spanking a child that is sure to have opponents of corporal punishment angry. The State Appellate Division ruled that a father who was previously found guilty of excessive corporal punishment for the spanking of his 8-year-old boy did not use excessive force.

When I was a kid, I got spanked a lot. It was not the spanking itself that bothered me – it was more the embarrassment I felt after the spanking and especially if there were other people in the room.

When you are a kid, other kids always laugh at you when you get spanked. It sounds cruel, but that is the way kids are and even some adults.

“Got your butt spanked, huh?” One of my uncles would always say to me, while laughing.

Spanking was a normal thing when I was a kid. It was not called corporal punishment back then – it was known as discipline. Today though, spanking is viewed in a much different way, and one which causes endless, debate between parents and many childcare experts.

Is spanking a child a form of child abuse? That depends on who you ask.

Dr.Robert Larzelere, Ph.D., who is an Associate Psychology professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, has studied the discipline of spanking for 25 years. Larzelere says that, “A mild form of spanking (one or two, open-handed swats on a child’s rear) is a safe and non-abuse form of discipline for children aged two to six.”

On the other end of the spanking spectrum, some experts like pediatricians harbor ill regards for the practice of spanking. They say it should never be used as a form of punishment, and only causes more behavioral problems for the child as they get older.

As a parent who raised three children myself, I occasionally spanked my kids if I felt that any other form of discipline was futile or not readily available. I was always sure though, to limit the spanking to a mild slap on the rear.

Sometimes, when the moment warrants, a child needs an immediate form of discipline. Having been on both sides of the act itself, I have never viewed it as a detriment or a form of child abuse like some people like to label the practice.

Most other forms of corporal punishment are clearly child abuse, and should not be confused with mild spanking as an acceptable form of discipline. There is a big difference between hitting a kid with a belt buckle or a wooden spoon than giving them a mild spanking on the butt.

Even Laura Bush, when asked by Dr. Phil once in an interview if she had ever spanked her children, said she had, but not often.

Spanking is one of those things if done properly, should have no ill effects on a child. Maybe they will feel embarrassed, but is that such a bad thing? There is nothing wrong with teaching a bit of humility to a child at an early age and in a way that safely builds character.

If I was not spanked as much as I was when I was a kid, I probably would have grown up to be the devil’s advocate or one of those bratty, little kids that throws firecrackers at cats.

Instead, I grew up knowing the meaning of respect and knowing right from wrong.


Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Research Engine.

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5 thoughts on “The Endless Debate Of Spanking Children Rages On

  1. I actually think slapping a child’s face is way worse than spanking. I hate to see that. I was spanked as a child once or twice and I don’t believe I suffered ill effects. On the other hand I’m old enough to remember corporal punishment in schools. By the time I went girls did not get the cane but they might get a whack on the hand with a ruler. That I don’t agree with. A lot of teachers could hurt you just as much with words though.

  2. Small children have little abstract or generalisation or possible dangers … thoughts so at some crucial moments of learning spanking might just be the ticket (not across face slapping, head etc but butts are good) – my friend swears that when she spanked her 2 year old son who had run out to the nature strip of a busy road through the gate she ran after him and gave him a good spanking across his rear and she is adamant that that was what made him never to run out to such danger 🙂

  3. It’s such an ugly debate.

    I grew up with spanking — and violence and physical & emotional terror. We’re talking belt, straps, and a man capable of inflicting serious damage with his hands alone.

    All was fair game – butt, face, head. It didn’t matter.

    Am I a proponent of spanking, even though I don’t have children?


    Clearly, though, there are reasonable limits. A *smart slap* once or twice, enough to perhaps sting, to the butt, can make a world of difference in stopping a child who is, in that moment, way out of control, obstinate or in a dangerous situation.

    Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to monitor their self-control and not lose it when dishing out punishment. Some, to their discredit, love it – it makes them feel powerful.

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