Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Decision To Spank or Not To Spank?

When your child is small and they do something bad or something that is simply not acceptable in your household, you certainly must take action. What action you take at that moment will determine how the child interacts with others for a lifetime, it will also frame how they deal with complex situations with others as they grow older and have children of their own. Many parents are faced with the decision to spank or not to spank their children.

Spanking has been around for ages and it was once a very normal reaction for parents to engage in when their children were simply out of line. In today’s society, that does not go on as much as it once did and that is for two reasons. The first is because the parents at times feel as if they have no other option to react any other way and the second is because they feel the child did something so severe that they need to be firm in their actions when they discipline them. Adults appear to feel very strong about the issue of spanking, and they end up either in full support of it or they are totally against it. You will also notice a large number of adults that are dead set against spanking are ones that have no children, which certainly makes it easier to frame those judgments if they have never been faced with the situation.

If you feel the need to spank your child for a negative action they took, but you do not want to spank them then there are other alternatives to spanking you may want to try out. For example, the biggest reason parents spank in the first place is because it is a reaction out of anger. When you are angry you react quickly and sometimes irrationally as well. Take a moment to calm yourself down and walk away from the child if you have to. Get your thoughts together and think of a better method to control the situation before acting on the spanking. Time outs and taking privileges do work on some children, but not all of them. It will depend on their ages and of course on what they did to get into trouble. You can also provide an open ended question for the child if they are simply acting poorly in public or just when they are eating dinner. “Would you like to stop misbehaving in the store or would you like to go take a nap when we arrive home?” Questions like this will force the child to think about their actions even if they do not want to. Some experts believe that spanking can lead to poor self image and self esteem issues as children grow up, and for that reason it is worth a try to test other methods before raising your hand to your child. Ensure they are aware of what policies or rules are in place in the home and which ones they are not permitted to break without suffering from consequences.


  1. Spank!! Lol, but seriously, like the article said some methods work better on certain kids and others may need alternate ones. Every child is unique. It's best to find which method of discipline works best for the individual child.

  2. Do indeed spank away! I don't believe there is a better solution for defiant behavior.