In Scandinavia, anything entailing physical violence against a minor is considered a criminal offense (not misdemeanor). Spanking a child carries the same jailtime as beating an adult half to death. 

I was quite shocked to hear that spanking is not uncommon in the US, in fact it is closer to the norm (correct me if I am wildly misinformed).

Do you think spanking or any physical punishment of a child is ever acceptable?

Tags: children, minors, spanking, violence

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Spanking is rapidly falling out of favor in the US. Typically the only spanking that is used by parents anymore is a swat or two open palmed on the butt. I don't think habitual spanking is useful when disciplining a child. I can understand how some parents in one of those that kid is really pushing my buttons moments and nothing else is working can resorting to spanking... that's what my parents did and I certainly didn't at the time or now think of it as abuse. In fact I'm sure I deserved the few swats and slaps I got. I don't think spanking in the ways I mentioned above is abuse and as for acceptability that's up to each parent to decide. Spanking turns into abuse when the child is being hit by implements other than hand, when it leaves marks and bruises, when the child cowers in fear, and when it's used constantly and as the only means of discipline.

Really... I honestly think parents this day and age are way too easy on their children... to the point that it is absurd. I am a pre-k teacher and I work with other people's children and I see what types of parental practices work and what doesn't. Parents who are to "free range" or "lassiez faire" typically have horribly behaving children and parents who spank their children as a primary means of discipline typically have horriobly behaving children. I've worked with at least 1000 families at this point in my career. I don't generally advocate the use of physical punishment but some children do not respond to redirection or time outs or whatever else you have up your sleeve ... those children do typically respond to a spanking here and there. I think you are overestimating the physical punishment my parents gave me and the physical punishment I am talking about... I got spanked maybe once every 2 months and when I did I realized I stepped over a major line. I agree that generally physical punishment is not necessary and when used too often is detrimental, when I have my own children I hope to completely avoid spanking them but if they really push the boundaries I might just resort to a whack or two.


And you can do so without causing physical harm, although even under those circumstances there are those who would like to see you jailed as though you had beaten someone half to death.  What then?  What do we do with the children who are left orphans while their parents rot in jails after having done nothing more than try to discipline their children?


I'm glad someone here seems to understand that you don't have to beat your child violently to administer a spanking.

Thank you for understanding what I'm talking about. Throwing people in jail for spanking a child will do more harm to the child than a parent spanking the child once in a great while when the parents are at their wits end with non physical forms discipline that are not working.





Yes, well I withdrew from this earlier when it became obvious that there are those who cannot conceive of a spanking that does no physical harm or that any consideration of it equates to daily beatings.  I withdrew, but I felt compelled to support you on this because now the emotional and unfounded counter attack is going to be lobbied against you as well.  Oh well, such is life.
Such is life indeed... I fully expected to misunderstood and attacked and will likely bow out of discussing this topic once I've said what I feel I want to say.
Yes, well this particular issue always brings out those who cannot accept that there is a range of physical intervention between 0 and injury.
Define physical punishment.
I don't approve of inflicting physical harm - case closed.
That you are so violent in nature that you cannot conceive of a physical intervention that does not cause injury is not something that I can rectify.
Now you are doing nothing more than moving the goal post.  You tried injecting the fallaciously binary conclusions of caressing and harm and still refuse to admit a middle ground.  Discussion over then - at least we agree on that.

@Heather: Instead of arguing from opinion, please attempt to find journal articles supporting your view.

Here's one I could easily find: "The results generally indicated a linear positive association between physical punishment and child aggression."

I would even go so far as to say that even if there is no negative effects of corporal punishment for children, it is still immoral behavior.




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