Corporal Punishment - Parenting? or Child Abuse? Opinions Please

Today American children have more protection against physical abuse than ever before. Parents are not allowed to beat their children or leave serious injuries during punishment. And teachers are no longer allowed to use paddles, swiches, or ruler to discipline children.

However.. I fall into a camp of people demanding that the current laws are NOT enough. There is a form of abuse that can do even more long-lasting damage than physical.... psychological abuse. PS... I will not judge you if you disagree with my statements... but lets NOT turn this forum into a flame war. Please be professional everyone.

Psychological abuse includes emotional abuse, verbal abuse, and physical abuse that serves to humiliate rather than leave real physical damage.


Emotional abuse includes manipulation, guilt trips, implying or telling the child that they are evil or bad [not just that what they did was bad, but that they are a bad-natured child], telling a child they should be more like "so-and-so's" kids, humiliating a child to gain control, threatening a child with severe physical or emotional abuse that you don't plan to carry out to scare them and "keep them in line." An example of this was experienced by a friend of mine. "If you don't get your room cleaned up, you will sleep in the basement with the spiders." This was a direct malicious attack because the parent KNEW that my friend was aracniphobic and the basement was unfinished and not lacking in spiders.


Verbal abuse includes calling your child swear words or words meant to demean and lower self esteem:

girls - bitch, whore, slut, witch, hag, porker [male or female], fatass [male or female], etc.

Boys - sissy, candyass, son of a bitch [insulting to the mother as well], fag/ faggot, dick, etc.


Physical EMOTIONAL abuse includes:

Slapping, Spanking, Paddling, Using a Belt on Buttocks, slaping buttocks, hitting with newspaper, throwing objects at child, etc.


I have not had a child myself but I have wittnessed the struggles my parents went through to raise children, so I know that raising children is hard... but I think that that does NOT justify behavior like the outlined above. I personally want these behaviors to be outlawed... starting with corporal punishment [physical emotional abuse].


What do you guys think?

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I can't really argue with that article.  As I've said, the 'no spank' philosophy is a great idea where it works.  I guess what I'm saying more than anything is that spanking can be a useful tool, but obviously spanking infants is wrong, or with children who are old enough to discuss the incident with (over 4 or 5) it may be harmful and is unlikely to be useful.


I still see it as a necessary option in many cases.  Further, those who are quick to judge a mother who spanks her child should be even quicker to jump in and offer some support with the child rearing rather than rapid fire condemnation.

Well I wasn't suggesting that my friends' daughter was tender hearted because she was never spanked - I was just pointing out that she was innately different than her younger sister and it took just a firm no to get her to stop.  I've volunteered with kids of various ages, and spanking them isn't an option in that situation either.  I've seen results all over the board but have seen few children from 'no spank' homes that were fit to interact with a group without causing havoc.  I think the 'no spank' concept is great when it works, it just seems to be a rare success from what I've witnessed.

I was spanked, pants down, with hemp skipping rope or belt, approximately once a week, and screamed at 3-5 times a week. Not once did it improve my behavior, in fact, the more my parents tried to make me fit their mold, the farther outside I became.


I think it's extremely important to understand that different child personalities have entirely different "apparent" coping mechanisms. My biggest "sins" as a child: tardyness and messyness. My biggest sins today: tardyness and messyness.


The corrections achieved nothing but more anger and more stress and more anxiety, to all parties involved. I'm not saying no spanking ever, no screaming ever, but bear in mind different personalities react differently to violence.

Maybe the key words should read:


motivate them to act right

instead of

make them act right

I like your key words... they are words I as a Pre-k teacher live by.

my parents had a hell of a time with me..I'm still dealing with some issues..anyway,

I'm not against spanking..but I think it should be a last resort. In my experience, the kind of punishment that has worked for me in my childhood, was when my parents would sit down and talk with me about what I did wrong, and taking away a luxury for a set amount of time. like...if i threw a fit for no reason in public for mom would sit with me, tell me why it was inappropriate behavior and maybe not let me watch tv for a week. The thing is though, you dont punish a child when you are angry. you have to calmly talk to them about what they did wrong when you issue corrective action, that way the child can link the two together and understand that when they are older, life will pretty much have the same consequences depending on their offense.



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