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Should parents smack their children?

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Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:03 pm
Lauren says...



I too was smacked on the behind when I was naughty, but only after I'd had several warnings and failed to listen. Sometimes it's a matter of children seeing how far they can go before the parent snaps, and I honestly believe that sometimes a smack is the only option. I wouldn't call this violence - it wasn't that bad - and I think it's totally melodramatic to call it abuse. Abuse is systematic.

I was smacked, and so were my friends, and we're all well-balanced people. I do, however, have a problem with excessive smacking - parents who do it at the drop of a hat, as a way of frightening their children into good behaviour. I would go as far as to call that abuse.

We had a debate about this in my Eng class. I was one of the few supporting, and it was peculiar to see certain pupils claiming they were utterly against smacking, even though, in one of other previous debates, they had been FOR capital punishment, which, in my opinion, is ridiculous.

How can one say a smack is too harsh a punishment for naughtiness, but then believe the death sentence is a good punishment. I find that hypocritical. But it doesn't surprise me: I live in a typically Conservative area.




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Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:10 am
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Sapsan says...



I simply think violence shouldn't be introduced into a child's life on any basis, especially if the person doing the hurting in the violent act is an authoritarian figure with more power freely given to them. And honestly, if you took an adult, forcibly held them across your knee and hit them on the ass multiple times for doing something you told them not to or didn't want them to do, you'd be in legal trouble. I think children deserve no less respect, and that conversation and respect of the child as an individual is a far better tool in working with and understanding a child, not controlling them. I believe children want to learn, please others and be good, but will turn away from that inborn nature when faced with unnatural consequences and controlling authoritarian figures. Spanking is violence, most times people who were spanked as a children turn out wonderful balanced adults, most times it's not some horrific traumatic event, but i think it can also create some bad logical and emotional barriers as well as victim and power complexes in others.

I speak from my experience as a child who was spanked a couple of times in her life, but also on most other occasions talked with about what I was doing that my parents didn't like, not in a controlling or condescending way but an actual conversation. And found that I preferred, felt better about and was able to learn more from those conversations in which I was able to express why I was doing it, than when I was punished without any consent or control on my part. Most times I came away from those conversations admitting that i had done something wrong and actually understanding why I shouldn't have. There's a difference between knowledge gained by aversion and fear, and understanding gained from honest communication. Sure it's harder and it doesn't always get you perfect shiny children that always do what their told, but it does get you children who understand how to have a conversation, talk about their actions and by way of that actually think about them. It gets you kids who can stand on their own two feet, make sense of their emotions and work through there actions and instinct allot easier, I think.





Edit: Reading back I would also add the point of-

Well, I seem to sense (could be wrong) a bit of underlying hostility coming from some who are defending spanking and who have been spanked in there lifetime in the guise of multiple comments about the other "side" (yikes) thinking that people who spank their kids are mean horrible abusers. I'll just say right now, if this is indeed what you think is being implied, I don't see it being a matter of who is horrible or evil in this situation, as much as who is being hurt or helped by it. Many children who were spanked in their lifetime say it didn't hurt beyond the moment and they learned through aversion and respect for their parents because their parents cared about them and in most cases seemed to communicate to their children why they were being punished.

This is reasonable because I do believe to each his own.

I simply ask, in that case, what I'm seeing is that the punishment or smack was really just a way of getting the child's attention and the real communication was done through revisiting and contemplation of past conversations and new dialog.

In that case, is there really any need beyond frustration or feeling of powerlessness on part of the parent to use small amounts of violence? I can certainly think of many creative, less intense ways of getting a child's attention. A solid level eye contact, a firm audible voice and some physical contact such as hands on shoulders, hand around wrists, or lest I be called a hippy but, a good solid hug from someone you think is going to be totally pissed off a yelling at you can be just a shocking as a slap.

And I think i should say, just because it's a knee jerk reaction to my own sense of individual rights; a parent has a responsibility for and to their child, not a possession or a right to their bodies, minds or choices. I know the law may say different, so as to protect, set boundaries and have parents held accountable. But I really think just from a social point of view, parents shouldn't be looking at their children as things they hold and punish and shape. But as things that grow on their own from everything they are and absorb and that need guidance and proper modeling, positive affirmations and time to develop their own perspectives and ideas.

And even parents who are only aiming for punishment can through being human, through having emotions that can get out of control and not communicating the right message with that punishment, slip very easily past that fine line into abuse. And there is no taking back that slip. And not that this includes situations like the one I'm mentioning above but, once abuse makes it too the court room, if it ever does, the abuse is done, the scars there for life. It just seems safer to as a parent know that you make mistakes, your children have potential for great intelligence should you just expect and coach it in them, and really never look at physical punishment as an option.




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Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:39 am
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chocoholic says...



My and my sister were smacked all the time as little kids and I really don't know where the idea that it makes you violent or depressed or screwed up in any way come from. Me and Polly led perfectly normal childhoods. We were both quite good kids, but if we did something wrong, Mum or Dad would count to three, and if by three we hadn't stopped, we would get hit on the bum. Nothing terrible came out of it, and it hasn't scarred us for life or anything. If a child misbehaves, give them till the count of three and then punish them.

However, the child should always be given a chance. You can't just hit them when they do something wrong. Count to three or something, so they have an opportunity to stop. Otherwise it's not discipline, it's abuse.
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Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:38 am
deleted6 says...



This has come up again recently, with places such a NZ banning it. Personally I was smacked and it never did any harm to me, save teach me a lesson. Seriously children won't listen if you say go to the corner and think about what you done. It won't work.
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Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:31 am
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aestar101 says...



think there is a line where it goes too far. In the deep south (I'm not talking Memphis-- I mean in the country)when kids misbehave they get a small branch off a tree or a belt and whip the kid with it. Enough to get the point across but not to the point where it physically injures the kid. In the end the kid know that they parents love them and they are just trying to keep them out of trouble. But if you're pulling a Joe Jackson or something then that is a problem. Caning though-- that is a bit over the edge.
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Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:59 pm
emmaline49 says...



I think it's just bad. I got smacked when I was bad (when I was younger of course, now if someone smacked me, I would hit back) and it's not nice at all. It wasn't really effective, either.
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Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:21 am
Nyx says...



There has been so much debate over this law. However the main point of the law was to stop parents from physically abusing their children, but it also means that all types of physical contact e.g. a smack are out ruled. I can see why they might have to stick the law in place. Maybe it started out as one smack, and it turned into a violent beating, it just all depends on your frustration and tolerance levels.

Personally i think there should be a law against the abuse, but not the occasional 'smack'. There is a huge differences to smacking a child's hand because they did something wrong like try and stick a fork in the toaster; the smack forces the child to realize that the action is bad and should be copied again. However if your anger gets the better of you and you abuse that child there is an astronomical difference.

Overall i think the occasional smack is okay if the child deserves it and you know it wont get out of hand; but if you know that you don't have control over what you do when your angry, try a different approach.




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Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:33 pm
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XxMattxX says...



I was ( and am constantly around people who were) smacked. Didn't do us any harm. We actually aren't as bad as we would be, trust me.
And many think it screws us up in the head or something and makes us want to be violent when we become adults. That's nonsense, really. I don't really think a resounding slap on the hand is going to emotionally scar anyone.
And the government has no business telling people how or how not to raise their children.
There are better things for them to dictate.

And smacking isn't the same as beating, for those who may not understand the difference.
Beating is abusive when taken too far, but smacking is perfectly fine by me.

I think there is a line where it goes too far. In the deep south (I'm not talking Memphis-- I mean in the country)when kids misbehave they get a small branch off a tree or a belt and whip the kid with it. Enough to get the point across but not to the point where it physically injures the kid. In the end the kid know that they parents love them and they are just trying to keep them out of trouble. But if you're pulling a Joe Jackson or something then that is a problem. Caning though-- that is a bit over the edge.


Amen
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Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:29 pm
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Arisu2533 says...



To me it depends what it is:
Stealing money from parents:No
Robbing a bank: Yes
Getting in a fight:No
Shooting someone:Yes
Doing or selling drugs:Maybe a little iffy
Cutting:Hellz No! Makes it worse!!Duh!!
Getting or making someone pregnant:No (1.injure baby 2.two yes theyre being stupid, but it was most likely accident.
Stealing your car for the night:No
Stealing a car after robbibg a bank: Yes

Notice all the ones that say yes are things kids never do!!! If you smack your child consequences.
1. Hate you
2. Hate you
3. Hate you
Oh cant forget
4.HATE YOU!!!!!
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Tue Jul 26, 2011 8:43 am
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gracy says...



I personally believe ANY violence is wrong. I think it's okay to give children a little tap on the hand if they have done something wrong but there are other ways. I mean for young children you can put them in a corner to think about what they have done and for any one older than say 7 you can always just ground then or take away there electronic privlegis*.
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Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:39 pm
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vox nihili says...



What developmental psychology has said on the subject:


Studies have shown Authoritative (smack as punishment or other harsh punnishments) parenting can be sucessful without squashing a kid's self esteem IF paired with a conscious effort at being affectionate in other aspects of the kid's life. Generally, though, Authoritative (not physical punishment but other less harsh punishments) is just as effective and easier on a child's self esteem. Permissive (not doing much of anything) creates little monsters who are miserable.

Case in point. :) My parents had trouble figuring out what worked on me when I was little. Smacking? Big no-go. Because I got really mad. And then I wasn't motivated by fear of beng smacked as was their goal...I was ,well, just mad. Smacking me never has bred respect. They quickly figured out that taking away privileges worked better on me. I still don't tend to respect people who don't respect me. It's a two way street, yall.

Smacking is totally a Southern thing. It doesn't necessarily work just because you're Southern, though.
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Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:10 pm
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Blink says...



Who on earth determined that hitting an adult is assault, but that hitting a child is "good parenting"?

I don't really care whether it makes the child more submissive or obedient. It's child abuse and reinforces inferiority (and I shan't be apologising for emotive language ;) ).

Children who are hit by their parents should fight back. Vive la révolution!
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Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:36 pm
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Paracosm says...



I believe that parents should not punish their children while angry. Spanking is fine, but if you do it out of anger, that's abuse.I've been spanked before, a few time out of anger, and those were the only times that it affected me adversely. It made me feel hated, not like I had done something wrong.

However, when my parents were calm, that made me feel guilty. I knew I'd done something wrong, and I knew I deserved punishment. I didn't think that they hated me for what I did, but that I was doing something wrong and they didn't want me to forget it.
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Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:23 pm
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SparkToFlame says...



Cade wrote:By all means, break out the riding crops and smack away. When I have kids, they're not leaving the house each morning without a few whacks across the face.

Amen to that!

My mom says "I smack them at the beginning of the day for what they're GOING to do, and I smack them at the end of the day for the things they did that I didn't know about."

Now, of course this isn't true, but I love it when she says it.

As a child, I was spanked when I did something wrong. I hated it. Like HATED it. My mom's spanks were the worst, though my dad could do it pretty bad too. But, they made sure I understood WHY I was getting spanked. Usually, spanking and smacking was AFTER I had been warned a couple of times. And I can honestly say that the spanking HELPED. I learned quickly that way.
I don't think spanking and slapping to teach children right and wrong is BAD. (in moderation of course.) People have been spanked for a very very long time, and, if it really caused mental damage, we would have had a lot more serial killers.
Spanking is one of the many options you can you use to teach your children lessons, and I support it wholeheartdly. Spanking and smacking is NOT the same as Child Abuse. The way it's carried out, and the force used are two things that go into it.
I've been hit by the back of hairbrushes, belts, rulers and paint stirrers, and I'm none the worse for wear. Sure, my butt ached afterwards, but whatever I did I wasn't inclined to do it again...

I know as a child, my parents hated to spank me. HATED it. they did it for ME. I appreciate that, now.



Arisu2533 wrote:To me it depends what it is:
Stealing money from parents:No
Robbing a bank: Yes
Getting in a fight:No
Shooting someone:Yes
Doing or selling drugs:Maybe a little iffy
Cutting:Hellz No! Makes it worse!!Duh!!
Getting or making someone pregnant:No (1.injure baby 2.two yes theyre being stupid, but it was most likely accident.
Stealing your car for the night:No
Stealing a car after robbibg a bank: Yes

Notice all the ones that say yes are things kids never do!!! If you smack your child consequences.
1. Hate you
2. Hate you
3. Hate you
Oh cant forget
4.HATE YOU!!!!!


Let me point out that after a certain point, most children aren't smacked or spanked anymore... I mean, these are situations for teenagers. I don't think this discussion was really targeted towards teenagers. I think? Anyway, some of these points are kind of ridiculous.
Notice all the ones that say yes are things kids never do!!!

Yeah, they do. Kids attempt to rob banks, shoot people all the time.
And, you're not going to injure the baby by hitting a girl across the face... Just saying.
Also, that whole Hate you thing had me totally confused. Anyway.

So, yeah. that's what I think. :D
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Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:21 pm
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Cole says...



I agree with everything you've said, SparkOfDoubt. Spanking is a way to teach children, however, it should never be the first solution. You should always try to verbally teach your kids before you physically discipline them.

It should be a last resort.
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