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October 27th, 2009
09:44 AM ET
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sheila K

    I came to this site looking for advice – I have a longtime friend who was raised in a home where she was yelled at and shouted at and swated a lot I have a feeling, NO, I know this. Well now as you can imagine she does the same to her kids and as an observer I really am having a problem with the level of it that I am seeing. I realize many parents do all the above mentioned and some Do Not Spank, etc. I , as a friend try to walk in her shoes and give her advice BUT It is hard to be ok with her actions toward her 7 year old daughter. SO, I want to know when does regular discipline go a little too far. She regularly yanks at her daughter, smacks her bottom, shouts and yells at her, and it is with such anger, – that really seems to be the sore spot. YES, parents get frustrated I know but are her actions acceptable??? The incident was – observing my friend and her daughter at Disneyland this weekend. (Her older kids were also there, ) among other relatives. We rode Splash Mt. with her other kids – a ride that was perhaps a bit scary for the seven year old , who rode in the rear with me and SHE was NOT Happy! She started balling, and on the last final drop on the ride she became very scared and we both got very wet. It was probably not a good choice – O.K. Live and Learn.

    Well as we exited the ride she was crying so hard, I was holding her hand and patting her head and saying that she would be O.k., it was over now. The mom was in the same car or (log) on the ride so she was right there with her the whole time, she knew she was scared. Well her mother swooped in as we were exiting , yanked her , smacked her butt and shouted KNOCK IT OFF – with Much irritation and Anger. I was disturbed. I couldnt hold my tongue – I said "Hey , what are you dong? She is scared and wet , and spanking her isnt going to help. " She actually said to me- I'm frustrated what am I supposed to do , I said " How bout a hug for her and a little compassion.....she is scared." I was really really bothered by this because she does this type of stuff alot. Throught the day at Disney , there was lots of yelling, grabiing, etc. It was NOT a one time thing. SO, since I am NOT a Parent........I would like to hear from some of you. Does that border on slightly abusive. Because she does this type of stuff quite a bit. some of you may be thinking "Uh , hello are you DENSE" But I just really am trying to understand her frustration and that she was raised in about the same manner , Which gives her no excuse BUT I would really like some advice on this,. Thanks.

    February 23, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  2. Carmen O

    Who exactly are these "experts" that have concluded that spankings don't work and lead to a lower IQ? If done properly and not out of anger, they work. If you are inconsistent nothing will work. Certainly yelling because you have let things go and are angry IS child abuse. I have 7 children ages 6 -15 (6 of them boys) and we very rarely spank. It is not because my children are perfect but because we have clearly laid out what's expected of them and they know we love them enough that if they disobey they will be spanked. Spankings take place in private, after a discussion and are concluded with a big hug. My husband and I have a blast with our kids and it's a joy to be around them because we have consistantly set bounderies and stick to them. The Bible has all the answers, child training included. As far as low IQ's.....I would love for the "experts" to visit my house.

    October 28, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  3. ronvan

    What WE have done is taken the "parents rights" to raise THEIR children and given them to the "DO GOODERS", "CANNOT DO ANYTHING WRONG", "HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS". Providing discipline to your children is a parents responsibility! Abusing children is NOT acceptable in any circumstance and if found, THEN needs monitoring. CPS? Give me a break! I have personally watched them lie in court to get their way! Studies, surveys, reports?
    Bull. Have they seen/observed or been involved in EVERY situation a parent & child has to deal with? Don't think so. Raising children is not easy under any circumstances, especially today, but with real love, and some discipline involved it will work!

    October 28, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  4. Jessica H

    First of all, there is a difference between spanking and abusing a child. I am a firm believer in spanking and feel that this is what is wrong with a majority of the children today. I was spanked as a child and learned that there were consequences to my behavior. It has in no way affect my IQ which is a bit above average. My husband lived under much stricter rules than I and his IQ is well above average. As for self esteem I am for encouraging a child but many of today children are rude, mean, selfish and think they are entitled to something even if they fail at what they do. I have a brother (adopted) who was abused as a small child. My mother used time out and yelling on him as discipline and now at 15 he has hit my mother and spit on her. When she tries to ground him he simply leaves the house and now has to be patted down by her when they go shopping as he has shop lifted in the past so many times. However, from day one I told him that if he misbehaved around me I would spank him no matter how old he was. He has come to visit and we have been hiking before. He has never misbehaved with me and has never had a spanking from me but the knowledge that I would is there.

    I am not saying to use spanking for every little thing, but is is good in some instances. Then maybe the child will realize that there are consequences in life based on your behavior and then they may not be so much about what is in it for me but how can I help and be productive. As for the IQ level, that is up to the child as to the desire to learn and how much they want to learn.

    October 28, 2009 at 5:57 am |
  5. Sonia

    My mom and dad spanked me when necessary and I've grown up to be an obedient child. My younger sister, well she is on the verge of 16, steals from me, is completely spoiled, and has absolutely no respect for anyone in her family. Why do I think she turned out so horribly? MY MOM NEVER SPANKED OR DISIPLINED HER AT ALL. Stupid IS the new smart with parents.

    October 27, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  6. mother of four

    I am amused and saddened by articles like this, that suggest that "enlightened" parents don't spank. The literature is garbage, written by people with grants who are either blind to their own children's incredibly bad behavior or they have no children of their own. Trust me when I say that spanking (handled properly) is far, far less damaging than yelling.

    The difference? A spanking is a specific consequence to a specifically defined bad behavior. Yelling is words said at top volume to a child who already senses their parents' helplessness and loss of control in the face of a stressful situation, very often caused by the child themselves. Depending on the child, what you get is a kid who just rolls their eyes and goes on about their business, ignoring the parent's directives because yelling is easy to ignore or a kid who is crushed by the raised voice and angry words and learns to hide from anger. The first is more common than the second.

    As for that whole "kids who are spanked learn that hitting is how you solve your problems" you need to check the statistics. If they were right, we would see less violence in our society not more. In actuality, youth violence is substantially higher than it was in the 1950s when the whole "no spanking" approach to raising children began to take hold.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  7. Don from Delaware

    The gentleman mentioned how our kids blackmail us... well, that blackmail has gotten our kids a long way. It scared the schools into banning corporal punishment for fear of being sued for child abuse. It then scared the parents into not spanking in public for fear of getting reported to social services and/or arrested. It then scared parents into not spanking at home because of the stigma of the previous two examples and the fear that the children would somehow tell relatives, friends or teachers that they had been spanked. Now, we actually have studies touting that people might lose a couple of IQ points because they were spanked. How can you convince an intelligent person like me of that when they are SO many other experience factors at play that will both add or subtract IQ points. Now we've abused "spanking" enough that we're moving on to "yelling." I've seen enough of this crap of "time out" and "taking away TV minutes" and "not acknowledging some misbehavior" to know that all we're doing is teaching our kids how to manipulate us even more because we're trying to manipulate them. "Kindred" is right. Kids who spanked without the fears of parents or teachers getting accused of abuse turned out to be smart, respectful, and excellent parents. I know, because I had an excellent pair... and I'm thankful every day for the spankings and the raised voices that convinced me rather quickly that I should behave and I will continue that tradition in disciplining my own children.

    October 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  8. jeff

    This new age psychobabble has gotten to far out of control. These people saying spanking is not effective is a straight up lie.

    Spanking was used by my parents and I don't blame them for any type of abuse. It's realy no wonder we have such problems as teen pregnancy, out of control children in the schools, high teen crime rate. Parents have been left without any tools for punishing their children.

    How many of these "experts" have children of their own? How many of these experts that do have children I wonder, are having a daycare provider doing the correcting of their children?

    October 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  9. Nicole

    The further we get away from Biblical reasoning, the more our society degrades itself. Godly wisdom tells us to "spare the rod, spoil the child." My parents never spanked me out of anger. If they asked me to go to my room, I know now that this gave them an opportunity to think things over and calm down. Then, they would come in talk to me about my faux pas and proceed with corporal discipline. It was done in love and I am a well-balanced adult who will do the same for my parents. In our home, we were not allowed to raise our voices with one another and it made for a calm atmosphere and a loving environment. I watched my cousins raised in an environment where yelling was done to outtalk each other and discipline. Out of 6 children, only one is not a complete nut. From my life's experience and seeing it in the society around me, we must get back to the basics and discipline our children in the manner in which we have been divinely instructed.

    October 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  10. Gene

    You have got to be kidding! Isn't there enough liberalism going on in politics to keep all the Green Peace, Tree Huggining, everyhting goes as long as its way over the top and left crowd busy?

    Lets see, you can't spank your children, you can't grab your children, you can't trip your children as they're walking on the the street and now you can't even reaise your voice. Wow! What do you think should be next? Lest see, maybe the children should share in the family decision making process at the ripe old age of 4 years? Whatever the four year old wants is what we all will do and by the way, if he/she does anything wrong......just hug him/her and tell them how much you understand.

    Does anyone realize that centuries have gone by and children are not...I repeat.......are not any worse off then they were way back when. I think that any parent who subcribes to what these folks are talking about should be monitored until thier children grow up so we all can see the real results of this crap. As the old saying goes.....spare the rod and spoli the children. If they are bad, thye parents should take the punishment. Better yet, lets just incarcerate them at an earlier age and save everyone time and energy.

    I see kids everyday that I would love nothing better than to have permission to whoop thier behinds. And keep whooping thier butts until time runs out. Please!

    October 27, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Jamii T

    This is insanity...

    October 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  12. BMAC from MO

    Everyone has to know were the line is you have to stop. The rules I use are the same my parents use with me. First I ask or tell enough is enough. Second I raise my voice to theirs. Third one swat to get their attention. Then we discuse what the problem actually is and figure out a plan to not revisit the situation. Now they are 13-14 years old. Don't get me wrong there are still times i need to step in. But generally all i need to do is show my face and things are worked out on there own.
    The yelling and no hitting does not work. All the kids do is figure out is there are not going to get hurt so they yell back and talk back to you, Grandparents, teachers, bosses, then eventually the police officers.
    Ask why the younger generations have very little respect for elders or the law.

    October 27, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  13. Guy in CA

    lol, I was never scared of my Mom when she yelled. Now when her voice went low and deep and her words came out slowly.... That is when I knew I was in trouble.

    October 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  14. Purnell Meagre

    I'm sure you did the best you could, Garlan. It sounds like it. I've always done the same with my kids – a boy and a girl. With the girl I realized that early that every time I was angry with her I ended up angrier with myself for being angry with her. She hasn't done a bad thing since she was 7 (now 18.)
    With my son – like yourself – I remember what it was like to be his age (now 16.) He knows I'm on his side.

    October 27, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  15. Garlan Nobles

    What kept me from shouting and spanking was that when my son would misbehave, I would remind myself that he is just a child and that I can't expect him to act like an adult. I would say to myself out loud, Jacob quit acting like an 8 year old, or whatever age he was at the time. By saying this out loud to myself this reminded me that one time I was his age. I certainly wasn't perfect. One more thing, before disciplining your child , think just how important is this matter?
    For instance, cleaning his room. After his death I remember the times I would pressure him into cleaning his room, and the conflict we had. Now it dosen't seem that it should have been that important. Kids do grow out of things.

    October 27, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  16. Kindred

    Yelling has become the new spanking because we've failed our children. I don't care what kind of studies have been paid for - children that were "spanked" back in the day were more respectful of authority figures. And by "spanked" I don't mean "abused" or beaten within an inch of their lives. I think that because of such like persons who abuse children we've pushed spanking and regular discipline of our children to the wayside. And what do we have for it? Generations of children who have no respect for others, could care less about anything outside of their immediate wants, and ones who want everything now.

    I was a child who was disciplined by my parents and I thank them every day for setting boundaries and for giving me a good pat on the butt when I was wrong. I look at my sister who has adopted this "higher wisdom" of not spanking her kids and it's like a three ring circus at her house when trying to get the kids to do something (with yelling becoming the new spanking) whereas at my brothers house where he does spank his children on occasion when needed, the children are respectful and do as they are told and they have wonderful family communication.

    I feel that we need to actually go back to those days on not just this school of thought but several others...

    October 27, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  17. Purnell Meagre

    Stupid is the new smart – 50 is the new 40 – tired cliches are the new originality

    October 27, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  18. Caral from SoCal

    It is the anger directed at children that is so destructive. I have never – ever – spanked my children in anger, but I have under selected guidelines spanked for direct disobedience, calmly and with loving hugs and discussion. I have often noted that in our home with five kids, there was always much less conflict and anger – things were handled quickly and calmly. In homes of many parents who would never dream of spanking, there is constant screaming and yelling and they are convinced that somehow this is better. No. Children do need boundaries, but whether you choose to administer a swat or a time out in the chair, it simply must be done with love, with reconciliation and assurance of parental love afterwards, and with clear explanation. More training, more modeling, less need for correction in the first place.

    October 27, 2009 at 9:51 am |