Clearly, You're Retarded was the radio show with Adam Avitable and Britt Reints

Do you spank your kids?

Last night on “Clearly, You’re Retarded“, my special guest host Faiqa and I discussed spanking as a form of discipline. If you want to check out the show, you can download the episode and listen to it or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

The interesting part of the show was the chatroom. While there were a few staunch anti-spanking people in there, for the most part, people seemed to agree that some type of physical discipline was necessary to make sure that your kids don’t turn out to be spoiled rotten brats.

I support spanking, but within limits. It should never be done out of anger. It should never reach the level of a beating or physical abuse. And it should be limited to children from the ages of 3/4-9/10.

I don’t think that spanking is the only discipline or the first resort. I think that it’s just one tool that needs to be used at certain times under certain parameters, and in order for your child to turn out as good as possible, you need to use every tool in your arsenal.

Spanking is not lazy parenting. In fact, I think that if you don’t spank or use any physical discipline at all, you’re doing your children a disservice.

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44 Replies to “Do you spank your kids?”

  1. Lynda

    I don’t have kids, and I kind of go back and forth on the topic. Of course, I think values have changed as well, which may make some people more uncomfortable with the idea of spanking their kids.

  2. baseballmom

    Sometimes a pop on the butt is needed to get their attention. It loses its effectiveness if used all the time, but it definitely works for my kids. I agree on the age thing also-I don’t spank my 13 year old, because it’s sort of an insult, and it hurts him much more to take away his cell phone, or skateboard, or rides to the skate park!

  3. Crys

    old school spanking used to include belts and implements. i think THAT’S morally wrong for ANYONE to do.

    i swatted my daughter’s diaper a few times when she was little to get her attention or whatever. it wasn’t pressure from society that made me stop doing this, but how it made me feel INSIDE. i just didn’t like it, she seemed scared, it made me feel badly. never did it since then.

  4. hello haha narf

    i’m disappointed that i missed the show (had to take clients to the hockey game).

    my personal opinion (as a childless single woman who was once a child) is that a little swat on the butt, done by the parent’s hand, is perfectly acceptable and effective. when i was a bratty four year old, i had no reasoning skills. after i was about 6 or 7 there was no need to spank me because there were more ways to discipline me (i mean, i NEEDED to watch the damn smurfs. taking away television was serious punishment when i was that old! especially since it wasn’t like my parents sent me to my room where i had fun things.)

  5. Jennifer

    I honestly do not know why people are so concerned with how I raise *MY* children. I was spanked as a kid, and I’m only a little fucked up (my mothers mental illness fucked me up the rest of the way).

    Consequences are part of life. We do something wrong, we pay for it. Sometimes a time out does not work with kids, it never works with my 2nd.

    My first child, she has gotten a smack on the bum a handfull of times when she has willfully disobeyed us. She’s 5 and there are times when, she pushes that envelope off the cliff and then blows it up.

    My evil second child likely gets a swat weekly, or at least I threaten too. Threats work really well with her. She is a very challenging child, willful, energetic and full of piss and vinegar. You tell her “don’t do that…because XYZX…and she goes “Cool! Lemmie try that!”. She will be a future lawyer I am sure the way she will argue her point into the ground and she’s barely three.

    I pick my battles with both of them, but sometimes, like when the 2yo runs into traffic, a swat (and a harness) is necessary.

  6. kapgar

    I can’t say I’m entirely for or against spanking. My parents spanked my brother and I but VERY judiciously (I hope that’s the right word). We were spanked a couple times each when the situation truly warranted it and the rest of the time, we knew the threat existed, which made us carefully consider our options before doing something that might warrant it happening.

  7. Vic

    You’ve got the answer to everything!
    Yeah, it’s not wrong as long as you’ve got suitable boundaries set for yourself and the use of spanking as a form of discipline. My parents did it to me and it didn’t do me any hard.

  8. Sybil Law

    My opinion has been stated.
    However, we did not discuss the parents who need a spanking, for letting their kids rule the roost and act like general assholes in public!
    But mostly, I agree with you. And what Kapgar said.
    Why no spanking smiley? Oh here it is… :jerkoff2:

  9. SciFi Dad

    While I disagree that spanking is a necessity, and think that there are alternatives to it, I respect your opinion.

    For me, it boils down to parents being teachers. By using spanking, we are teaching them that violence (hitting) solves problems, which is something that I personally don’t believe.

    (I am not going to turn this into an anti-war thing, so I’ll just leave it at that.)

  10. NYCWD

    I wonder if there has ever been a study done to prove correlation to not being spanked as a child and enjoying S&M.

    Sadly I was too busy stirring up shit locally (because yes, I do it locally and not just on the ‘net… I’m an equal opportunity shit stirrer) but I look forward to hear you intellectually bashing Faiqa’s brains in… figuratively of course.

  11. beth

    I’ve swatted my kids *maybe* once or twice each, that was all it took. They then learned that it was available and all they had to do was act like an idiot. They have since chosen not to act like idiots – much.

    I do find my *stare of impending doom* to be a much more effective strategy than the threat of the spank. When they know that I’m boiling behind a stare they have no idea what is about to happen and it snaps them in line in 2 seconds flat.

  12. christie

    I’m all for beating my children 🙂 hehe

    Ok seriously I do agree with spanking and agree not ot of anger. As someone who was abused I promised myself never to raise a hand out of anger- only to train my kids.

  13. Jeff

    As the parent of 17 and 18 year old boys who were never spanked, I have to say that they obviously do not have the same respect (or fear) for me that I had for my father. I would NEVER have thought for even a second to talk back to or swear at him. And if I had come home from school with Ds and Fs on my report card I would have gotten my butt kicked. All that being said, I personally am not a physical person so hitting a child doesn’t appeal to me. I’m just saying that my kids turned out less disciplined as a result.

  14. Finn

    It should never be done out of anger.

    Every time I hear that I think of Erma Bombeck: “When could I strike him? When he is kissing me on my birthday? When he’s recuperating from measles? Do I slap the Bible out of his hand on Sunday?”

    I really think it depends on the kid. Some don’t need it, some need it once in a great while, others need it regularly. I don’t think I’ve formally spanked Lil’ M, but I have given him a tap on the butt with the top of my foot, more to redirect his attention than to cause pain. But he doesn’t really give anyone any trouble so it’s few and far between. Generally when he gets whining and will not stop.

  15. Grant

    I know some parents who have done a good job without spanking, but it’s because they spend time with their kids and employ other punishments to correct their behavior. Did your talk include school spankings? I’m okay with some parents employing it (although some are just abusive), but if I had kids I don’t think I’d want some public school official deciding whether or not my children had it coming. I’d rather they tell me of the infraction and let me decide.

  16. Beth

    I’ve already told you this, but I think there are certain circumstances where spanking is appropriate. I also think spanking shouldn’t be a first resort or used for every offense. There are too many other creative punishments out there to use spanking every time. (Like picking up rocks in the back yard. How’s that for punishment?) I do think a lot of people take spanking to the extreme, which is why I think so many people are against it. We also don’t punish N out of anger. If we’re too mad, he gets to go sit in his room while we calm down.

  17. Leanne

    Mine has never been so out of line that a raised voice or being sent to her room hasn’t solved the problem. My worry would be that once you start spanking, your kids would associate that with being “bad” and you would get to the point of having to spank for everything. Or better put, your kids wouldn’t think they were being out of line until you spank them.

  18. fiwa

    I’m not against spanking, I spanked my step daughter. I’m not sure it accomplished anything though. Not spanking when you are angry is one of those things that is easy to say but harder to put into practice. If it’s something that is a spankable offense – usually you’re angry. So what is the solution – wait until you aren’t angry? To me that’s kind of like yelling at a dog for peeing in the house when you weren’t at home – does it do any good later?

  19. radioactivetori

    I missed the show, am planning to listen to it on the treadmill tomorrow like I always do. I do not spank my kids. My kids are amazing little people who rarely misbehave. Seriously. I do not know how I got so lucky because I certainly never expected to have such awesome kids without having to discipline much at all. Everyone always comments on how respectful and polite they are. I think it is a combination of luck and my parenting that has made it this way. My kids love me like crazy and don’t want to dissapoint me. For them, me looking at them like that is probably the equivalent of a spanking. And I know not all kids are like that.

    When my kids misbehave, we talk about it. But see that is where I feel the luck comes in to play. If my kids were disrespectful, or not able to carry on a conversation with me and know that I am always the boss, I am not sure if I would then resort to spanking them. I do not spank my kids, but I also don’t think spanking is awful if done correctly. I do think it is incorrect to say that it is always bad parenting if you don’t spank.

    • Jeff

      @radioactivetori, I have the exact same kids you do. As little kids, they were always well behaved and polite in public and very little trouble in private. But somewhere along the line they just kind of got lazy, and didn’t seem to worry about what that meant to me – knowing I wasn’t going to hit them or anything serious. Now it feels like they take advantage of us because they know we’re not going to do anything more than yell at them. Given the opportunity to go back in time I still wouldn’t have changed the way I parented and started hitting them, but just be prepared for the fact that when they’re 15+ years old, you may have kids that don’t give a crap about what you think anymore.

  20. Jen

    I’m pretty anti-spanking myself. I was spanked a few times as a kid and while I don’t think it damaged me I do remember how it felt and I just don’t have it in me to hurt and humiliate my children in that way. In fact, in a moment of extreme desperation I once slapped my son’s hand and while he was fine I felt sick about it for day. It just goes against my nature and my parenting instincts.

  21. Hannah

    I think kids need to be a bit scared of their parents and if this comes as a result of spanking once in awhile, then I see nothing wrong with it. As long as they don’t go overboard with physical punishment and use it as a last resort, then I don’t see the big deal.

  22. Twinkie

    What I find amusing is how passionate people are about one form of dicipline, and the other.

    For example, if I believe in spanking, I’m more prone to look down on your way of parenting if you don’t believe in spanking. (or vise versa)

    I for one think it depends on the child. I have two sets of kids. An 18 year old, a 17 year old, then a 10 yr old and 9 yr old.

    Of these two “sets” (I say sets because of the age gap) one wouldn’t listen to time outs or stern lectures. So they would get the spanking. The other would cry even if I gave them a disapproving look. That was enough for them to stop what they were doing and correct their behavior.

    I think as long as you always LOVE them and protect them by always setting limits and they know it and feel it, they will turn out to be good kids regardless of if you spank them or not.

  23. kitty

    I was spanked as I child. I still hate my parents for it.

    As for my own children, we didn’t spank the first one but did spank the 2nd. Guess which one hits and screams and generally acts like a brat. It was the one we spanked.

    If you hit a child, you teach them to hit.

  24. Avitable

    Dave, do you spank Bad Monkey?

    Faiqa, so you’re just conceding that I won, right?

    Undomestic Diva, oh, I’m a big proponent of duct tape.

    Amanda, are you a bad, bad girl?

    SwanShadow, can I spank your daughter?

    Lynda, the pussification of the world.

    BaseballMom, and he might also get aroused from it.

    SPD, angry spanking can lead to beating.

    Crystal, I agree with you about old school spanking.

    Hello, exactly.

    Jennifer, try duct tape, too.

    Kapgar, that’s the only time that I think spanking is appropriate.

    Vic, I am a genius, after all.

    Sybil, that’s more of a whacking smiley.

    SciFi Dad, spanking is not hitting. Those are very different actions.

    NYCWD, I totally kicked her ass. She doesn’t have a chance against me.

    Beth, the quick spanking should be only used when you have to. It’s people who refuse to ever use it that will spoil their kids.

    Christie, good thinking.

    Jeff, that’s refreshing to hear. If you did it over again, would you have spanked them?

    Finn, I see spanking as a tap, or a quick slap on the butt. Not a vigorous ass drummming.

    Grant, I got spanked in school and it was very effective for me.

    Beth, I agree with you. You’re so smart.

    Rachel, as well you should. I’m like Dr. Joyce Brothers and Dr. Phil, all rolled into one.

    Leanne, it’s a matter of escalating punishment. Just like saying “No” or time out. There’s no difference.

    Fiwa, yelling at a dog later doesn’t do any good because they don’t know why you’re yelling. If you spank a child later, they will know.

    Marty, forums of punishment? You sent her to the Coliseum to fight lions?

    Robin, ha! You’d think he would have learned just from his own kid.

    Radioactive Tori, how old are they?

    Poppy, exactly. Same with Jigsaw.

    JDG, I can’t believe you’re the first person to go there.

    Jay, I think bare hand on bare butt is probably the most effective, though.

    Clayton, I received spankings, not beatings, and it modified my behavior. I think many people who are anti-spanking were really thrashed as kids.

    Dawn, that’s the best method.

    Jen, it should hurt you just as much as it hurts him. That’s the point of a good punishment.

    Hannah, exactly.

    BE Earl, you do get bonus points for the smiley, though.

    Twinkie, I think that people who don’t spank at all are for the most part raising children who are going to be spoiled.

    Kitty, spanking is not hitting. Maybe you’re spanking as something other than a last resort.

    Karl, a smack on the butt is a good thing for kids and adults.

  25. LV Lizard

    I don’t have any kids (and you as a member of society can thank god for that) but I do spank strippers, porn stars, girlfriends, and pretty much every other type of attractive woman I can get my hands on. Consequently, I feel like it would be creepily awkward to use what I consider to be a sexual action on my offspring…so I’ll probably just refrain from having them, and if that fails then leave discipline up to his/her mother…god bless her soul (whoever that might be)

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