January 31, 2001    





Do you believe a parent should have the right to spank his or her misbehaving child?

Of course. Why wouldn't they? How could they be parents if they didn't?

Laura, 36
, MA   USA

Hmm... I think that in some cases, it's OK, but it shouldn't be really hard, ya know? As soon as they're old enough to understand, I think you should talk to them instead.

Jeremy, 13
Highlands Ranch

I believe a parent has the right the disipline the child the way they see fit as long as the punishment isn't too severe and just wrong.

Stephanie, 25

Yes I think that parents should have aright to spank or give their child a pat on the but. I think the problems today lead back to where parents cannot disiciplie their own child. a friend of mine had a experience a few years back and was told she could not slap her daughter for talking back and calling names to her and she told the other person then you stand and let her call you names and see what you do. Our children today are our leaders of tomorrow. I do not believe beating a child but a lttle pat isn't going to hurt them. In fact I believe it will help them to respect you in the future.

Marci, 55
, OH   USA

Although I believe other disciplinary techniques are more effective and appropriate, I think parents should be able to give a child a swift, light spank. When "spanking" crosses the line to systematic beating, or is done with such force that the child is bruised or battered, then they should not.

Jane, 60
West Linn
, OR   USA

Spank? Possibly. A swift swat can clear the air. A ceremonial whacking can dramatize the severity of the offense. Beat? Of course not.

Jill, 60

If the misbehaving child gets to spank him or her back. Actually, I was never much for spanking. As a kid I thought it was mortifying to have anybody touching my butt, and if humiliating your child is what you're after there are better ways to do it.  Spanking just leads to resentment.

Karen, 21

Yes, it says it in the Bible.

Melodi, 19
, OH   USA

I don't have any children of my own but I was once a child. And in those days, parents didn't hesitate to spank children if they needed it. However, it's different now. Child abuse seems to be rampant in some places and some precautions are necessary. I think we take it too far though, and  friends, neighbors, etc., EVEN THE KIDS THEMSELVES in some cases might sue you if you so much as threaten to raise your hand to discipline a child.

Reba, 51
, MD   USA

It *really* depends on the definition of "spank" here. I personally wouldn't do so, but this seems to be such a gray area that it seems safer to tread lightly in giving or taking away rights. Mind you, though, I'm referring more to a little swat on the tukas; whomping with a belt or a paddle or a switch or what-not is something entirely

Kim, 30
New York
, NY   USA

Yes, as long as it doesn't get out of control.

Dianne, 16
Oshawa, Ontario  CANADA

I would say yes. My parents spanked me when I was little and I still turned out to be a darn good person. And parents have been doing it for generations. Now, I've heard some pretty good arguments about why you should NOT spank your child, and I've heard some positive stories from people that were never spanked as children. As for me, when I have a child, I'm still not sure what I will do. The thing is, some people don't know the difference between BEATING your child and spanking your child. A few smacks on the ass is a spanking. A hard punch to the gut is beating. Just as long as people know the difference, I think we'll all be alright.

Lisa J., 22

OK, here's my second chance at answering this question. When I first read it, I thought it said '... have the right to speak to ..." Now i see that the operative word is "spank". I think my new glasses need to be checked. Yes. A spank on the butt is fine. One swat. With the hand. No belts, no brushes, no hangers, etc. And only rarely.  My father didn't spank us often, but he had big, callused hands. And if we'd made him mad enough to get a spank, we knew we were in trouble. Most of the time, we'd run to our room while trying to make our butt get as far away from his hand as possible. And then we'd stay out of his line of sight for the rest of the night.

Laura, 36
, MA   USA

I believe physical punishment is totally unacceptible and does nothing but traumatize the child. There are more effective and less harmful methods of punishment.

Talia, 23
, CT   USA

No because I've seen too many people abuse that right.

Alias Irrelevante

Maybe a toddler - lightly and on the bottom only - if they are acting out in a way that could be dangerous to themselves. Otherwise, there isn't really a reason to do so.

Fisch, 45
, CT   USA

My parents never out and out took us over their knee and spanked us. However, they did swat our bottoms now and again, especially when we seemed on the verge of hyper active hysteria. This did not scare or mame me and I think is an appropriate sort of physical discipline. Using anything more than a bare hand on a clothed bottom with a very light force, seems to be too much.

Felicia, 35
, MA   USA

I do not believe in spanking. However, say for instance a child and his mother or father or whoever were in a store. The child is persistently running off, dissapearing from the parents sight, and the child is old enough to know better. Therefore, If the mother has to chase him down repeatedly, she is entitle to give him ONE good swat on the behind, just to enforce her rules. I do not beleive in whipping with a belt, it doesnt do any good.People say there is no middle, but there are thousands of shades of grey in every situation.

Adrianne, 15

Yes, but you have to draw the line between a little swat for pure disciplinary/shock purposes, and actual abuse.

Sarah S., 17
, NY   USA

No. Hitting, screaming at and calling children names are all ineffective ways of disciplining a child, and if anything, belittle and just hurt self-esteem. Parent's words will end up being more respected if they display anger in a healthier, more assertive way.

Naomi, 18

Absolutely not. There are other ways to discipline a child. Fostering an environment where superior strength determines power and is played out through violence is not a good example to set for a child. In trying to make a child behave, you should also set an example of how the child should treat people that "misbehave" towards him or her.

Eric, 18
Beverly Hills

I don't know. There was so much anger and violence in my life as a child...But I do think people should be able to disapline (sic?) their own children. I don't know.

Jaden, 21
Brampton, Ontario  CANADA

That's a bit of a tricky question. In short, yes. The parent in question should have the good sense not to punish while angry, not to hit too hard, and to know when coporal punishment will and won't be effective. There's little to no way for a 3rd party to be sure of all these things, however,  so  we have to rely on the idea that parents should be adults, at least in how they handle these situations.

Firelady, 23
, TX   USA

absolutely. Parents should be able to have the right to discipline their children. However, spanking should be a last resort.

Angela, 16
, SC   USA

I believe a parent has a right to discipline their child. For a toddler/young child a squat across the back legs or bottom can do wonders to stop a dangerous behavior. I don't think hitting a child in the face or arms is necessary and certainly as a child gets older, reasoning and talking to the child is more affective. There is no need to belittle a child.

Janet, 42
E. Brunswick
, NJ   USA

The "right"? That's the tricky part. . . I guess so, as long as it isn't too abusive, but that's such a fine line. . .I never want to hit my child ever in any way. . .

mothmc, 36
Los Angeles

I have no problem with it. My mom spanked me when I was little if I misbehaved and I turned out okay. But she never used a belt or anything like that. She always used her hand.

Kevin2, 18
Frazier Park

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