Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Spanking as Discipline: Yes or No?
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
    To spank or not to spank? That is one of the more popular debates in our parenting communities here at WebMD.

    What are your thoughts? Do you spank? Do you think it is ever an appropriate way to discipline your child?

    What form of discipline works best for you?

    Share your views and defend your stance!


    (Again, remember to attack the position, not the member. Each person has his or her own viewpoint, and you are not likely to change a mind by name-calling or personal attacks.)
    ewcollins responded:
    I was spanked as a child and it did me no good whatsoever. It is now 50 years later and I still resent it. My Dad certainly knew better, but he simply could not control his temper. Fortunately, I learned from my Dad's poor example and I did not bring up my son "the way I was brought up". My son turned out just fine with very little "discipline", and certainly no corporal punishment. An adult should feel foolish hitting anyone, especially a small child.
    awesomelexie1 replied to ewcollins's response:
    I hear a lot of arguments for it, but I remember the spankings I got as a child and all I feel is heartbreak.
    rachael67 responded:
    I think before having a discussion on spanking we should define "spanking." To me it is a quick swat on the tush and is used only to deal with an immediate situation or as a last resort when reason fails.

    I was spanked a good deal when I was younger, and you know what? It never was a problem for me. What was a DREADFUL, AWFUL problem was BEING SCOLDED! Having my parent/parents hollar at me cut me to the quick! The old adage about sticks and stones vs name calling? It's a bunch of bunk!! The name calling DOES HURT!!!

    There are no scars left from any of my spankings...Truthfully, I can't even recall them hurting!....But the stings from the scolding echo down the years!

    Blessings ...and gentleness!
    Janinenas responded:
    I could write a story about spanking but will keep it short!
    I was spanked as a kid and was kept in my place along with 3 other sibblings, we knew what our boundries were and very rarely crossed them. I had a wonderful childhood.
    As for my children I spanked them up until realizing I was doing it in anger, being in an abusive relationship my two children suffered. we ran and tryed to repair ourselves, now they are grown adults and still having troubles coping in society.
    Now I am fostering my Grandson and spanking is NOT happening!! there are so many other ways to deal with a child which I am learning. LISTEN, TALK, EXPLAIN, NURTURE, TEACH, PLAY, PLAY and PLAY some more showing your child how to do things, allow them to help with everything, laundry dishes dusting they love to help!! Teaching them is what they need they thrive on attention good or bad so do your best to make it all good!
    Momobecca responded:
    Spanking a child is a difficult thing to discuss because it can happen in many ways. Spanking a child out of anger or frustration is never right. It gets too out of hand at that point and can turn to abuse very easily. That being said, spanking my children when they are in the wrong and I am trying to teach them what is the correct way to act, is not wrong. I do not slap them on the face, i spank on the bottom. Slapping a child or hitting them elsewhere can make them think that hitting is ok, when it isn't. A pop on the bottom is decidedly different and makes the child realize the difference. I was spanked as a child, and i spank my children when the need is there. I'm not saying that it's the first thing that we go to, nor is it always always fool proof and effective, but i see nothing wrong with it if it is done correctly, and in love.
    An_241866 responded:
    • The correct spanking is an attention getter when all eles fails.I have raised 3 and have 5 grands and 2 greats and a spanking in the correct place (on the butt) never hurt me any of my sibblings or my own children. Children today are much to desrespectful of their parents. I see it every day as I stand at the register in WalMart. These children should be left at home until they are able to go out in public without causing a sceen and embrassing their parents.
    courageandserenitywisdom replied to ewcollins's response:
    Anger management for an adult is not what we are talking about. I received one spanking from my Father in my life time for talking back to an ailing Grandfather and I never forgot it and to this day. I know I deserved it. He never had to spank me again and I loved him till the day he passed away. So stop talking about anger management and child abuse, a spanking is a quick attention getter on the backside not a beating. Most people think they are the same. Not so.Today I thank my father for my spanking, he never beat me,(AND) he never had to spank me again either.
    courageandserenitywisdom replied to rachael67's response:
    hear hear you said it right
    courageandserenitywisdom replied to Momobecca's response:
    Good calling
    ami_nix responded:
    I'm really torn on this issue.. I used to feel that spanking should be used as a last resort for dangerous situations but, the closer my son gets to an age where discipline will become an issue, the harder it is for me to imagine ever spanking him. He is almost 8 months old and the other day, he was playing at my mother's house and he kept trying to play with the TV. I grabbed him and redirected his attention two or three times and my mother said that if he did it again, I should tap his hand... I couldn't do it.. he's still a baby! I ended up just picking him up and holding him in my lap. I do not think someone who spanks their child is in the wrong, I just don't think that it's the discipline of choice for our house.
    KenziesMom12 responded:
    Honestly, I was got WHOOPINGS!!!! Switches from the tree!!! And I dont regret it at all. I was spoiled and knew what I was doing was wrong. But my mother and grandmother always put me in my place. Thats the problem. People rather put their children on Leashes like dogs than spank them and hold their hand!!!!! Counting to three does not work!!!
    Anon_1952 responded:
    Striking a child as a form of discipline makes absolutely no sense. We have never spanked our son. None of our friends have spanked their children and none of my son's friends have been spanked. They are all very polite and well raised children. IMHO spanking amounts to parental laziness. If you put in the time to teach your child how to behave there is no need for spanking. It does take time and patience. My experience is the children who are rude and out of control are the ones that have been spanked, violence begets violence.
    KenziesMom12 responded:
    First and foremost, it is not laziness to spank your child. It is a form of discipline. If more people used that form of discipline, there wouldnt be as much problems in schools that there are today!!!!!
    Bulley1030 replied to Janinenas's response:
    when your dealing with a two year old throwing a temper tantrum and testing all boundaries a quick swat is a great reminder. you cant reason while they are screaming, hitting, and pulling your hair. lol I remember when I got spanked but only because it was very few I learned from them and I'm fine now. I think that people also have the right to that decision, calling the police on a punishment decision out in public is ridiculous. it's the embarrassment that reminds the child not to act out. I know I had one temper tantrum in public was spanked for it and NEVER did it again. it worked for me but it may not work on all kids. my mother in law said about my husband that she had to throw out her ideas of parenting her other 3 kids out the window when he was a kid. so what works for one may not work for all. I say do what works. no matter the opinion.

    WebMD Talk Show

    Feel like a friendly debate? Take the gloves off and defend your viewpoint.

    Learn More

    Expert Blog

    Diagnosis: Reality Check

    Putting perspective on health news and names in the spotlight.Read More