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One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Thursday April 9th 2020

Spanking Doesn’t Teach Violence – The Proof Is In

mom says

The proof is in the pudding.  Look at the youth of today and then come back and tell me the kids are less violent today than there were 20 years ago.  You can’t do it.  Kids are more violent today.  Kids are now labeled oppositional and defiant instead of just calling them violent.  It isn’t the kids fault they have a disorder, boo hoo, cry for the poor innocent kids.

I don’t care about what the experts say or the studies they have run because they are all controlled studies not based on real life experience.  If you want to look at the real results, look at the kids who are now teens that weren’t spanked as children.  All you have to do is watch YouTube for a few minutes and see that violence among kids has grown not declined.  Watch the news, see what goes on is schools and around the neighborhood.  Kids use violence to solve problems and deal with their frustrations because they know nothing else.  Don’t hand me that, it is just “seems” more prevalent, it is more prevalent.  The results are in and spanking didn’t just work, it help keep kids from being violent.  Spanking doesn’t teach violence it teaches consequences.  We removed spanking from the effective discipline tool bag and violence among kids got worse.

Schools today have metal detectors and resource officers on campus full time now.  Resource officers are usually off-duty police officers or in some cases on duty police officers.  Bullies are not just stealing milk money they are beating the tar out of other kids.  Girls getting into physical fist fights on a regular basis and proud of it.  Teachers harassed and even assaulted by students.  Not that I want paddling in schools to return, because I don’t want another person spanking my child, but for those of us who were in school when paddling was available, it had an effect.  Paddling in schools kept a good deal of kids in line.

Kids today have little respect for adults in any capacity.  Kids are hitting their own parents.  Kids have no fear of the consequence that they face over violent behavior.  Psychologist and psychiatrist are labeling kids as oppositional and defiant based on a disorder so it is not the kids fault or the parents fault.  Goodness knows we can’t hold anyone responsible for a kids behavior, especially not the kid.  Parents wanted to know why their kids were being oppositional, defiant and violent and the “experts” needed an answer that fit with their findings on how to raise a child.  That is how the oppositional defiant disorder came about.  Here you had good parents who weren’t spanking or yelling or ever telling their kids no but you had violent, oppositional and defiant kids.  How could this be?  The “experts” were scratching their heads because they couldn’t be wrong, so they found an answer.  It isn’t the kids or the parents it is a disorder.  No one is to blame, it is no one’s fault.  That is a bunch of crap.

Spanking is an effective disciplinary tool.  In my home, spanking is reserved as a last resort.  I haven’t had to use it often, as there are a great deal of other effective disciplinary tools, but when it is needed I don’t hesitate to use it.  I am not talking about beating kids or abusing kids, I am talking about effectively spanking of kids.  Spanking should be more psychological than physical.  You don’t have to hurt a child when spanking them to get the point across.  It is the psychological shock that you will spank them that gets the point across.  It is a fear of serious consequences that gets the point of cross.

As adults we fear consequences and the more severe the crime the more severe the consequences.  Why is it that children shouldn’t have that same fear?  How does it damage them?  They mess around and break the rules, they suffer the consequence.  If the first consequences don’t work then you make tougher consequences until the point is made.  That is what happens in adult society every single day.  Kids need to learn about consequences when they are kids so they can gain a healthy respect for the laws and rules when they become adults.  Kids need to learn that just like in adult society, that we are preparing them for, there is an escalation in consequences.  The more serious the bad behavior or continuing bad behavior the more serious the consequence.

When I was growing up we feared spankings.  Oh spankings in public were the worst, what if our friends saw, it would be embarrassing.  My parents didn’t have to spank me or my brother often but we knew they would and that little bit of fear went a long way.  It didn’t matter whether we were in public, at a family event or at home, if you started misbehaving and wouldn’t respond to anything else a spanking would be doled out.

Today, we are so concerned with raising kids full of self-esteem and self-confidence that we have forgotten how to raise them with some effective discipline as well.  Don’t break your kid is what the “experts” said and we listened and we followed.  So why are so many kids broken?  Kids need love and affection AND structure, boundaries, and effective discipline.  They need to face the fact that they will fail sometimes.  They need to understand there are consequences for every action and they will be held responsible for their actions.

Spanking doesn’t make kids violent or teach them violence.  Kids are violent because we stopped parenting them like children and started treating them like they have the same rights as adults.  Kids are violent because they don’t fear any consequence.  Kids are violent because they don’t know how to fail at something or take responsibility for their actions.  Kids are violent because they are left to discipline themselves.  Kids are incapable of making the right decision when they never have to face the consequences of making the wrong decision.

Kids today know that parents won’t cross that line to spanking.  They know that parents fear the social consequence of spanking a child, especially in public.  They know that parents won’t go there so they have nothing to fear.  We need to start going there and not being afraid of going there.  We need to stop listening to the “experts” because, quite frankly, they haven’t gotten it right yet.  We need our kids to know that we will go there if it is in the child’s best interest.  They need to know we will pull that consequence out of the bag and use it, if the child refuses to modify bad behavior, after all the other consequences have failed.

Spanking is an effective disciplinary tool.  It shouldn’t be the first one pulled out of the tool bag but it should always be an option kids are aware exist and will be used.  The results are in and spanking didn’t teach violence.  If that were the case then kids would be less violent today because spanking was removed as a disciplinary tool.  Just the reverse has happened, kids are more violent.  I believe spanking was an effective consequence that worked at keeping kids from becoming violent and we did ourselves a big disservice by taking it away.  The proof is in the pudding.

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Reader Feedback

37 Responses to “Spanking Doesn’t Teach Violence – The Proof Is In”

  1. Chris says:
    Violence might’ve increased in the last 20 years, but how do you know that the perpetrators weren’t spanked as children? The troublemakers probably were spanked as to this day in the US the majority of parents do spank. So when you say the troublemakers of today weren’t spanked, where do you get your information?
    • MMead says:
      Another misconception, that violence has “increased”. I would recommend professor Steven Pinker’s (of Harvard University) new book “The Better Angels of Our Nature, Why Violence Has Declined”.
  2. MMead says:
    Where on earth is this person getting her data from?! It gets redundant talking to the child-“spanking” proponents, because their responses are literally almost always the same.
  3. MMead says:
    In 31 nations, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US also has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

    The US states with the highest crime rates, poorest academic performance, highest obesity rates and health problems, poorest economic ranking, and largest public welfare burdens are also the ones with the highest rates of child corporal punishment.

    Of all the things prison inmates lacked in their upbringing, “spanking” certainly wasn’t one of them.

    There is simply no evidence to suggest that child/adolescent/teenage-only “spanking” instills virtue.

    Research/recommended reading:

    Spanking Can Make Children More Aggressive Later

    Spanking Kids Increases Risk of Sexual Problems

    Use of Spanking for 3-Year-Old Children and Associated Intimate Partner Aggression or Violence

    Spanking Children Can Lower IQ

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson

    “Spanking” can be intentional or unintentional sexual abuse

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child/adolescent/teenage-only “spanking” isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    American Psychological Association,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    United Methodist Church
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

  4. MMead says:
    In light of Judge Adams video,

    We often hear from those who fight to uphold this practice for those under the age of 18 (even to the blaming of the social maladies of the day on a supposed “lack” of it), but we rarely, if ever, find advocates for the return of corporal punishment to the general adult community, college campuses, inmate population, or military. Why is that?

    Ask ten unyielding proponents of child/adolescent/teenage-only “spanking” about the “right” way to do it, and what would be abusive, indecent, or obscene, and you will get ten different answers.

    These proponents should consider making their own video-recording of the “right way” to do it.

    Visit Unlimited Justice or Parents and Teachers Against Violence in Education to learn more.

  5. The response on my own blog to this article:

    Thursday, December 8, 2011
    Correlation, causation, and the proof in the pudding

    “I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words … When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint.” – Hesiod, 8th century BC

    In the wake of the “viral” videotape of a Texas family court judge whipping his teenage daughter, there’s been no shortage of discussion of corporal punishment (CP) of children, pro and con.

    One problem with the dialogue is that no two people can agree on the meaning of the terminology. Is “spanking” a pop on a toddler’s diapered butt? Or is it administering 20 lashes with a metal-studded leather belt? This is like lumping the bow-and-arrow together with the atom bomb and calling them both “weapons of mass destruction.” If we can’t agree how to define the words, I don’t see how we’re going to get anywhere.

    But there are two bigger problems: perception vs. reality, and disagreement about what causes what. I mean, everyone knows that kids today are pretty rotten, especially compared to when we were their age. Smoking, drinking, drugs, violence, and sex … today’s teens are worse than EVER! And what could be causing this monstrous behavior? Well, obviously, it’s linked to the drop in popularity of CP at home and in the schools.

    But the perception of “kids today” simply isn’t accurate. In fact, in many ways, “today’s kids” are BETTER than we ever were.


    Let’s take the example of violence. “Mom vs. the World” writes: “Spanking does not cause violence. The proof is in the pudding! Look at the youth of today and then come back and tell me the kids are less violent today than there were 20 years ago. You can’t do it … All you have to do is watch YouTube for a few minutes and see that violence among kids has grown not declined.”

    Well, as long as we’re going to use the word “proof,” then maybe we can look at some actual, factual information. According to FBI national arrest statistics, the arrest rate of juveniles for violent crime (murder, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault) has declined each year since 1994, and is lower now than in any year since at least 1980.

    According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, violent crime in schools has declined dramatically during the same time period. The annual rate of serious violent crime in 2007 (40 per 1,000 students) was less than half of the rate in 1994.

    Literally hundreds of studies are showing the same results. In her blog, “Mom” says she doesn’t trust the “experts,” but I can’t help but ask the question: Why are so many different experts doing different studies and coming up with the same data? (Especially when many of these studies are conducted by entities that could receive more government funding if they OVERSTATED the problem…? Stick THAT in your blog and type it.)

    It’s important to remember that correlation does not always imply causation. I certainly don’t believe we can prove a direct link between the drop in youth crime and parents spanking less. But it’s obviously inaccurate to claim that “teens are more violent today” and then to blame this “fact” on a reported decrease in CP.

    In defense of CP (not simply “discipline,” which I think most parents agree is a necessity), “Mom” also says, “Kids need to learn about consequences when they are kids so they can gain a healthy respect for the laws and rules when they become adults.” This is the classic “I spank my kids to keep them out of jail” argument.

    But here again, the data’s clear. A childhood background of CP (which may, or may not, be defined as abuse) is ubiquitous in the prison population. Based on a study of more than 2,000 delinquents, Dr. Ralph Welsh developed “The Belt Theory.” “The recidivist male delinquent who has never been exposed to the belt, extension cord or fist at some time in his life is virtually non-existent,” he says.

    We can’t say for certain that CP caused these inmates to commit violent, illegal acts. However, it’s obvious that the punishment didn’t PREVENT these acts either.

    By the same token, we can look at populations that, statistically, tend to rely heavily on CP – such as African-Americans and people without college degrees. Both populations are over-represented in our penal system. Perhaps CP didn’t cause their behavior, but again, it didn’t seem to PREVENT it. And wasn’t that the point?

    Violence isn’t the only example. Drug use? Yes, it’s edged up a bit recently, but it’s still 50 percent lower than it was in 1979 (the year I entered high school). Drinking? Also down, and “much less a problem than it was 20 years ago,” says Dr. Robert Foss, senior research scientist at the Highway Research Safety Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smoking? After a peak in 1996, it’s been declining.

    But surely, more kids are having sex? I mean, look at all that garbage on TV! Well, sorry to disappoint, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teen pregnancy is at its lowest rate in two decades and other indicators (age of first sexual activity, STDs, the abortion rate) are showing improvement as well.

    Here we go with that pesky correlation-and-causation thing again. Over the past few decades, fewer parents are using CP routinely (or at least, this is what they report). Meanwhile, today’s kids aren’t perfect, but they’re not all going to hell in a handbasket either. So where’s that connection again…?

    Of course, we all know things started going sour when they stopped CP in schools. But it seems that most people don’t realize that CP is still legal in the school districts of 19 states, and it’s not rare; last year more than 200,000 students were subjected to CP (disproportionately and repeatedly administered to minority, poor and special education students).

    The top 10 states for CP (paddling) in schools: Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kentucky. And, as Gomer Pyle would say, surprise-surprise: by almost every measure (graduation rates, standardized test scores, violent crime and teen pregnancy, among others), things are worse in these states than in states where CP is illegal.

    Golly gee. I’d like to pull a “correlation is causation” out of that hat, but I can’t. Perhaps there’s no link at all. Perhaps there is some unknown factor, like the color of the dirt or the prevalence of moths, in these 10 states, which simply appears to link school CP with negative life outcomes.

    I don’t know. But I’d be interested in finding out what’s in the pudding that “Mom” is eating.

  6. Jacob says:
    This writer is ignoring what is called the cause and effect fallacy, the argument that because two things are true, one must have caused the other. There are more computers than there were twenty years ago. To conclude that computers caused spanking to decline is an invalid deduction. Additionally, consider this: which ethnic group in America is the most likely to spank their children? And which is most likely to commit violent crimes?
  7. Andrew Pelt says:
    Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

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