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#AskAmira Spanking your kids?

#AskAmira Spanking your kids?

I’ve recently received a #askamira question on the highly controversial topic: should parents be spanking their children.

Firstly, I believe that all children are different (and every parent needs to find the right form of disciple for their child). I also believe that all parent’s have the right to make their own decisions when it comes to discipling their own children…

I personally don’t believe in spanking, I believe in positive reinforcement for children. I also found a lot of research showing that spanking can have many negative effects on children for example…

Spanking demonstrates that it’s all right for people to hit people, and especially for big people to hit little people, and stronger people to hit weaker people. Children learn that when you have a problem you solve it with a good swat. A child whose behavior is controlled by spanking is likely to carry on this mode of interaction into other relationships with siblings and peers, and eventually a spouse and offspring.

Physical punishment shows that it’s all right to vent your anger or right a wrong by hitting other people. This is why the parent’s attitude during the spanking leaves as great an impression as the swat itself. How to control one’s angry impulses (swat control) is one of the things you are trying to teach your children. Spanking sabotages this teaching. Spanking guidelines usually give the warning to never spank in anger. If this guideline were to be faithfully observed 99 percent of spanking wouldn’t occur, because once the parent has calmed down he or she can come up with a more appropriate method of correction.

The child’s self-image begins with how he perceives that others – especially his parents – perceive him Even in the most loving homes, spanking gives a confusing message, especially to a child too young to understand the reason for the whack. Parents spend a lot of time building up their baby or child’s sense of being valued, helping the child feel “good.” Then the child breaks a glass, you spank, and he feels, “I must be bad.”

Even a guilt-relieving hug from a parent after a spank doesn’t remove the sting. The child is likely to feel the hit, inside and out, long after the hug. Most children put in this situation will hug to ask for mercy. “If I hug him, daddy will stop hitting me.” When spanking is repeated over and over, one message is driven home to the child, “You are weak and defenseless.”

Many studies show the futility of spanking as a disciplinary technique, but none show its usefulness. In the past thirty years in pediatric practice, we have observed thousands of families who have tried spanking and found it doesn’t work. Our general impression is that parents spank less as their experience increases. Spanking doesn’t work for the child, for the parents, or for society. Spanking does not promote good behavior, it creates a distance between parent and child, and it contributes to a violent society. Parents who rely on punishment as their primary mode of discipline don’t grow in their knowledge of their child. It keeps them from creating better alternatives, which would help them to know their child and build a better relationship. In the process of raising our own eight children, we have also concluded that spanking doesn’t work. We found ourselves spanking less and less as our experience and the number of children increased. In our home, we have programmed ourselves against spanking and are committed to creating an attitude within our children, and an atmosphere within our home, that renders spanking unnecessary. Since spanking is not an option, we have been forced to come up with better alternatives. This has not only made us better parents, but in the long run we believe it has created more sensitive and well-behaved children.

With that being said many parents stand by their decision to spank and claim it works for their family. The latest poll on shows that 40% of people say spanking is wrong, but 60% believe it’s okay to spank a child.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

About The Author


Amira is a Canadian author, blogger and entrepreneur. She published her first novel 'Ecstasy' March 2014.


  1. My sister in law spanks her kids and it’s awful, I am constantly trying to convince her that it’s wrong. I feel like hitting your kids is just lazy parenting, take the time to talk to them and explain right from wrong.

  2. I can’t believe in this day in age people still hit their children… Times have changed and research/science has shown how damagining it can be.

  3. I don’t think spanking your child is considered abusive… It’s an effective way of discipline for most families.

  4. For me I believe it depends on the situation. If a little swat on the butt keeps them from danger or harm then I don’t find anything wrong with it. It just depends on how it’s used and if you take the time to explain to your children why you did it.

  5. As parents we should do everything we can to protect our children (they should feel most safe with their parents) why would any parent want to control their children with fear?

  6. Hitting children is wrong! fear induced punishment is only a short term solution. It’s completely counter productive.

  7. How can anyone defend spanking children? I can’t believe 60% of people think child abuse is okay.

  8. I agree with you, I do not believe in spanking children but I try not to judge other parents because all children are different and they respond to things differently.

  9. Spanking is a cycle of abuse. As a society, we still look the other way. We’re comfortable intervening when we see a woman being struck in public by her husband, but not when a child is struck by a parent. But it is critical that we speak for these children, because they can’t speak for themselves.

  10. I don’t have kids so it’s hard for me to judge other parents but I hate the concept of spanking children, it seems so cruel.

  11. If your children is so poorly behaved that you feel you need to hit them, how about you slap yourself instead since it was your job to teach them better?

  12. I think spanking is a horrible form of punishment, especially since parents resort to it even when children mess up, accidentally rather than talking to them.

  13. I think people are so dramatic when it comes to parenting; everyone needs to chill out.


  15. sad…

  16. Spanking is a huge part of people’s culture and it has a lot to do with how they we’re raised. I don’t think it’s the greatest form of punishment but I surely don’t think it’s child abuse. I’m on the fence.

  17. Have your feelings on spanking or any other parenting changed since you’ve been pregnant?

  18. Congratulations on the pregnancy!!!!! Hope to see more parenting posts!

  19. I feel like the fact spanking can be a cultural thing wasn’t really mentioned here.


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