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Father Spanks 16-Year-Old Daughter

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At what age does a spanking become an inappropriate punishment?

father spanks daughter

If there's one thing that gets a group of moms fired up it's the spank / no spank debate.
If spanking is indeed -- as some parents believe -- a fair and just form of childhood discipline, when is the cut off point, the age when spankings should no longer be used as punishment?

A Florida man is probably asking just that question. According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department, the father told deputies he was attempting to discipline his 16-year-old daughter by giving her spanking when the teen turned around and hit him in the face.

The argument apparently was over something the girl had broken. The girl admitted to swearing at her dad and slapping him across the face. A deputy on the case stated that the father had been attempting to discipline his daughter and had not been abusing her. The girl was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.

It seems obvious that trying to discipline a teenager with a spanking is a misguided idea. But it begs the question, when is a child too old to receive a spanking?


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52 comments so far | Post a comment now
Erica B. December 4, 2008, 7:20 PM

I’m the mother of a 16 year old daughter. I think 16 years old is waaaaaaaaaay too old to be “spanking”. He should have nipped that in the bud oh say… 10 years ago! Then he wouldn’t be going through this now. It’s apparent the kid has absolutely no discipline. No child of mine would ever fix their mouths to swear at me. And they most certainly would not consider drawing back a hand to strike me. They are in serious need of family counseling.

Sandy December 4, 2008, 7:26 PM

It sure sounds like she is a too old for spankings. But do I call it child abuse…not if it was done appropriately. Sounds like she needs some real discipline if would ever consider hitting her father. I believe the police did the right thing here. That actually surprises me…with this world you would figure he would end up in prison.

John December 4, 2008, 7:51 PM

I’m curious, what is the technique you use to smack you kid in an appropriate manner? Back handed across the face? A light pat on the behind? A fist to the jaw?

I think no age is the right age. Spanking is for people who don’t have enough intelligence to use words to teach their kids. I have two daughters and have never needed an appropriate amount of violence to get my point or rules accross…

familyanatomy December 4, 2008, 9:07 PM

There’s lots of research showing that spanking can have a negative impact on kids, and none (that I know of) indicating positive effects.

A parent using physical discipline might risk a physical retaliation at some point.

Anonymous December 4, 2008, 9:14 PM

Spanking a 16 year old?

When they get that old you should just punch em in the face.

Heather December 4, 2008, 9:20 PM

My mother “spanked” me up until a few months before I got married… at 18 years old. She was a terribly abusive woman and while I honor the woman as my mother, I have not a shred of respect for her as a person.
In all of my life, I have only retaliated twice and I take offense to someone saying that the daughter had “absolutely no discipline” for trying to protect herself. I’ve been in a situation where it was necessary to strike a parent to defend my well-being (seriously, my mother was sitting on top of me, kicking me, punching me and pulling my hair out while gnashing at me). If you don’t know the situation a little more intimately you have NO RIGHT to judge. Either party.

Lee December 4, 2008, 9:28 PM

heather’s right.

what a bunch of pompous rubber neckers.

Tamerra December 4, 2008, 11:46 PM

Spanking at 16 is really too old. You can punish them in so many other ways than spanking. Now I agree, when they are little, whip the hell out of ‘em on their butts. My mom raised 4 kids and none of us turned out bad in any shape or form. We are all law abiding citizens who pay taxes and respect our country and elderly!

Wendy December 4, 2008, 11:59 PM

A child should never ever need to be spanked if the parent brings them up right. To me spanking promotes violence later in life. It’s also child abuse in my eyes. Your showing the kids that it is okay to hit someone. Whipping them is a lot worse.

My family never used spanking and as a result all the kids grew up respecting their parents. They also grew up not using drugs or alcohol. Trust me there are ways to discipline a child without hitting. The parents just need to be smart enough to do it!


milliondollarorchid December 5, 2008, 5:36 AM

They father should have grounded her for a month, no tv, no computer, no nothing, not even going to school. I think the girl is too old to be spanked, that is in my opinion, but if they were catholics or any religion related to it, spanking can still be administered, this again is in my own opinion

I think teenhood is too old for spanks

Anonymous December 5, 2008, 8:39 AM

i was spanked as a child and i turned out fine. there is a difference between abuse and spanking. and none of the comments here would make me think twice about spanking my child if need be.

Anonymous December 5, 2008, 12:43 PM

Regardless of whether or not spanking is right for young children - and everyone certainly has their own opinion about that - spanking a 16 year old is a little creepy to me. In fact, I would argue that it borders on sexual abuse. He could have taken away her driving privileges, anything that matters to a 16 year old… but spanking her?
-Anonymous

Anonymous December 5, 2008, 4:12 PM

I agree 16 is way beyond the spanking age limit. My girls are much younger than that, and spanking is a very last resort. I don’t like how it makes me feel or them. Spanking lasts only a second or two, I prefer to take away a privalage, which will encourage them to think, why their actions were wrong, and what will happen if they do it again.

Heidi Rex December 5, 2008, 6:01 PM

Wow, I feel a little weird here… I’m 23 and my father still spanks me when I visit for the holidays.

Ollie December 6, 2008, 6:16 AM

Spanking is ignorance, as is its discussion: how young/old is too young/old, how hard is too hard etc. Hitting other people to get your way is inappropriate and pathetic.

John Reese December 8, 2008, 1:52 PM

Funny that all the morons that agree with spanking wouldn’t leave any info about themselves… SURE you think it’s okay to smack your kids around… If spanking is so ‘okay’ why did you all put Anonymous??

lucio December 14, 2008, 4:51 PM

I was spanked when I was 6.
My mother spanked me over the knees and it was an hard punishment.Lucio Italy

amanda January 14, 2009, 2:16 PM

SPANKING AT 16 IS A BIT REDICOULUS..MY DAUGHTER IS 16 SHE REFUSES TO DO ANYTHING THE SCHOOL ASKES OF HER WILL I SPANK HER NO BUT I AM GONNA PUNISH HER…I HAVE SPANKED HER TWICE IN HER LIFE WHEN SHE WAS 12 AND 14..FOR STEALING..AT 15 SHE RAISED HER FIST TO PUNCH ME I GRABBED HER HAND AND PUSHED BACK SHE FELL ON THE FLOOR IN EMBARASMENT SHE WOULDNT EVEN LEAVE HER ROOM FOR 3 DAYS..THIS WAS XMAS DAY LAST YEAR BECAUSE SHE DIDNT APPRECIATE WHAT SHE GOT…ALL I DID WAS YELL AT HER…YES I COULDA CALLED THE COPS ON HER BUT I AM SURE SHE LEARNED HER LESSON..PUNISHMENT HERE USUALLY CONSITS OF CLEANING AND TAKING AWAY HER PHONE AND HER CAR BUT WHEN YOU TAKE ALL THAT AWAY NOW WHAT DO YOU DO???TEENAGERS ARE OUT OF CONTROL….

hoolio February 9, 2009, 9:42 PM

Ibnzec hi! hooli?

david February 28, 2009, 8:12 AM

i think spanking is appropriate up to about the age of 10 after that the child should not be receving spankings.


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