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Moms Get Real about Spanking

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There's tons of controversy surrounding Kate Gosselin allegedly spanking daughter Leah. In this installment of momlogic uncensored, moms talk about spanking. Do they or don't they?

mom discuss spanking play video

Do you think spanking equals good parenting ... or is it borderline child abuse? Comment below.

next: Caroline Manzo for President!
37 comments so far | Post a comment now
How I Make $300 a Day Online June 17, 2009, 6:58 PM

Hey, great post, really well written. You should blog more about this.

ame i. June 17, 2009, 7:46 PM

I’m 40, born and raised in the South (U.S.)so trust me when I say there is a difference between a swat on the behind and a spanking; there is a bigger difference in a spanking and a whipping (or a whoopin, as it is pronounced in some southern states.)
A single swat or smack is one thing and I know few parents, my age or my parents’ ages, who have never delt out a swat or a smack. I can count the number of swats/smacks I received as a kid on one hand and the same goes for the number either of my daughters(now 9 & 11) have received.
A spanking is multiple strikes by a parent(s) hand. A whipping/whippin/whoopin is multiple blows by a “weapon” such as a belt, paddle, fly-swatter, etc. When I was 7 I saw my neighbor’s mom smack the crap out of him countless times with a wooden kitchen spoon.
I understand how a parent at the end of their rope would resort to swatting their kid’s behind. I detest the parent(s) who can’t bother to get up from the sofa to put their kid in the time-out chair and keep them there but instead allow themselves to become so angry they start swinging at the child.
Striking one’s own child is called dicipline, yet striking someone else’s child or another adult is called assault. I find that a bit ironic.

Becky  June 17, 2009, 7:47 PM

I find it sad that in today’s society parents have to be concerned about how their discipline is looked upon by the public. We should be allowed to spank if necessary. I do not like to inflict pain on my children and that does not happen when spanking is done correctly. I do not worry about what others think of my discipline tactics. Because I have used spanking at times, my children are well behaved. My husband and I recieve many complements as to how our kids are. Yes, they still have fun and do act out, but when it gets out of hand and they do not listen, spanking is sometimes the discipline we turn to. If more parents spanked appropriately, maybe we wouldn’t have so many of the behavior problems that there are in schools today. I am a teacher and I can point out each and every kid in my classroom that is/was spanked and which ones aren’t. It is effective when used correctly. Go Kate! I commend you for not letting the public from making you deter from your discipline and being a mommy first!

Selfish Mom June 17, 2009, 8:54 PM

It’s neither. It’s not abuse if it’s just a spank - in other words, meant to get attention, not hurt - and it’s not good parenting, because it doesn’t work.

cindy June 17, 2009, 9:19 PM

There is nothing wrong with spanking when the situation warrents. I got spanked plenty of times as a child and it never hurt me. It taught me not to misbehave. I am now a 42 year old mother of 3 teenagers ( twins 16 year old boys and 15 year old girl) and i spanked them on more than one occasion when necessary. Today I have very little problems with my children. They knew if they did wrong they were going to get spanked. I also used time out when approiate. There is a big difference in spanking and beating a child. If more parents spanked their children when needed you wouldn’t see as much trouble out of some of these kids today. I have one son that wants to go in the Marines one that wants to own his own business and my daughter wants to be a nurse. I think I did allright.
Proud Mom

ashley June 17, 2009, 9:32 PM

Come on, really! just look at the generations now versus generations in the past. I think that, in itself, says it all! Parents need to spank their kids more often, maybe there wouldn’t be such hellions running around now-a-days!! I’m saying spankings, to get a child’s attention. Not beatings to scare your child to death and hurt them. maybe to scare them enough to where they won’t do whatever it was again. spare the rod, spoil the child….

Paulette June 17, 2009, 10:28 PM

I’m a lot older than most of the postings here, so I have a couple of perspectives. When I was a child, beatings were not uncommon and I received them (mostly not justified) on a regular basis - and I was a really good kid! The only time my mother EVER touched me was to inflict pain - hence, I learned to hate her and had a horrible relationship with her. And she is STILL alive at 100 years old now (damn!) When I had my own child, I made sure that she absolutely knew that she was loved - and while I DID spank, it was very sparingly and with a lot of communication afterward - and NEVER when I was really angry! If she really got to me, I would just send her firmly to her room until we both cooled off. But I have to say that being I was VERY consistent with my discipline, she absolutely knew that if she got a warning, it was not an idle threat and she took notice immediately. (A little fear is not a bad thing…..). The last time any form of spanking was necessary, she was 6 years old (She is now in her late 40’s…). I also never yelled or raised my voice - all I had to do was look at her, raise one eyebrow and very quietly tell her not to even THINK about it when I saw her getting ready to do something she knew was not allowed. She would do a full body shudder and shape up. We have - and always had - a great relationship and could never have been described as a brat. She herself also spanks when warranted, but she is not as consistent as I was. I wish to hell the parents of these little narcissistic monsters that are being raised these days had their rear ends swatted a few times to adjust their attitudes - and I really do not understand supposedly intelligent adults who have elevated these kids to mini-gods and revolve their entire lives around childrens activities. Let’s stop the child adulation and reinstate common sense before we totally destroy the next generation. So if this mother of 8 very young children got caught spanking one of her kids on one of the cameras that are in constant presence, this is not the end of the world, nor should she be judged as “abusive”. Get real!

Amber Johnson June 18, 2009, 12:13 AM

Well, when my boss says something I don’t like, I hit him. When my husband disagrees with me, I swat at him. If my friend lets me down, I go over to her house and pull her hair. Violence (however mild) really solves problems. So of course, I teach my kids that when words fail, to lash out physically. It definitely isn’t humiliating at all and there is absolutely no evidence to say that it can increase the chance of emotional and behavioral issues (oh wait—there is but it doesn’t match what I grew up with so I’ll ignore it, conveniently). Anyway, I totally spank to discipline my kids. It makes A TON of sense!


Nikki June 18, 2009, 12:56 AM

Oh Amber…and I’m sure counting to ten and putting kids on mats for time out works wonders. Get over yourself. Get over yourself. People can discipline their own children howeber they see fit as long as it is not abusive.

Liz June 18, 2009, 1:28 AM

Having viewed the picture(s) of Kate and Leah and read the news reporting, I was expecting to find comments reflecting the insanity of recent years when - for instance - a young woman in a local store was reported to the POLICE for slapping a child for truly miserable behavior (it was that - I saw it).
Imagine how relieved I was to read, instead, that some balance seems to have been restored by most of those who commented.
I am over 70. As was typical when I was growning up, parents spanked their children. There were no instances, tho, of low self-esteem among any of my school friends ! ! We did feel loved.. . but All of us took for granted that dangerous or obstreperous behavior led to certain punishment - the nature and degree of which depended entirely upon the severity of the offense. And - I might add, parents did NOT run to the phone or hurry to report a teacher who disciplined their child. More likely, a child faced additional consequences from the parents after breaking rules, fighting, or being disruptive while in school
You BET there is a big difference between a calm and measured slap on the behind and child abuse. Somehow in the minds of folks such as Amber, all discipline - however mild - became “child abuse.”
We all know - and can never condone, that such abuse does occur,is reprehen-sible, and should be reported, but to categorize any correction as “violence” is WAY over the top.

Eliza June 18, 2009, 1:43 AM

I’m a georgian who have lived several different places in country and out of country. I have seen people of different cultures and backgrounds who do spank their children. It seems that only white americans have a problem with spanking children. Also, it’s weird that they have the highest rate of being killed by their children. As a auntie who has raised 2 children and have over 20 nephews & neices (including great ones, I have seen spanking a child while they’re young (under 5) gives them a solid foundation of discipline early in life. I have seen trying to discipline later in their life w/o that foundation can be harmful to their lives.

Pamala June 18, 2009, 2:07 AM

Frankly society as a whole has become too pacifist and too afraid that their children may hate them as adults. There’s too much praise and very little reality dished out to children these days. No more bad grades, no competitive sports, no winners and no losers. And we’re setting our children up to be selfish brats. Spank away if it works for you and your child. If it doesn’t then don’t and everyone mind their own darn business.

Conrad June 18, 2009, 2:37 AM

North Korea wants to kill us all with nuclear weapons and a woman spanking her children is what catches America’s attention. I might as well lay down and die now.

Rexanne Mancini June 18, 2009, 3:18 AM

I have 2 girls who were not spanked and they are and always were better behaved than most kids, intelligent and successful.

I absolutely do not believe that spanking is an educated (if you will) means of discipline. The same effect can be gained by other non-violent (physical or emotional) forms of discipline. It might take a little longer to get your point across and isn’t as *easy* as a swat on the butt however, it is a lot more humane and compassionate and your kids will learn to be gentle and kinder in return. Effective discipline does not have to involve spanking or hitting.

Too often, parents associate not spanking with a complete lack of discipline, which is why we start seeing a generation of bratty, entitled kids. NOT disciplining our children is another non-educated form of parenting. Kids absolutely need discipline and guidance. Without it, how will they learn what’s OK and not OK? And if parents don’t teach them, they’ll be creepy, careless little buggers who no one wants to be around.

My inspiration for non-violence stems from a belief that more love and compassion in the world is needed and I wanted to add to the kindness, not the violence and horror still typical in our lives. If change begins with us, let’s teach our children another way to interact, a better way to live and teach by example.

I do not condemn or judge a parent who swats their child on the butt, if warranted, nor do I think it’s abusive. Sometimes parents lose patience and sometimes, a child scares the daylights out of a parent and a primal response is to get the point of the lesson across immediately. Understood and accepted.

Spare me the “spare the rod” chorus, please. The “rod” in the bible was a shepherd’s staff that was used to GUIDE sheep, not to hit them. Think about it …

Rose June 18, 2009, 10:44 AM

I just saw the video, & read the comments. I really love reading them, they are all very enlighting. I am a mother of two & as many feel…the need to discipline…spanking…is an option, I used the time-out & chair in the corner & go to your room without the frills, t.v. & such. so, on, & so, on…I believe in a combination of these disciplines mixed-up works well with most children because it sets limits & boundaries for them. Children need love, some form of structure to their lives, guidance, & limits. Someone has to be in charge & someone will always be the bad guy…if that one has to be me, the mom, so be it. I gave my children permission to dislike me, but I also explained to them why they were in trouble & what the consequences of their actions were going to be, & I followed through. I didn’t look at my past & what was good for me… I looked at their future & what was going to be good for them…I wanted them to be successful adults when they reach that point. We live in a society were anything goes, without just cause or responsibility for anyones actions. I disagree with these behaviors. I don’t like public spankings & I feel that if your child or children are acting out, it’s time to go…however, inconvienent it might be to the adults..Sorry…it’s my view & it’s how I see it. I know I love my two children, did the best I could in their interests as a single parent. Good Luck parents..always, Rose

Anonymous June 18, 2009, 12:44 PM

If there is such strong evidence showing the negetive affects of spanking why do it?? Just because you were spanked as a child doesn’t make it right. I will never spank my child, it is cruel. Just because of there age does not give me the right to physically hurt them , or scaring them into the correct behavior. There are so many more ways of teaching your child to behave in the manner you want than resorting to being physical. Do you spank your 16 year old when she/he does something you don’t approve of? How is that different from a 6 year old?

Monica June 18, 2009, 4:00 PM

I agree with what Becky said that it is a shame that you have to be concerned about how you discipline your children these days. I have a friend who said that her and her husband were falsely accused of abuse because someone she knew saw a bruise on her daughters head and they called CPS on her. And because her daughter told her that she gets spankings they took that to mean she was being abused. This was even though the bruised on her head came from being injured while do something she wasn’t suppose to be doing. Even though my friend had witnesses to the situation that occurred with the bruise on her head they still took both children because she told them that she had been spanked with a wooden spoon and they deemed that a weapon. She had to work very hard to get them back. She told me that the rule of thumb for spanking is that you use your bare hand and that you only spank them on their bottom. You can’t use a paddle or belt or spoon as people did back in the day. I spank my 2 1/2 year old when he needs it. They can become very surly at this age. But like many have said I really don’t care what other people think about how I discipline because I have a well behaved two year old. My friend on the other hand she is afraid the spank her son now because of what happened and he can be very very rude and obnoxious. Kicking and hitting adults and his mom. Talking in a rude manner. He needs a spanking. And sometimes (with her approval of course) I let her know if you don’t I will because I will not stand for that behavior from a 3 year old. I can not STAND rude children. But I do believe that a balance is needed. Not every child needs a spanking. And eventually with the discipline that I administer now when he gets older he won’t need to be spanked. I can talk with him and reason with him about his behavior. Each child is different and each parent needs to discipline in a way that they see fit. And never ever ever hit a child in a vulnerable place or yell, scream and curse at a child. Those are just no, no’s.

Anonymous June 19, 2009, 2:05 PM

There is a big difference between spanking and beating the crap out of your kids. Im sorry I dont believe that spanking your kid once or twice on the bottom is going to turn them into a pyscho-killer. For those that say Oh I dont ever have to spank my kids, well good for you, maybe your kids are perfect and maybe your lying. I haven’t meet a kid that didnt need some kind of discipline. You should never, ever spank your child in anger though. For those of you who think that spanking is abuse why don’t you go read a book called ” A chid called IT” and then you will see what abuse is. To many kids are out of control these days because we are afraid to do anything about. Where one little swat can get CPS on your butt in a heartbeat. We live in a sorry world now where parents have no control over the children.

Natalea June 20, 2009, 7:37 AM

I am a teacher and believe me kids are out of control in today’s world. The worst discipline we can administer at school is a detention and the kids could care less. Parents don’t even punish their kids at home if they get in trouble at school. I had one parent tell me that getting a demerit was punishment enough when I was discussing her daughter’s attitude in my classroom. Of course she dished out the same attitude to her mom, and even hit her during the conference. Her mom did NOTHING to correct her. I was furious, but I know now why kids today are so different from my generation. Spanking was a part of discipline in my household growing up along with the majority of my friends and well we turned out just fine. It is up to a parent to decided if they would use spanking as discipline, but something needs to be done to get kids today in control. I don’t want to think what the future will be like when these kids get old enough to make decisions that will effect our country.

Lara June 21, 2009, 2:44 AM

This is the thing about spanking. Kate spanked Leah because she was told to not blow the whistle and she did. All she had to do was take it away. She didn’t she turned around grabbed her child and spanked her. I think there is a time and place for spanking. I have never spanked my children ( 17 and 9 yrs old) and they are just the kind of kids who didn’t need one. I could tell them to go to their room and that was enough for them. I do feel Kate over reacted. If you’re going to spank your child it should only be for serious reasons otherwise you are just acting out in frustration and your own anger. I strongly feel that Kate did that this time, acted out of her own frustration..all she had to do was take the whistle away.

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