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TO SPANK or Not to Spank

By Jackie Burrell
Sunday, July 20th, 2008 at 9:10 am in Advice.

Spanking and discipline (Ill. by Marie Guglielmo, MCT)Today on Childhood Matters, host Rona Renner, RN, and her panel of experts tackled the controversial issues of discipline and abuse.

When is it OK to hit your kids?
Where do you draw the line?
And how do you teach right from wrong?

Click “comments” and share your thoughts.

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No Responses to “TO SPANK or Not to Spank”

  1. Rona Renner Says:

    It was good to hear from parents on Sunday. If you want to hear what they had to say go to
    The take home message from me and my guests is to step back and think about what you are trying to teach children when you discipline them. If you want them to learn to solve problems in a respectful way then you will be more likely to manage your anger and disappointment, and not use physical punishment. If you want them to learn that “might makes right” then you may be more likely to use physical punishment, intimidation, or fear to get your child to change his behavior. We also discussed the role of mandated reporters, so it’s important for parents to know that if a teacher or doctor for example notices signs of abuse, they are mandated to let Children and Family Services know. The goal is not to take children from parents, but to help families find ways to discipline that are not abusive to children. Parents felt that a light spank on the bottom to get a child’s attention is different then abuse….and our guests agreed, but also pointed out that there is a gray area when any physical punishment can turn into abuse.
    Almost all parents want the best for their kids, but sometimes we discipline out of habit and from a place of frustration. There are good community resources to help parents learn how to provide love and limits, without hurting a child. Most counties have a child abuse prevention program that can help. Check out to find one near you. It takes practice and patience to discipline with respect. And parents need to take care of themselves, so they don’t take out their frustrations on their kids.
    Keep in mind that there was a time in our country when it was OK for a man to hit his wife. We now know that it’s not!
    Rona Renner (always learning)

  2. themays Says:

    Personally, I believe other discipline tactics are more effective than spanking in general. We tend to use timeouts, removal of privileges and/or toys, redirection, etc. However, we do use spanking as a last resort and have only used it very rarely. I think it can be used for more extreme situations or when all other avenues of discipline are not having an effect. I don’t believe a spanking a child is child abuse. A quick swat on the behind is not the same as beating your child. There is a great debate about spanking at Experts from both sides debate the issue and make some very interesting point…great read on the topic!

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