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Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh! Baby: Is a spank just a spank?

There are definitely times when Toddler in Chief really pisses me off--they don't call it "Terrible Twos" for nothing. And there have definitely been times when I've wanted to smack him. And one time I smacked his hand in an effort to get him to stop doing something dangerous. But instead of getting him to stop, he thought my reaction was worth replicating.

How do you discipline your kids? Does spanking or other physical punishment do the trick? Check out this week's debate over discipline choices on Oxygen Media's Oh! Baby Opinionated Parenting blog.


  1. Anonymous11:07 PM

    This is the post I put on a parenting board a couple years ago--

    "Four year ago our two daughters were ages twelve and seven (and our son was three). We were liberal parents--and adamantly against spanking--I mean zealously, radically , and outspoken. Our twelve year old was adjudicated a delinquent that year. She was constantly truant, smoking, experimenting with alcohol and drugs, and generally out of control. Her younger sister was showing tendancies of following in her footsteps.

    We were spending a fortune in time and money on counselors. probation officers, psychologists, psychiatrists, summer camps, and etc. The situatiion was only getting worse. The strain was getting to the point where our marriage was profoundly affected and in danger. One of the counselors suggested that we take a long family vacation. We followed her advise. We booked a three week vacation in Disney World.

    The first week of vacation was an expensive transfer of our situation.

    One day in a tourist trap I noticed one of those novelty paddles. It had the logo:"Applied Psychology!!--grab handle and apply firmly to bare bottom as needed-- use liberally" With our experience with psychology I was amused--but intigued. I bought the paddle.

    When I returned to our hotel room I told the girls about the paddle. The oldest one laughed in my face. At that moment I made the decision to actually use it. After lengthy protests and a brief struggle the paddle was used according to the instructions. Our youngest thought this was amusing and started teasing her sister. She then got her bare bottom paddled. For the rest of the vacation they each got spanked at least once a day--but there was definite improvement--and the last week we actually began to enjoy ourselves as a family.

    The spankings continued --but gradually became less frequent. The results were remarkable. Our daughters are no longer juvenile delinquents. The oldest is a straight A student, cheerleader, active in a youth church group. We no longer worry about her younger sister either. Likewise she is a good student, involved in girls athletics and many school activities

    The only proof I have that spankings are an important and valid part of child rearing is my own experience.. But I do know that in our case spanking truly did save our family. If I had to do it over spanking would have been a positive and important component of my child rearing practices from day one.

    Despite the "conventional wisdom" that this form of discipline and punishment is wrong I am a firm believer. Most of our friends (I am a second grade teacher and my husband is a lawyer) thought we had lost our marbles when we started our strict parenting. But I don't hear many complaints any more. What I do hear is a lot of complaints about their troubled and obnoxiouis children. "


  2. Anonymous11:22 PM

    We spank very rarely, but when we do it is effective. We don't spank before 2 or after 6. We have found it best to remove their clothes and underpants/diaper and to use a light strap. You don't have to spank hard and shouldn't leave a mark. We have wonderful, happy kids who are well behaved.