Aside from spanking usually being a lazy, stupid, unimaginative and drastically ineffective way of parenting; there are real, lasting, negative effects being uncovered both in how it was done 30-50 years ago and how it is done today. Repeated use and overuse of corporal punishment can impact everything from social skills to sexuality. Research already shows spanking makes preschool and kindergarten age children more aggressive, than those who are not spanked. Most people would be horrified to find out many criminals, serial killers and related offenders were spanked as children. Others would be equally concerned to find out they may well be setting their daughters up for abusive relationships and their sons up to be abusers of women. Too much spanking can also lead to making children prey for predators, be they the ones who want to molest your child, or the ones who want to take advantage of them in the work place; authoritarian, utilitarian spanking of children often render them incapable of following their instincts, voicing opinions, communicating wants and needs, can cause repression of emotions that in turn causes therapy bills and years of unraveling what was done to them. Spanking done the way the “we want a better society; we will raise better kids” folks do it may well earn them, much to their shock and awe, a child running toward the drugs, teen pregnancy, runaway, street and gang violence, children who will end up in jail and the very places they so wholeheartedly believe treating their kids this way will keep them out of.
It’s not just that spanking was or is a practice in many homes it’s the how of it all, the staggering number of parents who not only spank their kids coupling it with other punishments giving the child no incentive to correct behavior. “Whacks” are added for fighting a spanking doing things like kicking, putting hands and arms behind them to shield their bottom, even crying; which is pathetic taking into account what the child is doing, no matter the age, is instinctively protecting themselves. “Sulking” i.e. being upset, expressing feelings is a sure fire way to earn another spanking even in younger children. Parents who think they are well within their rights because no marks are left on their kids but who similarly admit to daily spankings of at least one child; meaning one day they might get spanked for lying, the next for not listening, the next for back talking and so on, indicating there is no way you’re not leaving marks on that child, no matter if you are just using your hand, because they are getting spanked nearly every day. There are a shocking number of parents who add an element of humiliation and almost perversion to their often times already overused spanking technique. Flabbergasting is the sheer number of families that think it is ok to force a child to pull down their outer pants and underwear to be spanked, even by an opposite sex parent. Still these and other mothers, fathers aunts, uncles, grandparents will do this in public for all the world to see their naked behind. Going a step beyond just spanking, said type of parents will force their child to stand in the corner with their exposed behind on display for everyone in the home to see from the opposite sex parent to siblings, even guests, practices that will go on until the child leaves home. Some audacious parents will claim they have a right to spank their gown offspring under the old adage of “as long as they are under my roof,” one man when confronted with the concept he could’t do that commented on his online post “why not” completely unaware he could go to jail for assaulting his 23 year old daughter because she is an adult. And what are the results of this all too common use of spanking as opposed to spankings that are rare, spanking that is a last resort not a first tool?
Individuals regularly spanked often go through their formative years with a heightened amount of fear, so respectful of authority they will go off with a complete stranger because their teacher made a mistake and told them to, so respectful of authority, to avoid spanking, they don’t know how to tell a teacher what really happened on the playground, won’t speak up and tell the teacher the paper they are being chastised about belongs to someone else. In other ways these kids are isolated because they are either not allowed to bring friends to their house or don’t feel comfortable doing so afraid of being embarrassed by the form of discipline used at home. Likewise, because spanking parents tend to be authoritarian, dictatoresque, never inclined to let their kid have anything or do anything for fear of spoiling them, they can never seem to earn the privilege of going to someone else’s home and in today’s world networking starts with the friends we’ve had since kindergarten who can later recommend you to their boss when it comes time for that first job. In extreme cases where spankings cross over into more clear cut instances of abuse such kids snap at 15-16-18 and beat the living crap out of their parent, then are heralded on the news as monsters. Focusing on the less extreme, parents who insist on spanking mouthy teens or preteens, what you teach instead of respect and manners is that the only feelings they are allowed to express, statements they are allowed to voice are nice ones, which the truth, and things that need to be said aren’t always that way, you specifically are teaching your kid I express an opinion I get hit, devaluing all their opinions and setting them up for ulcers because they learn to suppress and repress how they feel. You are sending a vivid message the only emotions I’m allowed to express are positive ones; it particularly turns women into people pleasers who can’t say no and are overworked and stressed because of it, causes men, already predisposed to not showing emotion, to become even more so in this kind of home environment.
As spelled out above spanking sends negative messages that children, young people will get hit for their opinions, hit for saying no, hit for expressing feelings and so forth, but also spanking doesn’t teach a child why they shouldn’t do something, doesn’t tell them why lying is bad, that stealing is wrong, in no way shows them better, more respectful ways to say something, it doesn’t tell them why they should tell mommy and daddy where they are going or ask before they go somewhere, why they should be careful with both their things and household items. Montel Williams famously asked on his talks how one day: how many of us (the older generation) just figured out how not to get caught, not to get hit? Proof positive why answers only come with other forms of discipline, other occurrences outside of spanking; keeping in mind as well the kid who forcefully says no to you at two is the same kid who will say no to the drug dealer at 12, who will not go along with the stupid thing their peers want them to do, knowing it could get them in trouble and not just with you. The kid who stands up to you, whom you call rude today, unable to believe what comes out of their mouth, is the same kid who will stand up to a bully at school in defense of a friend, the same kid who will fight for human rights, women’s rights, the same kid who will stand up to a bosses sexual harassment or tyrannical behavior, who will take back their neighborhood, who will organize people to stop whatever injustice effects them and those around them. Why would we want to spank that out of them, exactly what spanking parents do?
However if you take the practical approach, take a child who lies and say you’re going to the ice cream store wanna come and then don’t go to the ice cream store, the child learns what it feels like to be lied to and is less likely to do it again, especially if there is a conversation along the lines of what you’re feeling now is why we don’t lie to people. If a child is grounded from going someplace for a week because they went somewhere without asking, their punishment is directly tied to what they did, not just a series of painful whacks, by the end of which they don’t even remember what they did wrong. If you show young kids they have to pay for things at the store, they understand you just can’t take whatever you want, without paying for it; dealing with an older child, if you find out they stole something, make them take it back, let them know they could go to jail for their actions, then covertly steal something of theirs, when they come looking for it let them know you stole it. Upon seeing the incredulous look on their face, remind them of what they did and how it doesn’t feel good to have things snatched from you therefore you shouldn’t do it to other people. Making children work off the price of a broken window or trashed household item is a far more profound lesson than being hit for the carelessness of breaking something, because they work hard to earn the money then must give it away; further benefits are, it lines up more consistently with the justice system. Disciplining in such a way similarly prevents kids from taking their whacks and it changing nothing, because whatever they did sneaking out, exc. they got what they wanted. This is called practical parenting however, true to form, parents who frequently spank are some of the worst in a practical sense, are some of the worst communicators, and it shows in both how they parent and their adult children years later. Adult children, who are decidedly more aggressive, carry an increased likelihood of being bullies, who are selfish, self-centered, controlling and obviously emotionally immature, who have even more diluted communication skills, leading to difficulty parenting their kids, which only means more spanking more damned near ruthlessness applied to child rearing.
Added to that spanking parents tend to be cold an aloof lacking any normal, deep, sincere connection with their child, who do not want it, view it is blurring their authority over their offspring. And no this does not mean being a child’s friend or being lax on needed discipline, but giving kids warmth and affection. Instead these are the kind of persons who make observers wonder could they go a day without hitting their kids, dying to pose questions like do you EVER show them LOVE, hug them, kiss them catch them doing something right and praise them for it, do they get rewarded for doing things right for not fighting, for getting good grades, for coming home on time or is it just expected? Do you ever let them know you appreciate something they did right without being reminded, told or asked; the outsiders guess is no, voicing statements such as then you wonder why you don’t get more good behavior? Similarly few admit to making mistakes with spanking or showing any worry they might be going too far with their unique child; something that can manifest as PTSD or psychosis for a child who is traumatized by spanking/hitting of any kind. Continuingly said mothers and fathers demonstrate selfishness, self-centeredness, self-absorption when they treat their children like an inconvenience, a burden regularly act put upon when they have to deal with their kids, be that in terms of discipline, taking them to after school functions, friends’ houses or just spending time with them. Translating into a child who feels unloved, unwanted, as if they can’t do anything to please their parents; driving that child to a variety of potentially self-destructive behaviors, self-harm, eating disorders, drugs, violence, premarital, teen sex, pregnancies the very things spanking advocates claim corporal punishment prevents or diminishes.
Correlations between spanking and domestic violence may seem farfetched but really shouldn’t, partly because it combines both spanking for every little infraction, usually carried out by controlling, domineering adult bullies in the first place and the words parents use when they spank their kids; they say things like I wouldn’t have to spank you if you would behave, obey the rules, if you didn’t disrespect me, if you didn’t make me. So when a controlling man enters a woman’s life saying nearly the same thing said by dad or mom before a spanking a childhood of learned conditioning kicks in and they automatically think it is their fault, they are doing something wrong. Others begin to associate being hit, someone causing pain with love. For gentler more sensitive boys and young men, it sets them up to be potential victims of their women, same sex partners. Some men too have been known to equate frequent spankings with love provoking their parents to spank in a subconscious effort to feel normal, translating into a likely possibility they will hit their wife, kids trying to communicate love, knowing no alternative way to do so. Typical boys and young men, fitting all the general molds of what we expect them to be continually being spanked by an overpowering female can cause them to hate women and abuse any future wife or girlfriend for that reason; at the very least it teaches them physical aggression, hitting and spanking are all ways to get someone to do what you want particularly from a spouse or future children. Yet people wonder why we find so many teen girls are victims trapped in abusive relationships at the hands of violent, controlling young men the same age; we wonder why domestic violence is such an endless problem akin to drugs. We wonder where it comes from how it starts; perhaps the root is here?
Corporal punishment and sexuality are disturbingly related; children spanked in the ways described above grow up, both male and female, to develop a fetish for spanking, become sexually stimulated by giving spankings or receiving them, exhibit dominatrix type behavior present in both sexes. Over and over again people who like spanking, hitting or various forms of physical punishment as part of foreplay, find sexual arousal in it, say their liking for it began in childhood during spankings conducted at home, at school or both. A profound risk taken by parents seemingly unaware of social taboo labeling such things as kinky and wrong, unaware of the hard road they could be setting their children up for as they struggle to have what they deem is normal, healthy sexual relationship (something else stated by spanked adults who feel it harmed them mentally) unaware of the growing number of young people who self-harm, do drugs, are addicted to alcohol, have attempted or succeeded in committing suicide due to their inability to come to terms with their sexuality, a lack of support or acceptance of said sexuality. Parents who view it as better that than a law breaker, out of control teen or 20 something causing mayhem, a potential school shooter; actions carried out by parents who brag about spanking their kids, see it as making better citizens than the ones we have now, when it’s not an either or situation. Time after time you can have kids brought up in the worst of conditions coming out possessing strong values, good work ethic; on the flipside a child raised benefiting from a two parent household, instillation of values, spanking and discipline who have all the stereotypical societal problems and more. Further these bragging, spanking parents who dole out rigorous spankings on their children expose another vicious cycle and eye popping trend; akin to the cycle of domestic violence, one, they spank because they were spanked, because that’s what worked with them and two, they obviously communicate, from their other interests, that they fetishized their spankings as a child, proving yes it can happen and what a negative legacy to give to any child.
Something everyone should think about if you agree with spanking as something more than a last resort form of discipline, if spanking is something more than a rarity in your household; you do realize the only countries that employ caning, overdone spanking, as punishments are places with yes lower crime rates, supposedly more civilized citizens but also countries with horrendous human rights violations, countries where you are likely to be ostracized, imprisoned, even beheaded or otherwise killed for any religious beliefs other than the state religion, usually Islam. Countries where they do this also stone woman suspected of adultery true or not, where woman can’t wear pants or drive a car, can’t be in public without a male relative. We’re talking about places where tests to see if you are telling the truth, if you are guilty of the accused crime, consist of arbitrary methods like placing a white hot spoon heated over fire on a person’s tongue if it blisters you are guilty, because an innocent person would have nothing to fear and therefore not have a dry mouth when the spoon was placed. Countries where you are required to prove your innocence rather than your guilt, where freedom of speech and press are dreams people are ruled by dictators, tyrants not democracy and choice, paces where they don’t dare stand up to corrupt governments. And oh by the way revolution always comes to such places, bloody though it may be. What we have to ask ourselves is do we want a parenting style as draconian as all that; do we want to discipline our kids similar to dictators? Do we want the bloody revolution, whatever form it takes, in our personal lives, be that a kid who is in all kinds of trouble no matter how much we spank, a kid with psychological issues, a kid who won’t speak to us, won’t let us near our grandchildren when they come along, a kid who dumps us in a nursing home during our old age and doesn’t look back?
In this country the only people who are allowed to be hit are children; you hit someone in the street you are likely to be booked for assault if the police are called, should the victim choose to press charges. You hit your spouse man or woman offender and you go to jail. If your boss “spanked” you every time you said something he didn’t agree with or made a mistake they would be sued for harassment as they would if they forced an employee to walk around bare assed showing what they had done. So if it’s not ok to hit an adult why is it ok to hit a child? People have made the comment repeatedly you can’t hit a dog, you can’t hit a prisoner, yet you can hit your kids. Further, no one is going to hit your child, teen, you for vandalizing property, breaking items belonging to another person, wrecking their car. Small claims issues involving property you’ll be asked to pay for the repair, court costs. In serious cases jail time or probation may be the result as well as paying restitution for cleanup, restoration vandalized areas. To say nothing of the numerous studies showing positive reinforcement works both for children and adults far better than negative; studies that showed slaves would have been far more productive if given a wage and therefore say in the fields they plowed, things they made, work they did. Studies showing the downsides of toxic workplaces, fearsome, fear mongering bosses, along with the upsides of incentives for meeting goals, rewards for going above and beyond can also be applied to parenting. Equally telling are the kids not getting hit not the McCaughey septuplets or their sibling, not the Dilley 6, not even the Goselin clan; all examples of parents who have done it without spanking and with the added pressure of a part or fulltime spotlight. Maybe it’s because they had to fight to have their children, seeing them as the blessing they are; maybe because they had to undergo fertility treatments, make that conscience choice it also made them more responsible. Or maybe it’s because they actually wanted their kids, actually had a strong desire to nurture and to love, to be a parent; their kids then weren’t a huge burden foisted on them.
What becomes evident is spanking as described here, used by thousands if not millions of Americans, takes its toll on society; just as tax payers end up paying for the therapy, drug rehab and incarceration bills of those seen as raised absent structure, discipline and values, those who didn’t get spanked enough, they also end up paying those same bills for individuals who were spanked too much, who were traumatized rather than taught by it, who didn’t learn the limits and values pro spanking advocates are so quick to say it teaches, those who were abused under the guise of oh I only discipline my kids, worse those who feel abused and it effects/ effected their growth and productivity all their life. It is a drain on society in that A- we have allowed “spanking” aka hitting your child, to become the last acceptable from of domestic violence, and B- that cycle perpetuates the traditional, known form of said violence, with every abuser that is created from the I love you enough to spank you paradigm, every victim of that abuser forced into a homeless shelter, women’s shelter every child who witnesses that abuse, every woman murdered or injured again by that abuser, every vulnerable person conditioned by spanking to fall into that trap. It opens the door to all of the wrong things, discussions on licensing the ability to even become a parent, as aside from the overtly abusive, neglectful, drug addict degenerate parents, people employing these methods create another strong case that parenting shouldn’t continue to be allowed as just random biology of people who get together and have sex, try to build a family. It renews talks about the forced sterilization of some persons so they can’t have children, continue having them, all things detrimental to society should they ever come to fruition.
One final thing to consider child abuse prevention advocates often say one, murdered child is too many, one injured child is too many, one neglected child is too many, one molested, raped child is too many. When will we stand up and say one “spanked” child is too many; when will we realize one resulting fetish is too many, one resulting case of PTSD is too many, one person caused anger and rage issues is one too many? One person who becomes an abuser is one too many, one person who is conditioned to fall prey to domestic abuse is one too many; when will we shout from the top of every platform and pulpit one individual who felt abused and led a muted, lesser life than they could have had had they not been mentally and emotionally scarred by spanking is one too many? Anyone who was creeped out by bare bottom spankings as a teen from an opposite sex parent is too many; when are we going to learn then speak up saying the consequences of spanking are too many and too risky, coming with too many hazards for the recipients/victims and for us as citizens and human beings? When… will we answer their silent cry for justice?