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Would you hit your child to discipline them?

I am not advocating domestic violence in any way.

But lets be realistic.
Most young people today are out of control. Fighting, looting, rioting, demonstrating and abusing other people.

The source of this behavior is either bad parenting or a lack of parenting. Which makes up 70% of parents. There is no license or qualification for a minimum standard of parenting. This is great for producing mongrels but not quite good enough for humans, since we are supposed to be somewhat civilized.

When I was young, if I did something wrong I would be punished. Sometimes a smack on the head, other times no food for dinner. I hated it at the time but now I can say that it was the right call. I was a bad child and I needed to be punished so that I would learn to behave like a civilized person.

So, if your child stole something, hit an innocent person or did something else that was wrong. Would you physically punish them?

Because correcting a child is easier than correcting an adult.

Lancer 7 Jan 27

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My parents used your philosophy.... all it did was make me learn to sneak and lie to them better and to exhale and tighten my core when I get hit. I'm not a good person because they did this..... I'm a good person despite it

This is consistent with my experiences. I got the belt growing up. It didn't make me behave. It made me try harder not to get caught!

Would you spanking your significant other as a form of punishment for unwanted behavior? No you wouldn't, because that's actually called domestic violence.

@macrobius ..... hehehehehe I have a horrible mind hahahahaha sorry

@Pooska I thought about adding a disclaimer for kinksters but why bother. Play safe y'all! πŸ˜‰


Where exactly are you getting your "facts" such as "most young people are out of control"? What is it about "demonstrating" that makes you lump it in with rioting and abuse? Smacking children in the head doesn't make them civilized. There is no license or qualification for a minimum standard of humaning either but that doesn't mean I can go around smacking adults in the head. Though at least they are big enough to defend themselves.

You are correct, I should've said most people are out of control. The number of wars we have had in the last 2 centuries alone shows how uncivilized we are. Millions dead and we keep on fighting, because violence is the only language we can all understand. I hate it but it's a fact of life.

As for demonstrations. I've seen what the political left and right groups have done in america and I'm not impressed in the slightest. Both sides are equally as bad, except for the fact that the left seems to call everyone who doesn't share their views Nazis, which in my opinion is childish and undisciplined. It is disrespectful to the Nazis. I don't have much respect for the Nazis but I have even less for ANTIFA and their affiliates. Acting like apes and mongrels shows how they lack both intelligence and discipline.

I never said smacking kids on the head makes them civilized, that is your assumption. What I am saying is that although violence against innocent children is completely wrong. Specifically aimed violence is justifiable. When I played with fire I got smacked, when my sister started her rebellious phase she got no dinner and slept outside and believe me, she definitely deserved it after treating the whole family with disrespect. In these cases I believe that some harsh treatment is necessary in order to prevent it from getting worse.

The problem is that most people aren't intelligent enough to understand, think and apply the proper disciplinary countermeasures that are necessary to nurture a child into an adult. Which is why there are so many undisciplined youths.

Also my comment on licensing was just a general comment on how little we really care about raising the next generation. All people do is give their kids to the schools and expect them to be taught everything they need to know. Which is a horrible idea, throwing money into schools isn't the answer, it never was. But whenever the government is questioned about the children, they always turn to academic education funding instead of telling the truth which is, parents who can't raise good kids properly shouldn't have kids in the first place.

Also I don't advocate violence under normal circumstances. I've had people screaming racist comments in my face and all I've done was walk away.


There's a huge difference between discipline and beating your kid's ass.
Sometimes, a swat on the ass is a useful tool. When applied judiciously.


I gave my kids a few swats on the butt when they were young, and I stopped because I didn't feel it was OK. It felt wrong to use violence on my own kids. I did a lot of "natural consequences" and removal of privileges rather than hitting them. My parents hit me and it didn't accomplish anything a stern talking to wouldn't have accomplished.


Seriously, when we were on a long trip I had kids being brats. I made them copy bible verses. It was effective in that it got their attention and the crap stopped. I can't say I never spanked, but I was more the type to "make the punishment fit the crime" or find an alternative punishment. I was spanked hundreds of times, and to this day I think much of it was my parent's frustration at having too many kids and not enough money. I also insisted on accountability, which is so not done these days. And I have AMAZING kids today.


Either of my kids could flatten me. But I once gave my son a token pat/slap on his wrist because he was pouring water onto a heat lamp that was keeping our chickens warm. He was 2 and I figured that was the best way to get message across. He got one more when he was 4, can't remember why, but was told, "That didn't even hurt --- anyway!"

That's more or less what I'm talking about. Not a full on abusive fight, just a slap on the wrist or a light tap on the head. Just enough to keep them on the right track in life.


If I take a swat at my son, it's a failure on my part to control my temper. Corporal punishment has never been demonstrated to be efficacious in curbing unwanted behavior. Show me a study that says otherwise.

It isn't corporal punishment as a whole that is bad or ineffective.
When corporal punishment is used constructively and with restraint it can be a useful tool in curbing the development of a child's growth.

But unfortunately in many cases, the improper use of corporal punishment (domestic abuse/violence) leads to the idea that it is wrong and useless with no real benefit at all.

When in reality there are many factors (social, economic, etc.) that affect how children grow up.

Corporal punishment is just one tool in the box. Most responsible parents would use it as a last resort but some irresponsible parents use it first (which is obviously wrong).

All I'm saying is, if your child was abusing, bullying or causing harm to an innocent child. Would you use force to stop them? Or let them keep it up and possibly cause the victim to commit suicide.

I would never unjustly use corporal punishment, but some people would. I can't control what they do, but I can control what I do.

I think there's a difference between restraining a child and attempting to condition through the infliction of pain. If my child was attempting to harm another child, I'd intervene by putting him in a hold, not hitting him. If he misbehaves, I'll force him to sit in a chair and physically put him back if he tries to get down. I don't spank him when he misbehaves. I wouldn't hit him to teach him what it feels like when he hits someone else.


I think corporal punishment is basically child abuse by an authority figure. And no matter how the child turns out in the end, it can leave emotional scars.

I'd favor a time out, and later a discussion about the issue to improve reasoning, information, and bonding.

When I was about 5 years old I stole eggs from the refrigerator. When discovered (later that morning), I not only had to pay back 5 cents each from my allowance, but I also had to clean up = wash the concrete & metal area I smashed them against. And I had to sit down with my parents, discuss why I did it and why it was wrong. I never stole anything else again in my life.

That's a good story, it shows that your parents were reasonable people and you were able to learn from your mistake.

My parents would've done the same.


I rarely hit my kids when younger and found it not to my liking. I am not perfect though and it happened a few times. I got most of my parenting techniqes from Supernanny, the older ones that focussed on techniques not drama like the latter seasons. I found that being consitant and not giving false threats all the time was the best bet. Her bedtime and time out routines were very helpful. Physical punishment gives instant results, but is really not effective in making kids learn and be good. In my opinion it is the lazy way. The kid is not whining and misbehaving in the store because he isnt being hit. He is whining and misbehaving because he knows from experience that mom will give in to shut him up. You can't do that. Constantly nagging and yelling and telling them to do the same thing without following through doesn't work either. You basically just train them you don't mean what you say. Those types of things were some of the things she talked about...
I have often observed that kids who are physically punished are rarely the ones who are well behaved and respectful in the world.

MsAl Level 7 Jan 27, 2018

I had a neighbor that used the "wait til your father gets home" routine, making daddy the bad guy. I was more of a "you messed up and now you have to deal with mean mom" type. My kids were far more scared of my wrath than their dad's.

@HippieChick58 Empty threats like that are the worst thing, bothers me no end. My ex husband used to say I was too mean and always undercut my discipline efforts. Let them get out of bed after bedtime, took them out of timeout if they cried and gave them icecream- stuff like that... Still irks me 10 years later ????


I remember someone reporting--from their experience talking to many parents--that there's some fraction of kids (like 10-30%, don't remember but it was small) for whom absolutely no discipline short of spanking will be effective. Sounds legit.

Only a swat on the butt, and only for a child under the age of reason. Once they have a solid working grasp of cause and effect, it's time for something else.

I read about another theory of discpline that eschews "punishment" entirely, in favor of "natural consequences" (e.g. you broke it, you buy another one, etc.). Not sure how to apply that to all situations, but I like the way it sounds.

Another: give them choices: e.g. you can be grounded for two weeks, or you can volunteer at a hospice for a month--and the punishment fits the crime (e.g. caught smoking, volunteer with cancer ward). Sounds awesome and the proponent claimed great success. Sample size: 1. I am no child psychologist.

Supernanny puts tots on the naughty chair (time out) for 1 minute times age. Seems to work beautifully, once they adjust. Obviously stops being effective around age 7 or so.

I think I was spanked once, as a toddler or so. I was hardly ever in trouble after that, so I can't even remember what my punishments were like.

I do not have children. I will not have children. I would do everything else before hitting a child. The onlytime I could see hitting is if a toddler is in full-on meltdown mode, incapable of processing input, the infraction is a serious safety concern, and we are in physically unsafe environment--like running away in traffic.

Anything else--hell no.


Violence isn't really that effective as a conditioning tool, for the most part, unless you are trying to teach submission. I grew up in the 70's when beating kids was in....and all the kids I knew were complete reprobates. And getting hit really didn't curb any of this behavior, but did teach a level of cruelty I don't see as often today. It exists, but now a light is shined on it. When I grew up it was just 'kids being kids'. I have 'spanked' a child once in my life. And that was because I became a 'late father' of a 2 year old who decided to test my authority. It was such a soft spanking, but it was more the 'I can do this', and the my boyo actually said,"Let's not do that again, okay? I will be good, and you be good too." We never had a problem again...I hated that spanking and still do to this day.

That's understandable.

The main point I was trying to raise by asking the question was that some parents won't even discipline their kids. They just let their kids do whatever they want without consequence because (unfortunately) they "love" them too much.

My parents loved me, which is why (although they didn't like it) they would discipline me. It made me the great man I am today. If they had let me run wild then by now I probably would've gotten to at least 100 street fights. But thanks to their guidance I've only had 3 (None of which I started).

I would never unjustly hit an innocent child. But if my child started doing things like bullying kids at school or cyber bullying. I'd do the right thing and take responsibility by instilling discipline into them by any means necessary. If diplomacy fails then pain and fear prevail.

@Lancer I just don't think it achieves the desired results. It is kinda like the death penalty. It doesn't curb behavior at all. We think that it instills behavior modification, but all it does is what anything negative reinforcement does: pass on those violent pacification blues. I think being stern (but not inflexible) on rules is a good way to maintain a healthy parent/child relationship. That's what I did. I laid down boundaries and made my boyo very aware of those boundaries. When those boundaries were broke, the known punishment was meted out. Which was generally 'a time out' for small infractions and grounding from friends, for larger ones. I think he only got busted a handful of times for anything. Though, his mom and me were often a part of whatever was going on, a welcome part, because kids thought we were silly....haha


I spanked my daughter from time to time when she was little. It was repeating what I had been shown. It was laziness. It was being uninformed about other methods.

She flat out told me once "Mom, that doesn't work."

When I stopped spanking her, once when she was grounded or lost privileges, she said "Can you just spank me instead?" LOL!

That said, I absolutely, 100%, no doubt about it, REGRET with all my being that I ever ever spanked her, even one time. With age, maturity and education, I learned (too late) that it is entirely possible to raise children without hitting them just because we are bigger and stronger. To ME, it is wrong wrong wrong and if I could change only ONE thing I did as a parent, that would be it. It causes me great shame.

Touching on the rest of your post -- speaking of going to bed without dinner, that is a bit of a trigger for me. We were severely abused -- and that was just one of the mild forms of "punishment" in their arsenal (mom and step-monster). That is one thing I did do right -- never used any of that sick behavior on my daughter. Never called her a name. Never pulled her hair. Never "washed her mouth out with soap" or fed her hot chil peppers one after another, never shocked her, never.....well, you get the gist. ALL FORMS OF PHYSICAL VIOLENCE toward children is ABUSE to me. It is unnecessary and wrong.

Sigh......quietly stepping off my soap box now.

After posting my response, I went back and read all the comments and I have to say that I am so pleased to see all the answers and experiences that are a big fat "No." That's awesome!

We can't just say that physically punishing a child is wrong or that it has no place in modern society.

I agree that it is wrong to hit a child for no reason but one method doesn't work on all children. Some (like my friends and I) responded better to a few small but precise instances of physical punishment.

Also as for your upbringing, it sounds rough and all families have their problems. I get that, but to suggest that hitting a child is wrong in all cases is irresponsible. If your child was cyber bullying a student at their school and you found out about it, what would you do? Apart from the obvious "I'd tell them to stop" or have a long conversation with them. Would that work? maybe for you but would it work for all children? If the child continued to cyber bully the victim and they committed suicide. Would a sever conversation work?

If my child ever bullies anyone and even after a long and heavy conversation on their actions, continued to bully others. Then I would accept responsibility and physically correct their behavior because to be a good parent one must make the hard choices that will set their child on the right path.

@Lancer I can Lancer. There is not a person on earth who will or could convince me otherwise. And, I think you have seen here that the overwhelming majority of respondents are in the "No" camp -- and most didn't qualify their statements. With respect, I believe you are absolutely wrong and I hope that before you have children, you will continue to fully research your beliefs. At least I hope you don't already have kids -- if memory serves, you are 19, right?

Yes I am 19 and after seeing how people these days act with almost no regard for the people around them. I can say that they probably needed a fair bit of discipline (not necessarily physical correction) instilled into them.

I firmly believe in violence as a last resort and I've already thought of countermeasures for how to deal with insolent children. If or when I have them.

I will not allow my children to cause problems for others. If they were led astray and joined a terrorist group, did unjustifiable things to relatively innocent people. I would not hesitate to discipline them. Even if it means death.

The problem with society is that we only see what we want to see. Not everyone is a good person. Your neighbour could be a murderer or a pedophile but they could also be a nice neighbour.

All around us there are people who don't value life. Which is why they take lives needlessly. An example is the terrorist who ran over people in Sydney near Christmas time. He killed 6 people including an infant. He injured 30 others. If his parents had disciplined him and beat into him a value for human life then maybe the innocent would still be alive.

Not that I care. I respect your decision. But remember that most people on this site are not logical. They are too emotional. So their ability for rational thought is limited. Open both mind and eyes to see the world for what it is and not what one wants it to be.



And I am being realistic. Might is right?

"Most young people today are out of control. Fighting, looting, rioting, demonstrating and abusing other people." Source please.

So you teach young people that the best way to get your point across is by violence. The only conclusion from that is likely to be that it is OK to use violence to get you own way.

I was never hit as a child and I never needed to hit my children either - neither of whom were out of control.

When young people do something wrong, education and restitution is often the best course of action. Violence achieves nothing.

From what I've seen in Thailand, Australia, US, UK, France, Hong Kong and a handful of other countries. There are way too many undisciplined youths walking the streets.
But that's just my opinion, it's not like there are riots in America or Australia or the UK or France. I'm sure setting police cars on fire, looting stores, raping and pillaging is normal?

Source would be something we call the "news". Even the mainstream can't hide it.
Disciplined people don't go out starting fires and looting, intelligent people go to work and earn money to buy things they need and want.

If you can't see this trend of violence then I just hope that someone shows you what's happening one of these days.

Also I asked "So, if your child stole something, hit an innocent person or did something else that was wrong. Would you physically punish them?"

As in, "if your child is on the path to becoming a criminal who steals, attacks and is generally aggressive. would you stop them?"

If your kids were well behaved then that is a blessing. It's nice to hear that you never got in any confrontations with them. I wish that was the same for everyone.

But if your child was ruining their life, would you wait and watch it happen or step up and make them stop by any means necessary.

Also not to be rude, but in the course of all human history. What method has and still is used to resolve conflicts?

Was it talking? Or maybe it was warfare, aka violence.
It isn't right and I hate that it is true. But we all have to accept reality for what it is.

I disagree. Where are these gangs of young looting arsonists? When I asked for your source I wasn't referring to the daily fail or any other sensationalist newsgroup that wants to paint a dismal picture of Britain's youth - exactly the same way they did with Teddy Boys, Mods. Punks, Goths etc.
Every generation claims that the new generation is less disciplined than the previous one. Every area will have an element of criminality, worse in some areas of social deprivation.

Crime figures in the UK don't reflect this - I can't speak for other countries, so I ask again, what is the source of your information? Please show me the evidence that corporal punishment reduces criminality.

You assert that warfare and violence have solved most conflicts in human history - I beg to differ - most conflicts end when enemies stop killing each other and negotiate a ceasefire/settlement

For clarification, I am a social worker with over 30 years experience working with young people, youth offending teams and schools and other settings.


My experience was a bit different than most I guess. Was I ever spanked? Yes. Not often but yes, It was ritualistic and removed angry response from the equation.
What did happen though, was I had to make it right. Usually it turned into learning opportunities. Broke a window? Measure it. Go to the hardware store and buy the right-sized pane of class. take out the window. Reglaze it. Or, walk up the front walk, knock on the door, tell them who I was, why I was there, and apologize. Including an offer to make it right. Or, do a thing over and over til it was right; holidays in the lawn mowing were the hardest.

You sound like a very responsible and morally responsible adult. I really respect and admire people like you.


No, and I never had to. That's the lazy way to parent. Besides, meta-studies covering 5 decades show that hitting children makes them more aggressive and antisocial. They are more likely to defy their parents and lie. Past studies have also linked corporal punishment in children to the onset of depression, anxiety and drugs and alcohol abuse.



"Teenagers are better behaved and less hedonistic nowadays"


This is because most parents don't understand a thing about raising children.
They do not have any knowledge of psychology and most parents are undisciplined as well, which just compounds the problem.

All I'm saying is that we need to understand the difference between hitting for no reason and hitting to make a point when it is necessary. I used to be a really bad child and so did my friend. We had a chat the other day and talked about how we were grateful that our parents disciplined us when we were kids. It made us better men to this day.

We must not confuse abuse with discipline, because although both involve a use of force. One is destructive and the other is constructive.

Also with this quote:

However, Dr Gershoff said that a key message of her work is that corporal punishment simply β€œdoesn’t work”.

I don't think that is correct. If you were to steal something in Saudi Arabia and the penalty was to lose your hands, most intelligent people would stop, whereas in Australia where the most kids get is well no charges, they just steal more and more. Look at Melbourne and Sydney, the youths are rioting and stealing and the parents are nowhere to be seen.

Also with that article where it said the pubs and clubs were shutting down from a lack of income. I'm guessing that's because the youths are drinking and getting drunk before they get to the clubs. Because it's cheaper. They even brew their own beer, that's why they're closing down. Because kids are smart at doing stupid things cheaply.

@Lancer Thanks for your comment. The thing to keep in mind is that you are suggesting that you know more than the research, meta-analyses of 5 decades. You are 19. What credentials do you have to suggest you have more expertise than these researchers?

Also, keep in mind that the media focuses on the negative. The majority of youth are not antisocial as you seem to suggest. I will also note that parents have a lot on their plate, and babies don't come with instruction manuals. I agree, there is little education offered to parents about raising children. That's societies fault.

If or when you become a parent, I hope you don't resort to hitting your children. You will end up becoming the very undisciplined parent you accuse most parents of being.

@Lancer there is no good reason to hit a child

@VictoriaNotes I would never unjustly hit a child. But if it saves a life then I would.

Also @RobCampbell Are you saying that it is wrong to forcibly stop a child from behaving inappropriately? Say if they were bullying another child in front of you or if they were running at you with a weapon. would you just let yourself be stabbed?

I sure as hell wouldn't hesitate to hit my own child if it meant it would stop them from harming others.


I think all children are different and learn differently. My son wasn't spanked by my husband or myself, and he grew up to be a responsible adult who joined the air force and is doing great. I was spanked, and I did fine in my life. My brother was spanked, and was addicted to drugs for most of his life. Everyone is different.

Fair enough. I wasn't saying that physical punishment should be used in all cases, just in times when it's needed.

I have a friend who's brother became addicted to drugs and started growing weed in his shared house. My friend didn't know what to do, he didn't want his girlfriend coming over because his brothers friends might come round looking for weed. But recently their father put his foot down and kicked the brother out of the house.

I'm not advocating violence as a first option. But if it was my brother growing weed and putting my life in danger from druggies coming around to try and steal some crop. I'd probably do worse than just a serious conversation.


I guess it depends. I’m not a parent so it’s hard for me to answer. People have told me that there was a difference between an spanking to keep children in line and a beating, though. But I have heard horror stories about teenagers killing their parents when they weren’t disciplined, though from them being too soft on them.

fair enough.


Some children just need a spanking occasionally to keep them under control and make them mind.

No body likes to be punished but some people (like me as a kid) need it. Otherwise they would end up on the wrong path in life and inevitable make even worse decisions.


Your premise is faulty. Most young people are amazing, wonderful, creative, talented and joyful. You are only hearing about the miscreants because it sells.

From what I've seen in Australia and the UK. About 30% of people are what you described them as.

The rest are essentially underachievers who want to get by in life doing the bare minimum and rely on others. Also watching the news just proves how these youths are actually worse than animals in the wild.

It is unfortunate to admit that humanity is full of unenlightened mongrels and apes. Not an advanced race capable of civilised discussion and disciplined actions.


Of course. My son likes to make out like he was smacked a lot, but I remember every time he was spanked and why I spanked him.


Absolutely NOT! I was spanked, switched and whooped on as a kid. I hated my parents for the abuse. The last time my mom tried to slap me (she used to pull my hair too) I threw up an arm and told her point blank "you are never ever going to hit me again".

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