A Long Debate About Spanking

The following is a debate about whether we should or shouldn’t “smack” our kids and should there be laws passed to ban spanking as they have in other countries. This is only the exert post of myself and “Tracy”. The whole debate can be read here http://www.worldhaveyoursay.com/. It is the classic show down between "common and traditional" practice and scientific research.

These first couple are from Tracy to general board. My added comments (the ones that would the BBC moderators might not have let fly) are the ones in red.

Tracy: My mum was practically a single mum raising six kids( Dad could not be bothered with us all) and we were not all angels. In fact, come to think of it, She really had no angel but she found a way to keep us in check and keep her sanity. She made sure to spank us when we needed to be and that reinforced the words she made sure to deal us every now and then to remind us that doing wrong was bad. Spanking your kid does not teach kids violence of any kind.

Tracy will later on go on to say how “taken classes to teach myself to beat the crap out of anyone who tries to take advantage of me”. But she didn’t learn to answer violence with violence. Maybe some classes in psycology will heighten your understanding to the point that the police won’t have to show up at your trailor and break up a fight between you and your “choice" of counterpart.

Today, I walk with my head up high cause of the kind of mother I had. I look back and realize how lucky we were cause I have friends who are the same age as I and have little or no respect for others and do not seem to know how to stop doing stupid things. Now society even helps them by allowing them have whatever excuse they make up for their ridiculous choices.

Classic "I am fine, so everybody else is either fine or whining babies” comment.

This is life. You do bad, you pay for it and the consequences are usually painful. I am all for spanking kids and will not deny my kids the good that I learned from my mother who happens to be my best friend and I joke with her about how she would get all tired after spanking us and we would sit in the corner to laugh at her and how stupid we were to do what we did, even though we knew in the back of our minds we would not want that beating again for the same.

Sounds like the punishment was working really well. Your are laughing at her? Now you reminisce about the times you got punished as if they were times you went to Disneyland? Tracy seems the result of 6 kids, all vying for the attention of their mother, wishing for the attention of their father.

Tracy : Based on your post there @Anyta…. Parents who have through all of history raised kids who have ended up shaping the world in good ways did a bad job because they spanked the kids when the kids were bad and so all of a sudden society knows much more about how best to teach kids and so all parents who choose to stick to the old way of raising kids need their heads adjusted and classes to teach them how to raise kids?? …. (she goes on to talk more about herself.)

Here she simply is relating success to not having anybody who is violent in her family. It is the first time she shows a disconnect between science and reality.

wizardmix712: Tracy and Anon,
Do not confuse “not spanking” with “no discipline what so ever.” I was given time outs by people other than my mom and I feel that they were a weak, less effective alternative to spanking that misses the point completely. I’m not surprised time outs yield less effective results than spanking.

I further feel that parents who take no responsibility for their children’s actions can be just as guilty as parents who give their children too much physical discipline.

Tracy: I do not confuse ‘Not Spanking’ with NO discipline. I do know that I have seen too many kids who need to be spanked and I believe that if society introduced public spanking of some of the juvenilles we have in many of the centers, the rate of delinquency would be reduced a great deal. If a parent wants to choose Not to Spank, that is fine by me but advocating that my right to spank be considered illegal and base it on repeated claims that are baseless since a majority of it is not proven beyond reasonable doubt is ridiculous.

Here Tracy says she understands, and then goes to prove she doesn’t. She says she has seen too many kids that need spanked. What happened to “I don’t have a violent bone in my body.” The average bar fight starts because one guy decides another guy “needs” a punch in the nose.

I was spanked out of LOVE not fear and do not really see how spanking has to do with FEAR.

This will defiantly come up later. So does she “love” al of those kids that “need spanked”?. When she would get spanked, did she think, “here comes my mum to love me.”? I actually believe she did, but read on.

Now I jump in. Just a general comment at first, I didn’t realize then that she had made the previous post.

LOL: I love the, “I only beat you because I love you” mentality. Then we wonder why women end up in abusive relationships later. They are often quoted as saying, “Even though he beats me, I know he loves me and is a good person inside.”

If the parents are “smacking” their kids when they are bad, who is “smacking” their parents when the parents are bad? You know so that kids see that it is a life lesson applied to all equally. It is humorous that you have a child psychologist on who spent at least 6 years studying the subject in school, an then has spent a few years researching it as a function of work. He concluded that the adverse effects way outweigh the benefits. Yet, most people choose to defend the gossip and tradition in spite of the research and the facts.

Tracy: I don’t think your thought that reply through @LOL. I can spend time to point out all the wholes to you but I will not. If you are against it, it is then not for you but should I be denied my right to spank my kid cause you can not see that it is not about you and what you think?? I happen to be a female, and I know even a lot of women who were never spanked as kids that are in abusive relationships. Trying to link spanking of kids to women staying in abusive relationships is just ridiculously silly as there is no such link that can be made. You raise an adult who is not able to understand right from wrong is when you get people who are willing to stay in abusive relationships such as those, how in the world does that have anything to do with spanking your kids as way to discipline them and teach them RIGHT FROM WRONG???

Why will she not spend time pointing out “wholes” (ehhem). That is what debates are for. Worse then that is raising kids who can’t connect the Mexican food they ate to the bad smell in the room. Note that even Typing she tends to SCREAM HER POINT.

LOLI thought it through. I have read at least 20 psychological research papers on the subject. The closet you can come to anybody educated in the field to support it would be that it has no lasting negative or positive impact. I embarked on the research actually expecting to prove quite the opposite. Talk about “spending time”.

There was a great studydone that I can not find a link to online that linked non physical punishment to increased intelligence and success. There were many factors that had to be accounted for. One astounding fact was that while 90% of an Ivy League college (struggling to find my notes here. Don’t want to misquote.) had received either no physical punishment or less then 6 memorable experiences. However, 100% in a prison cell block had at the very least been spanked. Most of the others were abused more then what would be considered spanking.

Another paper conducted interviews that showed the progression of abusers. Many of them started out “spanking”. As their frustration grew, so did the intensity of their “spankings".

I agree, physical abusive is not the only thing that leads to the seeking of abusive relationships. Smoking is not the only thing that leads to cancer. You wouldn’t encourage your kids to smoke because it doesn’t always lead to health defects would you? However, the results are astounding with around 80% of them did have some sort of physical punishment event at least once in their lives. Since the difference between a spanking and abuse is a subjective issue, that which you observe as an “innocent smack” may end up being traumatic to your Childs psyche. That depends upon many factors.

There are two participants in any “spanking” situation. First the child being spanked. How they will receive the act is the sum of their past experiences, their body chemistry, and their peer influence. The second factor is the parent doing the spanking. Their approach, their intent, and their ability to follow up a physical altercation impacts the outcome. When you “snatch up” your child and “beat their bottoms” out of your own frustration, you are not helping your kid. Your act is one of selfish frustration that no one will take a positive lesson from.

I find it hard to believe that you have sat down and held a session with these “women in abusive relationships that were not spanked” as a child. The fact that you are that close to them that they have told you all the intimate details of their up brining and current situation, and yet you have not stropped in to help stop the abuse is a question mark on your own chartered. The truth is that people, and especially women, who were that affected by spankings will often tell their friends “oh I was never hit as a child.” They are profoundly embarrassed by the spankings they got. Much like many sexually abused children will forget it as adults. Or maybe you really don’t “know” women who had spankless childhoods that are now in abusive situations.
Here is a link to a website that references quite a few of the interviews and studies I have read.http://www.stophitting.com/disathome/factsAndFiction.php

as for your “right to spank (your) kid”, there are a lot of rights you are denied as a parent. You can no buy your kids drugs or alcohol, even if it would help you get a good nights sleep for one. You can not sell your kid or rent them out. You must educate them in this country. You can not leave them in a car while you run into the bar for a quick one. You can not physically abuse them. The line where physical abuse starts and “spanking” stops it a thin and relative line. The truth of the matter is that what you do to your kids is very much my problem. We live in a small closed society. It is your parenting techniques that ultimately raise the child to become either a genius or a serial killer.

If you have evidence to the contrary I will be willing to read it. I may post this conversation on my own blog, if you would like to continue this discussion, click on my name above. Post in the comments the names or links to the studies you have that show “no link” between spanking and abuse. You would not tell your children not to drink and smoke with a beer and a cigarette in your hand. Why do you think that telling them physical aggression is wrong, when you do it to them?

Evan: Tracy,
The psychology of an abused women staying in an abused relationship goes much deeper than knowing right from wrong. As not to gender type, the situation can occur both ways.
I should know, my mom who was herself abused spent years training police officers to understand why a battered spouse would go back to their abuser.

The correlation I make is that showing children that violence is a solution as a behavior modification carries on later in life. My father was beaten senseless by his alcoholic father growing up, his way of dealing with it later in life was to drink himself into a different person and become violent to us

TRACY : Again… your conclusion there is so disconnected that I do not even understand why you you go on. Your father was spanked and he turns to drinking?? How is spanking and drinking connected in anyway??@Evan. Trying to connect other issues which are completely unrelated to spanking will not work at all. I happen to have been spanked, and I mean spanked real good. I had a father who did not believe in spanking and was a drunk. I do not drink or smoke as an adult. I do not have any issues. I have never been in any abusive relationship, even though my mum endured one so she could keep us all together to this day and I am older and understand she did not have much of a choice. My parents are divorced now, good riddance too. And somehow you think connecting spanking to all that nonsense is right?? What next, Spanking leads to divorce?? COME ON!!!

The inability to connect issues seems to have been one ill result. Tracy show here that since she “Was spanked real good” it didn’t effect any of her adverse decisions. What Tracy is not realizing here is there an abusive relationship produces abusers as well as abusees. As you read on you will get the sense that Tracy is not or has not been in an enduring relationship. Yes abuse that some people would call “spanking” does lead to divorce.

My Mother was a battered wife herself, until I grew up and put an end to it when I confronted my Dad on his evil when I was 14. That has NOTHING to do with the fact that my mum spanked us when we were bad and even after I was able to stand up to my dad, I was still not too old for my mum to spank me when I am bad.

When she spanked us, we all knew and understood she was doing it cause we did something wrong and it had nothing to do with fear or any of the mumblings I have heard it could be cause of so far. Please come up with something more substantial I beg you. I know I was a disobedient, stubborn brat when I was a kid. I can tell you that cause I know.

My Dad on the other hand did not have his parents around to spank him when he was a child. He turned to alcohol and abusing my mum when he was older. Are you going to then tell me the reason he did that was cause he was spanked even as I tell you he was not and still turned out that way?? PLEASE STOP MAKING THESE DISCONNECTED CONNECTIONS ALREADY AND FOCUS ON RAISING YOUR KIDS AS YOU WILL AND ALLOW OTHERS WHO WANT TO SPANK, THE SAME FREEDOM YOU WANT GIVEN YOU… jeezzzz

Aww, this whole story would make a great country western song.

LOL: Tracy,

Wow, I am not sure about where to start. I should only hope that you have sought help for your rough up bringing, or you are one of the few that will remain unaffected. IT does seem that you are standing in a wide open flat fields, watching the sun move across the sky, and saying, “the Earth must be flat, and the sun revolves around it.”

Let me make sure I understand what you were saying. When you were young, you would do things that you A) knew where wrong, and B) knew you would receive physical attention from your mother for it. Your mother was in a relationship with a “drunk” and managed to have 6 children with him. Your “Mother was a battered wife herself” who probably told people she was not in an abusive relationship when asked. So you saw your mom get beaten by your dad. You longed for that kind of “love”. That your dad showed your mom. So you would act out doing something that you knew was wrong and would get you a spanking. Just like your dad showed your mom “love” so it was that your mom showed you “love”.

It is not necessary to go any further to make the point. You just made all the points we were trying to make for us. Whether you will admit it or not, you have a direct emotional connection between violence and love. The studies simply say that wherever you are at now, Had you had parents who chose other methods to teach you right and wrong, you would have even been more successful and happier. It is all relative though.

Tracy: I am a Full adult with no medical or psychological problems that I would need help with in any way. I have no emotional issues and like I mentioned over and over, I have high standards when it comes to who I choose to date or not. I do not have a desire to date abusive persons and have even taken classes to teach myself to beat the crap out of anyone who tries to take advantage of me in that sort of way, should I mistakenly find myself in the middle of such.

That was one of my favorite paragraphs It seemed innocent enough until you comprehend what she says.

1) When you were young, you would do things that you A) knew where wrong, and B) knew you would receive physical attention from your mother for it===== I was a kid like any other kid and would misbehave, sometimes even more than usual, even knowing I would get purnished did not matter sometimes cause I felt it was cool to misbehave sometimes and hope I could get away with it.

Sorry Tracy but that is not like any other kid, that I want my kid to be like.

2) Your mother was in a relationship with a “drunk” and managed to have 6 children with him. Your “Mother was a battered wife herself” who probably told people she was not in an abusive relationship when asked.– Everyone knew my mum was in an abusive relationship, we knew and she knew but circumstances were not good for her to leave and it turned out she was right. YOu do not know the whole story, maybe you should ask me to explain more instead of assuming you have it all FIGURED OUT YOUR WAY.

Although it seems like she really wants to, I am not here to be her consoler. I really don’t care about her personal story. It is worth noting that it is the only shallow misguided research she offers though.

3) so you saw your mom get beaten by your dad. You longed for that kind of “love”. That your dad showed your mom…. If in your world a man beating his wife is love, good for you but I am not sure what you mean by claiming that I longed for that kind of “LOVE”. A parent disciplining a child is not same as a man beating his wife. I only wish you could see how you seem to bunch all things together and think that means you are right on the mark.

4) So you would act out doing something that you knew was wrong and would get you a spanking. Just like your dad showed your mom “love” so it was that your mom showed you “love”.– read above….

5) It is not necessary to go any further to make the point. You just made all the points we were trying to make for us. Whether you will admit it or not, you have a direct emotional connection between violence and love. The studies simply say that wherever you are at now, Had you had parents who chose other methods to teach you right and wrong, you would have even been more successful and happier. It is all relative though— The studies like I have said so many times over has been made by persons who are like you, myopic in the way they have looked at this, yet the majority of people around the world continue to spank. Majority of adults around the world today will tell you they were spanked as kids and survived and would do same with their kids cause they saw and EXPERIENCED the benefits. Notice how you are speaking to someone who has EXPERIENCED spanking and does not have a single bad to say about it but you still feel cause you FEEL it is not right for you means it is not right for all??

LOL: You are severely underestimating the power of the human subconscious. For that fact, you are severely overestimating the human conscious.

The point of the forum is should you use spanking as a punishment. You are right, I do not know you. Sounds like you and all 6 of your siblings grew up to be outstanding citizens and members of the human race. This was in spite the fact that you seemed to have many obstacles that could have derailed you and yours from that path. Spankings were certainly not the most profound.
Do many kids act out in order to get attention, yes. That is “normal” but not desirable. In this country you would be hard pressed to find somebody who hasn’t driven an automobile while over the legal limit of alcohol. Should we just remove all DUI laws since it is normal? Slavery was once “normal” as well as repression of women. It didn’t make it right, and when we adapted policies to condemn these activities, we as a race made an evolutionary advancement.

We are humans and not machines. That means we are never predictable with 100% accuracy. However, know that when most children are spanked, studies time and time again have shown it results in a less productive, intellectual, and independent adult. Facts are all I can ever debate with. A flaw of my own no doubt. Governments have to develop policies based on the facts and not traditions.

In the end we are a classic example of “flat Earth’ers” vs. science. Mental health issues often have a harder up hill battle when it comes to convincing people and eventually policy makers. We can see a child who has an allergic reaction to a peanut seed. So legislation is passed forcing public awareness. However, we can not clearly see the results of a child who was spanked. Not until they are “acting out to be cool” in our high school or colleges with a gun. The problem with mental health issues is that humans do not have rigid thoughts with defined emotional boundaries. Each daily event affects the whole “soup” of our personalities. When it comes to our decisions, everything is related. It takes a very non-“myopic” person to grasp that. There are not paddle companies funding this research. There is no benefit to the people researching these topics one way or the other.

This is a topic I would love covered on WHYS. We are willing to spend millions to research heart disease, cancer, and AIDS. Only a fraction of that money goes into mental health research. Also what can be done to get people to accept mental health findings which are often bigger then they can understand?

It took from 360 BC to 1492 AD for people to fully accept that the Earth was not flat. From the time Socrates reasoned that the Earth was a sphere until Columbus actually proved it, you were abnormal and a lunatic if you believed it. I would wonder how long it will take to accept that it is more productive to stop and explain to your children from birth why things are wrong or right then it is to inflict pain. You are right; the majority of the world “spanks” their kids. But take a look at the condition of the world. We spend more resources fighting and killing each other then solving mutual problems. Instead of looking at the norm, aspire to rise above. Look to the people the world respects.

Tracy: at facts are you debating with is my question?? Facts put together by people who seem to have their mind already made up that spanking is evil and should be banned?? Or facts from unbiased minds who have actually experienced spanking and know for sure that the majority of people who were spanked where scared by spanking and not say some other ill they had to deal with?? Come on… Your story here reminds me of the lady who claimed to be a professional who actually engaged a 17 year old who called in to say that his parents spanked him and even he did not see or have any issues with being purnished when he is bad.

Here is where I start to have a hard time debating the topic. If you are going to deny the facts of research and experiment, then nobody has any ground to stand on.

I have yet to meet a single adult who claimed that because his parents spanked him when he was bad, his life was ruined and scared. Nor have I met someone whose depression was caused by being purnished for doing wrong. When you meet such a person, please refer him/her to me for further question and I will get to the bottom of the issue myself.

I happen to be a BioChemist myself and I still think your arguement is based on studies that hold no ground outside of those of persons who subscribe to that thinking. Comparing Spanking and not-spanking to Flat Earth vs Science debate already tells me you have your mind set that you have it all figured out regardless of what people who have actually experienced it and have no complaints have to say or tell you. Like I said before and I will say again, if you want to raise your kids without spanking, please be my guest. I choose to spank when I have to, do not deny me my right to raise my kid as I want to. Unless you are going to come up with a claim that Flat Earth belief was OUTLAWED by the non-flat earthers. LOL ,

Anywho, until you coml up with actual problems with spanking that are beyond a myopic view, I will keep out for such from you.

LOL: A bio-Chemist huh? Then I am sure during your studies they may have touched upon this tool called “the scientific method”. I barely graduated high school and at least one of our general science classes covered that I think. This method is used to remove any self biased that might be natural to the experiment. It is important that you read the data collection method of each published research paper.

I could post a link to it, just as I have posted links to other studies in the past. For instance here, http://www.stophitting.com/disathome/factsAndFiction.php. No, I can’t find people who have the time to come meet you personally any more then you can get me a meet and greet with two hydrogen atoms and an oxygen atom so they can prove to me they are responsible for this water thing. (And why do they have to have a right angle? Not to mention settle a bet once and for all about why they sink when they are cold, but float when they are frozen?)

By your own logic,(have yet to meet a single adult who claimed that because his parents spanked him when he was bad, his life was ruined and scared.) There are millions people who were sexually abused, raped, or tortured as children, and will now tell you they are fine and their life is “not ruined”. There are plenty who use a lot of alcohol and other drugs that will tell you, “they are not addicts”. You can meet every Munchausen diseased patient and they will tell you they are saviors. You will never meet a schizophrenic that will tell you “there really is nobody after him.”

While I can not introduce you to thousands of people adversely afflicted by spanking, I can offer something better. You are a bio-chemist. This must mean you have access to equipment. I have a theory you can test to prove this. (not really my theory, but I’ll claim it.) I have a theory that any form of striking, raises levels of norepinephrine and dopamine. Raised levels of these two chemicals in the brain cause increased tendency towards violence. Combine that with the studies that show these two metabolites are very addictive and you find the link to all the things you said were unrelated. If you want to take the experiment one step further, you can show that these neurochemicals actually are released in people watching violence. So when you are spanking your 8 yr old for hitting his 6 yr old brother, you are actually elevating the violent tendencies in both of them. If you get a Nobel prize for this research, I want a mention.
If you don’t want to test “my theory”, you could look up the studies done by (Lavine, 1997), (Rampling, 1978), or (Eichelman, 1986). When you went to school for bio-chemistry, these are the people that did the research to produce the information that lead to the science you were taught. So if they are “myopic”, self deluded idiots, well you do that math.

You will have to look up these people and their studies. Some are posted on line. If you want many of them have e-mail and phone numbers if you look hard enough. They are very approachable. They will discuss their methods and findings at length if you engage them. If you won’t read these studies and come at me with sound and citable criticism, then the debate has reached the level of futility. You and “the people you know” do not make a sound scientific study.

Or you can look up an article by USA Today with undocumented science and method. You can find an article that “poles” 20 CEO’s and every one of them say they were spanked as kids. They are fine. That is an example of a “myopic” study. Their results seem to fall pretty flat when it comes to supporting methods. It says they are financially successful. If that is your only criteria, then success is possible.


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