Tuesday

"spanking" = domestic violence

I believe that "spanking" children is just a culturally acceptable form of domestic violence and I am glad to see that slowly, surely, people around the world ARE STARTING TO COME TO THIS CONCLUSION.

I mean, 100 years ago, a large percentage of the American public would have argued strongly that a man had a right to "spank" his wife if she got out of line.

Does this mean I've never hit my kids? No. It does not. I am ashamed to say that on a handful of occasions in the 15 years I've been a parent, I've lost it and grabbed my child too roughly or smacked him/her on the backside. I felt terrible afterwards and told my child so.

My parents did not hit me (although I am told that a few times before I can remember and before he decided it was a bad way to guide his children, my father smacked me on the rear-end). I am grateful for this.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you think spanking is wrong, maybe you should read this story on what happens when government agencies get involved in matters with children:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006/07/18/photos/index_np.html?source=rss

katie allison granju said...

If you think spanking is wrong, maybe you should read this story on what happens when government agencies get involved in matters with children:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2006/07/18/photos/


I've read that story. It's a bummer that this happened to this family. It was wrong.

But it's got nothing to do with whether you should hit kids, which is what my post was about.

Anonymous said...

yeah and when you go labeling it as "violence" then it becomes punishable by law.

jehu said...

Are you suggesting that governments should stay completely uninvolved with matters with children? Child porn is ok if it's your kids? Shaken baby syndrome ok?

Anonymous said...

Three points.
1. Some cultures think spanking is fine. There is no way this kind of New Zealand approach would fly in the multicultural U.S.
2. Bringing the government into this realm might complicate already complicated situations, including custody battles.
3. On a personal level, it's been an effective last resort approach.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Three points.
1. Some cultures think spanking is fine. There is no way this kind of New Zealand approach would fly in the multicultural U.S.
2. Bringing the government into this realm might complicate already complicated situations, including custody battles.
3. On a personal level, it's been an effective last resort approach.


All 3 of your arguments could be made and have been made to justify men hitting "their" women.

Anonymous said...

P.S. On point 3: I mean really last resort, after a terribly oppositional day. I hate to do it, and we've discussed how it's that it's the last resort, the tool I hate most to pull out of the tool box, the few times I have.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot the government speaks the word of God. And we should fear God, right?

Anonymous said...

you cannot even argue with these kind of people and thats what is SO frightening. to make a jump from kiddie porn to spanking.....to justify complete governmental meddling on something so controversial by appealing to truly truly horrible things that DO deserve regulation. what truly frightens me is that people like Katie will push the government either directly or indirectly to where a parent who chooses to spank, however occasionally could have their entire lives investigated simply because of their parenting methodology. the irony is that at the same time people are being indoctrinated with this stuff, I know for a fact that there are cases of absolutely horrendous genuine abuse that for whatever reason CPS has totally ignored or written off that everything is just "fine". now what is wrong with this picture?

Katharine said...

I don't spank my kids because like Katie, I think it's domestic violence. But my parents did spank me, and this tells about the results.

Anonymous said...

In the eyes of the government, we're all kin to Charles Manson.

Anonymous said...

You are correct. Sometimes child welfare authorities ignore serious abuse. Sometimes child welfare authorities harass good parents who have done nothing wrong. Both of these situations are wrong.

But you are the one making leaps when you imply that just because some CPS workers suck at their jobs, the "government" (it's always so much scarier when you pull out the big "government" word) should have no interest in children's wellbeing within and outside of their families.

I agree with Katie, by the way.

Anonymous said...

This isn't about government. This is about changing the culture. People shouldn't go around hitting each other. It isn't nice.

Anonymous said...

Interesting piece on British Parliament's rejection of a proposed smacking ban back in 2004:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/02/world/main652850.shtml

Anonymous said...

My parents spanked me often and hard,and because of such abuse I sometimes sing off key and loud in the car,pee in the shower,and even stare longingly at attractive women's behinds at the mall.What a degenerate!

Anonymous said...

then I guess by Katies logic that spanking is domestic violence one would properly conclude that if her father smacked her backside then she grew up in an abusive home? lets be consistant here.....
this reminds me when I was at a twelve step group and this one woman kept insisting that another woman had been just as abused as someone who was physically raped because her father had a playboy around. inappropriate maybe but lets be very very very careful how we throw around extremely loaded words like "violence" and "abuse".

Anonymous said...

Hitting is violence.

The word is loaded because the actions are loaded.

Now is smacking your kid on the rear once or twice as bad as routinely beating your child? Of course not, nor is slapping your husband once in anger as bad as routinely beating the hell out of him.

But both are "violence." And neither is a good idea.

That's what Katie is saying and she's right, logically and practically.

The defensiveness in this discussion is sad and telling.

Anonymous said...

oh please. I read Katharines link to her blog. what terrible logic. physically abusive parents strike their kids (and usually quite hard and inappropriately) so therefore any parent who uses any form of physical discipline is abusive. this is terrible terrible logic.
as an aside, you dont think that the abuse just maaay have had something to do with her brother being gay?? nope...totally random event..yeah right....

Jon said...

Spanking in my mind is a violent and fearful act. And on a basic level it teaches our children that if someone isn't doing what you want them to, then it's okay to use physical pain to get your way with them.

Here's a good article to ponder: Spare The Child, Ditch The Rod

Anonymous said...

I feel that spanking is one form of discipline. Is it my preferred method? No. Is it the method I use most? No. Have I ever spanked my children, few times. I have found spanking to be ineffective with my daughters. More effective was "toy jail" where the offensive toy was put high out of reach until the child could remember how to appropriately use it. As they have gotten older taking away privileges is very effective. But I think it is my choice as a parent: Not to abuse them. Not to beat them. But there have been a couple of times that it was the only thing that worked.But never in anger.

becky said...

What a brave and true post.
You have courage to talk about something this important. My kid (Willie) is in 3rd grade. His teacher told me that he is one of the most polite students she ever had. His manners are a simple outgrowth of the fact that he is respected. So he models respect. And I do not hit him.
PS And for all of the haters who complain that AP parents brag about their kids, it is because well-loved kids give moms and dads a lot of pride.

Lori B said...

Katherine,

Thanks for the link to your site. You are so right. Let's just call spanking what it is - hitting. And as far as I am concerned, it's never ok to hit another person, whether it's a child or adult.

Peter said...

It is, of course, sometimes okay to hit another person. Self-defense, this, that and the other. I despise unthinking blanket rules like, "hitting people is wrong." Teen males play entire games built around the exchange of inflicted pain, and I, who despise sports, usually loved 'em.

However, I find it frightening that no one here is mentioning emotional abuse. Its invisible nature makes it quite as evil as physical abuse.

Frankly, I would rather have had twice the total spankings and two-finger attention-getting thwaps upside the head from my dad in exchange for half the guilt-inducing lectures from my mom (which behavior she got from her mom). My mom instilled in me the belief that I was a bad person to not want to go to college. My father only ever criticized my specific acts. He's tougher to talk to, but at least he's on my side.

Set and setting, people. Context, consistency and separating the behavior from the subject are all far more important than the occasional butt-whap.

Anonymous said...

Gosh Peter...you are INTELLIGENT. something lacking sorely in here. its all about context. these people think in incredibly black and white terms.

Anonymous said...

I might add some of the most rabid anti spankers I have known are very big on manipulating their kids verbally. and manipulating other people. they are so uncomfortable with just directly doing what needs to be done that they are very very good at what one of my psychology professors referred to as "the mind fuck".

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie, I really like your blog and your ideas about child rearing and nurture. As a person from multicultural New Zealand who sent in a written submission supporting the repeal of section 59 I am glad to see the discussion being reported overseas; sometimes people from other countries feel better about considering change when they can see others have gone through change without anarchy resulting. Like the USA, New Zealand has terrible statistics relating to domestic violence and child abuse. We are angry, violent people and we are good at making sure our children grow up that way too. Children should have the right to lawful protection from assault like any adult. They should also have the right to grow up in a world without violence. People who think violence is a normal part of life have all been indoctrinated into thinking this way by a society that accepts and condones violence as the 'easy' solution to all problems. The American Government is notorious for thinking war will solve problems when it only makes things worse and doesn't address the real issues which affect us all; disempowerment, disrespect and poverty.
Amanda

Anonymous said...

remind me not to move to NZ any time soon. I find this to be extremely frightening. we will have jails filled with innocent people caught in a bad moment. not to mention more bad behavior from kids because parents will be petrified.