Childhood Spanking and Corporal Punishment

April 20th, 2014   Submitted by Danilo Cuellar

The repercussions that childhood assault, more commonly known as spanking, has on the adult that emerges later in life is profound and devastating. Violence does not solve any problem in “government”, nor in parenting. It also does not justify the propagation of further violence. Warranting violence to solve violence is the vicious cycle that only begets more resentment, grudges, and violence. Those who are deemed as “violent personalities” are oftentimes themselves the result of a violent upbringing. The “government” kidnapping of such people, and placing them in a cage, or execution through capital punishment does absolutely nothing to solve the underlying problem of violent parenting begetting violent adults later in life. It is the parents that must be educated when it comes to this unfortunate situation. The problem must be addressed at the root, rather than hacking away at the branches.

Childhood spanking is a euphemism for what it really is, physical assault of another human being. It is even more egregious in nature than physical assault of another adult, since an adult can at least move to defend themselves against such attacks. The child is made to feel as guilt, and shame for disobeying the “authority” of the parents, and is forced to endure whatever physical punishment the parent deems worthy. This violates the most basic trust a child has in his parents who, as guardians and protectors, are attacking and injuring them. The child must endure such assault without question for fear of reprisal.

Parental justifications for spanking include, “this is for your own good,” “you made me do it,” or “you brought this on yourself.” It is, to my knowledge, the only area of human relations in which physical assault goes unpunished. A man cannot physically assault his wife and say, “this is for your own good,” or “you brought this on yourself.” Such a man would have hell to pay for such reprehensible actions. Why then when it is applied to children does this contemptible action go not only unpunished, but is encouraged by the majority of the population?

Some say, “well, children are immature.” As if being born, and developing is a crime. If this is true can we physically assault those with dementia, or mental retardation when they don’t act according to our whims? Some people justify spanking by saying, “it is because they are small.” If this is true can we physically assault midgets and those with growth plate disorders? I hope the lunacy of these assertions is apparent.

Children are not to blame. They can never be to blame. They come into this world as an uninhibited, and unrestrained blank slate, on which we etch all the prejudices, biases, violence, love, and compassion they absorb through our actions and words. They do not do things out of unprovoked malice. They only do “wrong” when they are assessed according to what society deems as acceptable and correct.

Parents must be protectors and guardians, not perpetrators of violence and coercion. A parent’s main duty is to ensure that the child does not injure themselves. That’s it! Anything more is a violation of the child’s personal liberty, self ownership, and sovereign rights. A child should not be treated any differently than an adult would. Children are not stupid or immature; rather they have come into this world with open and unbiased eyes, the very traits that many adults would do well to cultivate in themselves. Our response to that is to beat this peaceful and inquisitive nature into submission with our rigid government school indoctrination, societal conditioning, and physical discipline should they refuse to comply.

Here is a wonderful TED talk on the grave effects spanking and corporal punishment can have on a child, and on the adult that will later emerge. Our world can fundamentally shift in a truly meaningful way if we were to treat children with the same dignity and respect we would a friend or peer. A human is a human, regardless of size, emotional maturity, or intellectual development. Aggression towards children is one of the primary causes of mental, physical, and emotional illness, drug addiction, and suicidal tendencies later in life.

There is an abundance of information available now regarding the harmful effects of spanking and corporal punishment on children. When your child is all grown, and capable of independent critical and analytical thought, do you really want your child to view you as a medieval brute that ascribed to barbaric practices when there was a wealth of information available disproving the benefits of such savagery? Put down the wooden spoon, stick, cable, or belt and prove to your child that you are the mature rational adult that you hope they would become. Unclench your fists, and lower your arm to show your children that violence is never the answer to any problem.

An average grown man is at least 5-6 times larger and much stronger than any toddler. Hitting such a small human being proves nothing but your own parental inadequacy and spiritual weakness. The test of a grown man’s might is not its application, but his ability to deliver the gentlest caress when it is most needed.

Spousal abuse pales in severity, and frequency when measured against child abuse. Society is quite intolerant of a grown man hitting a woman who may be half, or three quarters his strength, yet it’s tolerant, nay genuinely encouraging regarding the beating of children. This cycle of violence and abuse must be stopped. It does not solve any behavioral problems, but in fact creates more. It does not teach respect, but rather blind obedience and fear.

Children are people who cannot defend themselves, and who must rely on their parents or guardians to protect them from anyone who would seek to harm them in any way. Now, if they are being harmed by the very people who should be protecting them, what kind of message does that send to them? And how do you think they will react to future problems as an adult? It is a vicious cycle that does not end. Violence begets violence.

All parents that spank or use corporal punishment with their kids are treating their children like unruly prisoners that must be violently reminded of their inferiority, and inadequacy. Might does not make right. One should not respect authority if authority is not worthy of being respected, which is most often the case. Our children are not prisoners. They are little people that are gracing our presence. Parents do not own their children to do with them what they will like one owns property. They require protection from harm in their most immature developmental stages until they reach maturity to decide and fend for themselves. This is the duty of parents and nothing more.

We all become parents for different reasons, however what cannot be argued is the incalculable effect one’s parenting style will have on the adult that will later emerge and hence shape the society of the future. The future belongs to our children. We have already had our chance. If we wish them to live in a world of peace and compassion perhaps our parenting style should reflect that sentiment. If not, then in raising them violently we are merely robbing them of the future prosperity they will never come to know.

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54 Responses to “Childhood Spanking and Corporal Punishment”

  1. HReardenNo Gravatar says:

    If you believe that children should not be treated differently than adults, am I correct in assuming that you believe that children who harm others in a criminal way should receive the same consequences as adults who do the same? Do you believe that children should be incarcerated in the same places as adults? Btw, in some places such as the Middle East and Arab cultures men can physically assault the wives without any legal consequences.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      “Do you believe that children should be incarcerated in the same places as adults?”

      I think it’s safe to say most anarchists do not believe even adults should be incarcerated in the places that they are.

      • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

        I don’t care what most Anarchists think. I believe that criminals ( those who initiate harm against others) should be incarcerated and in the case of murderers be executed for the safety of others. If there were no state there should be market prisons to separate criminals from peaceful people. Again I don’t give a damn what most Anarchists or Statists think.

        • VandyNo Gravatar says:

          You, my friend, can’t just say that. You can’t simply “not care” about an entire philosophy while arguing against it. Understand both sides, and deliver a decent argument, rather than saying “go fuck yourself and what you believe, this is what I think and I am right.”

          Also, the age old ‘assume something ridiculous to make an idea seem ridiculous’ tactic. If you treat children as humans, you automatically assume that children therefore should be given all responsibilities of a full functioning adult. If you let a child be treated as an adult, you should also give him the keys to your car. Treat your children with the compassion you give your fellow man; next, order the child to pay taxes. Why can’t you just look at the argument for what it is?: children shouldn’t be seen as property.

          If you do want to argue your case, though… surely

          If you want to treat children as adult humans when it comes to punishment and discipline, you should imprison them. Yes, because forcibly removing an individual from society, pushing him or her into malnourishment, ostracizing him or her from our society, indebting them, and ruining that person’s chance for redemption is truly the humane response to a poor, inferior attitude.

          What the author is attempting to say is, “Teach your child right from wrong, instill proper moral values, and make your offspring good people through positive reinforcement and other non-negative or non-abusive methods.” Rather than beat the shit out of your child for talking back to you, you can address the issue that you see (if you see application of the First Amendment as wrong) and try to clear it up.

          Thank you for reading,
          Vandy.

          • VandyNo Gravatar says:

            P.S. Just because a law exists, does NOT make it moral. It used to be legal to persecute Christians, Jews, and Protestants in several different parts of history. Is that moral?

  2. Foo QuuxmanNo Gravatar says:

    And to any Christians in the audience who think that the bible requires spanking, you need to read these:

    http://aolff.org/

    http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/

    http://homeschoolersanonymous.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/being-told -the-child-will-not-die-heather-doneys-story/

    Read, and weep for the heretical doctrines that are rampant and teach parents to earn their millstones.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      Why limit it to xians? What about muslims and jews and others?

      • Foo QuuxmanNo Gravatar says:

        Because I am a Christian so that is what I am familiar with and there are a few (5 IIRC) verses in Proverbs that in most english translations appear to mandate beating children.

        Until you dig into what the hebrew of those verses is which results in a completely different meaning. And as it turns out for those verses to mean that most people think they do results in numerous contradictions and blatant falsehoods, they just don’t notice that because the mindlock of SCRIPTURE SAYS SO keeps them from actually thinking out the implications.

        • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

          Thanks for clearing that up. So you are unfamiliar with what the quran says about spanking(hitting) children.

        • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

          xians have different interpretations of the bible. People use the bible to justify what they want to. xians cherry pick the bible. For example, the bible does not say that slavery is wrong and in fact gives instructions on how to treat slaves. Despite that xians today (and rightly so) believe that slavery is immoral. They don’t get that from their holy book.

  3. WoddyNo Gravatar says:

    Some assume a causal relation between childhood spanking and later crime, as a overall societal matter, I think anarchocapitalists would do well to put *children’s right*(the NAP as to anyone else) as a central topic.

    ” But one of the most intriguing theories, and one with vast implications for America in particular, comes from Christian Pfeiffer, the director of the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony in Hanover.

    Mr Pfeiffer has found a correlation between declining rates of children being spanked (or otherwise punished physically) and subsequent decreases in violent crime.”

    “And they seem more prone to violence themselves. In a study of 45,000 ninth-graders Mr Pfeiffer conducted in 2007-08, those kids who had been beaten by their parents were five times as likely to commit repeated crimes or to use cannabis, and missed school four times more frequently for ten days a year or more.”

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/charlemagne/2013/07/spanking-and-c rime-rates#sthash.RGk7iAO5.dpbs

  4. autonimousNo Gravatar says:

    Many good comments and a good article. I would add that there are some bad comments as well. It is very difficult to accurately observe and reasonably interpret human behavior. Only one reason is that various motives influence observably similar actions. Even adults are unaware of motivating influences. We also misinterpret our own motives.

    Children are not born with clean slates. Some children, maybe all, have evil impulses. Some of those impulses survive into adulthood. Some can be unlearned. Some might be impossible to influence. All evil seems to be subject to growth. The willingness to inflict pain is probably the most common and the least subject to restraint and the most subject to to growth.

    I would like to believe that everyone, especially children, are capable of love, and that love can be encouraged to grow. I have seen evidence that acts of violence influence the increase, in both the inflicter and the victim of violence, the willingness to inflict pain. I have seen some evidence that acts of love encourage the growth of love. The motivation for acts of violence as well as for acts of love are less obvious. It is for that reason that I equivocate in making observation about both. I am much more willing to be more positive about the advocacy of love than of pain.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      Good and bad people exist in all situations. There are people who as children were spanked by their parents who are decent people and there are people who were spanked as children who are not decent people. There are people who were not spanked as children who are not decent people and there are some who are decent people. I heard that there were two brothers who were opposites in terms of behavior. One brother was a decent fellow and had a good job and the other one was a criminal and was in and out of prison. Both brothers were interviewed without the other knowing that they both were being interviewed and both gave the same answer to the same question. The question why did your life turn out the way it did. Both answered it was because of their father. Their father was an alcoholic and abuser and criminal. The brother who was a convict used his father as an excuse to become like him and the other brother was determined not to be like his father.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      What one would like to believe and what is true are not necessarily the both true. I see no reason to believe that children are not born with a “clean slate”. Evil is a behavior not something that is tangible. Apparently not everyone is capable of love. There are some people ( thankfully a very small percentage of the population) who suffer from psychopathy to such a degree that they are not capable of love.

  5. Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

    I read this book about 5 times over a decade because it is so insightful.

    “Liberated Parents, Liberated Children: Your Guide to a Healthy Family”

  6. “Violence does not solve any problem in “government”, nor in parenting. It also does not justify the propagation of further violence. Warranting violence to solve violence is the vicious cycle that only begets more resentment, grudges, and violence.”

    I would love to see libertarians of all stripes lose the non-aggression principle as the be-all, end-all of our philosophy. At best, it’s incomplete. At worst, it’s a dangerous distortion of reality.

    Violence is the source of property. Regardless of what you think is “natural” or “universal” or an extension of our biology, it’s ultimately the guys with the guns who decide the de facto definition of property.

    If a libertarian territory emerges, it will be because the libertarian conception of property rights is established by people willing and able to exercise violence in its enforcement.

    Trying to achieve it by nagging and ridicule is something in between ineffective and free riding.

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I think a lot of people falsely believe that the NAP precludes violence. I do not see defensive violence as violating the NAP at all. I also don’t see hunting down criminals and killing them as violating the NAP either.

      • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

        Thanks very much for being so spot-on.

        A society has precisely one property: an interplay of reputations.

        No person owns the slightest aspect of their reputation.

        If a person’s reputation declines, they start to exist more & more outside society.

        Existing outside society is about as dangerous as life can ever get — up to and including being treated like any other animal (hunted down and killed becomes a possibility).

        Self-defence is, of course, instinctive — even animals existing outside society will react with instinct when threatened.

        Only men & women ever allow themselves to be programmed out of their instinct for self-defence — other animals are too smart to fall for such spellcastery.

      • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

        In the animal world we see both cooperation and competition. Human animals do both also. The difference between humanity and non-sentients is in our mental ability and our means of survival. We don’t rely on instinct or physical ability. Take away our ability to reason, and we would become extinct quickly. This is little understood as in the movie, “Planet of the Apes” humans are seen as docile unthinking animals. This is not possible. We can’t survive on our physical attributes alone.

        What is the nature of violence? Does it augment reason? Do you like dealing with violent people? Do you trust them? Do people who use violence to get their way when reason fails them inspire you to associate with them? Of course not, at least on a personal level. But publicly, i.e., politically, humanity authorizes violence as the fundamental means of interaction. That has been our history, and our undoing. It leads to social disfunction and cultural collapse. The paradigm has been privately to respect rights. Publicly, politically, aggression, brute force, is accepted as if it were morally and practically superior to non-violent, voluntary interaction.

        The private sector is the only creator of wealth, and therefore the only practical means of existence. People existed for hundreds of thousands of years without institutionalized violence (govt.). Now, with govt. we have created weapons powerful enough to self destruct, and come close to using them, even today living under the constant threat of of growing nuclear proliferation. And the private, non violent sector supplied the assets.

        Did the early pioneers living on the frontier without govt. services exist by violence?
        Or did they exist by mutual respect? Did they constantly engage in violent fights? Or did they voluntarily interact with respect for rights, especially property rights? No power elite forced laws and regulations on them. Yet they built infrastructure and prospered. That legacy is misrepresented and/or hidden by the govt. paid/supported historians. The opposite is taught in govt. schools. The truth is govt., i.e., the guys who live by the gun, cannot create, they can only destroy.

      • Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

        Who, other than you, decides that someone is a criminal that you may hunt down and kill?

        • zorrotmmNo Gravatar says:

          Murder, rape, theft and assault are ‘criminal’, or immoral acts that would warrant restitution. I’m reasonably certain that no rational human being would disagree with that. Whether or not someone is hunted down and killed, or how they would be dealt with is up for debate, and probably depends on the offence.

          • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

            If someone has ben murdered how can they be paid restitution? Murderers should pay for their crime by being executed if the family members of the victim want the murderer to be executed. If the victim has no living family members then the murderer should be executed.

            • JrmsNo Gravatar says:

              HRearden, I don’t think it makes logical sense for a court system to execute people convicted of murder, because inevitably that system will execute wrongly convicted people from time to time. If a court has killed a wrongly convicted person, then they cannot return to them the value of what they have taken unjustly — their life. If the convicted person instead has to compensate the victim’s next of kin, then in the event of a wrongful conviction the court can at least compensate the person they convicted wrongly, or if he has died by the time the error is discovered, then they can compensate his next of kin.

              In short, it does not make logical sense to insist that courts execute murderers as the murderer cannot repay the victim, because in the event that the court convicts wrongly, *they* cannot recompense their victim, which is the exact same problem that insisting on executing murderers was supposed to get you out of.

              • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

                What doesn’t make sense is allowing a murderer to get away with murder. Life in prison for example or even a lengthy prison sentence doesn’t make sense because of the cost and because if there is no death penalty a murderer can get away with committing murder while in prison which has happened in states that don’t have the death penalty. Btw, if only those who it is known for absolute certainty are executed that solves the possibility of an innocent person being executed. There are many on death row who it is known for absolute certainty are guilty. One such is Brian Nichols. Remember him? He attacked a deputy in an Atlanta court room and managed to get her gun and shot and killed her (there were witnesses) he got the handcuff keys and uncuffed himself and then he ran into the court room and shot and killed the judge (there was a camera in the court room that recorded him killing the judge) and then he escaped and killed another person before later being captured by the cops. What possible excuse do you have for Nichols not being executed when it is known for absolute certainty that he is guilty and he doesn’t claim that he did not commit the murders? It is your position that doesn’t make sense.

          • Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

            You haven’t answered the question. Do you alone decide that an act warrants killing the actor and that a person has committed this act? Are you legislator, judge, jury and executioner? Suppose you hunt down someone you consider worthy of death. I decide that you shouldn’t have done it, so I judge you guilty of murder. May I then hunt you down and kill you?

            • zorrotmmNo Gravatar says:

              We are both responsible for our actions. If I kill someone in retaliation for a crime and no one cares, I was probably justified. If most people think that killing that person was an outrageous overreach, I will face the consequences of a murderer in a free society, which does include the possibility of being killed myself. If the person that comes to kill me is you, you face the same possible consequences.

              While an insurance system would probably arise to minimize such violence, getting killed is a pretty natural consequence for initiating serious acts of violence against others.

              • Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

                Getting killed is a pretty natural consequence of being the victim of someone initiating serious acts of violence. If you kill someone, the person you kill presumably cares, and no one else really cares as much.

                Insurance systems do arise, to insure property (including one’s property in oneself) against loss, and these systems become states, because people want consistency in the decisions of claims adjusters.

                • zorrotmmNo Gravatar says:

                  Consistency in insurance products due to popular demand is the same as government?

                  You must define government as something other than:

                  The supposed legitimate right to initiate force against others in a given geographical area.

                  • Martin BrockNo Gravatar says:

                    I define the state as a monopoly of coercive force in a given region, and I define property as a defensible. exclusive claim to a given region. How I can have a defensible, exclusive claim to a given region without having a monopoly of coercive force, or the cooperation of this monopoly, within the region?

            • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

              Uh, a person accused of a crime or has committed a crime stands trial for the crime . Btw, if one takes this idea that a person accused of murder should not be held responsible for their crime (executed) to it’s conclusion then nobody accused of crime should be tried because a mistake might be made and an innocent person might be found guilty. So hey, why bother having prisons, judges, court, police,- a mistake might be made. What a crock. What a cop out- folks who use that line don’t think criminals should be held responsible for their crimes. Again a murderer should be executed. They need to be held responsible for their crime.

              http://youtu.be/NRmmIVnjqfQ

        • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

          When the FBI publishes a “most wanted list” do you ask yourself, “Who decides that these people are criminals to be hunted down and possibility killed?” I doubt it. I would rather I decided. I don’t trust govt. bureaucracies.

          • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

            In most cases the individuals on the list decided to be on the list by engaging in the criminal acts that resulted in them being on the list. The most wanted list is generally reserved for the most dangerous criminals. i.e. Those who have committed assault, rape, murder, etc… Note I stated generally. There are occasionally criminals on the list who have robbed banks and things of the like.

      • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

        I agree.

        • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

          That response, “I agree” was intended to be a response to Seth King’s post of April 21 at 1:20 pm.

    • HReardenNo Gravatar says:

      The author is wrong. Violence does solve some problems. If a criminal is attempting to murder someone the intended victim responding violently to defend himself is probably the only way to solve ” the problem”. Is the author a pacifist?

      • DiocletianNo Gravatar says:

        @HRearden,

        The author is opposed to the initiation of violence, NOT to the retaliatory use of violence against those who have initiated its use.

    • Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

      Roman, I can’t relate to your “violence is the source of property.”

      Property is that for which self-owning human beings exchange their labor. It may need defending from thieves, perhaps with violence, but that doesn’t make violence its source. Its source is the labor, and the exchange.

      It’s quite true that most property around us is stolen property – stolen by the force of governments. But that is a vast anomaly, which anarchists set out to rectify. It’s also true that that task is non-trivial; after government has evaporated the job of disposing of its property in a fair manner will stretch many a brain. But none of that changes or damages the nature of property as good and beneficial and peaceful – or at worst, neutral.

  7. PabloNo Gravatar says:

    Very fictional article lol.

  8. ReverendDracoNo Gravatar says:

    I have to call bullshit on this one.

    One of my nieces subscribes to the no-spanking thing – and it shows in her kids’ behavior. They ignore her when she tells them to leave things alone that don’t belong to them.
    Case in point: At her younger brother’s 16th birthday party, his band put on a concert – I was a “guest” vocalist.
    After the show, my niece’s son started messing around with the drummer’s nearly $2k kit. She told him not to mess with it, and he ignored her – continuing to dick around with someone else’s drums. . . 6 times she told him not to mess. . . Just about the time I was about to go knock him out of the chair, he looked up & saw my face – and exited the area, posthaste.

    Actions have consequences, and pain is a wonderful teacher. A kid who gets burned on a stove is less likely to mess with one. . . a kid who gets spanked for messing with other peoples’ things is less likely to mess with other peoples’ things in the future – less likely to shoplift, steal cars, or rob a 7-11. Kids who are coddled, who never experience an *actual* consequence, are more likely to continue improper behaviors – and then freak out when they end up in the cooler for stealing or harming someone.

    Spanking is a very effective vaccine against “Affluenza.”

    • Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

      I think there’s a difference between no spanking and no discipline. It sounds like your niece doesn’t know how to, or doesn’t care to, discipline her child. There are myriad ways to discipline a child without resorting to violence.

    • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

      I didn’t read here or have I read anywhere that all one has to do is “not spank”. Anyone can spank. It takes no mental effort. Think what it conveys to the child. It teaches them to use violence when they are displeased. Isn’t that what is happening? They don’t obey. The boss (parent) hits. You seem to think this teaches respect for property, or respect for feelings, or whatever. How?

      I submit using reason (psychology) shows respect for the child’s body & feelings. That is teaching by example. It takes emotional control, experience, and training in relationships.

      • DiocletianNo Gravatar says:

        @Don Dunkin,

        Is anyone here familiar with the book “Between Parent and Child” by clinical psychologist, child therapist, and adult educator Dr. Haim G. Ginott ?

        He wrote (among many other wise things) about the teacher/parent-child relationship:

        “I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom [or home]. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher [or parent], I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

        • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

          It’s been 40 years, so I might be wrong, but I think Haim Ginott was the inspiration for a book written from journals kept by two mothers on lessons learned after practicing Ginott’s advice: “Liberated Parents, Liberated Children.”

          It was so fascinating that I read it many times, even though I never intended to have children.

    • zorrotmmNo Gravatar says:

      For one, there is no reason that your niece couldn’t physically remove her child from someone else’s valuable property (Although drums are meant to be hit — was he at risk of damaging them?)

      More importantly, it sounds like your niece doesn’t spank, but also expects her children to simply follow orders without reason, which is absurd. If she never uses moments like this to have conversations about valuing the property of others, or how to negotiate, the child isn’t going to learn to exhibit those qualities.

  9. How many folks posting here have children? I think there is a big difference between what the author is talking about, clenched fists, beating, cables, vs. spanking a child.
    I have 8 children, they have all been spanked when they were younger, but non were injured, and non of them were horrified that dad spanked them. They knew then, and know now, that their dad loves them. I have 5 teenagers now, and I don’t spank any of them anymore, they are reasonable young adults, they understand property rights, and make their own decisions for the most part now, knowing there are a few rules in the home, they agree to follow them and I agree to feed, clothe and house them. Works great.
    While I do not agree with “beating” a child, I don’t think spanking is the same thing. I was spanked when I was little, I never doubted my parents love for me, and I never had feeling of being violent towards others because of it. I have 9 siblings, all of them were spanked when they were young, and they are all great adults now.
    I know a lot of people who “don’t spank”, and their kids are horrible for the most part.
    Hans Hoppe was asked about this last year at his seminar, and I thought his answer was perfect.
    Anyway, just my opinion.

    • autonomousNo Gravatar says:

      I raised four sons, the oldest is nearly fifty, the youngest is 36. I swatted one on the seat of his pants once. However, I confess that I didn’t stop my wife from hitting them (her favorite weapon was a wooden soon). If I had it to do over, I would not have allowed physical punishment. I was punished physically when I was small, more cruelly by my mother than my dad. I don’t think I was abused, though. But my older sister was–by our mother, never by our father. Throughout my upbringing, I was taught that the rod was not to be spared, lest the child be spoiled. I think there are more effective methods to deter bad behavior, but I am not an adept.

      No doubt the most astute observation I have come across is that the most common reason, if parents were honest, for “discipline” is that the offending behavior was disruption of the parent’s peace. For that, there is very little justification.

    • DiocletianNo Gravatar says:

      @Joshua,

      You may find it very informative if you were to ask each of your children how they felt, and what they thought about you, when you spanked them.

      I wonder if you could peacefully, courageously handle their frankness, take what they tell you to heart, offer them the apologies that they richly deserve, and earn their forgiveness.

      They didn’t learn to be respectful of other people’s property from your striking them; they learned it from your own respectful behavior that you exhibited toward others, a respect that they deserved from you with respect to THEIR own property–their bodies.

    • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

      I was not spanked, but I was abused verbally and treated like an indentured servant. This created a lot of repressed anger which caused me to act out in animal cruelty. It was not observed as I hid it well. My parents probably died thinking they had done nothing wrong.

      I overcame it in my late teens by spending many long days in the forest alone. I had gone to hunt, but little by little I came to be non-violent, and gave it up.

  10. fractional slackerNo Gravatar says:

    “I hit my kids and they turned out fine.” I have a question for anyone who makes that claim: compared to what? The science cannot be denied. Hitting children, even if you call it light spanking, shaves 3-5 IQ points. If you insist on defending the assault of children, ask your children if they would have preferred being hit or having more IQ. Seems like a fair question to me.

    Hitting kids is never an act of love, it’s an admission you either ignorant and lazy, or you don’t care. Coming up with ex post facto justifications doesn’t change the principle it is wrong to initiate force even if you are bigger and lay claim to the title of parent.

  11. Kyle ReardenNo Gravatar says:

    Mr. Cuellar, you said, “A parent’s main duty is to ensure that the child does not injure themselves.”

    My question to you (or anyone else willing to respond) is, what degree of force is necessary for a parent to use against a child in order to ensure that the child does not harm himself?

    • DiocletianNo Gravatar says:

      @Kyle,

      You can physically restrain a child from harming himself in such ways as not to inflict deliberate physical harm.

      In some emergency situations, it might be inevitable to cause unintended harm, such as wrenching a child away from the street, by whatever part of him you can reach and grab hold of, just in time to prevent him from being struck by a car (followed by apologies for hurting him, hugs and kisses, and an explanation in words that the child can understand).

      In other normal, daily situations, use just enough firm but gentle physical restraint as the situation calls for, accompanied by uncritical words that appeal to his developing ability to reason.

      For good guidance on how to communicate and discipline your child rationally, I strongly recommend “Between Parent and Child” by Haim Ginott.

  12. mauriceNo Gravatar says:

    As someone who still has to cope with many problems after being spanked and corporally punished as a child and adolecent: I believe spanking does have long term physologial effects for life: It is a form of punishing disciplineing children that should be stopped and is 75% of families: good news

  13. MaryNo Gravatar says:

    want to change the brains of future children? Stop injecting them with countless nuero toxins(immunizations) and feeding them countless chemicals (food and water with color dies, and many other harmful chemicals)….

  14. mauriceNo Gravatar says:

    Spanking Children a no no of young adults yet those who have reached 18 years and under 21. They know when the do wrong and therefore should be humiliated, embarrassed by being spanked, corporal punished on their bottoms covered or uncovered depending on the seriousness of the wrong doing. Mostly on their bare bottom, this embarasses them having to bare all down there in their pivate area: their naughty parts are exposed so that they realize they have done a serious wrong: but yes at 18 a good spanking is ok not any younger