Did you get spanked as a kid? Do you spank your own?

This may be TMI or triggering for some people.

I was spanked. All seven of my brothers and sisters were. Actually in our house it was called whipping, which was more accurate as the instrument of choice was a belt. We had to sit down for it, and the whippings were administered to the front of our thighs–in theory, at least. In practice there’d be occasional or not-so-occasional strikes to the arms and shoulders, especially if Mom or Dad was especially agitated.

The reasons for the spanking would change from time to time. Sometimes it was genuine misbehavior: for instance, when my brother Johnny was selling Nestle Crunch bars for school, I stole and ate a good number of them, and got spanked by both parents for causing the expense. (In an early precursor of my nerdiness, I also got sent OUTSIDE as punishment, as my parents figured I’d much rather be inside reading than outside playing.) Other times it would be for not getting good enough grades, or not studying your Sunday School lesson properly. But I also got spanked for wetting the bed, which I was unfortunately unable to stop doing until I was ten or so. A few times I tried to cover up the evidence when I’d wet the bed, but I eventually stopped as it never mattered. A bathroom accident equaled a whipping. (The nearest hiding the evidence ever came to working was when my little sister, who generally didn’t have a enuresis problem, wet her bed, and I switched our sheets so she wouldn’t get a whipping.)

I never really dealt with the spanking issue. I can still feel the strike of the belt against the flesh sometimes. It’s not necessarily in a high-stress situation; I can be sitting quietly, reading, surfing the Net, when the sense memory comes back to me, and I remember the pain, the blubbering, the crying. (“Stop crying!” was my mother’s favorite refrain during one of the you-wet-the-bed whippings.)

As you might imagine, I’m not a spanker. It’s not that I think corporal punishment is automatically a bad thing; I don’t. I think, under strictly limited conditions, it can be useful. I just can’t make myself do it.

Anybody else?

  1. Only very occasionally (maybe two or three times).

  2. No.

  1. Never.
  2. Never.

I was spanked. Only for genuine misbehaviour, but I definitely got the flat of the hand on countless occasions. Never a belt or any other instrument of pain, for which I suppose I should be thankful. Just the same it was painful, and I’d forever be trying to cover my butt with my hands while my punisher alternated between spanks and moving my hands out of the way. Sometimes (only with the people I was staying with when my dad couldn’t afford to look after me by himself) I’d be punished unjustly I felt, such as for not finishing my entire dinner (I developed a seriously squicky hatred of fat and gristle on meats as a result. I never liked them in the first place, but that made me absolutely loathe and despise it to the point where I just can’t stand even the thought of eating it) I think the spankings stopped when I was maybe 7 or so.

I too think corporal punishment has its time and place because there are just some things young children can’t grasp with a simple talking-to. (And I got even more talkings-to, so I can speak from experience, since I tuned most of them out) A simple spanking sometimes gets them to understand in a more intrinsic way that what they did was wrong and has serious consequences. Sometimes you just can’t appeal verbally to a kid’s better nature when they haven’t attained the wisdom and maturity necessary to have one.

Would I spank my kids, once I have some? I don’t know. I think I would be torn between feeling that it was the right or most effective thing to do under the circumstances and the natural aversion I have to inflicting pain on others.

Once or twice, but I don’t even remember what for, I was so young. I remember the feeling, and I was laying on mom or dad’s lap and only a hand was applied. As soon as I could read, my books were taken away as punishment, and that was much more effective.

(Incidently, I was quite the S&M devotee in college. I even did a few bondage shows here in the city. When things got really intense, I’d often feel wonderfully safe and infantile. I do wonder if there was a connection.)

I think my son got one swat on the butt when running into traffic. He’s pretty easy to discipline, I’ve never felt the need for spanking. My daughter seems a bit more defiant, but I still have no plans for spanking. I’m not opposed to the concept all the time, in all situations, but I don’t think it should be a regular part of parenting. And it should NEVER been done when angry.

I’m sure it varies from child to child, but I never have been unable to discuss misbehavior with my kids. When my daughter was 7 or 8, she did something, I forget now exactly what. I was having a bad day, and I let out a heavy sigh. That was all that was needed to let her know I was upset.

I have had the “boys shouldn’t hit girls” talk with my son numerous times, yet he will still hit his sister. Can hitting him get the point across any better? I don’t really think so.

I can only remember being spanked once. My parents did use it, rarely, for serious misbehavior. It was a swatting, fully clothed.

I do it for dangerous things like running into the street. But it’s really only something we do for ages 2 and 3; there’s no reason to once they’re old enough to understand reason. I can’t remember when our oldest (age 5) was last spanked; it’s probably been a couple of years. She’s too old for it now.

I don’t have kids, but I’ll answer anyway because I don’t feel like going back to work just yet.

I very occasionally got a single open-handed swat on the butt. I wouldn’t even really call this a spank; it didn’t really hurt. I don’t really remember the specifics of what I did that caused them. They were never administered as an after-the-fact punishmentl, ie “you were bad, now you will be spanked.”
I wasn’t bad much, but when I was the parents mostly just spoke to me abou it. That’s it.

I imagine myself doing the same if I have kids, although I can see the occasional “emergency spank” like if the kid tries to dart into the road or something.

Yes, and not unoften. I wasn’t a bad kid but I did get in my share of mischief and spankings, standing in the corner, or being sent to my room were the way they were usually dealt with although more creative (or stupid and occasionally demeaning) punishments were sometimes employed.

As for any future kids? Sure, if I feel it warrants it. Some children, like my nephew or my youngest cousin, just don’t understand anything else. That said, I doubt it’ll be an issue as I don’t intend on having children unless a future spouse who I really, really love wants them. I’m quite ambivalent on the issue.

I think it should only be used when other options are either exhausted or very likely to be ineffective. It should never be a first reaction.

Your daughter obviously values your opinion of her, and as such responds to obvious signs of disappointment. This is a good thing. If you can get your point across without the swift use of a hand then your child is obviously bright enough to grasp the its meaning and you’re obviously effective at delivering it. But as you said every child is different and is going to respond differently to various kinds of punishment. For those that do not respond to having things they value taken away from them, or by being sent somewhere in solitary, or being denied participation in activities they enjoy, then corporal punishment may be the only thing that has any effect. It is unfortunate that it may have to come to that, but I am of the opinion that it is far better to do what you can to bring your children up with some level of discipline and a healthy respect for what’s right and wrong than it is to spare them the momentary pain of a spanking even when all other avenues have dead-ended.

Yes, an uncountable number of times, whether I did something wrong or not. I never knew when it would happen, or for what. There was screaming, and sometimes blood. Mine. I had to escape from it at 15.

Due to this, I am never having any children.

I don’t remeber ever being spanked by my parents. And with my four children, while I might have slapped them lightly to get their attention when they were too young to understand a verbal admonition, I don’t remember ever smacking them.

Bare butt, over the knee, wooden spoon, with more force and repitition than needed.

Not effective.

I still remember many of those times.


  1. Often, sometimes warranted, sometimes out of parental frustration.
  2. Twice, after a long series of escalation. Afterwards, knowledge that I wasn’t bluffing was enough.

Yes, indeedy. Mom’s weapon of choice was the wooden yardstick or the plastic hairbrush, several of each of which she broke on my backside over time.

I remember very few spankings from Dad, and I believe he only used his hand, and was big on the “this hurts me more than it does you” speech beforehand.

Oddly, both of my parents would tell you I was not at all a discipline problem, and I can’t remember one thing that I did that actually led to one of the spankings.

But I am prone to slapping my husband (much to my shame), and have a history self-injury. Make of it what you will.

  1. Occasionally, but never after I was old enough to know why I was being punished.
  2. Same, same. There are other ways of punishing them now that they’re older that are far more effective.

For some reason, very small children (the ones I’ve come in contact with, mine in particular) take the word “no” as advice rather than instruction. Smacked fingers effectively kept them from reaching for things like matches, knives, the stove, etc., when the word “no” wasn’t good enough.

Oh, and I forgot to add (though I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, elsewhere), I don’t have and never will have kids. Blame Mom.

I was spanked, usually by my grandfather since he watched us while my mother worked. He did it in fits of anger, not as any sort of disciplinary tool. I remember the last time he did it, I was around thirteen and I was on the phone with my mom. He came in and started going off about how I was always on the phone, pulled me up off the floor and started swatting away. I ran away and walked back to my house, and didn’t talk to him again for three years.

I never spanked my oldest daughter. She was a good kid, rarely got into any sort of trouble, not that I think anything is really worth spanking over. I could just never justify a reason to hit anyone.

Until I had Bella. lol
I’ve only spanked her once when she was around sixteen months old It wasn’t on purpose, just a reaction to her biting my breast so hard and not letting go I gave her a sturdy swat on her leg to get her to turn loose! :eek:
But the look on her face made me vow to myself to never lose control of myself again.

I was spanked as a very young child, but the spanking was open-handed and with very few repetitions; the real punishment was the lecture before and after, and the feeling of being in disgrace. The spanking was really just a symbolic nucleus of the whole experience.

If I need to do the same to my children, I will. But I don’t have any yet.

My parents never spanked me or my brother. My dad spanked my sister exactly once. He then found out that he was unjustifiably mad at her (he misheard what she said, and reacted out of anger). She still holds it against him to this day, and he still apologises.

(If you’re wondering: dad was taking care of us for a week while mom was on a trip. My 8(?) year old sister had gone over to the corner store and made a few bucks by bagging people’s items at the end of the line. The store didn’t care as long as the kids were responsible, and it was something we’d done before and my parents knew about. So she comes home with money (quite a bit, I think) and dad asks her where she got the money from. She answers “I was bagging” but he heard “begging”. He was furious, because he didn’t want people to think we were poor (we weren’t, but that’s an issue of his, trying to give us everything we need) and he tells her to go give the money back, and she says no, and he spanked her. I think it was my brother who said “Dad! She said BAGGING!!! B-A-G! BAGGING!!” My sister had run to her room, crying, and I know dad felt terrible. He went and apologised, and he never hurt her, really, but like I said, it’s now a bit of a joke between them. He nor my mom has never raised a hand against us since (or, like I said, before).

We were never bad kids, really, so the usual punishment was just to sit back and have to explain what we did wrong and how it hurt someone, and why we should never do it again. We have all turned out pretty decent.

I don’t think I’ll spank any kids I may have in the future.I wouldn’t want to react out of anger, like my dad did, and be wrong. I suppose, though, that a small slap on a hand when reaching for a dangerous item or something - that might occur. Depends on the kid, I guess. I’ll have to wait and see!