Spanking limits

OK, question on a spanking situation.

A parent strikes a child on the bare buttocks with a wooden ping-pong paddle until he cries loudly (probably talking about 25 to 35 blows). Buttocks are red for days after but no bruising. Child is not a routine behavior problem, about 10 years old. The offense was simple disobedience that did not involve any injury or risk to person or property whatsoever… just a disobedience that caused inconvenience to the parent.

Is there consensus on whether this is a regular spanking or if it’s child abuse? What is a regular spanking? Incidents like this were common in my childhood and my parents’ childhood and I guess their parents’ childhood too, but I think it would be considered abuse now. But if that’s true, then potentially a huge portion of the US population are victims of “child abuse.”

Fuck that. I support spanking of a limited, sensible type, but beating a kid with a wooden paddle on the bare bottom? C’mon, that’s just being a bully and a sadist. That said, I’m sure a load of people experienced just that and suffered no real emotional scarring and such, but still. It’s needless and stupid; and, IMHO, reflects on the emotional maturity and intelligence of the parent. And not in the good way.

Don’t take that as a slam against your parents, Brain Wreck, as I’m sure they didn’t intentionally mean to cause harm or be sadists, but ignorance is ignorance. And [again, IMO] beating a child with a wooden paddle on the bare ass is the height of it. It solves nothing that a swift swat on the bottom and a long, stern talking-to wouldn’t have.

Thanks for the reply. I feel like my parents were basically good people, intending the best although perhaps young and a bit undereducated. So it is difficult to think about them as abusers. But then again, the way they raised me discouraged objectively comparing our family world to the rest of the world. (Do any parents really encourage that kind of objective comparison?) So as I’m trying to sort myself out as an adult, I am learning that what I always accepted as normal seems totally out of order to other people. It’s somewhat unsettling.


I am in favour of a smack on the arse for a naughty kid, but using an implement? Signs days afterwards? 25 to 35times?
Woah. That is not on.
I think my max was FIVE bare-handers, at less than full strength (ie. consciously trying to avoid putting anger into it). Redness (if there was any) probably gone within seconds or minutes. Kid no longer crying within ten minutes - maybe only five.

If you love your kids, you’ll know the maximum innately. London to a brick though it’s not twenty-five hits with a paddle. The “seriousness of the offence” is enough to freak out a kid. That is the main part of the puniushment. A couple of smacks on the bottom, but those are secondary - the kid is probably already crying before he gets the first one. You get in there, do it quick, and stop.

I know what you mean, Brain Wreck. Remember, though, we can condemn actions and not people, it’s not always so black and white. Things our parents did and their parents did were certainly out-of-line – as are things that we do today and our children will look back on us and be aghast. We view Jim Crow and segregation with horror now; our kids will do the same with the banning of same-sex marriage and its ilk.

Back on topic, I’m sure your parents did the best they could. You seem sensible and to be a thoughtful person who questions what he’s (she’s?) been taught in an effort to come up with your own system of doing the right thing – all in all, I don’t think your parents did so bad. :slight_smile:

Seems a bit extreme. The point in spanking is causing embarrassment not pain–so bare-ass seems fine, but 25-30 and red marks lasting 3 days would be too much.

Hard to comment on your specific case. For all I know, you might have been a rotten little bastard who really had it coming. :stuck_out_tongue:

But as a rule no. I don’t think beating a child with a paddle, or belt, or switch or any of the old standbys of days past is appropriate. It wasn’t then and it isn’t now. A swat on the butt with an open hand to focus a completely out of control child may sometimes be the only way to effectively get his/her attention but only as a last resort and right in the moment and as a direct consequence of offending behaviour. If a parent or guardian is angry enough to take the time to isolate, prepare and beat the child, they have anger issues they need to deal with pronto.

I’ve raised two kids and have spanked both of them two times each.

I did not do this lightly. By that I mean I had already exhausted every other avenue for discipline. In all cases, this intervention was effective.

I believe if spanking is to be effective it must be used rarely.

I also believe that it should be done privately to spare embarrassment.

Furthermore there should be no hint of anger. The punishment should focus on the transgression of the child, not the emotion of the parent.

Finally, there is only a short window of time where spanking should be employed. Somewhere between 3 years and 8. Depends on the child of course. I believe that a child should have several years free of the fear of spanking first, and after about 8 years or so, the only results of spanking are negative in my opinion.

What the OP describes verges on assault. Overkill. No good can come of it.

I think 10 is a little old for spankings.

Ten is definitely too old for bare-bottom spankings, IMHO. And the whole ping pong paddle thing smacks of sadism. I just spanked my five-year-old yesterday for lying. She had been warned that spanking would be the punishment for this. I made her stand up and whacked her twice on her bottom, with my bare hands, through her clothes. I’m sure it didn’t even hurt her, but it got the point across, which is what I wanted.

25-35 licks with a ping pong paddle is child abuse, IMO. I can’t imagine doing that to my kiddo.

25-35 whacks is quite excessive. 1 or 2 would have gotten the message across quite well!

Bare bottom spanking is shaming and abuse.

Using a ping pong paddle is abuse.

Leaving red marks for days is abuse.

Ten is too old for spanking.
IMO spanking is used rarely, not in anger or frustration, with a firm and clear prior warning and only if a child seriously and willfully endangers himself or a sibling. I cannot imagine a situation where a child under two or over five or six should be spanked. A “spanking” is one to three smacks on the bottom or back of the leg with an open hand.

What you have described is a beating.

I can also tell you that the ping pong paddle beating worse than the fly swat beating, about the same as the hair brush beating and less painful than to the hanger beating, the hotwheel track beating and the leather belt beating.

That kind of spanking represents a loss of parental emotional control to me. If a physical strike is used, it should not be used when the parent is angry (which of course is the difficult part as most people who resort to striking someone are probably angry).

I think that pusishment is excessive to any kid “crime”.

Coming at this from a teacher’s point of view: if I see a mark on a student that was left by a parent (not that I’m looking at my students’ bare butts or anything), I am obligated by law to report it as potential abuse.

My own personal opinion? Ten is getting to be too old to spank for anything other than hurting someone else. Using an implement and not a bare hand is abusive. 25 to 35 swats is abusive (no more than the same number as the child is years old). Leaving marks that last several days - absolutely abusive.

CPS investigator checking in here–it would definitely be considered excessive discipline. Whether it would be considered physical abuse would depend on some more variables–does it happen often; what was the kid being punished for; etc.

As a general rule, I have to tell parents that if they spank their kids–which they are allowed to do in my state–they should not be leaving welts or bruising. If the child’s buttocks were still red several days later, yeah–they’re spanking too hard.

I’ve got a case right now where the mother beat the crap out of her teenage daughter for having boys in the house while the mom was gone. That case is physical abuse, no question about it.

I had another case recently where the mother was spanking her son, he’d put his hands out trying to keep her from hitting his butt, and he got some belt marks on his arms. That one I ruled out for physical abuse but cautioned the mother about spanking that hard. If another referral came in on that same family, I’d probably have to up it to physical abuse.

Hope that helps a little!

That is the point of smacking? To embarrass a kid?

My 13 yr old has had one smack in his entire life. He was two. I was running the bath, turned round to get something, turned back to find him about to put his hand under the hot tap. In panic mode I whacked his hand, harder then I would have ever wanted to. It scared the shit out of him and me.

Smacking is never something I felt I needed to do or wanted to do but I really didn’t think people did it to embarrass their kids.

I thought we were suppossed to teach children how to make good decisions about how they behaved and related to the world. I can’t see how embarrassment teaches either.

Oh and (to me) the situation in the OP is just something I can’t understand…and probably abuse.

I’m just stating that between being hurt and being embarrased, people will go to longer lengths to avoid being embarassed; for instance, behaving properly where he would usually rather not. Standing in the corner, writing a sentence on the board a hundred times, etc. all are methods meant to cause the kid embarrassment.
So not advocating spanking, just stating which of the two possible effects is the one that has historically had more effect in my experience.
Personally, I just didn’t get caught–but in the real world that’s much the same as not doing anything bad. :wink:

Fair enough I suppose.

I was never smacked nor made to stand in a corner but I was sent to my room an awful lot, missed lots of tv and spent quite a bit of time grounded. None of those embarrassed me but they did piss me off. :slight_smile:

I did lines at school too but that wasn’t embarrassing, it just chewed into my lunchtime. I soon learnt that if I pissed the teacher off she would piss me off.

Embarrassment just doesn’t seem to be an effective way to teach something. Neither does pain though, so I agree with you there.

I obviously got caught several times :smiley: