The Everyday Girl Guide to: Spanking vs. Abuse

July 17, 2013

In case you’ve been living in another country, have just arrived here via time machine from 1835, or just don’t keep up in the news, spanking is very much not socially approved.  It has been linked to all sorts of things, including mental illnesses, adult obesity, and heart disease.

Here’s my issue, at least with the article from The Gupta Report linked above;  the parameters for whether or not you were spanked don’t sound much like spanking to me:

Participants were considered to have received physical punishment as a child if they responded with ‘sometimes or greater’ to a question on how often they were pushed, grabbed, shoved, slapped, or hit by an adult in their home. The authors cautioned that some of those physical interactions may also be considered maltreatment or may have been coupled with other forms of abuse or maltreatment.

This isn’t spanking!   This is flat-out abuse.

Spanking is the planned-out, even-tempered swat on the bottom to a child in order to encourage a change in behavior.

Spanking shouldn’t be done in anger.

Spanking shouldn’t be done as punishment, per sae.

Spanking should never hurt for more than a moment and should absolutely not involve any physical damage.

Spanking should be followed up by a discussion about the behavior involved and love… and lots of hugs.

I know plenty of people don’t believe in spanking… and that is totally your right.  If you have very biddable children who behave with timeouts and the occasional reprimand, I commend you (and might be just a little bit jealous).  I most certainly do not advocate abuse in any form.

However, to do the study linked above and come to the conclusion that children who were spanked will have the issues listed is ludicrous.  The adults in this study were abused and/ or felt they were abused as children.  To make that jump to include spanking indicates only that the researcher/ reporter has no idea how to administer a spanking in a loving manner (and, yes, it can be done).  I, personally, was not good at it, so I stopped spanking my children.  Now they are entirely too old to be spanked.  But that doesn’t mean that other people can’t do it or that it should be vilified by the medical committee for later issues in life.

Another case of political correctness being more important than accuracy.


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