#MamasMashup Monday: Are You For or Against Spanking Your Kids?

Welcome to the second edition of Mamas Mashup! Thank you so much to everyone that joined us last week. It was great to hear all of the different points of view. There was definitely a whole lot of agreeing to disagree. Each Monday, Heather Hopson (Diary of a First Time Mom), Sheree Adams (Smart N Sassy Mom) and I will tackle hot topics submitted by you, the reader, and agree to disagree. We’ll take turns hosting the Mamas Mashup on our individual sites and dish about everything from spanking and breastfeeding to co-sleeping and homeschooling.


We’ll continue the chat online using #mamasmashup. Don’t forget to use this hashtag so that we can actually see and reply to your comments. Who’s side will you take? Join the conversation today! Follow us on Twitter (@DearMomDiary, @MomsNCharge@SmartNSassyMom) & Facebook. You can also email your topic ideas to mamasmashup@gmail.com

little african american girl cryingToday’s topic of discussion is: children and spankings.  Are you down with them or do you frown upon them? Mamas, Mount up to Mashup!

Christine: I just read an article recently and the title just sounded ridiculous to me: Spanking your kids could affect your child’s vocabulary down the road. Seriously? If that’s the case then I should be illiterate right now.

“I think the problem with a lot of kids these days is that they don’t get the occasional “tightening up” to keep them in check. Sometimes that’s all they need”. LOL

Heather: Belts are meant to wear not meant to beat your child with. When I was little, I wanted to get hit.  Heck, beat me so I can go back outside and play. But my parents didn’t hit me. Well, I got an occasional smack on the rear or arm, but nothing that made me want to call the police. My daughter is smart (I know, all moms say that). She understands right and wrong and will scream Bloody Mary if she has to sit on the couch on a time out.  I’ll also take away TV time. My daughter and Dora are BFF’s, so that’s hard for her…LOL. Time outs work.

Sheree: Christine, that sounds like a bad joke with no punchline. I mean seriously, if that were the case, I would be a MUTE. I used to get the “smackdown” and rightfully so. I had quite a mouth on me at times growing up.  But, as a mom, now…I believe in the punishment should fit the crime.

“So bascially, I do whatever hits me at the time. (No pun intended.) I do time outs. I do “no TV”. I do it all! Am I totally against spanking? No, because I’m a productive citizen that was disciplined out of love and I’m raising my kids the same way.”

Christine: Yeah I thought it was a bad joke too Sheree, but sadly it was a real article…I too, will do everything…but the timeouts cause they have never really worked on my kids. I definitely discipline out of love, and sometimes that love hurts a little. I’m not gangsta with it like my parents were with us. But they understand that they are not immune to an occasional pop on the tail. There’s a BIG difference between discipline and abuse. My kids are extremely well behaved (seriously, ask anyone or come babysit if you don’t believe me), so the tail pops are few and far in between.

Heather: Once when I was at a shopping mall, I saw this woman take off her shoe and beat her son. In public. In front of everyone. Hitting and yelling at your kid is unhealthy.

“It teaches them that violence is a way to solve problems.  Can I kick my coworker if she doesn’t agree with me? Can I slap the waiter at a restaurant if he’s out of control? No. I would catch a case.”

I hate to see a child hit another child, and then the parent steps in and hits her kid and says we don’t hit. What kind of sense does that make? And I hate when folks want to pull out scripture to use against me. If you spare the rod, can you still discipline your child in other ways? I think so.

Sheree: Heather, You’re being irrational to prove your point. You don’t have a sippy cup or Pull-Ups either, do you? Just because you grow up getting spankings doesn’t mean you will be a violent individual. Everything in moderation. I’m sure half the CEOs, Company Presidents and World Leaders, all got spankings at some point. Just don’t let me see you in the mall kneeling down eye level with your daughter, speaking in a soft whisper and she just WHACKS you in the face! Now, THAT I hate to see more than anything. The. worst.

Christine: OMG Sheree YES! That I definitely hate to see as well. My spankings as a child did not turn me into a violent person, far from it. I think we’re in an age where people coddle their kids a little too much, barely or rarely disciplining them (even when they need to), and then wonder why they’re out of control when they grow up?

Hey Mamas—What do you think? Is it okay to give your kids an  occasional spanking when they get out of control? Or are you the one that’s calling  CPS  on the parent that’s simply disciplining their child? Join the conversation today, and don’t forget to use #mamasmashup

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  • Miz Kp
    November 4, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    I can count on one hand how many times I was spanked as a child. My dad was the one who was quick with the belt. My mom chose to use other manners of discipline, such as withholding something I really wanted. My mom told me a story that when I was three my dad would spank me whenever I wrote the letter E backward. He was a perfectionist. Even with all that I was not spanked much. Before my son was diagnosed with autism, I would give him the occasional tap on the hand when he did something wrong. It came natural to me because I grew up in a Caribbean and African culture. I grew up seeing the spare the rod spoil the child mentality being enforced around me. I quickly realized that something else will have to work from my son. Spankings had no effect on him. In fact he would laugh and I would get frustrated. Not because he was being malicious but he thought it was a game. I realize that when a child is on the autism spectrum they have to be disciplined but the way to teach right and wrong may not be the traditional ones. I do not judge other parents who spank but there is a difference between spanking and some of the beat downs I see going on. I think a parent can discipline without demeaning the child. The main question the parent needs to ask is: Is my form of discipline having the effect I want? I would like to think that the effect would be for the wrong action to not happen again. Okay this is turning into a mini blog post. LOL.. I will end here.
    Miz Kp would like you to check out…Angel Celebrates Halloween 2013My Profile

    • Heather H
      November 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      each child is different. You give such a unique perspective of parenting a child with autism. Imagine if you spanked him every time he did something we considered to be different or being bad? You mentioned that you have to try other things. What types of discipline methods have worked?

  • Edna Nakalungi
    November 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    As the Bible says, spare the rod spoil the child…with that said there's a fine line between discipline and abuse (i.e. a hand on the bottom versus a belt) and other forms of discipline should be tried first and this should be a last resort…for most kids. America's Supernanny has great tips on handling child discipline issues and they work without spanking.

    • Heather H
      November 5, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      You hit the nail on the head with that one–there’s a difference between a spanking and a beating. The thing is, the lines are blurred at times. What one parent may define as a spanking, another may call it a beat down.

  • Shelley @ThatGirlShelley
    November 4, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    We are a ‘Time Out’ family. My oldest is 4 (I also have a 3 year old and a 1 year old). It works for us right now. I believe that you can teach discipline and respect without hitting. I think that if hitting is the only way that your child behaves then it will be hard for teachers, people of authority, etc. to get respect when they are not able to hit. I try to make my words effective. Like I said, mine are still young and I know that you change with the situation but for right now ‘Time Out’ is working for us.
    Shelley @ThatGirlShelley would like you to check out…Don’t Miss It: Photoshop for Business Workshop in Richmond, VirginiaMy Profile

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shelley! I think it also depends on the child. For some children, that’s what they respond to.

  • Ask Dr. Renee
    November 4, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    I was spanked and it worked. I have friends with kids and they understand that if their child gets out of line in my presence I will spank them. I will spank my children.

  • Sherriel Miller
    November 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    I have a 6 year old daughter. It’s very rare that I have to discipline her. Most of the time, I take things away or put her in time out. I have been using time out with her since age 2. I do spank as well when it’s something major that she has done. Major for her would be being disrespectful to others, hitting, etc.

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 4, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      Hi Sherriel, thanks so much for weighing in! We’re on the same boat in terms of the spanking when it’s something major.

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    I agree Dr. Renee. I think some people confuse a spanking with being abusive and that is what I disagree with.

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 4, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I agree Edna in that it could depend highly on the child.

  • Briana Melissa Myricks
    November 4, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    I was spanked and it worked for me! My whole family was spanked. I don't think it's abuse. You know when you go too far. There were never "beatings". It was discipline through and through. I was in timeout 1 time in pre-school. And I learned to tie my shoes LOL

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 4, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Exactly Briana! I really think people get it twisted with the whole mistaking it for abuse. It’s a form of discipline and like T.Espinoza said, everyone has to do what works for them.

      • Heather H
        November 5, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        They get it twisted b/c everyone has their own definition. If people spanked their kids out of love not anger and didn’t send them to the hospital, or even just their beds black & blue, it wouldn’t be as big as an issue. People say, I survived or I’m OK. Does that make it right??? I’m not 100% against spankings–I’m against parents that are taking it a step too far.

  • Heath Wiggins
    November 4, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    I'm not a mom. But I have a mom…and dad. And I got lit up when necessary. I'm all for it. I'm even for letting another parent spank your child – give you know them and they have your permission first. That's how it use to be when I was growing up. But moreso, I'm for psychological warfare. IF your kid think you're crazy, then they are less likely to do things that require spankings.

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Ha! “IF your kid think you’re crazy, then they are less likely to do things that require spankings.” I LOVE it Heath and couldn’t agree with you more!

  • T. Espinoza
    November 4, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    I got spanked as a child and grew up to become a respectful and responsible adult. There seems to have been a shift in the thinking around spanking as a form of discipline, which in my opinion has led to some seriously disrespectful little kids… I do agree that there is a fine line between discipline and abuse. At the end of the day, every parent/family should do what works for them without judgement from others who may do it differently.

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      You are definitely a respectable and responsible adult! You hit the nail on the head: “there seems to have been a shift in the thinking around spanking as a form of discipline, which in my opinion has led to some seriously disrespectful little kids” #truth Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Joyce@MommyTalkShow
    November 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    I was spanked (occasionally) and I survived.
    My son is only 3 so there’s very little he can do that deserves a spanking.
    Time outs work and I deprive him of his likes (TV and games) when he gets out of control.
    I have spanked his hand or his bottom if he was doing things that were just out of character.

    Like Heather, I’ve seen people abuse their children verbally in public which seemed much worse to me than any pop on the bottom.
    Joyce@MommyTalkShow would like you to check out…Do you Prefer Local or National Pizza Chains? #NationalPizzaMonthMy Profile

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      You were spanked Joyce and you turned out to be an exceptional human being. I agree on the verbal abuse, it’s so hard to witness that. Thanks for weighing in!

    • Heather H
      November 5, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Yes! Sometimes we forget that verbal abuse is just as and often worse than the physical. It can have a very negative impact on a child and drastically lower hi/her self-esteem.

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 4, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    Ha! “IF your kid think you’re crazy, then they are less likely to do things that require spankings.” I LOVE it Heath and couldn’t agree with you more!

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 4, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    Exactly Briana! I really think people get it twisted with the whole mistaking it for abuse. It’s a form of discipline and like T.Espinoza said, everyone has to do what works for them.

  • Sharelle D. Lowery
    November 4, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    I actually dont have children, so my opinion needs to be qualifed that way. But I really believe that children need to be spanked, not beat, but yes spanaked! I really despise when I see children just acting OUT, however, there is nothing worse than people who hit their children sooooo much that it damages them BUT also creates a monster. All child rearing must be done in love!
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  • La Dale Reina Johnson
    November 4, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Not everyone spanks with objects. My daughter rarely gets a spanking, but when she does its a few taps on the hand or legs. I was whipped with a belt and it left me with a lot of resentment and anger issues. I just hate it when parents spank out of anger.

  • Rani
    November 4, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    I was spanked, many a time. But mostly by my mother. After my parents were divorced, I was BAD. My father spanked me only 1x and that was before my parents separated.
    I agree. If time-out doesn’t work, then sometimes – depending on the child – you might have to give a little slap hand or butt slap.
    For me, I don’t feel it worked too much on me. It only made me resent my mother even more. But again, those were very strenuous circumstances.
    To each their own.

  • K Maria Byrd
    November 4, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I was spanked and occasionally I spank my daughter. If I have to bring out the big guns (a belt or switch) its much needed. My mother went crazy on us and we all have advances degrees and have never been to jail or tried drugs. Good job mom!

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 4, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    My point exactly K Maria!!! I'm one of 7 and ain't one of us grow up to be violent or a threat to society. Thanks for sharing!

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    I agree La Dale. I don't think it's ever okay to spank out of anger. But I do think it's okay to give the occasional spank to whip them back in shape. LOL

  • Laurenia
    November 4, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    As a new mother I have mixed feelings on this subject so I’m glad to see moms talking about it. I have tapped her on her hand to get her away from the stove and away from sockets. Additionally, I’m not about to let my kid drive me nuts with bad behavior…

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 5, 2013 at 4:02 AM

      Thanks so much for joining in on the conversation Laurenia! I’m not down with the bad behavior either!

  • Josephine Sapphire
    November 4, 2013 at 9:08 PM

    I got spankings, whippings, smacked, beat, punishments, restrictions, and everything else in between!!! And as a child I thought it was terribly unfair, especially because my brother did not receive the same. But as an adult, I also see that many times I did in fact deserve to be disciplined. That's not to say that often times my father went way over board, but at the end of the day I turned out to be one phenomenal woman! And I have no problems giving my son pow-piws!!! I also use time outs and no tv and other restrictions, but it is the wooden spoon he fears most! I admit I don't particularly like to spank him, but I would rather spank him now than have to bail him out if jail later!!!!

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 5, 2013 at 4:06 AM

      This => “I would rather spank him now than have to bail him out if jail later!!!!” about sums it up! Thanks for sharing Josephine! We appreciate you weighing in 🙂

  • Andrea Smith
    November 5, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Spankings have saved many people from jail. It's not abuse, it's a preemptive strike against the foolishness that can overtake youth as they grow up. Spank on!

  • Amanda
    November 5, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    I believe in spanking in my house and spanking my children. I have to say in my house because I issue a disclaimer to all who enter. “I will treat your children just as I treat my own. Please know that means that they will be treated with love, respect and a firm hand!” I believe that a spanking is not a bad thing. A spanking does depend on the child and if other alternatives are tried first. I think knowing the child and what works for them is key. I also believe if more parents tapped a little tail the children of today would be a little more respectful.

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 5, 2013 at 4:08 AM

      Thanks for sharing your input Amanda, I also shared it on my FB fan page. I completely agree with that last sentence especially. And I agree with “I will treat your children just as I treat my own” 🙂

  • Lisa Green
    November 5, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    I haven't had to whoop mine in years, cause just the IDEA of the THREAT of a beating is enough to keep her in line. We have been exploring the value of "maintenance whoopins"…

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 5, 2013 at 4:09 AM

      Bwahahaha @ “maintenance whoopins” that is hysterical Lisa! But sometimes it might be necessary. I agree that sometimes just the threat is all that is needed. LOL

  • Joyce Waterman
    November 5, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    Too many parents today are taking the easy way out. Corporal punishment can be used to get a child’s attention, not break a bone. The crazier my kids believed me to be, the less they needed a laying on of hands. I believe any one method of punishment gives a child advance information. Shake ’em up so they never know what to expect. If they know what the punishment will be, children will weigh the probable consequences beforehand. I’ve employed a thump upside the head method (calm down people,I’m speaking figuratively. Maybe!), as well as a well chosen word or two to dig into their little hearts. I have and will continue to use whatever works. I’d much rather bust a tail feather than let the world get my kids. I’m hoping this makes sense, I’ve fallen asleep 3 times while writing this. I babysat my youngest grandson (he’s 2 years old, smart as a whip and is at the stage of testing boundaries)#), this evening and I’m pooped. Chasing after him, threatening to whack his thigh, laughing at his antics and being beat up with a pillow can be exhausting. And yes, I am deadly serious about whacking him too. His mother, his “Aunnie’s”, and all his cousins survived me. Seriously, not only have they all survived, but, the adults are wonderful, productive human beings who are enriching this world of ours. Spankings??? Oh yeah! Unbound love, absolutely!

    • Sheree
      November 5, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      “Laying on of hands”…I love that Joy! I want my kids to know that I am the “crazy parent” and that I’m unorthodox when it comes to my parenting style. I’m with you. I’d rather chastise them now than have the world/police do it later.
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    • Christine St.Vil
      November 5, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      Ha!! I love it! I don’t think there’s really anything left to say after that Momma Joyce! LOL ” I’d much rather bust a tail feather than let the world get my kids.” Yes YES!!!! Thanks for your words of wisdom!

  • Kita
    November 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I was spanked as a child but I also knew the sacrifices my mom made for me to be better than her. I spank, do time out, take things away, whatever punishment fits the crime I will do it. Most times if I even threaten to get my belt the kids straighten up because they know mommy does not play. The threats normally work so I have not had to spank often. People should do what’s best for their kids and their household. A friend and I was talking the other day this world is so bad now when I was growing up we were whipped didn’t see half the stuff going on today back then when we were.
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    • Sheree
      November 5, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      You and I see eye to eye. “The look” sometimes is all it takes, but yes…I do it all. It works for us! Thanks for commenting!
      Sheree would like you to check out…#MamasMashup Monday: SpankingMy Profile

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 5, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      I totally agree Kita and the same goes for us in that the threats generally work. But when they don’t…LOL Thanks so much for taking time out to join in our #MamasMashup discussion!

  • Christine St.Vil
    November 5, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Ha! Yes indeed Andrea! I love it! Thanks for joining the convo 🙂

  • Annick Nicky Edwards Kamuhanda
    November 6, 2013 at 12:19 AM

    The word of God is clear when it says spare the rod, spoil the child, and I don't buffet style the bible. Therefore, I am a firm believer in spankings. However, there is a clear and major difference between spanking out of love and discipline and beating out of anger.

  • Elinor
    November 8, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    My husband and I had a serious talk about this before we had our son. We were both spanked. Some was justified (punishment fit the crime); but in my case at least most of it was unnecessary and unwarranted. This is what we agreed on….

    1. We will not spank our children unless we exhaust all methods of discipline. This includes time outs – taking away materialistic items.
    2. What ever form of punishment, has to fit the actual act and we have to explain to our children why punishment is taking place. No throwing shoe across the room or punishing them hours later for acts done in the morning.
    3. NOONE IS ALLOWED TO TOUCH OUR CHILDREN. Growing up, everyone had a say. The crazy uncle who visits once a year comes and hits you, and someone screams at you. We actually had to inform our family that no one can touch our son. As a typical African family, they made comments “hmmm, sooo Americanized”, but when it comes to punishment/spanking, no one but us can do it. The reason being, we grew up fearing others for no reason. Instead of respecting, we feared more and I do not want my children to have such fear. Just because someone is loud does not mean they are right. Moreover, those who abuse their children is due to external frustration that has nothing to do with the child’s behavior and I do not want anyone touching my child as I do not know what their mental state is. With that said, I am okay with spanking so long as it is done to curve a child’s behavior and not to terrorize.

    The lawyer in me would like to advise my sisters: If you are not a US citizen, please do not hit your child. (I am not saying if you are a citizen to do so) but the immigration consequence of hitting a child is (if you are charged) will put you in deportation process even if you have a greencard. You have no idea how many times I see women who are in these proceedings and all they can say is “you are going to deport me for disciplining my child?

    With that said, I leave you with an article on this issue: https://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/parenting/was-sweden-right-to-spare-the-rod-1.1601857#.UnovLSdDaJm

    • Christine St.Vil
      November 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

      Wow this was really insightful Elinor! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m not a fan of other people putting their hands on my children either.

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  • MELISASource
    November 11, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Every household, child, parent, and situation are different. I would say that all of these must be factored in together to determine the proper corrective action.
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