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It's OK to spank when.... - Page 3

post #41 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree
I use to call it "spanking" it seems nicer, friendlier. But when you call it hitting... it stings, it makes you think. I have hit my kids in the past, when I say hit... it makes me sick to my stomach. If I say I "spanked" my kids, it is less painful for me. It doesn't seem as bad as it really is. So to keep myself in check I say hit. I have hit my kids.
I agree with using hit for that reason. But, there are times that I'm trying to specify a certain kind of hit. To me, "spanking" is hitting on the bum with a bare hand...no other kind of hitting. A "swat" is a single, stinging slap - usually to a hand. Hitting encompasses both of those, but also many other things. I usually use "spank" or "swat" when I'm specifically expressing a particular thing...such as my mom spanked me - she never hit me in any other way.

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I have pondered this subject for many years. I was hit as a child, and I was scared of my parents. I was so scared that I would lie to not get hit.
I can't even imagine being scared of my parents. Maybe that's why I don't get quite as worked up about this as most posters here. A spanking just wasn't that big a deal - and hurt so much less than so many other things! I mean - a spanking didn't even come close to a bee sting or a skinned knee.

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I like when hitting a child is compared to hitting an adult.
I have trouble with that one. I'm not sure what I'd do if I were living with another adult who was constantly doing things that were unreasonable (and children are kind of unreasonable from an adult perspective) and hurting me and couldn't just walk out the door. I think I'd be far more inclined to hit an adult if I were in the same circumstances. DD does things to me every day that would be flat out physical abuse if another adult did them to me. If dh bit my ear when he was frustrated, I'd leave (permanently!)...I'm not going to just walk out on a 3-year-old. I just don't have anything like the same dynamic with my children that I do with adults. I don't spank, but I don't see the situations as being the same at all.
post #42 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Mom hit me more times than I've hit my kids, but I actually think I've hurt them more.
I'm not one that sees spanking as some menace - I honestly don't spend a lot of time thinking about it.

But on the issue of whether or not it's "traumatic" or confusing, I think it comes down to the 'A' part of AP. My parents spanked me occasionally, and I remember being afraid of the spanking, but not of my parents. The spanking became the "natural consequence", and I suffered through it without much thought to who was causing it. I still loved and trusted my parents, and do to this day.

BUT - my parents were NOT attachment parenting me!! They were old school "grown ups are different from and have more power than children" parents. They did all kinds of stuff that was inexplicable to me as a kid! It didn't confuse me when they spanked me because I had long since given up understanding half they did.

I, on the other hand, want to always be completely open and "understandable" to my kids. Since attachment parenting is primarily about the parent/child relationship, about guiding and leading and teaching, then it's absolutely necessary that my kids understand most of what I do. I've found that parenting in this way teaches my kids to do what I say simply because they've found me to be a reasonable person who has their best interests at heart. In order for this to "work", though, my kids must have complete faith in my good intentions, and in my wisdom. To me, when it comes down to it, spanking is counterproductive to the primary goal - which is an attached relationship. But the flip side to that, I think, is that attached parents who do spank DO have the potential to cause more harm than non-attached parents.
post #43 of 109
Quote:
Of course, I also disagree that it's "never" okay to hit someone.
Storm Bride, would you be willing to elaborate this point?
post #44 of 109
Note from One of Your Friendly GD Moderators :

I'm concerned that posts to this thread not appear to advocate physical punishment in any way, shape or form. {Sorry, it's hard for me to state that in a positive way--time crunch here.} Sometimes, it seems there is a fine line when dealing with opinions and personal experiences. Please be very careful to follow the Gentle Discipline Forum Guidelines when posting:

Quote:
Gentle Discipline Forum Guidelines

Welcome to Gentle Discipline. This forum has a specific aim: to help parents learn and apply gentle discipline methods in raising their children.

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Effective discipline is based on loving guidance. It is based on the belief that children are born innately good and that our role as parents is to nurture their spirits as they learn about limits and boundaries, rather than to curb their tendencies toward wrongdoing. Effective discipline presumes that children have reasons for their behavior and that cooperation can be engaged to solve shared problems.

Hitting is never the best way to teach a child. Even in the case of real danger - as when a child runs out into the road - you can grab him, sit him down, look him in the eyes, and tell him why he must never do that again. The panic in your voice will communicate your message much more effectively than any spanking. You can be dramatic without being abusive.

'Natural Family Living' by Peggy O'Mara

Please appreciate that this forum is not a place to uphold or advocate physical punishment of children. Personal preferences for and encouragement of use of physical punishment are inappropriately posted here. Posts of that nature will be edited by the member upon request or will be removed.

Please feel free to discuss your problems and needs with the intent to learn more about Gentle Discipline
Thanks, everyone
post #45 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia
Storm Bride, would you be willing to elaborate this point?
Sure.
If I walk in on an adult hurting or molesting one of my kids, I believe it's perfectly okay for me to hit them to get them off my child. Actually, while I think the best thing to do in that situation is get them off my child, then call the police, I don't think it woud be "wrong" if I beat them black and blue. Don't mess with mama bear.

If someone walked up and kicked me in the stomach, I believe it's perfectly okay for me to hit them back (if I'm able to) and fight my way loose. I go back and forth on whether I should then just run for it, or continue to fight back...I guess it would depend on various factors.

So, basically - I see no problem with hitting in self-defense or in the defense of my children.


Also, I do want to make it clear that I'm not advocating spanking. I just have difficulty with what I perceive to be the demonizing of parents who spank, and it's probably making me come across as pro-spanking, when I'm not.
post #46 of 109
Okay - I'll fess up - I've slapped my DS #2's hand (twice) when he grabbed our oven door and pulled it open (once when hot, once not) - and I don't really feel bad about it, nor do I feel like hitting my son's hand in that instance makes me a child abuser.

That same week he had begun pulling the dishwasher door open - I tried redirecting, keeping him away from the dishwasher, putting childproof locks on the dishwasher, etc. - he still opened that sucker at least a hundred times. Now the dishwasher - the worst he could do was pull out a knife and cut his fingers, not good, but not too terrible.

But the oven - with a pot of boiling liquid in it!?!?!?! If he grabbed the pot and pulled it over on himself, can you imagine the potential burns. Grabbing the rack might be one thing, but if he grabbed the edge of a pot of chicken and dumplings or french onion soup and pulled it onto himself - the burns could be very serious. I've got one pair of eyes and one pair of hands and at the time I had two extremely active little boys - the oldest of which was an ace at getting past safety gates and the like.

So when I slapped his hand, I wasn't trying to punish him - I was trying as efficiently as possible to keep him from doing something dangerous again. I guess I'd compare it more to Anne Sullivan teaching Helen Keller that something was dangerous. Scream and yell instead? Well, unfortunately I also tend to do that when the boys poured paint on my carpet or deliberately peed on the furniture - so I'm not sure that would have been the best deterent.

I am far from a perfect parent and there are many things I feel guilty about - but acting on my natural instinct and slapping DSs hand in that instance is not one of them.
post #47 of 109
Thread Starter 
Ok, so before this gets closed down... I want to make sure that everyone knows this IS NOT a pro-spanking thread. I started this mostly because I find that statement "It's Ok to spank when...." from people who normally wouldn't think of hitting their child. And what do you say to that??

As for the hitting an adult who may act like a child that is still illegal. And that is where the problem is. If you have an adult with the mental ablility of a 2 year old it is ILLEGAL to hit them, no matter how aggressive they get with you. So if we are going to be far, sure if a normally rational adult attacks you you defend yourself, BUT if a two year old (or an adult who is like a two year old) attacks you, you shouldn't hit them. One group it is against the law to hit, and one it is OK to hit. It is hameful, the double standard we have. And like I said, I am guilty of it. I would never hit an adult who was two mentally, but I did hit my dd when she was 2. Why?? Beacsue I could? Because if it was an adult I would see that they couldn't help themselves, but with my child I didn't think that?? That is why I am ashamed of myself. Because I should know better. I am the adult. I need to behave like it, not like another child getting mad.

H
post #48 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
What fear? DS1 ran into an intersection when he was two, and was almost hit by a van. I ran into the street and scooped him up, and I was terrified...it took me almost three hours to get back to anything resembling normal. He just thought it was all hilarious.
1. That sucks.
2. I'm not sure you were really seeing his reaction, since you were so upset yourself.

Of course I wasn't there. However, I was a kid once (really? who knew?), and I remember seeing my mom terrified, petrified, beyond reason b/c of something I did. And I shut down, just trying to help HER. There's likely no way for her to have known how scared I was, b/c I was focusing so much on what SHE WAS GOING THROUGH.

It's possible that's what was going on. And anything he (or I, way back when) might have learned from seeing the big car and feeling the car go by and feeling small...might have been dumped, b/c he saw you, someone who is his whole world, so so so scared.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmk
My feeling of why people spank a child when s/he runs into the road is because the parent is scared and upset, and needs an emotional release. It's all about the parent, not about the child in a dangerous situation.
I absolutely agree with that. That it's the reason people do it, not that I agree with hitting b/c I'm upset. (seems we need to use all our words here, lest someone skimming miss something!)

Just today my son nearly got on my last nerve. He's coming up on 2, his molars are pushing through something awful, and we've both got this bug that's sweeping the nation (you know the one, sore throat, mucus everywhere, goopy eyes, miserable and exhausted) and no one's sleeping very well. My neck was hurting really bad for some unknown reason, and I could barely open my eyes b/c of the brightness in the room. And he took my last nerve and was about to leap....I swooped him up and I wanted to bite him. Wanted.

Why? Because I was frustrated.

Luckily, I've recently (let's mention again he's approaching 2, and also mention his 2 year molars have been steadily moving up since he was 1.5) developed some lightening fast mental-reflexes that race through the consequences...would it hurt him? yes. would I be the one to wipe up the mess I'd caused? yes. would that help me? no. would he learn anything? yes, that biting is OK with me. ooh, bad learning. that won't work at all. OK, breathe, hug him, breathe, kiss him, find something else for him to do.

So as of today, I understand reaching a limit (and he wasn't even doing anything dangerous!) and wanting to do something, something that would release the feelings from ME...but I don't b/c I don't want to hurt my boy, I know that it won't teach him anything good, and etc etc etc.
post #49 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I can't even imagine being scared of my parents. Maybe that's why I don't get quite as worked up about this as most posters here. A spanking just wasn't that big a deal - and hurt so much less than so many other things! I mean - a spanking didn't even come close to a bee sting or a skinned knee.
Have you ever asked your mom if she was really spanking you? If she was never hit and just thought it was something she *should* do, is it possible she wasn't putting much force into it?

I mean, I know skinned knees and bee stings hurt like anything, but I also know (when I was a teen my mom and I, who had tempers and were about the same size and height, used to get into stupid slap-fights, ugh ) that being hit with an open hand HURTS.


(edited to change fist to hand. if it's open, it's not a fist, of course. of course, nowadays, thanks to the 22 month old boy, I also know how much being hit with a *fist* hurts...sigh)
post #50 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teensy
But the oven - with a pot of boiling liquid in it!?!?!?! If he grabbed the pot and pulled it over on himself, can you imagine the potential burns.
That's what back burners are for.
post #51 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree
Ok, so before this gets closed down... I want to make sure that everyone knows this IS NOT a pro-spanking thread. I started this mostly because I find that statement "It's Ok to spank when...." from people who normally wouldn't think of hitting their child. And what do you say to that??

As for the hitting an adult who may act like a child that is still illegal. And that is where the problem is. If you have an adult with the mental ablility of a 2 year old it is ILLEGAL to hit them, no matter how aggressive they get with you. So if we are going to be far, sure if a normally rational adult attacks you you defend yourself, BUT if a two year old (or an adult who is like a two year old) attacks you, you shouldn't hit them. One group it is against the law to hit, and one it is OK to hit. It is hameful, the double standard we have. And like I said, I am guilty of it. I would never hit an adult who was two mentally, but I did hit my dd when she was 2. Why?? Beacsue I could? Because if it was an adult I would see that they couldn't help themselves, but with my child I didn't think that?? That is why I am ashamed of myself. Because I should know better. I am the adult. I need to behave like it, not like another child getting mad.

H
I bet if you think about it now, you've been doing a great job at being the adult lately.
post #52 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan
That's what back burners are for.
"Grabbing the rack might be one thing, but if he grabbed the edge of a pot of chicken and dumplings or french onion soup and pulled it onto himself - the burns could be very serious."

I've never made those things, but from what she's saying, they go in the oven. They weren't ON the stove, but IN the oven, and he was trying to open the oven.

I'm not advocating the hand-slap, but clarifying what the situation actually was.
post #53 of 109
I was spanked as a child. My mom changed her mind when I was around 7 years old. So I was only spanked for part of my childhood. I have no problems from it. It was scary to see my mom out of control like that and of course it hurt. But I was not afraid of her or had a lesser relationship because of it.

BUT

That does not mean that I think spanking is OK under any circumstance. I have no way of knowing whether my child will be one that is negatively impacted by spanking. Some people are just more sensitive than others. I happen to not be one of those people. But many many others did have problem with "spanking out of love". I do not want to take ANY chance that a discipline tool I use disrupts the attachment with my child.

I do not think spanking parents that do not know better are bad people. Nor do I demonize the parent that is against spanking but looses control in a rare instance of terror or rage. While I have never spanked, I definately have done things against my ideal (such as a thinly veiled bribe) in moments of frustration so I can understand how it happens and sympathize with those individuals.

But I do think spanking can effect the feeling of unconditional love that children should have. Someone mentioned that their child questions their parents love when they *make* them take a nap, for instance. Well, I do not do that either. I try to avoid all situations where my child will think there is any chance I do not love her. But there is no question in my mind that hitting a child can lead to them questioning your love for them.

And you know what? I have the world's biggest daredevil of a child, but she has (over some patient days, weeks, or months) learned how to be safe around the stove, road, cliffs, etc..... And until she was, I just had to deal with the fact that I had to be 100% vigilant around those things. Why hit a child that opens an oven that is off? My dd likes to open the oven. I have no problem with it when it is off. Actually, I have no problem with it when it is on either as she has learned to handle the oven responsibly. But whatever the case is, it seems sort of fruitless to spank a child for touching something that is not even hot. What kind of lesson is that? Now the child is afraid he will get hit if he touches the oven, but other hot surfaces are apparently OK (until he gets spanked over them that is)? I think it is much more effective to explain (even if it takes time) the whys and hows. It is easier for the child to transfer that info to other situations where spanking is just black and white.
post #54 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I'm not sure I really processed a spanking as being any different than a bee sting or stepping on a sharp rock. It was all mom's responsibility in my world. If I stepped on a sharp rock, I got cut. If I stuck a utensil in an electrical outlet, I got spanked...all the same thing.
As someone mentioned previously, I think your reaction and experience is the exception, not the rule. DH was spanked, and when I talk to him about it, he seems to have the "well, I must have deserved it" frame of mind, which really does make me sad, that a child would ever think they deserved to be hit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
But, I'm not sure it works, so it would be pretty stupid to do it.
Now this we can agree on. I don't think it works either, or people who have hit their kids wouldn't ever worry about leaving their children unattended in questionable situations.

I guess it all comes down the the relationship you want to have with your child, and the goals you have for them as adults. I don't want my kid(s) to think I control everything in their world. I want them to know the difference between an accident (like a stubbed toe, or a bee sting), and any kind of limit I put on them to prevent them from hurting themselves (like holding hands when out in public, or staying away from the stove). I want them to know that I will do everything I can to protect them from harm, and not harm them intentionally myself; that I will advocate for them, but allow them to stand up for themselves too; and other things like this...but I don't want them to think I am the be all and end all of everything in their lives...they will see and know that I am imperfect and human, but do the best I can to treat them respectfully and lovingly. I can't see me hitting them, for any reason, as ever fitting into that kind of relationship. I want them to have a strong sense of internal motivation of right and wrong, as I won't always be there to help guide them, so I'm laying the groundwork now...and being in control doesn't have a lot to do with it.

As far as I'm concerned, it's just not OK for me to ever hit my child, just as much as it would not be OK to me for my husband to ever hit me. I didn't cover it as a point in any of my other posts, but the more I think about it, the more that simple fact bothers me...that I could have my husband thrown in jail because he hit me, but up to a point I could hit my children and it's legally OK. That is just wrong. If it's not OK to hit an adult unless in self defense, it certainly shouldn't be OK to hit a child...

I understand your point about children may be doling out more physical abuse that a parent tolerates from them than they would another adult, but following along that line of thinking, and rationalizing that since they don't have control over their aggression until later on makes it OK for you to hit them in the heat of the moment, or whenever, just doesn't make sense. It's two wrongs, which definitely don't make a right.

ITA with previous posters that have talked baout hittign your child when they were in danger to be more of a stress release for the parent than anything constructive to teach the child, too. Many good points raised here that I didn't touch on, and I've really enjoyed this thread.

Oh, and for the record, I am not a person who thinks that hitting is never OK. You can bet your bottom dollar I would bring out a can of whup a## on anyone who threatened my life or my children's lives or well being. But self defense, to me, is a completely different situation than me whacking my kid because I was scared they might get burned. WORLDS apart.
post #55 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by donosmommy04
I don't want my kid(s) to think I control everything in their world. I want them to know the difference between an accident (like a stubbed toe, or a bee sting), and any kind of limit I put on them to prevent them from hurting themselves (like holding hands when out in public, or staying away from the stove).
I don't think my mom ever tried to give me the impression that she was in control of my world. She never had any hesitation about saying, "I don't know", or admitting that things happened that she couldn't see coming or wasn't expecting...or couldn't control. That was all me. She made the food, she washed the clothes, she put a roof over my head (I thought so, anyway), she knew when it would rain. When I was little, I practically thought she was God...and I don't think that's uncommon.

Quote:
but the more I think about it, the more that simple fact bothers me...that I could have my husband thrown in jail because he hit me, but up to a point I could hit my children and it's legally OK. That is just wrong. If it's not OK to hit an adult unless in self defense, it certainly shouldn't be OK to hit a child...

I understand your point about children may be doling out more physical abuse that a parent tolerates from them than they would another adult,
It's not just that we tolerate more from kids. It's that we more-or-less have to tolerate more. If anybody else treated me the way dd does, they'd be out of my life - period. I'd dump a friend, kick out my dh...you name it. With dd, I can't even leave the house to cool off. Again, this isn't about "it's okay to spank", but the whole "they're so little, and we're so big - it's not like they can hurt us" thing drives me wild. DS1 almost broke my nose (accidentally!) on numerous occasions. DD has kicked me in a surgical (c-section) incision, twisted my ears, poked me in the eye, etc,. etc., etc. No - except once when she hurt ds2, I haven't hit her. I don't intend to. But, dealing with children is not the same dynamic as dealing with an adult, so I don't accept that comparison.

Quote:
ITA with previous posters that have talked baout hittign your child when they were in danger to be more of a stress release for the parent than anything constructive to teach the child, too.
What about parents who already believe/know that they would hit in this situation, but haven't been in it yet? I don't think they're relieving stress ahead of time!


This has been a good thread for me. I've been enjoying the GD forum for months - it's an excellent resource. But, there's been something nagging at me, and this thread pulled it out into the light to look at. I'm still not on quite the same page re: spanking as most posters here, but now I know what's been bothering me, and it probably won't so much now.
post #56 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper
Someone mentioned that their child questions their parents love when they *make* them take a nap, for instance. Well, I do not do that either. I try to avoid all situations where my child will think there is any chance I do not love her.
That was also me. I have two choices - make her take a nap, or spend about 6-8 hours/day doing damage control and fighting back the urge to yell and/or slap her. DD is absolutely INSANE when she doesn't get enough sleep. She doesn't make the connection, even though we've tried repeatedly to help her see it, but she's very unhappy when she doesn't have her nap, which isn't good for her...and it's not good for anybody else in the house, either.
post #57 of 109
I think that those of us who are advocates for better treatment of children sometimes over-emphasize the "damage" caused by punitive parenting. My parents only occasionally spanked me, and I actually don't remember its being that bad. They also did some other less-than-gd things like making me stand out in the cold for whining, that today I look back on and think "I can't believe they did that," but at the time I didn't think of as that bad. And these certainly weren't my worst childhood memories--if I'd had a choice between getting a spanking every day or going to school every day, you better believe I'd have taken the spanking.

I don't believe that spanking or punitive discipline permanently damages children, and I think this isn't a good argument for the children's rights side to make because most people can see that it's false and it hurts the credibility of the cause. But unfortunately, most people in our society have accepted unquestioningly the idea that the only moral constraint on the treatment of children is that which causes permanent damage--everything else is "personal choice." We do not apply the permanent damage standard to treatment of any other group of people besides children and, some people have argued, suspected terrorists. No one else. And, really, the permanent damage standard is hardly any standard at all. I could go up to any one of you and punch you in the nose, and unless I managed to hit you really really hard, you probably wouldn't be permanently damaged. But I don't think anyone would use that to say that I wouldn't be wrong to do that. People are incredibly resilient, and they can endure a lot of abuse without being permanently damaged. There should be a much higher standard for how we treat other people than simply not causing them permanent damage.

I don't think people who spank their children are bad people. I don't think my parents were bad people. I'm certainly not setting myself above them. We are all flawed individuals. But I am absolutely going to say that the action of hitting a child is always wrong. I would say that hitting another person, regardless of age, in any situation other than self-defense or defense of another person, is always wrong. It may be understandable and forgivable, someone who does it may still be a basically decent person, but the act itself is always wrong.

I have never hit either one of my children. I have hit a child exactly once in my life. This was several years ago before I was a parent. I was with my then-5-yr-old niece. I was under a lot of stress and had different things on my mind, and she came up behind me, grabbed my hand, and made this noise like a shrieking sound. It scared the crap out of me. I grabbed her hand and smacked her and yelled "Don't do that!" She got this horribly frightened look on her face and started crying, and I knew immediately that I had done something reprehensible. I picked her up and apologized to her and after a while she was fine. I could make all sorts of excuses for what I did--I didn't know about children, I was stressed, I acted without thinking--but the fact is that it was simply wrong. Immoral. Unethical. Inexcusable. There is no good reason to hit a child, ever.

I also don't agree that spanking doesn't work. Violence works, especially systematic abuse. There are a very few people who can resist this kind of abuse, but for most of us, if we are subjected to enough violence we will submit to just about anything. The only difference is how much violence is necessary to break the person. I do not doubt for a minute that children subjected to the kind of systemic abuse advocated by people like the Pearls do in fact end up in submission to their parents' will. But again, this doesn't make it right.

I would not say that spanking parent love their children less, but honestly I think that love is overrated. I know that's a controversial opinion, but I have seen some twisted stuff done in the name of love. I think a more pertinent issue is respect. I can't say that spanking is unloving, but it is certainly disrespectful. And it is emblematic of our society's disrespect for children as people. It is *illegal* to hit an adult. People go to jail for doing to adults what if done to children would be called "personal choice." Children, being smaller and more vulnerable, should be at least as protected from assault as adults, but the powers that be are more concerned with protecting parents' "choice."
post #58 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
I am absolutely going to say that the action of hitting a child is always wrong. I would say that hitting another person, regardless of age, in any situation other than self-defense or defense of another person, is always wrong. It may be understandable and forgivable, someone who does it may still be a basically decent person, but the act itself is always wrong.
post #59 of 109
Thread Starter 
Brigianna: WOW. Respect. That is right on. You hit the nail right on the head. It isn't whether you love them or not... but respect.

H
post #60 of 109
Stormbride:

I can understand the need to defend your mom against a general statement about spankers that you think is unfair.

I also think the ability to recognize the terrible damage spanking has done to so many others here is important. You have posted so much that seems to indicate viewing spankers harshly is an excessive posture to take.

I have seen this in discussions on race and various other topics in which an accepted form of treatment within society caused great harm to be done to individuals.

When a person thinks "Hey, it wasn't so bad for me, really, what's the big deal?", they need to look around and consider "Maybe there is more to this, and I need to keep listening, instead of persuading people away from their anger".

Or if not, accept you have the entire country to agree with you that spanking isn't so terrible, and accept that this a place where we can safely say "It's terrible".
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