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#1 of 10 Old 03-22-2010, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got off the phone with a freind of mine who told me that 3 year olds are hard to manage and after some research has decided to spank her 3 year old.
I am adamently against spanking, and could not believe that a freind of mine would chose to use that as a form of 'discipline'.
Her son has been through a lot this year, new family, which includes a new brother who is 7 months younger than him, a new town, new babysitters, new routines, and still goes back to see his dad once a month. This would be hard on any person let alone a child of 3. However when I suggested that this could be the cause of her son being 'challenging', she said that wasnt it, and when I suggested other forms of 'discipline' (time out, loss of something that relates to situation, counting down, or what I do : trying to find out the roote problem) she said she tried it and he still doesnt listen, and I asked if maybe he wants her attention, or is having a hard time communicating his feelings, she said no, he asks her for attention and communicates well. I asked her what she would do if spanking doesnt work, she said she would look into social disorders....
I said my parenting beliefs are that I would not do something to my son or any child/person that I would not want done to me. I would not want to be spanked. after this short and consice discussion with her, I still feel lost, and a bit crazy.I said I was sorry this was a challenging time for and she said it wasnt.
I dont understand why someone who says that parenting her "defiant" child is not challenging, would choose to spank? why not continue trying other methods?
I dont know what to do, I dont even know if I can handle being her friend, I dont feel I understand her anymore, but I worry about her son. He is wonderful, smart and he does challenge people at times, but I think that is a GOOD thing.
If anyone can give me suggestions or ideas, that would be great.
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#2 of 10 Old 03-22-2010, 06:05 PM
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Is it even legal in your province? Maybe she should START with counseling if she thinks he's *that* out of control.
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#3 of 10 Old 03-22-2010, 06:35 PM
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Maybe you could email her this link:

Also, here's a story that might help her see a different perspective, by Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking:
"When I was about twenty years old, I met an old pastor's wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn't believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking - the first in his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he finally came back in, he was crying. He said to her, "Mama, I couldn't find a switch, but here's a rock that you can throw at me." All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child's point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. The mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. Because violence begins in the nursery - one can raise children into violence."
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#4 of 10 Old 03-22-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you to both, I really appreciate all the advice I can get! I aggree councilling would be great, especially for my freind! Thank you also for the link and the very moving story!
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#5 of 10 Old 03-22-2010, 07:34 PM
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Thread jacking a bit but that story was cute and reminded me of a related thing that I came up with at a similar age.

I had done something, I don't know what, and my mom told me to think of what I thought the punishment should be. (This was something I always hated because if you picked too easy a punishment, she said no and you lost your chance to have a say in it but if you picked too hard you got that) I thought for a long time and finally said I should stay up late that night. She looked angrily at me and asked me how that would be a punishment. I started crying and said that she always said if I didn't go to bed on time I would get sick so she should make me stay up so I got sick and then I would hurt and then I would know better. She, needless to say, didn't do that, and in fact I didn't get punished at all because she saw that I was already so upset at having disappointed her.

I don't have kids so I don't feel I should comment on what anyone should do. But the whole paradigm of punishment has always confused me. And for the record, I wasn't hit as a rule. My mom's one exeption to this was touching the stove, which probably happened to each of us once, if that.. So this isn't a reaction to corporal punishment.
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#6 of 10 Old 03-23-2010, 02:20 AM
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Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled "spanking","swatting","switching","smacking", "paddling",or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

I think the reason why television shows like "Supernanny" and "Dr. Phil" are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

Plain Talk About Spanking
by Jordan Riak,

The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
by Tom Johnson,

by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional or intentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at

Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn't a good idea:

American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
American Psychological Association,
Center For Effective Discipline,
Churches' Network For Non-Violence,
Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
Parenting In Jesus' Footsteps,
Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-23-2010, 12:42 PM
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Spanks are for tummy-control under-garments only!

Sorry to sound facaetious. Actually, it sounds to me as though you handled it well. And the previous poster's list is an excellent resource for you. I'm going to use it too in case I ever run into anyone (which I'm sure I will) who deliberately chooses spanking.
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#8 of 10 Old 04-01-2010, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for all the wonderful suggestions, I thought I would up date you all. I took the 'easy' way out and emailed her, she responded with denial...and I have yet to speak or here from her since. But now I know what to say if this should come up again.
Thanks everyone
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#9 of 10 Old 04-01-2010, 02:19 AM
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It sounds like she is just tired out and thinks she has run out of resources/options. I wonder if sympathizing and encouraging to stick with it would do more help than sending links. Maybe just remind her that kids go through stages and the important thing is to be there for them and to look at the long-term picture.

"This too shall pass" such a familiar saying for me haha. And I'm barely out of the baby world!

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#10 of 10 Old 04-01-2010, 02:19 AM
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Just wanted to add that my parents spanked, they even hit us with a spatula. They STOPPED doing that when my mother missed my brother one day (he pulled his hand away) and she hit herself with the spatula. I don't think she realized until then just how MUCH it hurt us, physically, not even taking into account emotionally.

I would remind the friend that it HURTS the child and that the focus is taken away from what he was doing wrong and put squarely on "mommy hurts me".

Mom to Kayleigh (05/07) Jacob (05/09) and Ned decluttering 615/2010
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