Do you know anyone who spanks? - Mothering Forums
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Gentle Discipline > Do you know anyone who spanks?
limabean's Avatar limabean 05:37 PM 06-15-2006
On several of the forums on this board, people talk about how they're always having to justify their way of parenting, including not spanking. I live in a very mainstream area (and am relatively mainstream myself in a lot of ways), and none of my friends, family, acquaintances, etc. spanks their kids or thinks that spanking is okay.

Yet I read a lot of comments here about how "most" people think you're not a good mom unless you're dealing with a tantrum using physical force, even spanking. Is that really how "most" people who live around you seem? Because that's not my perception at all -- around here (again, in a very conservative, mainstream area), I see nothing but acceptance for things like NIP, no spanking, etc.

Are the people who complain of constantly having to rail against the societal "norm" just being sensitive/cynical, or do some of you really live in areas where there's that much open disapproval of your parenting style?

mamatoliam's Avatar mamatoliam 05:39 PM 06-15-2006
Yes I know lots of people who spank. Other than my ap group mommy friends I don't know anyone IRL who doesn't use time outs and other punishments even if they don't spank.
elmh23's Avatar elmh23 05:41 PM 06-15-2006
My BIL and SIL spank as their primary disipline. Everynow and then, depending on what the kid did (they have four boys) they use time out, spanking and lectures. I didn't know them until 3 years ago (they lived on the other side of the country, now they live in the next state) and they would spank the heck out of their youngest and he was maybe 18 months!

Where I live there are a lot of people who think you're stupid for not spanking you kid. Every where I go, I see kids get hit. It's just how it is here.
BamBam'sMom's Avatar BamBam'sMom 05:51 PM 06-15-2006
I try and associate with AP moms, but the people here who I know from before I had my son spank. Also, my SIL spanks. My MIL believes in spanking and uses physical punishment to discipline her grandkids who live near her.
speairson's Avatar speairson 05:55 PM 06-15-2006
I also know lots of people who spank and have gotten flack from MIL and SIL because I haven't spanked the kids "yet". SIL and her neighbor will openly talk of spaking their children as young as 8 months and I've seen SIL do it. Dh's cousin also spanks his son (3 years old) in public. I was spanked a lot, dh was spanked (although that was a generation ago). Yeah, I would say many, though not all, of the parents I know IRL spank, but I've only gotten flack from SIL and MIL about not spanking.
limabean's Avatar limabean 05:57 PM 06-15-2006
Originally Posted by elmh23
Every where I go, I see kids get hit. It's just how it is here.
Seriously? That's awful. I guess I should count my blessings that I'm able to parent the way I want to *and* don't have to deal with having to explain myself to everyone around me. Around here, the mother who spanks her child in public is the one to get the glares.
roomformore's Avatar roomformore 05:58 PM 06-15-2006
Everyone I know with children is spanking or has spanked them. Oh, I've heard my MIL never spanked her two kids. I remember changing a diaper on my son when he was less than a year old and very squirmy- my grandmother told me I should just give him a few good 'swats' and he'd learn to stop! : I got this from my entire family. Still do. Funny that my kids are better behaved than all the others...
Shelsi's Avatar Shelsi 06:08 PM 06-15-2006
What I've learned is that you'd be shocked sometimes with who does spank and who doesn't. For example my boss is also somewhat my friend AND most importantly she used to be an LLL leader. She bf her dd for almost 2 years until she self weaned, she's into very natural non-medicated births, no vaxes, all that kind of stuff. However she told me that when her dd would hit her she'd smack her back. When she pulled her hair she'd yank a few hairs out of her dd's head. When she got bit she bit her back! Can you imagine BITING your own child?! How ridiculous is that?! When I told her that made no sense at all to do her response was, "I'm from the south and that's how we do things." Don't worry, I know not everyone from the south does it that way! She sure doesn't make any southerners look good though with those statements!
brmama3's Avatar brmama3 06:41 PM 06-15-2006
BIL and SIL spank. MIL and FIL spank also. My parents spanked me, never our kids though. In my area-group of friends acquaintances it is has been a last resort not the primary form of parenting.

I have not seen a child spanked in public, but I hear verbal abuse every time I go out. It's sad to hear a mother tell her child to "shutup, I can't stand you talking to me"
Robin926's Avatar Robin926 06:44 PM 06-15-2006
Almost every single person I know spanks, and we are constantly getting advice to spank our DS. Even as young as 9 months old when he reached for something, we were told to smack his hands. DH's grandma told me that a cousin of DH's was smacking her 2 or 3 month old's hands for sucking her thumb.

I see kids get hit in public all the time, for things that I would never even reprimand a child for, let alone hit them. No one ever bats an eye around here either. It's so sad.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 07:05 PM 06-15-2006
My best friend spanks her kids.... alot for everything....

We have been friends since we were 7... I won't end the relationship over it, I just try to show her a better way, and lead by example. She knows I hate it, and doesn't do it when I'm around.

Also when I am left with her children I use my way with them, in hopes that she will see that her children really can be 'dealt with' without spanking.

Most people I know spank, however... it's sad. I was spanked by my mom a handful of times, and honestly, I probably deserved it... granted it was wrong to spank me, but I don't blame her, I was a rather *ahem* mean child.
Strong Mama's Avatar Strong Mama 07:07 PM 06-15-2006
i can really really identify with this. I am from down south georgia, where its *beat that ass boys* for children. seriously. I used to spank ds 1 not often, but i used to spank. mostly out of pure pure ignorance and the way i was raised. i was spanked, everyone i know who raises children spanks. i knew no better until a few years ago. which i really stopped spanking ds 1 when he was about 6 or 7 because at that time i learned about natural consequences,etc. But i have openly spanked in public one time. out of pure pressure. ds was on a slide going up the wrong way and i told him to get down 3 times(he was 6) as there was a small toddler wanting to go down the slide. well ds didnt and he made the toddler crash on the ground and bump his head quite hard and i saw the glares from the parents like arent you going to do something about this so i spanked right there and they looked satisfied and i felt terrible but that was the last time i spanked. i have come close to spanking ds 2 maybe twice out of frustraition but have found it quite hard to break the way of living/being raised, but i am doing it, not spanking. It is really sad, and we are moving back there in 2 weeks where i am sure i will get the *dont you whoop that boys butt???* question a LOT.
limabean's Avatar limabean 07:07 PM 06-15-2006
Originally Posted by brmama3
It's sad to hear a mother tell her child to "shutup, I can't stand you talking to me"
Ugh, I have heard stuff like that -- it's awful. Come to think of it, my ex-coworker said stuff like that. Her girls (a 4yo and a 5yo) would be standing right next to her and she'd say stuff to me like, "Yours is sweet now, but wait 'til he's old enough to be a brat like mine!" Once she actually used the h-word in reference to them, again with them standing right there. She said, "They're being such brats today -- I hate them!" She must have seen the horrified look on my face because she backpedalled and said, "Well, not them, but ... you know what I mean." Yeah ... no. I totally understand having a frustrating, overwhelming day, but I don't understand telling someone you hate your child when the poor kid is standing right there listening.

So I guess stuff like that does exist around me, but it's by far the exception to the rule. I guess I just get so used to my friends' and family's way of thinking that I feel like people are being overly defensive when they talk about how no one around them can relate to their parenting style, but clearly, based on the things I'm reading here, lots of people actually are surrounded by old-fashioned ideologies and people who think they're being "soft" by respecting their children as people with thoughts and feelings and a right to express themselves.
hellyaellen's Avatar hellyaellen 07:20 PM 06-15-2006
most parents i know spank. in fact when i'm having a very bad mommy day i spank. i always regret it and i apologize after.

i was spanked and i guess its sort of instinctive although its a response that only comes out when my patience and energy and creativity reserves are totally depleted. i guess i should say dd is having high needs on those days.

does that make it ok? no! of course not. i am learning about gentle discipline and am trying to replace the spanking habit with better habits but it is hard. i'm thankful to have come across mdc when ds (8mos) was still in utero and wish i had known about it when dd (6yo) was younger.

i guess education is making a difference. ifound myself calling it what it is the other day. iwas talking with my sister about time outs and said "its better than hitting them" which she agreed with. i think many spanking parents feel shame about it. i know i do. maybe that is why you "see" less of it in some areas.

although most people around here spank i don't see kids being hit in public very often. what i do see is kids being hauled out to the car or parking lot by one arm crying while the overwhelmed parent is threatening to spank. it usually seems to be a last resort type of thing.

just my thoughts

eta- being in an environment where spanking is encourged as the ultimate solution to every discipline problem makes it tough. i know what you mean fedup about feeling pressured to spank sometimes in public.
pianojazzgirl's Avatar pianojazzgirl 07:52 PM 06-15-2006
I've seen a toddler being slapped in public once here. Besides that I don't know of anyone who spanks. But then again I don't know that they don't spank either (if that makes sense lol). Not too many of my friends have kids and the other mom's I've met in my neighbourhood are just acquaintances so I'm not sure what goes on with them "behind closed doors".
tempestjewel's Avatar tempestjewel 08:08 PM 06-15-2006
Yes, I know people who spank, and unfortunately some that I know think they *have* to because of mis-used bible scriptures :

I would have to agree that I hear a lot more verbal abuse then I see parents spanking in public.

However, evidently my reputation for being anti-spanking precedes me, because I've had people say "I know you don't spank... how do you handle this situation". I'm up front and honest why I don't spank, and why I don't think its "necessary". I was spanked growing up, and I used to stand outside my sisters room when they were spanked and cry because it felt that wrong to me then.

One thing I really hate is the word "spank". I hate how words exist that make something sound better then it really is, kwim? To me spanking = hitting and it should be called that.
Finch's Avatar Finch 08:40 PM 06-15-2006
Yep. Lots. One of my former co-workers favorite websites was the Pearls' website. :Puke

My best friend spanks. My sister spanks. Lots of my coworkers spank. My dh's coworkers spank, one of them recommended Babywise to us (again, :Puke).

We're freaks who don't hit or baby-train. Super weirdos, apparently.
mommy2abigail's Avatar mommy2abigail 09:19 PM 06-15-2006
Sadly, I know of ONE person who doesn't spank, and I just met her yesterday! Everyone around here spanks, at least everyone we associate with. Maybe it's because we tend to be around Christians who believe its their duty to spank, but...sad.
CryPixie83's Avatar CryPixie83 09:21 PM 06-15-2006
I know people who spank, and usually once I find out they spank I tend to distance myself from them pretty fast.

An old friend of mine brought her 3 year old dd over for a playdate a few weeks ago (never again!) and was telling me how when she spanks, her dd just laughs and tells her to do it harder. Then in the next breath says "just wait until you have to spank yours" I looked at her, just appalled and said "I don't hit my kids" Blech.
Niamh's Avatar Niamh 09:33 PM 06-15-2006
Originally Posted by limabean
Are the people who complain of constantly having to rail against the societal "norm" just being sensitive/cynical, or do some of you really live in areas where there's that much open disapproval of your parenting style?
I think it's easy for those of us who practice GD (and all other types of AP-extBF,EC,babywearing, etc) to be sensitive to society's judgments. In this case, however, I wouldn't think they were being overly sensitive.

In my case specifically, I only know four other women who don't spank. Three sisters and one SIL. All 4 other SILs do spank, MIL spanks, my dad spanks, my mom spanks, all of my friends spank, etc. It's hard for my dad because two non-spanking sisters let him spank their kids while the other two of us would remove his grandkids from him for a very long time if he tried it. (I also hear the "You'll have to do it sometime" comment from family all of the time.)

Where I live you don't see too much spanking, but a lot of physical roughness accompanied by spanking threats. Also a lot of verbal roughness.
apple_dumpling's Avatar apple_dumpling 10:05 PM 06-15-2006
All of my neighbors spank... in front of everyone, all the time.

No one in my family spanks, nor does anyone in DH's family, so I guess we are fortunate to have both grown up in the environment where *not* spanking was the norm, so there was never any conflict of interest for us when it comes to disciplining dd.

I do know lots of people from different areas, and I know that for many of them, it was just how they were raised, and they just don't know any different They are all nice people, they just don't know how to discipline without spanking...
hottmama's Avatar hottmama 10:59 PM 06-15-2006
We don't spank (well, I have a couple times out of anger but I try not to and hope not to ever again). None of my friends spank their kids. However, my partner's family spanks as a rule, and my kids are the only kids (of 20 or so) who aren't hit, I'm pretty sure. My mom thinks I should spank my son. Also, I see people in public threatening to "whoop" their kids pretty often.
I feel well-cushioned by the large group of AP/natural parents I surround myself with, so I don't feel too sensitive to that stuff. However, I hate when we go to my partner's grandma's house and my kids see other kids getting hit.
straighthaircurly's Avatar straighthaircurly 01:46 AM 06-16-2006
Most people around me don't spank and you almost never see anyone here do it in public, but there is also A LOT of early childhood/family education in this state. My stepmom did suggest that I bite my son back when he went through his biting stage but I stood her down on that idea!

rzberrymom's Avatar rzberrymom 08:37 AM 06-16-2006
My cousin spanks, and I swear she seems to enjoy it. When her DD was 12 months old, they came to visit us and she was crawling and toddling and getting into everything--I kept moving things out of her DD's reach, and my cousin got annoyed with me and said "no, leave it there. She has to learn" and then WHAM she'd slap her DD.

I feel so bad for the little girl. And now that my DD is 16 months old, it has started to scare her to see it happen. Needless to say, we don't see them often.
Attila the Honey's Avatar Attila the Honey 08:56 AM 06-16-2006
Yes. My niece gets spanked for everything, and it's so weirdly 'ritualistic' - never done in anger, just done so calmly, yk? That almost makes it more sick for me. She is always talking about being spanked too, "Don't do that Flora, your mom will spank you!" for things I wouldn't dream of being angry about much less disciplining for. (Like spilling a drink...)

The little girl I babysit for, well all the kids in that family, get spanked. I've watched them all since birth, the oldest is now 10. Last time I went over there they had a wooden chair rail on the counter as a reminder to the middle child (who has some behavioral issues I BELIEVE due to food sensitivities) to behave. I tried not to show my true feelings, because I love these kids dearly and I don't want to get fired!, and I asked if she's ever had to use it but she said no she wouldn't use it, she just uses her hand and the threat of the chair rail is enough.

The youngest in that family, a 5yo girl, is like a daughter to me. I love her dearly. Her parents love her dearly too, I know they do, but they spank. It hurts me so much to think of her being hurt and know there isn't anything I can do to stop it. She also gets spanked for dumb stuff like spilling drinks, and when she spilled a drink at my house once she ran and hid and cried. She was 3.5-4 years old at the time. Even my 2.5yo knows if you spill a drink you just get the rag and wipe it up, no biggie.

In both families I've noticed they ignore their kids misbehaving at first, they don't nip things in the bud, and then when the kid is over the top and acting really inappropriately the parents go from ignoring to "it's whoopin' time". It's bizarre. Now I am bummed out from thinking about it. :
chann96's Avatar chann96 12:27 PM 06-16-2006
I know a few people who spank. My brother and his wife did although their kids are old enough now (9 and 11) that I'm not sure what they do now. It was terrible to watch, but fortunately we live far away and didn't see them often. My sister spanks a little bit. She does the "save it for when they do something that really puts them in danger like running into a street" so I'm not sure how much she actually does it. I don't recall ever seeing it.

The weird one is some friends we know who are very AP otherwise, but spank. They have mentioned not doing it anymore as they found it wasn't effective. I hope that's true.
afishwithabike's Avatar afishwithabike 12:30 PM 06-16-2006
A friend IRL that I know uses the Pearl's practices as outlines in To Train Up a Child. It's completely frightening. The piping tubing can be found hanging out of this lady's back pocket EVERYWHERE she goes. I was half tempted to take it out one day then saw she had two more in her diaper bag. UGH
eden/averymum's Avatar eden/averymum 12:35 PM 06-16-2006
I live downtown in Toronto, Canada, so I see alot of diversity, I don't know anyone personally who spanks except my sister.
Junebug's Avatar Junebug 12:40 PM 06-16-2006
Ugh, I have heard stuff like that -- it's awful. Come to think of it, my ex-coworker said stuff like that. Her girls (a 4yo and a 5yo) would be standing right next to her and she'd say stuff to me like, "Yours is sweet now, but wait 'til he's old enough to be a brat like mine!"
I used to work with a nurse who referred to her 16yo twin daughters as, "The Bitches"
mama_b's Avatar mama_b 03:33 PM 06-16-2006
I don't know anyone besides us (me and dh) that doesn't spank.
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