To spank or not to spank?


I’ll tell you right up front that this topic is one that my husband and I don’t agree on.  We have come to a meeting of the minds, per se – a decision we both can live with.  However, I am waiting to see what actually happens when Zoe gets older and needs discipline.

I mean, how could I ever spank this girl?

Before we were even married, we had an argument about spanking.  While dining at our favorite french bistro in Windham, the topic came up and got very heated.  I am completely against spanking, and my husband believes in it.

I was spanked as a child.  Thankfully, I was a pretty good kid, so I didn’t get it that often.  I know they had my best interest in mind.  However, I bet my parents would tell you, today, they wish they hadn’t spanked me.  I also bet – they wouldn’t want me spanking their grandchild!

With my background in social work, I have a hard time, ethically, with spanking.  I wouldn’t feel right telling a client to do it, so why should I do it?  In fact, when I worked at a maternity home for pregnant teenagers, we taught them to use other forms of discipline.  We didn’t want to take the chance they would use the method of spanking incorrectly.  When angry, it’s all too easy to spank in the heat of the moment.

I just can’t see the sense in trying to discipline by hitting.  It seems to revolve around fear, and that’s not how I want to operate as a parent.

That being said, at the end of the day – my husband and I agreed that he can spank if he tried everything else and nothing worked.  It would be a last resort.  I really don’t think it will be an issue though.  I have a hard time picturing Zubair spanking.  Not that he’s a push-over.  He’s firm and consistent.  But Zoe is Daddy’s little girl…so we’ll see if his philosophy becomes a reality.

I know many parents spank in love and feel like it’s best for their children.  I may disagree and be uncomfortable with it, but I can accept that there are appropriate ways to do it.

I know it’s a sensitive topic – but I would love to hear your opinion!  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

*Update: I posted my thoughts about sharing this article on another blog as a guest piece and some of the comments I received here at The effects of airing your laundry (aka blogging).


  1. My husband and I are on opposite sides on this one too. I spank, he doesn’t. We grew up in very different households. I was very rarely spanked and he was overly spanked. He threatens sometimes (but never follows through), I just swoop in with a swat on the butt. However, this year we have started to make some changes.

    Truthfully,I have stopped spanking simply because I don’t find it helpful…I guess effective would be a better word. Ill be honest, I have spanked when I was mad and spanked them after a calm discussion. Both just weren’t as effective with my kids as the consequence of taking something away from them or making them do something they don’t like (like cleaning their rooms). Plus, when I spank, I feel horrible afterwards.

    If I felt that it would truly help them change behavior, I would continue to spank. But my experience has been that I get better results through other means. Plus when we go for long period of times without using spanking, I notice less hitting between siblings. I have nothing against parents who do reasonable spanking, I just know it doesn’t work for us.

    • Hi Sara, thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. I really like to hear what works and doesn’t work for other families.

      I remember my parents saying “This hurts me more than you”, right before they spanked me – so I was like – well, then don’t do it. Haha. And I used to pretend to cry right away so they wouldn’t hit more than once.

      It’s interesting that you say it wasn’t effective on your kids…

      I bet no one gets to the end of life and thinks – “Boy, I wish I spanked my kids more”. Well, maybe some… LOL

  2. Pingback: The effects of airing your laundry (aka blogging) | New Mom, New City

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