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Smacking Children (Revisited)

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posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:16 PM
This issue was discussed on ATS in 2012 but it was more anecdotal rather than research-based. A comprehensive review of studies undertaken around the world in the last ten years has been published recently. The review was commissioned by the Scottish National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Children 1st, Barnardo’s Scotland and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland.

Key Findings

The prevalence of physical punishment is decreasing and public attitudes are changing.

There is good evidence that in many countries, including Scotland and the rest of the UK, the prevalence of physical punishment is declining and public attitudes have shifted. Physical punishment is becoming less acceptable, and the vast majority of parents express highly ambivalent and negative feelings about its use.

UK surveys conducted in 1998 and 2009 show a marked decline in the prevalence of physical punishment. In 1998, 61% of young adults reported that they had been smacked in their childhood, while in 2009 this was true for 43%. Physical punishment ‘on a regular basis’ during childhood was reported by 10% of young adults in 1998, but by only 3% in 2009.

Physical punishment is related to detrimental childhood and adult outcomes.

Over the past decade, a vast body of research has accumulated on the consequences of physical punishment for children’s health and development, as well as their later-life health and wellbeing. The current review identified 74 longitudinal studies and two review articles on the outcomes of physical punishment that were published since 2005.

There is strong and consistent evidence from good-quality research that physical punishment is associated with increased childhood aggression and antisocial behaviour. The multitude of these studies, which include observational, gene-environment and experimental designs, and the consistency of their findings suggest that these links are indeed causal.


Physical punishment is related to an increased risk of child maltreatment

A link between physical punishment and child maltreatment was consistently supported in the reviewed literature. Physical punishment carries a worrying and serious risk of escalation into injurious abuse and maltreatment. The evidence supports the notion that physical punishment and physical abuse are part of a continuum of violence, differing only by severity or degree. The fact that definitions of severe physical violence differed substantially between studies from different countries further underscores this view. For
example, in contrast to studies from the US and Canada, a study from Finland (where physical punishment has been prohibited since 1983) adopted a much stricter definition of abuse that included slapping and hitting. These differences serve as an important reminder that such definitions are shaped by societal attitudes.

It is encouraging to see a shift in public opinion.

There is the argument, based on personal anecdotal evidence, that smacking or slapping a child is appropriate in some instances. Research now suggests otherwise.

edit on Wed Jan 27 2016 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed overly long quote IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:31 PM
I wouldn't smack my dog.
If I had children I wouldn't smack them either.

Why anyone would cause a child physical pain is beyond me.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:32 PM
I was raised when it was acceptable to beat a kid's azz. Quite frankly, my parents would probably be accused of child abuse nowadays. However, I am glad my dad showed me who was boss. Otherwise, I might be a screw up like some of the knuckleheads I grew up around.

My grandmother also believed in corporal punishment. I remember once she was watching me while my parents were at work. I was probably 6 or 7 years old at the time. I don't recall what did, but whatever it was it deserved a quick smack. My grandmother knocked the day lights out of me. I told her, "I am going to tell my Dad!..."

My grandmother looked me straight in the eye and said "Tell him! I'll beat his azz too!"

I grew up in the south where we had to go out and pick a switch. A switch is basically small tree branch that is flexible. Maybe about the diameter of a pencil and two feet long. Our parents would hit us with them. They'd cut threw the air and make this swishing sound and leave nice little red welps on your butt.

Now that I have my own son, I have mixed feelings. Different times I guess.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:37 PM
There's really no need to research about the topic, it's cultural.

$20 bucks says that if you introduce this idea to the Asian culture, they'd happily ignore it.

There is a Chinese saying: "Where there is a strict supervision, there is a dutiful son."

It is a poor Western translation.

The literal translation is, "If you want your child to be obedient, respectful and dutiful to his Mom/Dad/Family, you must not spare him/her from the rod"

Meaning, that children only grow up excellent, if you beat them when they disobey.

We don't do that here in the West. You'll be going to jail if you let people see you beat your kids with a wooden stick in the public. In China, it's common everyday drama.

I remember, I had a Taiwanese friend during high school. We ditched class together once and headed out to the mall with a few other friends.

When he went back home, his Mom already knew that he skipped school because the school called his house. The Mom came out with what seemed as close as a baseball bat, started to whack this 15 year old like there is no tomorrow. The poor guy ended up with bruises on his eye, head, arms, legs, literally purple all over. They are also of a very rich family, have a multi-million dollar home here in SoCal.

The point of my story is that, maybe the new researches are correct, but good lucky trying to convince the world.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:42 PM
I agree for the most part. I wouldn't hit my kids for punishment or my dog.

However if my dog kept going after a poisonous snake and I couldn't reason with him I may need to let him know by smacking him he is going to die of a snake bite.

I assume the early version of smacking kids came from needing to convey the idea there is immediate danger or death around the corner if you keep doing that.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 04:44 PM
I don't think spanking works like supporters expect it to. Don't expect someone to be more disciplined because you whipped them. Instead I think doing exercises like push-ups or chores are more efficient.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:05 PM
I used to get the odd smack when I was a kid not a beating but just enough to smack it into my thick head not to do what I did again.
A clip around the ear hole never did me any harm.
Heck I even got smacked pants down in front of class when I was at primary school lol.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:07 PM
I wouldn't beat my children.

And to quote Luis C.K. as a joke, it's only 6 minutes long..:

I find those statements hard to argue.

They are very small... like less than a 100 pounds. You want to like.. strike them? Like an adult? Punch them? Whip them silly with your belt? Any of these things are over the limit.

If you are a parent, you need to be firm, there's no way in hell a small kid could give you any trouble at all. After all, you're bigger than them, stronger, scarier, more mature (I hope). So wouldn't it be taking the "Easy Way Out" when they don't listen and you just whack'em?

To me, that teaches the kid two things:

1. Don't do what you're doing when Mom and Dad is around, do it when they're not.

2. It is ok, to use violence to force someone who's younger and weaker than you to do what you want.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:10 PM

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
I wouldn't smack my dog.
If I had children I wouldn't smack them either.

Why anyone would cause a child physical pain is beyond me.

Ours went through a phase in daycare where he felt it was acceptable to hit his classmates with the toys in an attempt to hurt them.

We went through several different strategies and only succeeded in getting him to double down and hurt more kids.

Finally, we made it clear that he would get a swat for every kid he hit, and that the number of swats he got was completely under HIS control. He went and hit two kids that day. He got two swats. He never did it again.

It was our option of last resort, but we had to make him understand that he was hurting his classmates somehow. Explaining it hasn't done it.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:12 PM
a reply to: truthseeker84

There's really no need to research about the topic, it's cultural

I can see your point although culture is not an excuse for violence. The Daily Mail is reporting a number of horrific child abuse cases in China for some reason. I don't know what their agenda is. It happens all over the world.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:13 PM
a reply to: Morrad

Interestingly I grew up when corporate punishment was allowed even in schools, we grew up respectful of our elders, kept ourselves out of trouble and made it into productive members of society.

Now a days, is not respect from the younger generation toward authority specially family and most youngster think that they are special and deserve everything without working for it.

The generation of today is the "special generation" is not losers just winners even if they are rotten to the core and most ends with juvenile records.

God bless America.
this will be the leaders of the future, I hope I be death by the time they run the country.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:16 PM
One of the posters in the 2012 thread posted a guide (more a regimen) whilst acknowledging that he didn't have any children.

The Guide to Safely Punishing Kids

Guide to Punishing Kids (based on my punishments - I don't have kids, but this is how I would do it - that's my disclaimer )
Adjust ages as you please (within reason, all spankings should be on the butt only of course):

Baby to toddler - Take away possessions temporarily.

Toddler to around 5 - Very, very mild spanking, just the anger and fact you are spanking a child is enough to make the punishment work.

5 to around 10 - A decent spanking (but restrain yourself, you are an adult, but it can sting, it's ONLY on the butt so they can take a little pain).

10 to 14/15 - Grounding/banning from possessions/appliances OR as I was given standing in the corner (for a reasonable amount of time 30 min to an hour is enough. 2 if they did something really out of line) with threat of a spanking, should I not comply (This # WORKS). At this age they are becoming adults so a spanking is more humiliating than it is painful and no one should humiliate their kid EVER that causes real damage. What worked for my dad was making me stand, nose in the corner, while he watched T.V. or worked. He could keep an eye on me. If I tried to move, or leave he would threaten a good spanking. I was aware of how painful and humiliating that would be, so I stood. At this age, you need to let the kid feel like they have a little freedom to take responsibility and make their own choice, even if it is their own punishment. If they get to choose, they are more likely to comply, and wont hate you. So pick something, no: computer/t.v./phone/seeing girlfriend or friends (girlfriend/friend banning is a little harsh and they will hate you, well today they would actually probably freak out more for the video games, but maybe not if you have followed this guide ) and back it up with a spanking.

15/16 and 19 - They are teens. Most of their getting in trouble will likely be them testing their freedoms, or just regular old mistakes. You can't spank them, it would be humiliating and they would probably try to fight you and no matter how big they are or how much you want, you CAN'T fight a 19 year old. Take the car, phone, video games, anything YOU pay for really and back it up with the freedom to not let them be punished, but show sincere disappointment (If you have followed my outline up until that point I would almost guarantee that, unless you have a sociopath child, they will have enough respect to be punished or at least sincerely apologetic which is better.

20 and up - It's their mistake, show disappointment and let them make it. If it's something really big, and they want to fight you I would just stand down with the disappointment. If they hit you however, and depending on the situation (if it's emotional, death/end of relationship/etc, you can't fight them they need support over a lesson) hit them back, ha ha, they are adults and haven't learned a thing.

He makes a few good points although the under 10s I disagree with. I also think standing in a corner is not appropriate for an older child.


posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:21 PM
a reply to: Morrad

The thing about spanking is this: It should never be done in anger, ever. And it is not synonymous with a beating. It's a mild swat that shouldn't ever leave a mark or even hurt much. In fact, ours has already out grown the level of force we feel comfortable using. He already tells us "he'll be brave" and doesn't flinch, so it's no longer effective. And honestly, we only ever used it in circumstances when he was causing real pain or had endangered himself and nothing else had worked, so it was a rare occurrence.

As I type, he's spending his afternoon in his bedroom because he spit on a classmate at recess. He's got strong emotions and hates to feel like he's loosing and came off worse in a game of tag. I guess the frustrations spilled over because this is an entirely new frontier. But I know spanking is out.

edit on 27-1-2016 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:22 PM
a reply to: Morrad

I want the study on smacking politicians.

Regardless of the results it should be done over and over and over.

edit on 02131America/ChicagoWed, 27 Jan 2016 18:02:15 -0600000000p3142 by interupt42 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:25 PM
a reply to: Monkeyguns

I used to get the odd smack when I was a kid not a beating but just enough to smack it into my thick head not to do what I did again. A clip around the ear hole never did me any harm. Heck I even got smacked pants down in front of class when I was at primary school lol.

I was lashed with a belt on numerous occasions (1960-70s) which left me with a sore red butt and an inability to sit down for a good 30 minutes. On reflection during my 20s, I realised that I never really learned anything from those experiences, only absolute fear of doing the same thing again.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:30 PM
a reply to: Morrad

That's why it's only used on the younger kids. It's before they are old enough to understand reason well, and it's why ours only got a swat in circumstances involving pain in some way, either his or that of others.

He's old enough now to understand what it means to hurt better, so it's not necessary.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:32 PM
I was smacked as a child I can remember having red hand marks on my legs at times but in 60's and 70's I think most of my friends were too.

I have an 8 year son and I can honestly say I have never smacked him or been heavy handed. The reasoning isnt because of my childhood (I had a happy childhood although I was smacked) it is just that I have never been angry enough to want to smack and if I did get to the point where I felt I wanted to smack then in my eyes it would just mean I had lost control. I also dont understand why we think a man hitting a woman is wrong but then not think it is wrong for a big adult to hit a smaller child, I also dont understand how I could tell my son how wrong hitting someone is only to then go on to hit him.

However, how I raise my child is my personal preference and I think parents should have the freedom to raise their child as they see fit as long as it isnt abusive.

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:45 PM
a reply to: marg6043

The generation of today is the "special generation" is not losers just winners even if they are rotten to the core and most ends with juvenile records.

I looked at this recently. From what I read, UK juvenile delinquency rates were higher in the corporal punishment era. In the 1980's judicial correction employed the swift sharp shock treatment but it failed miserably.

I agree with you about the "special generation" although personal experience suggests parenting is responsible. My sister has always adopted a laissez-faire attitude with her children. They can do no wrong. She is overly protective and meets all their needs without question. The result is 3 lazy children with a sense of entitlement who do not work and play computer games for 15-18 hours a day. One of them did find a job and he was on the phone to his mother in tears after 4 hours saying his feet hurt!

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:47 PM
I agree Charlie but I also think emotional abuse can be just as damaging to a child. My mum used to give me the silent treatment for what seemed like days on end if she disapproved of something and that actually scarred me far more than the smacks. Evennow as an adult I still hate it when someone blanks me I would much rather have a row and then forget it and move on.a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

posted on Jan, 27 2016 @ 05:52 PM
a reply to: anxiouswens

I guess it's different strokes for different folks.

As Ketsuko said above, she tried every avenue possible to stop her child being aggressive with others...
And I'll be damned before I tell an actual parent they're doing it wrong.
What the f do I know about raising a child.

That said I was smacked as a kid, not often, but probably when it mattered.
It's just not something I'd contemplate.

I like the idea of chores and exercise Teddy916 mentioned.
Militaristic behaviour more often than not produces a disciplined child.

For me growing up it was TaeKwonDo.
I learned discipline patience obedience and honour from a young age without the need to be struck.

But then not all kids enjoy martial arts either.

I don't think there is a universal answer to this very old question of how to discipline a child.
Doubt there ever will be.
edit on 27-1-2016 by CharlieSpeirs because: Autocorrect.

edit on 27-1-2016 by CharlieSpeirs because: Autocorrect.

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