Personal Journal

How to Spank Your Kids the Right Way

Discipline your children, and they will give you peace of mind and will make your heart glad. – Proverbs 29:17

I’m by no means a perfect person, or a perfect parent, but there is one thing that I am happy to say about my household: I have peace in my house and my heart is glad.

My kids are pleasant for the most part. We have lots of fun together. They aren’t afraid of me. They are fun-loving, carefree toddlers, just like all toddlers should be. They ask a lot of questions, they like to get into stuff, they make a mess, they pee in their pants, but they’re great kids. I love ’em.

I don’t ever yell at my kids. Ever. But they seem to mind pretty good. Just today I was able to get my two year old to eat all her vegetables without lifting my voice at all. How, you ask? I spank my kids.

I don’t like to spank my kids. I really don’t. I avoid it as much as possible, but I’ve found that it is the only effective way to really teach your children properly. I like rewards much better. Today I told my two year old that if she ate all her vegetables that I would give her a popsicle afterwards. Sometimes that works. Today it didn’t. She didn’t care about the popsicle enough to want to eat her vegetables. It’s important to me that she eats her vegetables, so I added the punishment: “Katee, if you don’t eat your vegetables, I’m going to give you a spanking, but if you do, I’m going to give you a popsicle”

WHAT?? I can see the jaws dropping now and the heads shaking. But here’s the thing: it worked. She ate every last bite. Then I gave her a popsicle – and she was glad to have it! I was happy, she was happy. She even gave me a proud high-five after eating the last bite of veggies.

You might be wondering, “would he have really spanked her for not eating them?” Yes I would. I have before.

But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have forced her to eat them. You can’t really force anyone to do anything. You can only hope to persuade them. As a parent, I know that Katee needs to eat her vegetables, so I want to be very persuasive.

Some people may think this is harsh, but I think its much less harsh than what I see in households all the time: yelling and screaming constantly, parents emotionally trashing their kids to try to get them to do what they want them to do. I think that is abusive. Spanking your kids properly is not abusive.

A few months ago I asked Halle to pick up her toys. She wouldn’t. I told her that if she didn’t, I would give her a spanking. I calmly told her I was going to count to three and if she didn’t get started she was getting a spanking. Three came and she wasn’t moving. I picked her up and carried her over to the couch. She screamed bloody murder. She begged and pleaded not to get spanked, she said she was sorry, but I know that if you want your kids to respect you, then your threats need to be meaningful. I pulled the back of her pants down just enough to expose her buttocks. I took a wooden spoon and spanked her, and I made sure it hurt. One or two licks is all I do, sometimes three. I explained to her why she needed to listen to me and then I held her as lovingly as possible until she stopped crying (I won’t let them go to their mother until they calm down). After about 10 minutes she was calmed down enough, and I let her go to her mother. As toddlers, I usually don’t make them do whatever I spanked them for after I spank them. I don’t feel like it’s a worth having to spank them again if they don’t do it. The point is that I give them a choice, and now they know (or are reminded) that choosing a spanking is not the best choice.

I’ve never had to spank Halle again regarding picking up her toys. As a matter of fact, I spank my children very rarely. Once or twice a month is all I ever spank them. It was more in the beginning when we first started spanking them, but once they learned how it works it was a lot less. Today I ask Halle to pick up her toys and she does it. Sometimes she cries while she’s doing it, but she does it. And it’s amazing how happy she is with herself after she does!

So am I doing this just to have a calm household? No, not just for me, but for them. The incredible skill that spankings teach them will be a skill that will be invaluable in their future. It’s called self-discipline.

When Halle picks up toys, crying while she does it, she’s exercising self-discipline. She is learning that, in life, you have to do things you don’t want to do sometimes. She picks up her toys now because she doesn’t want the pain of a spanking. But that same exercise of self-discipline will come in handy when she needs to study for a test, so she won’t face the pain of failing, or manage her money, so she won’t face the pain of being broke. The uses of this great skill are endless.

“But,” someone might say, “spankings don’t work for my child.” Well, take your bible then, and throw it out the window. Seriously.

God says that it works. Maybe you just aren’t working it right.

I think the majority of the time, people who say spankings don’t work either don’t spank hard enough, or don’t continue in it – they give up after a few times.

I remember as a kid, I was terrified of my dad’s spankings, but with my mom, I would just pretend to cry when she spanked me so she wouldn’t get my dad. Her spankings didn’t hurt. Spankings need to hurt.

Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, As do stripes the inner depths of the heart. – Proverbs 20:30 (see also Heb 12:11)

You don’t have to beat the tar out of your kid to make it hurt. It just has to sting. That’s why I never recommend using your hand. Your hand is a blunt object that probably has some padding on it. You’ll have to really hit your kid hard to make it hurt. But if you use a wooden spoon or small stick, a little whack will sting bad, but do no damage. Try it on yourself. It’ll sting, but nothing more.

The second thing is that you must continue in it. Be serious if you threaten a spanking. If you don’t go through with your threats your children will easily and quickly pick up on it. It may take a little bit for it to start working. Use wisdom. Pray about it. Ask God for help.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on this. My kids are still toddlers. All I know is that this is what the bible clearly teaches – and it works for me so far.

I work around a lot of teenagers. Self-discipline is severely lacking in many of them. Is it because spankings have become so taboo? I think it might have something to do with it. I can’t tell for sure. But I sure can tell which teens have been properly raised up with the paddle. They tend to be the most pleasant, the most respectful, and the most diligent. I want my kids to be that way. I’m sure you do, too.

[For more on this subject, see my previous blog entitled “You shall beat your child with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell.”]

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206 comments

  1. The Bible also endorses stoning one’s children to death. I hope you don’t read the whole thing so uncritically. That said, I wish more of today’s parents disciplined their children…Most don’t, and the results aren’t pretty.

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    1. With all due respect ma’am, the bible does not endorse such a thing. The only thing that is close to this idea is the command under a temporary jewish penal system to stone a GROWN son (an adult) who is continually rebellious after many repeated warnings, and this only after he is brought before the authorities. The book of proverbs (the book i have quoted in my blog) is not a part of that Jewish penal system, but a book of transcendent wisdom that we would do well to heed.

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  2. My 3.5 year old son is driving my insane. His daycare claims that he is the most well-behaved kid in the group. But at home, it is quite the opposite. According to his pediatrician this is normal, and I tend to agree. Better this than the other way around.

    The problem I’m having though is the level of open disobedience he has. I have no problem spanking him. But it doesn’t work. Nothing works. Timeouts are a joke and spanking is almost as useless. I could spank him once everyday of the week and he still won’t respect my authority.

    Bed time is the worst. With enough warning of the encroaching bed time, he won’t fight the starting of the process, which is great. We have a routine and we stick to it every night. When he’s finally in bed and I’m ready to leave the room, the pr

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    1. Didn’t finish…

      Problem happens when I leave the room. I tell him every night – when I shut this door I don’t want any yelling or banging or screaming. If I have to cone back in here it will be to spank you.

      Inevitably he rebels right away so I go in and spank him and leave. 5 minutes later he yells and bangs on his bed so I go in and spank him again. This is usually the end of it for the night. But this is a nightly occurrence. Frankly, the spanking is not working. I spank him every night for the same reason. I’m about to call it quits and just sound proof his room so I don’t hear him openly defying my rule. Obviously I know that’s not the answer, but I’m seriously at my wits end here.

      Ideas?

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      1. Hey Jeremy, thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m going to throw a few suggestions at you, but since I don’t know your whole situation, some may or may not apply.

        1- make sure you are spending plenty of quality time playing with him and loving him. If not, you will provoke him to anger.

        2- Make sure your spankings are meaningful. Don’t use your hand; use a wooden spoon or small wooden rod. Test it on yourself and make sure it stings bad, but doesn’t cause harm. I often see parents throw their hands up when it comes to spanking, and often the case is that the spanking isn’t causing pain – remember, you need blows that hurt.

        3- I would recommend not spanking him for screaming in bed. Just let him scream until he falls asleep. It’s hard for kids to control their emotions that young. Instead, put your headphones in and just ignore it (or use a noise maker). If he gets out of bed, tell him that next time that if he gets out of bed, that you will spank him. After a while he’ll realize that screaming doesn’t work and he will not do it for as long, until he doesn’t do it at all.

        Spankings DO work. The bible says they do, and God doesn’t lie. If it’s not working for you then you aren’t working it right. Change up your tactics, pray for wisdom, be patient, and do everything out of love. Your son needs to respect your authority. His well-being as a person depends on it.

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  3. You might be wondering, “would he have really spanked her for not eating them?” Yes I would. I have before.

    “But here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have forced her to eat them. You can’t really force anyone to do anything. You can only hope to persuade them. As a parent, I know that Katee needs to eat her vegetables, so I want to be very persuasive.”

    Is that not the same as force her to eat? Is either get a painfully spanking or eating. For a child or a adult a pure force to eat. Sometimes I also get something I can not eat or dislike as a adult. Spanking for not eating can also have bad long term signs later. If I get something on my plate and one say “you either eat this or you get a very painfully spanking!” what would you choose?

    Is it not strange that parents can inflict pain on purpose on children but you would not do it on your pets or your wife.

    Have you heard of Beth Fenimore? A open letter to Mr. Dobson. Her father spanked her in the name of God. She got a severe spanking. If she cried too long after a spanking then she got a new spanking for it. The list goes on. You can read that open letter by your self.

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    1. Ronnie, there are ditches on both sides of the road. I do not doubt that Ms. Fenimore was abused. I do not abuse my kids. I personally know people that are glad their parents spanked them when they were kids. I’m glad my parents spanked me. There is a difference between abuse and proper spanking.

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    2. It is the same as forcing. You are correct. It’s highly manipulative, as well. Most children will choose sweets over a spanking/physical pain. There is no real skill in this ‘tactic’. It’s like driving a beater, instead of the lexus, that you are worthy of. I grew gardens when my children were young. We tended that garden and ate daily during the summer- those raw vegis. I role modeled. I never used pain to force feed healthy eating habits. I grew it, showed it and made it available, while keeping junk food to a minimum. Our children followed behind us and copied us. We paid no special attention, nor did we bribe or reward like the training of a beast or lab rat. It became clear over time what vegis they didn’t like and we respected that. They had enough likes, that each and every vegi placed in front of them was not needed in order to be healthy. We never turned food into a disobedient crisis. Much of the ‘spanking’ advice on this page is a rather hysterical reaction. It’s fear based. It takes little skill as well. Anyone can use pain and intimidation to control other beings. Sad thing, is it’s sad, that some believe it’s what God wants. It might be what the parent wants and their church, but it’s not God. Not God at all. It’s man. Sick man.

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      1. Judy, you speak very certainly about what you think God wants, but you provide no scripture. I don’t care what I think, I just want to know what God thinks about the subject. God seems to think spanking is what’s best for a child as He has chosen to reveal to us through the scriptures. I’m going to go with what God thinks.

        And by the way, why do you feel the need to attack my person? You don’t know me, nor my family. How can you say that I’m a sick man? You should only judge a tree by its fruits.

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      2. The rod is something a shepherd used to guide his sheep, not to beat or hit them with it. I see a little 2 year old just a wee older than a BABY and just cringe at the thought that someone could hit them “hard” because they won’t pick up their toys or eat their vegetables. You do have to discipline your children but spanking is the easy way out and it doesn’t work in the long term. Kids just start hiding things from their parents so they won’t get hurt by them. You say you have a loving, happy family. I’m sure you do until out comes the spoon and the kids know Daddy or Mommy is going to hurt me now. Not such a happy, loving dad or mom in my opinion.

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      3. Hi Lori, spanking is most definitely not the easy way out. I do not like to spank my kids. I do it because it’s right. The bible specifically tells us that the rod is for beating (Pro 23:13-14). When I say ‘hard’ I am being relative, as I explain in the blog. Hard for a two year old would not be very hard in reality, just enough to sting. The reason I said ‘hard’ was because I’ve seen so many parents with kids out of control who spank with a limp-wristed pat. That’s not going to do.
        And spanking most assuredly works in the long run. I’ve interviewed many adults who have been spanked by loving parents as children. I have yet to find one who isn’t glad that they did.

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      4. There’s nothing you Can with people that thinks what they do it’s right because “God says so”. This is so easy! They do things because they read It in a book. I don’t think it’s reasonable ti discuss with someone who act that way just because it’s written in the bible. In the Bible there are manu horrible episodes. Judges 21:10-24. And what about this?! (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

        If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

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  4. Bravo. If you spank right you won’t need to do it. We spank with a belt (not too hard) with their clothes and underwear/diaper off. 1 to 2 swats per year of age, enough to make them really cry, and they don’t misbehave again.

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  5. Doesn’t your daughter fight with you hold her pants/underwear so you can’t pull them down? ? Doesn’t she cover with her hands so u can’t give her anymore spanks?? The reason why I ask is cause I know a 7yr old who fights holds the waist band of his pants/underwear so his mom can’t get them down and he covers with his hands. Plus he fights till he is on his stomach laying on the floor. Is this typical just asking? ?

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    1. Yes, it’s typical. I tell my daughter that she can move her hands or she’ll get an extra swat. This usually works for me. Of course, I’m much stronger than my daughters, so I can usually hold their hands away if I need to. My wife has a much harder time. (Kids are strong!) In the case you are speaking of, this woman might need to solicit extra help from other caring adults.

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      1. You are the man to teach her about standing up for herself in a healthy way. That man, that lays that foundation. Yet, you violate her sense of being and self, from the get go.

        You try and change her, to fit your needs and beliefs. Delusional respect, on your part.

        You are much stronger than your daughter. You’re a man and grown. How un-mighty of you, in the end.

        ” I tell my daughter that she can move her hands or she’ll get an extra swat”.

        What you’re really telling your daughter, is that she needs to stop listening to her God given ability and built in need to protect her body. Her body, not your body. Her body. God’s body- not your body.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. If your kid is fighting you pulling his or her pants and underwear down, there is a simple fix. Take all of their clothes completely off and spank them naked. It’s a lot easier with no clothes in the way, they don’t get their feet all tangled up and they can’t try to pull their pants back up. It also hurts more and is more embarassing when they’re naked, and it will make them think twice about resisting a spanking again.

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  6. Hal,

    Thanks for your great post. Our 4 year old is out of control and I feel that implementing spankings the right way is direly needed. I feel confident after reading your post and this one from Focus on the Family: http://tinyurl.com/mjllml2 However, there are other interpretations of Proverbs proclaimed by those also claiming to be Christian, who discourage spankings and cite issues with biblical linguistics, translation and interpretation: http://parentingfreedom.com/discipline/

    Unfortunately, it’s a long read. Are you familiar with these counter arguments? I need help discerning the truth. I feel like spankings administered with a Christian attitude and love is the right approach. Would love to get your feedback. Thank You!

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    1. Hey Jason! I’ll take the time to read that post, but even without reading it I can tell you that I know a lot of people who are adults who are perfectly fine and grateful that their parents spanked them. Certainly there are abuses, and that’s a problem. But as long as you are doing it out of love and self control, then you are fine.

      I just did a poll in my youth group (I’m a youth pastor), and asked how many of them were spanked as children. All of them raised their hand. Then I asked how many of them were emotionally scarred because of it. None of them raised their hand. Then a high school senior raised his hand and said, “I was spanked as a child and because of it I now suffer with this psychological disorder called “Respect for others!”

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  7. Good grief. You don’t have to hurt your children to make them behave. You are a bully and you can quote the Bible all you want. I can’t believe you would inflict pain on your children. I never laid a hand on my child and she grew to be valedictorian of her class and graduated summa cum laude in college. She has never been in trouble in her life. Stop hurting your children. So do you hit your wife when she misbehaves? Of course not. Then why would you hit your children?

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    1. Lori –

      I think it’s important to realize that all kids are unique and as such, there cannot be a singular all encompassing approach to disciplining all children.

      Your experiences with raising your daughter cannot possibly be the same experiences I have had with either of my two children. So for you to take only your experiences and make a general rule for the masses, is not realistic.

      Conversely, anyone who assumes that a literal translation of an antient text (the Bible) is qualified as a modern day parenting handbook – needs to seek guidance in the area of critical thinking.

      Again, one size does not fit all. I have diligently tried spanking my 4 year old son and have come to the conclusion that it does not work with him. I don’t doubt that spanking works with some children. It just simply doesn’t work with all children. This is why I stress the need for critical thinking. If your bible tells you only to spank, what are you to do if your child is one that needs a different aporoach?

      Use your brain parents.

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      1. I totally respect your opinion and also totally disagree. You are a very young man (Hal) and I think some people tend to think if you don’t spank your kids you are not disciplining them. There are many forms of discipline. I think when you inflict pain on your kids (as you say you hit them “hard”) you teach them that violence and aggression is the way of the world as they grow. Taking away privileges works just as well and you don’t have to physically inflict pain on anyone. It takes more time to actually talk to them and take away something they really like than to go for the spanking. A little swat on the butt is one this but hitting your kids on their bare butts (hard) is mean spirited and in my opinion a type of bullying. If you don’t do what I say I’m going to hurt you…..That is wrong in my humble and much older opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi Lori. ‘Hard’ is a relative term. Maybe I should change it in my blog, but if you read on in my blog I explain what I mean by ‘hard.’ The reason I wrote ‘hard’ is because I see many parents spank their kids with a limp wristed pat, and they wonder why their kids don’t listen to them. When I say ‘hard’ I mean hard in the sense that it causes a sting that is meaningful. I explained that in my blog. I certainly do not condone child abuse.

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    2. Hi Lori. I don’t know your circumstance, but I can see that you may be inclined to using name calling and shame to forward your positions. I hope those were not your methods of discipline. Harsh words cause a much more permanent wound than a small swat on the buttocks.
      But even so, all children are different. My wife was only spanked one time in her life (by her parents, not me!). She seemed to have ability to listen a lot more than her sisters, who needed spankings more regularly. Your one child may have been an exceptional child, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that most children need firmer boundaries. My oldest daughter very rarely needs a spanking. My younger daughter is a different story.
      As far as the Bible goes, it is my steady rock in a world that is blown back and forth by every wind. God’s word has proven to me to be a beacon of infinite wisdom, as it has for millions of others.

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    3. He IS NOT A BULLY!!!! He loves his kids which is why he spanks them.
      We all have different opinions but you need to respect this. Just because you don’t agree with Hal’s opinion, doesn’t mean he is a bully! And it most definitely does not mean you get to disrespect him.

      If you can’t politely and respectfully put your two sense into things, then you have no business commenting.

      Just saying.

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  8. Thank you, Hal , for your original post and all the follow-ups. Most enlightening and appreciated.
    I was spanked as a child as was my sister and all my close friends and their siblings, It worked.
    I spanked my kids. It worked.
    My one child who, so far, has kids spanks her kids. It works.
    I knew I was loved, my kids know they were/are loved. My Grands sure as heck know they are loved.
    I work in a school. Its almost easy to tell which kids are/were spanked. Those are the kids who listen, the majority of the time. Those are the kids who do as they are instructed, the majority of the time. Those are the kids who privately find you and apologize to you for their poor behavior earlier in the day.
    Again, THANK YOU!

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      1. Almost everyone I knew growing up was spanked. Also, almost everyone I knew growing up would never hit their kids. There are so many other options. Inflicting pain on a 2 year old is wrong in my opinion. Kids are capable of learning without hurting them. There are so many jobs that require discipline such as the military and the commanding officers don’t hit their troops. You said previously that your wife wasn’t spanked as a kid. I don’t understand why she would allow her children to be spanked. Did she turn out so horribly because she wasn’t spanked? My daughter got straight A’s and graduate summa cum laude from college after never being spanked. I think it’s time to learn to use other means of discipline. We need to learn and grow as people.

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  9. I’m glad the Bible is your rock. I never called my daughter names. But I did give her all the love and time she needed. The Bible is a guide in my humble opinion and I don’t think you can take everything in it literally. It has been translated many times and books have been removed. I think that kids who are spanked are really good at hiding things they have done wrong. Those that know they won’t be hit are more likely to be honest and speak freely with their parents. I don’t think you should take “spare the rod, spoil the child” literally. I think you can interpret it as “spare the discipline, spoil the child.” I think so many people think the only discipline is physically hurting children. I totally disagree. I don’t believe in hitting anything, children, animals or other adults. It’s just wrong.

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    1. If you do any digging at all you can find research that shows that spanking doesn’t work and in fact causes harm.

      Even if you think your (spanked) kids turned out “fine”, you will never know what baggage you actually gave them that they will carry the rest of their lives.

      Here’s a good read on the American Psychologist Association website:

      http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/04/spanking.aspx

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      1. I agree with you, Jeremy S. I wish other people would take a serious look at what they are doing to their children.

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  10. Spankings do work. They kept me in check. I work for a Fortune 500 company in the IT department. All my co workers have degrees, sizeable incomes and they all were spanked with belts. Most of the kids I grew up with were not spanked and were hellions. They are now struggling in life or in jail

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    1. It’s not really a debatable issue.

      Every single developed country’s Psychological Associations have run studies that show the negative side effects of corporal punishment. That doesn’t mean that spanking didn’t keep you or some of your colleagues in line. It does mean though that it wasn’t necessary and according to scientific fact – you were harmed.

      So, the literal interpretation of a Bible passage is once again standing in direct defiance of contemporary knowledge and as a result holding back societal advancement.

      Similarly, most of the world’s Christians accept that a literal Biblical interpretation of a 7 day creation is undeniably false. It’s really only a small percentage of Christians living mostly in the US that choose to believe literal translations – in open defiance of logic and reason.

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      1. There’s a pretty even 50/50 split among people when it comes to spankings. Each side is going to cite their own definitive and undeniable sources. If spanking were truly as inhumane as some people belive it to be — there certainly wouldn’t be nearly as many people attesting to the effectiveness of spankings when performed correctly as described by Hal. I was spanked as a child and THANK my parents for using it as a tool to correct and teach. I spank my children in the same way. It simply works.

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    1. Hi Anne, I wish you could meet my family and I. I think if you met us you wouldnt judge us so harahly. We all love each other very much. My girls are daddy’s girls and we have lots of fun together. Spankings have been going on in loving families forever, and just because some people abuse it doesnt mean that it doesnt have its proper place.

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      1. If you would have been able to meet my family when I was younger, you would have preceded us as a loving family as well. And yes we still are but I can recall all the times my dad spanked me and as much as I love him, I will never ever forget that. It left a big crack in our relationship, which sadly is not fixable with love or hugs. I know you are intending to leave a lasting effect on your girls, just be aware it might last a little longer than just their childhood and teenager years.

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      2. Anne, I can’t speak for your situation, but I’ve had many people tell me just the opposite – that they are glad their parents spanked them. Maybe your dad went too far, I don’t know. I do hope you’ll forgive him, though, and not let that hinder your future relationship with him. God Bless

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      3. Hal, I am sure you spank your kids not to hurt them but you think it is to teach them from right and wrong. I’m also sure that you do not want to hurt them and don’t abuse them. I do think that a lot of parents use spanking as a way to take out their frustrations on their children. I have seen a lot of kids spanked in my life time and the majority of those spankings were out of control and abusive. I don’t see anything wrong with a swat on the behind but there is fine line between that and abuse. It is not necessary to use a spoon, a hairbrush, a belt to get your point across. Spanking is not the only form of discipline. We can’t take everything in the Bible literally can we? Are women unclean when they are menstruating? Should a man be able to beat his wife, etc? Times have changed and use the Bible as a guide. I think “spare the rod, spoil the child” can be interpreted as , “spare the discipline and spoil the child.” The are just so many other non violent ways to teach a child right from wrong. Spanking is an easy way out. It’s much harder to take away a privilege and stick to your guns.

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  11. The point isn’t that dpanking doesn’t work. It clearly works in stopping and deterring.

    The point is that it isn’t necessary.

    Research has clearly shown that other, non-violent techniques are just as, if not more effective, and don’t include the negative side effects that come with spankings.

    Again, to be clear, here is what the research is showing:

    1. Spankings work.
    2. At the same time, spankings can cause unwanted mental and emotional side effects. But yes they still work.
    3. Other disciplinary techniques also work just as well. And these other methods do NOT cause the same negative side effects.

    Not sure why this is difficult to understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The reason I wrote this blog is because I’ve encountered many children and families in my line of work. I don’t care to spank my kids, I’d rather not do it. However, real life experience has shown me that other methods are not effective. I see good, loving families ALL THE TIME who have out-of-control children because they are afraid spanking will warp their child’s personality, and they’re afraid of being judged.

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  12. The things you’ve seen are not inline with what researchers have found, plain and simple.

    This is precisely why scientist’s and researcher’s jobs are so vital. They provide us with insight outside of our own relatively small pool of experiences.

    I think what’s going on right now is that parents in our society are in an awkward transitional state with regards to their disciplinary techniques. We are leaving a stage in which the only disciplinary tool parents were taught to use was spanking. And now that we know that spanking is linked to emotional and mental harm, we need to help parents learn how to use the alternative methods that we know are just as effective and that don’t cause harm.

    So yes, you have undoubtedly seen a lot of families with out of control kids.

    The answer though isn’t to ignore the research and revert back to the dark ages. The answer is to embrace knowledge and and embrace positive change. We need to be educating parents on effective non-violent techniques. They do work when administered correctly. Just as you would argue that spanking has to be done right, the same goes for all forms of discipline.

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      1. Jason,

        I have a 5 year old boy and an 18mo old girl. I don’t take this topic lightly. And no I’m not confused about dpanking versus beating.

        I was raised in a baptist church, my parents spanked me and my sister, as did nearly every other patent in our church with their own kids. I understand the “right” way to spank.

        With my son, it didn’t work. I tried for a long time. Tried and tried and tried.

        Now, I’m not anti-spank because it didn’t work for my son. I understand it works for lots of kids. The point is, even with non-beating spanking, the research has shown emotional and psychological damage. On top of that, there ARE other methods that work.

        In all seriousness, watch a TV show called Super Nanny. Sounds stupid, but there are a lot of effective techniques that do not involve violence. You may consider it semantics, but spanking is violent. No way around that one bud. Even if done according to Hal’s description. I wouldn’t call it severe, but hitting is a violent act.

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    1. Also, there seems to be some confusion between spanking vs beating. Hal’s blog post is NOT about beating. It is about spanking the right way. You refer to spanking as “corporal punishment”. I just want to make sure you aren’t talking about beating. Here’s an example of “scholarly research” that includes a picture of someone who was beaten. The image caption is the ONLY place the word “beat” is used. The word “spank[ing]” or “corporal punishment” is cited 24 times throughout the remaining report. This suggests that the researchers either a) don’t understand the difference, or b) would like to lead readers into thinking that corporal punishment, spankings, and beatings are all synonymous, which they are not. Link here: http://www.med.unc.edu/www/newsarchive/2010/august/corporal-punishment-of-children-remains-common-worldwide-unc-studies-find

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  13. I agree with Jeremy. Spanking is not the only form of discipline. People just don’t seem to get that. Just because you don’t physically inflict pain on your children it does not mean you do not discipline them. Every time I was spanked as a kid (which was not often) I told myself I would never hit my kids and I have not. It really is not necessary. You have to pick your battles and remember that children are NOT little soldiers. If your child doesn’t eat her vegetables then how about no dessert or no TV of no to something she likes instead of hitting. Society learns all the time about a multitude of things and we have to learn that spanking is not necessary. You do know that spanking your children is illegal in Sweden right? They have a very low crime rate.

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  14. The Bible also says not to eat pigs, the earth is flat, and condones selling children into slavery. If spanking works, that’s fine, but to tell people who don’t spank that they should because of the Bible is pitiful

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    1. The Bible actually says the earth is round (Isa 40:22), eating pigs isnt really good for you anyway, and no where does it condone the selling of children. The bible is the most amazing book I’ve ever read, and following it works in every area of your life.

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      1. Exodus 21:7 says a daughter sold into slavery is not to go free as a man would. I’d say if it gives orders on what happens after children are sold into slavery, it pretty much condones it.

        Also, one of the main reasons people are leaving religion is the Bible provides little answers on how to deal with modern day problems. It seems rather awkward that the word of god would also have books dedicated to talking how to properly sacrifice animals and plant crops.

        Also, I think a loving god would find a more loving way to deal with kids making fun of a bald man than having 2 bears brutally kill them the way it says in 2nd Kings.

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      2. Hey brother — I admire your sincerity. You’ve got some great questions and I wondered the meaning of those passages right along with you. I assure you that with some Googling, you can get some direction on what appear to be plain issues of discrimination and brutality. I think our (mine included) lack of knowledge/understanding of the culture and context of the time often stand in the way of our true understanding of a passage. In fact, some Bibles include a sort of companion study text to provide some of the historal and cultural references to aid you. But if not satisfied, you can always turn to online sources — SO DON’T GIVE UP! Also, what “modern day problems” are you referring to that the Bible not answer? It’s actaully pretty facinating that the bible contains so many DIFFERENT kinds of books written by different authors. I agree that some of the old testament seems…well…OLD! 🙂 Basically, the old testament is about God’s old covenant, which required following lots of rules to “attone” for one’s sin, which was basically a non-stop operation. The new testament is about God’s new covenant — meaning all of those old rules no longer need apply with the greatest sacrifice of God’s own son. The old testament is also full of phrophecies — many of which were fulfilled by Jesus in the new testament and still others that Jesus will fulfill when he returns again.

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      3. Such a massively convoluted story one must accept to allow for a literal translation of the bible. Pretty hilarious that one would need google to understand god’s intentions.

        I’ll just go ahead and unsubscribe from these blog updates since no one is willing to address the simple fact that studies have shown a connection between a biblically condoned practice and emotional and mental harm (spanking) – simply to protect the concept of a literal translation.

        It’s like a crazy game of whack-a-mole trying to explain away all the contradictions.

        Bye now!

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  15. Of course the Katee”-belle” is going to chose the popsicle over a beating, who wouldn’t !? But you didn’t teach her anything, you just blackmailed her. “Cletus” Chafee, you need to get your redneck ignorant ass in school and learn how to discipline your offspring without corporal punishment. It’s not your fault for thinking this way. Really. Your writing this kind trash because you don’t know any better or have been brainwashed by the local religious authority. Read a few books on parenting or developmental psychology and you will see that the way a young mind works is not the same as the way an adult mind works. You won’t burn in hell for it…

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    1. I don’t give neither popsicle nor spanking and they eat vegetables because they learn to do It just as I did. It’s pointless to give sugar after every health meal. We don’t buy junk food. And our children are used to eat what it’s in the house and there is a lot of food and vegetables.

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  16. Couple questions: When you exercise discipline do you take the child to their room, etc? How important is privacy in the spanking? Also, how do you handle misbehavior in a store, church, etc?

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    1. Hi David, for some reason many kids seem to like watching other kids be spanked (kind of demented, I know; shows the fallen nature of the flesh). That being the case, I always take them to another room, but usually just the next room over, whatever that happens to be. I do want my other kids to know what is happening.

      As far as in public, that’s a little harder. Unfortunately we live in a society where people think you are a child abuser if you spank your kids (and may even report you as one!). Kids can be overdramatic, and so spanking them in a store might cause a huge scene. I’ve threatened my kids that I would take them to the car and give them a spanking. Fortunately, I’ve only had to do that once. I was at church. But if I was shopping or something, I probably would be reluctant. Someone passing by could get the wrong idea. It would probably be best to take them home before giving them a spanking.

      Those are my thoughts.

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      1. Are you dure that the kids are also happy to been seen by their sibilings while they get spanked? Isn’t It a top much humiliating?

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  17. Hal, doing some research I have come across instances where counting is discouraged and it is suggested the spanking be given if the child doesn’t obey after 1st instruction. Also curious of your thoughts on giving a spanking after one child hits or hurts another? Also the wait until your dad gets home until correction or a follow up spanking by dad?

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  18. First of all, I would like to say there is a huge difference between abuse and spanking. However, my stance is both are morally wrong. Really the number one reason I am agnaist spanking is because I believe violence is not the answer, and all throughout the Bible there are anti violence verses. So spanking, actually why are we even calling it spanking? It is hitting/striking a child so my don’t we say hitting or striking? Maybe is it because hitting sounds worse and you tell your children not to hit, so to avoid sounding like a hypocrite we call it spanking? Interesting. (Also I am not trying to be offensive by using the word hypocrite. My intent is not to judge you and other spankers based on one thing you do. God shall be the only one to judge us.) Anyway, so if your going to spank your daughter for not eating her vegetables I would assume if she ever ( and I am in no way suggesting your daughter would do this) started to hit you, I would assume you would spank her. I mean, if you only spank her to “persuade” her and only spank her when you want her to do things then there is a whole nother issue. ( It even seems as though you are trying to avoid her calling out the hypocrisy of spanking.) So let’s use the word hitting since that’s what it really is. For the vegetable incident you probably said something along the line “if you don’t eat your vegetables I am going to hit (spank) you.” Let’s recap, how do you deal with the situation? Loss of privileges? No. Natural Punishment? No. Violence? Yes. So if she started hitting you you might say something like; ” If you don’t stop HITTING I’m going to HIT (spank, but really hit) YOU. See my point it does seem pretty hypocritical. Now, you may not hit her if she hit for that exact reason, but then why can you hit her other times? You are teaching her that hitting is a Christian thing to do and a way to resolve problems. Now maybe since you were spanked and taught that (whether you realize it or not that’s probably a factor in why you spank or at least considered to spank) you think violence is a fine way to resolve conflict, but this second part of my writing is going to attempt to prove its not.

    So in the beginning I talked about violence being a sin and a not a way to resolve conflict I’m now going to use the Bible to back that up. Alrighty so say your sharing a hotel room with a friend and they refuse to clean up their space, so you get out a wooden spoon and hit them. I’m sure God would consider that a sin. Although I have no scripture to back that up to why that event specifically is a sin, the Bible is in general anti violence. So therfore if you did that you would pray to God and ask for forgiveness. But I’m sure you don’t ask for forgiveness when you spank your daughters. Because if you did I’m sure you would be trying to stop spanking them instead of writing an article endorsing spanking. Ahah! Then you say but the Bible endorses spanking so it is right! Okay so when you mentioned the Bible verses that endorse spanking I was shocked and a little disappointed in myself that I never say them so I looked them up. And I was deeply inspired by reading them, they were actually quite insightful. But I was a little confused at some of the terminology so I did some research. I was actually very confused about what the word rod meant it seemed very vague actually, but what I found made those verses even more insightful. You see, I was a bit misconeded at first because the whole reason it seems the Bible endorses spanking is because we think rod means an instrument used for spanking children, however that is really no the case. The Bible verses are about disciplining your children not spanking them. You see shepherds carried rods which were used to guide sheep on the right path. The verses were urging us to discipline our children by guiding them on the right path. Now you have to remember a lot of these verses cam from the book of Proverbs and Proverbs is kind of like poetry so using the work rod it was giving a visual image and back then no one was opposed to pysical discipline which is violence and the Bible is anti violence, but pro discipline. So is the Bible essentially saying not to be violent, but discipline. Therefore it would make sense if we disciplined in a non violet way. But how do we do that? That is what my third and final part is about.

    Ok so we yes spanking probably works a lot faster and you probably have to discipline less often, but it is sinning. So what can we do? I am a huge believer in positive reinforcement, but sometimes that doesn’t work. If a child is out of control then a timeout is called for but there is also: loss of privileges, natural consequences, and logical consequences.
    So my stance is violence is wrong hence hitting is wrong no matter what you call it.

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    1. Hi Nina, thanks for your polite and thoughtful response.

      I have no desire to spank, beat, hit, or strike (whatever you want to call it) any of my children. I do, however, want to raise my children to be wise decision makers, and that’s why I spank my children.

      Spanking and hitting are different because of the reason they are done (and the way they are done), just as imprisonment and kidnapping are different. When a person is put in prison, they are snatched from their homes and put in a cage. Why don’t we call it kidnapping?

      I don’t spank my kids for pleasure, or because I get angry, or because they took my candy bar. I spank them when they have done something wrong (and not every time they do wrong, but only when it is warranted.)

      Are you saying it’s always wrong to hit? If some man tries to kidnap your child, would you be angry if she hit him? Would you not hit him because it is ‘violence’? Hitting is not always wrong, sometimes it is morally acceptable (and necessary).

      Spanking is hitting, yes. The bible uses the word ‘beat.’ You may be able to change the meaning of the word ‘rod,’ but the word ‘beat’ is pretty clear in its biblical meaning. An honest assessment of the text will reveal that the clear meaning is to strike with a rod.

      But why do people have a problem with that? Clearly it’s for two reasons. One, because there are people who take it way to far and abuse their kids, and two, because it is culturally unacceptable to spank in this present society.

      Spanking has been used properly for a long time in this country. Some of the most happy and successful people I know are so glad their parents spanked them. Why? Because it helped turn them into the self-disciplined people that they are today. They wouldn’t go back and change it if they could.

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    2. Thank you , Nina for your very insightful and correct response to “hitting/spanking” whatever people like to call it. It is a violent act and there are other ways to teach our children.

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  19. Okay, so I actually re-thought my response and I guess I can not say it will never be okay to hit. If you were in a stituation you had to push (or hit) someone for defense then it would not be wrong. So that part of my response was wrong. I even looked through some scripture, and some people in the Bible had to do some violent things. Also, I again looked at verses endorsing pysical punishment and I was very surprised! The Bible did indeed use the word beat and that pretty unarguably means hit. Plus it makes perfect sense that (especially in Proverbs) it would use the word beat because they are generally speaking about discipline and in Bible times that was what discipline was. So my conclusion was the Bible is urging us to discipline and Proverbs is using at what that time was a symbol of discipline to illustrate that. So the verse that says a child should be disciplined and not left to themselves. And a child is clearly left to themself during a time-out. With that verse in mind I also realized isolating your kids as a punishment is wrong, and the only time a time out is okay is when they are out of control and need to calm down. In that case it would be them sitting quietly and really having so real reflection on how they were acting. But if your child is disobeying you then you should discipline, which illustrated in the Bible is physical. However, the reason I disagree with spanking is because the Bible is (in modern words) saying time outs are wrong in cases of disobedience and straight out discipline is better. Yes it’s example of discipline is spanking because that’s how it was at the time. So I believe the Bible is not saying physical discipline is better than non physical discipline, but rather discipline is better than isolation the example of beating is again used so people in Bible times could relate because that was when it was wrote. So then which is right pysical or non pysical discipline and why?

    My stance is non physical. Not because the reason stated in my previous response that they are never cases were violence is tolerable, but because of the hypocrisy surrounding it. (I am only going to use the words hypocritical and hypocrisy in my attempt not to judge or offend anyone. So please anyone reading this or responding to this whether you agree with my stance or not please do not call anyone who spanks a hypocrite because we are by no means at all God and we cannot judge others or think of them by one thing they do. I also apologize for saying that if sounds like spankers sound like hypocrites. From this point on I will only use the words hypocritical and hypocrisy, please do the same.) Anyway, like I mentioned in my earlier response if your going to spank someone for not eating there vegetables it would only make sense that you would spank them for hitting each other. What if your two children are playing together and one hits another on the buttocks with a spoon because after the asked the other one nicely to pick up there share of the mess and they didn’t? Would you spank the one who hit for overstepping their balance and hitting because that would be extremely hypocritical because spanking is doing the same thing except you are the parent and you are stronger? Or would you commend them? I also don’t see how spanking is called for if your daughter refuses to pick up her toys. Because one, you do not even make her do it after she gets spanked. So you are giving her a choice either get spanked or clean up her toys. Now the reason you spank your children is to prepare them for the real world, but in the real world if they were in debt with their house they would lose there house and still have to pay. Also, why do you have to spank her to teach her a lesson? Why can’t she not play with another toy until she picks those ones up? Maybe that would be forcing her to pick them up, but aren’t you either forcing her to pick them up or forcing her to get a spanking? The only time where violence would be okay is if they were really hurting someone (physically) which in an environment where hitting is not a way of solving issues that would very likely never happen, and you had to hit her to avoid people getting hurt then I can see that as acceptable, but to “persuade” her. It just doesn’t make sense. It seems like yes you are “persuading” her not to do it again but there are non physical ways to do that. Plus at the same time you may be persuading her to use violence as a way of resolving conflicts (even if that doesn’t start until they are adults. Also, if she is pysically abused by someone else by taking spanking to extremes then she may not realize it’s abuse because she has been disciplined in a similar just lesser way at home. In addition some studies (although I am not a scientist and did not conduct these studies to know if all variables were taken into account so if these are incorrect by you standards please do not accuse me of skewing the data or providing false information) have shown negative effect on SOME children in SOME cases so there are some things to consider. However I am not going to make a big deal of the studies because I do not know if they are true or not because I’m not a scientist plus I think at least half of them were probably very bias because how do you determine if a child turned out the way they did because of the way they were disciplined?

    Lastly, I would like to end by mentioning what the Golden Rule is. The Golden Rule is; treat others as you would like to be treated. It is not; treat others as you have been treated or treat others the way they have treated you.

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  20. Not sure if anyone is still responding to these comments or not, if so I have a question for Hal or the others that agree in spanking. I have a 3 year old girl who is kinda wise beyond her years. Yet the most trouble I have is with her tantrums. Everytime she can’t have a toy at the store, has to get off the ipad, needs to get her shoes on, get out of the bath, all turn into tantrums. I usually make her sit in time out until she can calm down. Sometimes after she’s put in time out her fits get worse, I usually warn her if she doesn’t calm down soon she’ll be spanked. Then I follow through with her speaking. Should I be waiting as long as it takes her to calm down before I spank her or do it in the midst of the tantrum and explain after she’s calm that’s she’s getting spanked for continuing her fit?

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    1. Hi Liz, I’m not a big fan of timeouts. I want my kids to connect wrong behavior with pain (because that is reality). One or two swats with a wooden spoon will sting and she’ll get the picture real quick. My kids drop tantrums real quick once I mention the wooden spoon.

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  21. I will add I’m open to other suggestions on handling her, but don’t need to hear about not spanking her. People always day to issue a consequence also, but when I say I’ll take a certain toy away, she will ask me to take the toy away I mentioned and give me a bunch of other ones to take away too!

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    1. With all due respect, David, I by NO means agree with Pastor Goodin’s form od phusical discipline. Spanking a newborn? Come on that is abuse! At that rate, you might have well just hit the mother’s stomach while pregnant because the baby kicked her. Now, I know, that would be rediculous!!! But when you think about it, it is the same as spanking a newborn.

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  22. I work at a Behavioral Hospital with children and adolescents and I can definately tell who was disciplined growing up. A lot of the teenagers are rude and disrespectful to their parents. I tell them that I have a two year old daughter and she will never grow up speaking to me that way because I will discipline her. I tell them that I spank my daughter. Many of the kids are quick to tell me that spanking is abuse. And I am quick to tell them that I do not believe that. A lot of kids act the way that they do because they manipulate their parents into thinking that spanking is abuse. That excuse will never work in my household. However, I also believe that discipline has to start at an early age. You cannot try to spank a thirteen year old for the first time and expect that to work. The same goes for a five or six year old. I was spanked as a young child. I would much rather discipline my child now than to see her grow up and get into trouble with the law later. My daughter is very smart and I know that she is aware of the difference between right and wrong. I am raising her to be a respectful young lady, not an unruly teenager. So I will continue to rely on spanking as a form of discipline dispite the opinions of others. They are not raising my child, I am.

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    1. Liz, you are quite welcome. My wife and I started this approach (spoon spankings) with our 2 & 3 year old children. It has made a great difference in their behaviors.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. thank you, I was afraid I was starting to young when we started around 2 1/2, but because she was so smart for her age and knew what she was doing, my husband and I agreed she needed punished accordingly.

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  23. Hi Hal – our 3yo daughter is very stubborn. We’ve had a lot of success giving her spankings with a ping pong paddle in her underwear. Lately it doesn’t seem to have the same effect. Do you think it’s ok to take off her underwear and spank her bare bottom with the paddle? Or is that too harsh for a 3yo? I was spanked that way and I remember it made a bigger impression on me when I was naked.

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    1. The problem with a ping pong paddle is that it is both light and it resists air a lot, so you’ll end up having to use more physical force which can be dangerous.

      You honestly really don’t need anymore than the bare hand, but a wood spoon or a hair brush is better than a ping ping paddle because you only need to really just snap your wrist.

      I usually prefer the bare bottom over on the underwear because you also don’t need to use as much force and when the behind is red you know you can stop.

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    2. I think you should take of your 3yo’s underwear and spank her naked. But I don’t like using a paddle or your hand – to much danger of bruising. Best to use a belt or a light strap and don’t swing too hard. You should be able to giver 10-20 swats with the belt and only cause redness. She should be naked so you can judge when to stop.

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    3. Well we did it – the ping pong paddle wasn’t getting the job done, so she got her last spanking naked, and we used a belt. She got very scared when we took her panties off and the was quite surprised at how much more the belt hurt on her bare bottom. She’s been an angel ever since. We’ve told she can expect a bare naked whipping with the belt from now on.

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  24. Whenever I have children, I feel the sane way. Explain to your children that you’re not going to hurt them but the pain is a little to get them to behave or to teach them a valuable lesson. I will will normally do 2-5 for the minimum and 6-10 for the maximum depending on what they did to get a spanking. Something a child does something wrong that they might need a whipping up 20. I am the type of parent that will give then rewards for good behavior and give them alternative discipline consequences for bad behavior before I give a spannking such as an extra chore or two, take a privilege away, have them be placed parental watch or have a well trusted adult excort he/she for a month, etc. There are alternatives to spankings or paddlings as well. I don’t believe in irritating or abusing my children but bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah at Especians 6:4. I have heard that many parents have irritated their children and were abusive for is wrong.

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  25. This is an amazing article. Thank you for sharing this information. I must say that though there are many relevant comments here, I’m amazed at how many people feel the need to voice their irrelevant opinions here. I really wish I had that much time to waste in my life lol.
    I have a follow up question to the article: At what age do you recommend we start spanking. And also how should we discipline children before that age?
    Thank you again. If you could take the time to reply to my email I’d be double grateful!
    Many blessings^^

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    1. Hi, thanks for the kind words. I would say you should start spanking as soon as you know that they can relate what they did with the spanking. My youngest son is 19 mo; I don’t spank him on the rear end yet, but I do wack his hand if he reaches for the knobs on our gas stove, or for the electrical outlets. You really don’t want to spank kids for doing something they don’t know is wrong. Spankings should be for when a child knows better but does wrong anyway. The exception would be if they do something dangerous. Hope that helps.

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  26. I realize this is from forever ago, but it’s a message I desperately needed today. My four year old got the very first spanking of her life today. She got her age across her bottom with a ruler because she would not come inside when I told her too, repeatedly. Her obedience had been terrible for quite some time, and I finally admitted what I’ve known all along. God is right, not the doctors, and she needed her bottom spanked… desperately. That you so much.

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    1. Thanks for the great feedback, Molly. Even though this post is old, it gets bunches of hits every day. Seems like it is a topic that everyone is dealing with. And you are right, God’s wisdom will always stand, despite what the ‘wisdom’ of the day may say. God bless!

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  27. Hey I realize that this post is very old however, I read the blog and the comments and I am debating on whether or not I should begin spanking my youngest daughter who is currently 24 months old. She is very little and has a skin disorder that causes her skin to be much more sensitive than others. However, she is in her “terrible two’s stage” tantrums have began to arise and I have placed her in timeout several times. There were occations where the timeout worked but that doesn’t happen too often.

    What do you think; should I spank her?

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    1. Hi Emily, if you can spank her without causing any medical issue then I would say yes. One little swat will do the trick a lot of times. But I don’t know the severity of her condition, so I can’t give a clear answer. See if you can find a doctor that will give you honest advice about it. God bless

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  28. How do you feel about continuing timeouts wuth her? Like i said, there have been times where tumeout has been successful. It just doesnt happen that often.

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  29. Hi! I have a 1.5 year old who has become a tad bit disobedient. My husband just freaked out and left a few days ago and since then things have been crazy with her behavior. Again she’s only a year and a half so would you recommend spanking her?
    At what age did you start spanking your kids? Just asking.

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    1. Hi Ashley, I’m really sorry to hear about your husband. I pray things work out for you guys. But, yeah, I’d say it’s ok to spank her. The most important thing is for her to understand that the spanking is related to the act, so do it right away. And needless to say, it doesn’t have to be much of a spanking. Just enough to sting a bit and get her attention.

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    1. I have four. Oldest is 8, youngest is 2. I started as soon as they started reaching for the electrical outlet. I’d give them a light slap in the hand and say NO. As far as spanking on the bottom, i waited until I felt like I knew they would understand—As soon as I felt they were deliberately disobeying me. Like when I would say, don’t go up those stairs, and then they look at me and do it anyway. Then they definitely get a spanking. Just one little wack to the bottom usually does the trick. If you train them right, you’ll rarely have to spank them.

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  30. With your kids, do they get spankings every they’re disobedient? I know nobody is perfect but I am trying to know when to spank and when not to spank.
    Unfortunately, I was spanked a whole lot as a child. My dad maily was the one to spank me. He made me lie over my bed and he would spank me anywhere from 30-70 times. 😦
    That was the only form of discipline I ever knew or received so my intentions on reading this blog and commenting were to gain new knowledge on how to spank my child differently and more appropriately than how i was spanked.

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    1. Oh my, I’m sorry to hear about your childhood. That’s never appropriate. I don’t spank them every time. My kids listen pretty well and the older ones I might spank once a month, the younger ones maybe once a week. But it will be more at first. And when I do spank them, it’s only one or two swats (I make sure they sting; if they don’t sting then it won’t work). Direct defiance always gets a spanking and hitting each other always gets a spanking (happens very rarely). Once your child knows you mean business they will listen. But if she knows you aren’t going to carry through or it’s not going to hurt, then she won’t. When she feels the sting she’ll be ready to listen. Show her lots of love all the time. Be tough, but do it in love. She will grow to respect you and will thank you when she’s older.

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  31. Don’t they try to fight with you or beg and plead with you?
    My niece gets spankings from her parents and once she hears the words “Kaitlyn, for ———— “(whatever she did) You are going to be spanked.” She immediately starts crying and you can tell that she is remorseful. Some times her parents let her get by because without even bending her over their knee, they can see the regret in her eyes as the tears run down. Kaitlyn never has an issue with not being regretful for what she did. Her only problem is that she doesn’t think about the consequences. ( correct me if I’m wrong) I don’t think any child does.
    I spend a lot of time with Kaitlyn and she is extremely smart, she just makes a lot of mistakes. Are your kids like this too?

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  32. Also, what is your process for spanking your children and (somewhere in your blog you mention pulling their pants down) do you spank over their underwear or spank on the bare bottom?

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  33. I hope you don’t mind me asking you these questions. Like i said, in my childhood I was spanked severely and it wasn’t long at all before I became fearful of my father. Ever since having a baby, I have been trying to figure out how to discipline her in an appropriate, effective way.
    Her behaviors kicked in when my husband left. Believe me, She’s not usually like this at all. I think it might have something to do with her dad leaving and she’s not used to him being gone, so… I’m not sure what to do.

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    1. You’re in a tough situation. I hope you have a good church family. If you don’t, find one. You need a close by spiritual family to help you through these times. I’ve given you about all the advice I have on the subject. a good church home will be your best help. God bless

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  34. Hey, I know you may not have to be dealing with this yet, but when the time comes, would you ever spank your kids for failing grades? The reason I ask is because my daughter just went into the fourth grade and is failing two subjects. She never does homework or studies for a test that’s how I know she is lying when she says she is doing her best. I have tried grounding her, making her go to bed early, and taking away privelages but nothing is getting through to her. In this scenario, if you were ever faced with the situation, what would you do?

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    1. Hi Brad. I don’t know if I’d spank for failing grades, per se. I think you should contact her teacher and see what he/she has to say about what’s going on. It could be that she lacks confidence in those subjects and has given up. Perhaps see if you can get all the home work assignments from the teacher and then sit down with her.

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  35. Hey it’s Ashley. I just wanted to say thank you for giving me courage through this tough time.Fortunately, while I was making Lunch yesterday,my husband walked through the door.wwsw I froze in complete shock He said he was sorry, that he never should have left. I immediately ran up and started hugging him and crying. He said he realized how much he needed his family.He asked me if he could see Allyssa (our daughter). I told him she was sleeping but then…the baby monitor went off. I went upstairs and got her. She was SO happy to see him. And get this, those behavior problems I told you about, they’re all gone. Allyssa just wanted her dad. (not excusing her behavior) but I understand her mindset and to be honest, I wanted him too. Our family reunited within a matter of minutes!

    But wait…that’s not all!

    This morning we took Allyssa to daycare and Matt said he wanted to go do something together.
    Unfortunately, I had a doctor’s appointment but he insisted that he come with me. We got to the doctor and we both left there in tears. I found out that I was 8 weeks pregnant!

    It really is a God thing how he came back the day before I found out I was pregnant.
    I can’t imagine the hert-ache and the devastation if I went to my appointment and found out I was pregnant without having a husband there to share my excitement with.

    I really thought our marriage was over. Turns out, it was just a bump in the road.

    Thanks for all your help!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. hey I was just searching the web today on child discipline and you were the first one to pop up. so as I started to read your article I found that you spanked for not eating vegetables. I understand why it’s so important to you that your kids eat their vegetables, however when you spank them for not eating their vegetables, wouldn’t that be the same as forcing her to eat her vegetables? I don’t disagree with the way you spank or for the reasons you spank because I do believe that every child needs discipline, but isn’t it kind of obvious that Katie would have taken eating her vegetables versus getting a spanking? I know you said she was too then and I don’t know how old she is now but what I can say is that some people believe that you should not reward what children should already be doing. so can you shed a little bit of light on the situation and explain to me how this works? I don’t have a problem with my kids eating but I do have behavior problems With them. and yes I have spanked them. but my question for you is how does your spanking process work?

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    1. Hi Skyler. Thanks for stopping by. My point is that ultimately you can’t force anyone to do anything. Even if you put a gun to my head, you can’t truly force me to eat my veggies. I could choose to die, instead. Katee could have chose a spanking instead (indeed, my other daughter chose a spanking over going to school once, which I was not expecting; I had to rescind my threat because I wasn’t going to let her skip school!) Of course, it’s very unlikely that a small child would choose a spanking over veggies, but it’s still not forcing. She is making a conscious decision to pick up the fork herself, enduring the terrible taste, so that she doesn’t have to face a spanking. She’s teaching herself some valuable things in the process: “wow, I can do this. wow, this isn’t as bad as I thought.” And I do think rewarding is ok. I don’t do it all the time. Usually, now that the kids are older, I reward them as a surprise. I’ll tell my daughter to help with this or that, and then sometimes I’ll call her aside and say, “thank you, sweetie, you did a great job. I want to give you something.” I think there is flexibility in all of this.

      As far as the spanking process, the general idea is that you want your children to understand that some things are not ok. Things that are not ok hurt. They hurt others, they hurt yourself in the long run. Children are concrete thinkers and spanking is a concrete way for them to understand this concept.

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  37. Okay and you are right but a few more question for you and then afterwards, i will share with you my thoughts.

    Starting with the questions…

    1. Do you spank on the bare bottom?

    2. Do you allow your child to have a minute to him/herself before giving them a spanking?

    3. If your child know that whatever he/she did will be punishable with a spanking and as you’re talking with them about it, you can see the remorse kn their eyes, do you/would you extend them grace in that situation and not spank them?

    4. Do you stop spanking your child as soon as yiu know the tears are real?

    And lastly,

    How many swats fo you give?

    I am just curious. I will share my personal beliefs with you as well.

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  38. Like i said we all have different opinions and i respect yours but just remember your child could have a long term affect if they become frightened of getting spankings.
    Also remember that if you spank them, all they think about is how much it hurts and not about why they were spanked. That’s why I always ask my kids after spanking them and after they calm down “why did you get a spanking” and if they cant answer that, then i give them time to themselves to think about it

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    1. When you are violent eith your kids they learn to be violent. Spanking is the easy way out and it doesn’t work in the long term. Kids just learn to hide things from you so you won”t hurt them.

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  39. Actually spankings do work. But you have to know your child as well as yourself. If you spank the right way, then they will know that if they misbehave, they will be punished.
    Try it. I promise you, your kids will respect you and your authority. My kids learned real quick that if they do wrong then they had better be expecting the consequences.

    And by the way, i can’t speank for you, but spanking a child is definately NOT EASY.
    Your kids may be hurt physically, but it hurts you too. But, you need to show love to your child and hold them after the spanking is over.

    And if they become violent after being spanked, explain to them the difference between hitting and punishment

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    1. Disagree. I raised my daughter without spanking and she was valedictorian of high school and graduated from college Summa Cum Laude. Never been in trouble a day in her life. Why does punishment have to be spanking? There are many other ways to teach right from wrong. Bosses don’t hit employees, soldiers aren’t hit so why is it ok for parents to hit their kids? It’s not. You can try to make yourself feel better by saying it is. Didn’t you say you were beat by your parents? Learn from their mistakes and stop hurting your kids.

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      1. Yes, my parents did beat me, but I don’t beat my children. Yes, spankings do hurt but, if you spank the right way, they will learn.

        I of course learned from the vivid beatings i still remember today because it was a harsh, harsh punishment.
        But here’s the thing, I was hit with belts, switches, razor straps, etc.
        With my kids, I talk to them before the spanking and make sure they know why they are being punished.
        They bend over my Knee, and they get 2 swats with a wooden spoon. They learn from the sting and they remember the next time they think about repeating that behavior.

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  40. Also, my kids learn that if they make a mistake, be honest. I don’t spank them everytime,but if they lie, they definately get spanked. They learn to always be honest even when it’s hard.

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  41. I respect your opinion. and, yeah you are correct. Not all kids validate spanking. you have to know what consequences do and don’t work.
    My daughter iis an angel, very, very rarely will she get spanked.
    My two year old has received several spankings for different reasons but he learns his lesson.

    Hal, do you have anything to say on this?

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  42. hal, I have been talking to Lori about the importance of disciplining a child and she is disagreeing. I’ll be honest, she has quite the refutation, but I really don’t feel like she is catching on. Can you explain to her your thoughts?
    I’ve give her about all I have.

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    1. Lori has no authority to speak on this subject. She has one child—a daughter. My one daughter doesn’t really need spankings either. She also excels in all that she does. Children are different. One child’s response is not indicative of every child. Stick with the Word.

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  43. I did for sure. Hey, can you explain your spanking procedure (how you do it) because my way has not been working lately.
    I know the swats are hurting them, but they’re not getting the message.

    Can you tell me how you go about it, from reading your blog, it seems that your method is pretty effective.

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  44. I have as much authority to speak on this as you do Hal. Is it because I’m a women and you as a man know more than me? You said your wife wasn’t spanked and you married her so she must have turned out ok. Maybe you hsd to straighten her out by popping her with the spoon a time or two? I am a lot older and have a lot more life experience. I was a single parent and managed to raise a great kid. Kids can learn right from wrong without being physically hurt. How about you tell your baby, you will sit and look at the
    Wall until you pick up your toys or if you don’t pick them up I will take one everytime you don’t do what I ask? Instead of I will pull down your pants and hit you so it hurts?

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    1. Lori, I don’t speak from my own authority. I don’t hide the fact that everything in this blog is drawn from the Bible. The fact that you think that I would ever hit my wife helps me to understand your thought processes here. Your thoughts of who and what I am and what is reality is a large chasm. If you can’t see the difference between spanking your kids and hitting your wife, I’m sorry. Millions of people spank their kids. Spanking your kids is not against the law. People have always spanked their kids and understood what was too much. Unfortunately, in our day, many people cross the line; and because of that, many people run to the ditch that you are in. This blog is about getting out of both ditches. Society is out of control with disrespectful, undisciplined young people. And one of the reasons is because people can’t understand the difference between proper spanking and abuse.

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      1. I totally agree with you here. My parents especially my father went too far. But to me, yeah that might be abuse, but it’s not a horrible thing because I know that as a parent that a child’s bottom should only be reddened, you only need to spank hard enough for it to sting.
        I strongly believe in bare bottom spankings because
        A. It hurts more therefore you don’t have to spank as hard
        B. Your child feels the sting and they know that the misbehavior was wrong
        and
        C. Spanking a child’s bare bottom over the knee, will help you to see what the physical reaction is and know when to stop. (it usually only takes 2 swats for me)

        Lori,
        I love my kids, Hal loves his kids, we are both loving parents who only wants the best for their child and so spanking them will be a life long benefit.
        I’m sorry if you can’t understand that but ideally,a child learns his/her lesson quicker/better with pain.

        Now please, stop accusing us of abusing our families.
        You know neither one of us, therefore you are being prejudice and you are using your word and your opinions in a hurtful and nasty way.

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      2. We are never going to agree. All I am trying to say is that spanking isn’t the only form of discipline. As we grow as a society it will become obsolete. Spanking is illegal in Sweden by the way and they have one of the lowest crime rates anywhere.

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      3. Spanking is legal in Singapore, and even adult males are spanked (by the government)! Its crime rate is much lower than Sweden’s. I do agree that it’s not the only form of discipline and I do agree that many people are abusive. I hope my blog keeps people in the middle of the road.

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  45. Lori, you are becoming a bit too harsh. It’s okay to have different opinions, but do it respectfully.
    Hal, has never spanked his wife. “My wife was only spanked one time in her childhood (by her parents, not me!)
    Saying that you would spank him if he doesn’t do what YOU want, that is down right disrespectful.

    I understand that you raised a great kid and that is wonderful, i give you props for that. However, you really need to keep yourself in check and STOP harassing Hal just because you don’t agree with him.

    And by the way, if you don’t agree with him, why read his blog and be a nasty bully towards him?
    Nobody forced you to read his Blog.
    If you don’t agree then so be it, but you have absolutely NO right to accuse Hal of abusing his kids

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    1. I never accused Hal of abusing his kids or his wife. I said I didn’t think he abuses his kids but I don’t agree with spanking. I also never said I would spank him. I think you need to read what I said. I also think if you post a blog then you can expect to have people disagree with it. As far as respect goes – you earn it. You might command fear but not respect. You need to grow up. Just because I disagree does not make me a bully. Hal is perfectly capable of defending his opinions.

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      1. Lori, you for real need to chill! Okay, yes, I misread, I’m sorry. But here’s the thing whether you realize it or not you were a bit disrespectful. And the bible says that you should respect others as well as yourself.
        You might have a different opinion, but please don’t say that I need to grow up, when I accidentally misread. You need to just relax. we all make mistakes and I apologize, but there are 2 faults here. I am sorry you and I cannot respectfully agree.

        And BTW… Calling Hal a bully is disrespectful! And I know you said it!

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  46. lori, we know there are other forms of discipline but for some people this is what they choose. And this is not Sweden, maybe we have a high crime rate but listen, that shows you that people are psychotic and weren’t disciplined properly. No child is the same.
    But you are implying that we are crazy for spanking our kids and that is the exact opposite no one is crazy for wanting what’s best for their child.
    But the crazy ones are those who disregard discipline and allow their child to act a fool or imply their child as being perfect (people who say that are liars because the only perfect one that ever lived is Jesus.
    But thank you for turning your tone around and being respectful.
    RESPECT GOES A LONG WAY!!!!!

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    1. I was not implying that you were crazy. I was stating there are other forms of discipline besides spanking. I don’t think that just because I think spanking is wrong doesn’t mean I’m disrepectful. Respect is earned. Maybe respecting someone older with more life experience is something to think about. I know people that had abusive childhoods and abused their own kids. You should really think about that. There is mo reason you have to redden a childs behind. There is a fine line between discipline and abuse. I don’t think what Hal does is abuse. I just think there are other ways. He is in control but I don’t think a lot of parents are. Some of the other comments from other parents might reveal that.

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  47. Like I said, I had an abusive childhood, BUT I DO NOT abuse my kids and neither does Hal.
    If you want to know how not to spank a child, check out this video.

    And by the way, respect is not earned

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  48. Hey Hal, I found this video for Lori.
    Unfortunately, I showed this video because this is how you DON’t spank a child. This guy believes in isciplining newborn’s.
    If you don’t mind, can you look it over and let me know what you got from it and if you would recommend spanking kids in this form.

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  49. And, Lori spankings DO work in the long run. When my daughter was in 2nd grade, she misbehaved in school for a whole week and refused to do any work. Day 4, I told her she would start getting some serious consequences if she did not straighten up. Well, Day 5, came home with a note, I said to her “i hope you know what is going to happen and why” We got home I carried her to her room (stopping at the kitchen to get a wooden spoon) I pulled her pants and underwear down and I gave her 4 swats with the spoon. She kicked and screamed and begged, but the key is to follow through. I laid my hand on her back and lightly pressed down to keep her from trying to run away and continued spanking her. Of course afterwards, I held her and kissed her but I told her she has got to straighten up. She is in 4th grade and since that spanking for misbehaving in school she got, not one time have i received a negative note from her teachers. I stuck to my guns and she learned a quick and lifelong lesson.

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  50. Hal, my youngest daughter has been out of control lately. She hits, screams, talks back, etc. I am afraid to spank her because I don’t want her to feel abused. Pkus, wouldn’t it be hypocritical to spank her for hitting because hitting and spanking is the same thing?

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    1. Hi Kelsey, it’s not hypocritical at all to spank your kids for hitting. The police take people against their will and lock them in small rooms; what’s the difference between that and kidnapping? Are they hypocrites? Of course not. They have authority from the government to lock people away because they broke the law. In a similar way, you have God-given authority, as the parent of your child, to exercise proper discipline on your child when she does what is wrong.

      Would it be ok for your child to put other children in time out? If not, wouldn’t it be hypocritical for you to put her in time out? You can see that this line of reasoning fails.

      No, proper spanking is not the same as hitting. I spank my children for hitting a whole lot quicker than anything else because we have zero tolerance for hitting in our household. And guess what? Our kids pretty much never hit and are never violent.

      As far as abuse, don’t abuse her. Proper spankings (like I talk about in this blog) is not abuse.

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    1. Hi Spencer (great name, btw! my son’s name is Spencer), I like using a wooden spoon because it stings without having to hit very hard. Have your wife wack you with her hand and then with a wooden spoon. You’ll feel the difference. I also like the idea that the wooden spoon is the bad guy, not daddy’s hand. I often say, “do I need to get the wooden spoon?” My hand is always reserved for loving and hugs and high-fives.

      Now, I don’t stick to that rule 100%. I have spanked with my hand once or twice when I couldn’t find a wooden spoon. But I prefer a wooden spoon.

      As far as abuse, there are many people who abuse with the hands. People abuse with all kinds of things. Someone could abuse with a banana for that matter. The definition of abuse is to use something wrongly. That can be a hand, a spoon, a belt, or whatever. So when you spank, with whatever you choose to use, make sure you do it properly–in love. Don’t go overboard. Don’t do it in anger. One or two swats on the rear-end is not abuse. Hope that helps.

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  51. Hal, Pastor Goodin has suggested that parents should go through the spanking process and then not spank them. He calls this extending them grace. Also many people believe that proper spanking does not have to be on the bare bottom. What are your thoughts?

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    1. I don’t know who Pastor Godwin is, but the Bible says that whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly (Pro 13:24). Certainly I give grace, but as soon as I say I’m going to spank them, I do it. I want my words to mean something.

      And I don’t think bare bottom is absolutely necessary. Go with what works

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  52. Hi Hal,
    My name is Brittney and reading this blog has given me some advice on how to discipline properly, however within some areas, I am struggling. I am currently 23 weeks pregnant and counting. My husband (Austin) and I have been so excited to have another baby. Unfortunately there are some safety concerns that need to be taken care of before I am due. My 9 year old daughter (Amelia) has basically lost self control (which is not like her at all). She has become violent, she has gone after my stomach many times and there have been several occasions where I have literally had to hold her away from by her hands while she is kicking and screaming. My husband is in the military and doesn’t get to come home until 11;30 pm at the very least. By then I have given up and Amelia is in her room throwing tantrums and I am laying in bed in tears. Pregnancy has always been an emotional experience for me but it seems like this time around is a little more difficult. I have absolutely no idea why her behaviors have escalated so negatively.
    I think it might have something to do with her not being used to me being able to play with her. (She’s a mommy’s girl) The reason for this is, my doctor has reason to believe that the baby may be delivered early so I will be going on maternity leave in 9 1/2 weeks. I am a little afraid to discipline her but at the same time, her behaviors have got to stop. Can you please help us out. Thanks for the amazing articles that you write. We read them quite often. You are greatly appreciated, thank you!

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    1. Hi Brittany, it sounds like Amelia has learned that she can take advantage of you. My kids try to pull that with my wife sometimes. Kids are strong and my wife is small. If we have an episode, my wife tells them that they can either let her give them a spanking or they can wait until daddy gets home. Usually they will choose a spankings from my wife and shape up. I would recommend you do the same. If she doesn’t let you, have your husband give her the spanking when she gets up in the morning. If she learns that you and your husband will follow through, she’ll shape up really quick.

      I would recommend you guys sit down with her ahead of time and explain all of this first. Reassure your love for her, but also explain that that kind of behavior is totally inexcusable.

      She may not be happy that a new child is coming along. It’s understandable that she may have feelings about it. But it’s not ok for those feelings to turn violent. Let her know that.

      Hope that helps

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  53. And I agree with you but here’s the thing, like I said my husband is commander and chief in the military. We think he may be getting 3 days off when I give birth to our new baby. Therefore, I will have to take care of the baby and watch her at the same time. I know that she isn’t in her normal mindset, all she wants is my attention. Is it really worth the fight?
    She also intentionally acts out in public because she knows that daddy is not there and mommy can’t/won’t discipline her in public. Like when I say “no, you can’t have a candy bar” or “no, you can’t have that barbie doll”, she immediately plops herself down on the floor and refuses to straighten up. I have had to call my husband to come and get us because picking her up and carrying her throwing her tantrums the way she does, is a risk for the baby.
    Also, you recommended letting my husband give her spanking in the morning. well, what if she begins fighting again.
    Ultimately, here are my questions…
    1. How do you deal with misbehavior in public?
    2. When your child is going to get a spanking and he/she is non-cooperative, how do you deal with that?

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    1. The best way, in my opinion, is for your husband to help you really lay down the law. If she understands that misbehavoir will be met by a spanking from her daddy, she’ll shape up really quick. Be consistent, and you guys should only have to spank her a few times

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  54. Hi Hal, this is an amazing post. Even though this post is old, I refer to it quite often!
    I just have a few questions.
    First, how important is privacy when giving a spanking? (do you spank them in the same room as others?) Secondly, what position do you put the child in? (over the knee, lay them down, standing up,etc).
    And lastly,what is your process after the spanking is over?

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    1. Hi Liam, I usually go to another room, especially for the older kids. No reason to embarrass them. I think embarrassment is a cruel form of punishmemt for kids. I was embarrassed once by a teacher and it hurt me deep. 2 I usually put them over my knee. 3 I don’t really have a process. I just make it my purpose to show them and tell them I love them all the time.

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  55. Hal, In your personal opinion/experience, how would you deal with misbehavior in public? I have to deal with misbehaviors at church and in stores. I spank my daughter but she has it in her head that I wouldn’t spank her in public so she can do whatever she wants.

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    1. Hi Jose, I don’t like to spank in public. It’s not that I think it’s wrong, I just think spanking has become so taboo that it causes too much of a scene. I haven’t had many episodes in public with my kids, but if it came down to it I would carry them into the car for a spanking. For my older kids, I would let them know that if they didn’t shape up quick that they’d get a spanking when we got home. And then I’d be sure to follow through. It’s tempting to let them slide when you get home (because things have calmed down) but be a man of your word and do what you said you would do. When your kids know that you do what you say you’ll do, they learn to respect what you say. God bless.

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      1. When you say that, don’t your kids start crying and begging not to be spanked and then `the rest of the time that you’re in the store they’re angels just to try to get out of it. My daughter has done that several times. After I say”okay, that’s it, you’re getting a spanking when we get home” she will cry and beg, then she’ll be an angel the rest of the time so I won’t spank her.

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      2. Yeah, my kids have done that. All kids do that. I give my kids a warning or two, but if I feel like they have crossed the line then I’ll be sure to follow through. I hate doing it, but I do it. I’ve only had to do it a couple times. Now if I warn them, they know that I’m serious.

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  56. Well, my daughter acted out again tonight and I followed through with what you said. At first she said “okay, mommy, if you’re serious about spanking me, then do it”. I wish you could have heard her.you could automatically tell that she was being sarcastic, she didn’t think she’d be getting a spanking. I told her “fine then, come here. She walked closer to me just enough to see the spoon in my hand. Then suddenly, her facial expressions transitioned from “yeah right” to “uh oh”. She started crying and running. I chased after a little bit and then I told her that she can either take the spanking now from me, or I will text daddy and he will give you a spanking. She paused for a minute to think about it then she was like “oh no please” because she knew daddy’s spankings hurt worse than mommy’s I told her the choice was her’s , she wouldn’t budge, so I texted Austin. He is getting off work now so, she’ll really be crying when he gets home!
    But right after I did that and he responded telling me to tell her she was getting his spankings, she started begging me to spank her instead. Should I, or is she too late to take the spanking from me?

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  57. Hey what’s up Hal, I’m a first time mom and I read this blog mainly because my daughter just turned 2 and we’re having to start disciplining her. It’s not that she is totally defiant or anything major she just craves attention and she does not like going to daycare. Her daycare teachers have reported some defiance, but they say that she usually pulls herself together. On several occasions when I have gone to pick her up, she was in the timeout square.I usually don’t get there to pick her up until 6:30 because me and my husband both work 12 hour shifts 4 times a week. I know what the problem is we just can’t agree on what to do about it because we are financially supporting each other and a toddler on top of that. Her main behavioral problems that we deal with are tantrums. We usually put her down to bed after 10 minutes of trying to get her to calm down which makes matters worse. After about 5-10 minutes I will go lay down with her for a bit but she always wants me to sleep with her. We have our hands tied and don’t know what to do. Do you think it’s okay to spank her for her tantrums and defiance at daycare? We are open to any advice, thank you!

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    1. Consider quitting your job. Can you downsize and get by on one income? She’s at daycare an awful long time. Daycare is expensive. Maybe you can do the math and make it work. Or if you can’t stay home, maybe a job that enables you to spend more time with her.

      As far as discipline, I wouldn’t discipline her for her actions at daycare. She’s not old enough to make the connection, in my opinion. I wouldn’t put up with the tantrums, though. She’s old enough to understand you. Try using the methods I set forth in this blog. As far as bed time, what I did for my kids was after spending time with them reading, etc, I told them it was time to go to sleep. If they cried, I just ignored them. If they got out of bed, I would put them back and say, ‘if you get out of bed again, you’re getting a spanking.’ Then I would. I only had to do it a few times. You’ll have times where she’ll scream for what feels like forever. She’ll go to sleep eventually. Give her a cup of water and let her scream. Once she learns that it doesn’t work the crying time will be less and less. I did this with all of my kids.

      Don’t feel guilty if you are stuck in the work situation you are in. Make the best of it. But if you can change it, it would ideal. Just my thoughts. Hope that helps.

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  58. Okay, thanks for the great feedback! BTW, my cousin has an autistic daughter who will be 5 in October, she wanted to know if spanking her would be an appropriate form of discipline because she is a single parent (got pregnant when she was 15) the father turned out to be a complete jerk and left them both at the hospital with no money, and no car. After finding out she was pregnant, she ran away from home because she was worried sick to death of her father’s reaction (he was abusive). She moved in with the father and as soon as she went into labor, he took her to the hospital said “this is all I can do but good luck though” and left. She called me crying and in pain and asked me to come to the hospital, of course I did. Ever since then, I have basically helped raise Peyton (her daughter).
    However, Peyton does have behavioral issues but we’re not sure if she would be able to connect the spanking with the action. What would you say/do.

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    1. That’s such a tough situation. Thanks for helping her. I don’t have any experience autism, so I can’t really speak to this situation. The only thing I can suggest is that she seek professional help. Sorry that I can’t help any further.

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  59. Hey, this is Megan’s cousin.
    I know she pretty much told you my story but I thank you for your help. Being 20 years old and raising an autistic child without a father is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
    Megan told you that I ran away from home and that’s true but right now there is a part of me who wants to go home and be with my parents and let them know that they have a granddaughter, but like Megan said, my dad was abusive and I am scared to death to tell him. Do you think that I should tell my parents?

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    1. Hi Trina, being reconciled with your parents would be the ideal situation. However, if your father is abusive then you can’t subject yourself and your daughter to that. I can’t really speak to your situation since I don’t really know you or your family, but I would encourage you to find a good church and get plugged in. Ask for an appointment with the pastor and his wife. They should be more than happy to help.

      I’m praying that God gives you the grace you need!

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  60. To be completely honest with you, I don’t know if I would or not. I’m not sure how Hal feels about it but, you had a hard childhood, who can even imagine his reaction!!!!!!!

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  61. My 3 year old son is driving me insane. His daycare claims that he is the most well-behaved kid in the group. But at home, it is quite the opposite. According to his pediatrician this is normal, and I tend to agree. Better this than the other way around.The problem I’m having though is the level of open disobedience he has. I have no problem spanking him. But it doesn’t work. Nothing works. Timeouts are a joke and spanking is almost as useless. I could spank him once everyday of the week and he still won’t respect my authority. Bed time is the worst. With enough warning of the encroaching bed time, he won’t fight the starting of the process, which is great. We have a routine and we stick to it every night. When he’s finally in bed and I’m ready to leave the room, the problem happens when I leave the room. I tell him every night – when I shut this door I don’t want any yelling or banging or screaming. If I have to cone back in here it will be to spank you.Inevitably he rebels right away so I go in and spank him and leave. 5 minutes later he yells and bangs on his bed so I go in and spank him again. This is usually the end of it for the night. But this is a nightly occurrence. Frankly, the spanking is not working. I spank him every night for the same reason. I’m about to call it quits and just sound-proof his room so I don’t hear him openly defying my rule. Obviously I know that’s not the answer, but I’m seriously at my wits end here.Ideas?

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    1. What are you using to spank him? It needs to really sting or it’s not gonna work. Try a wooden spoon if you haven’t already. As far as bed time, I’d recommend just putting him in bed and letting him scream. That’s what I did with all my kids. I would give my kids a cup of water and tell them not to get out of bed. If they did, I’d put them back and say gently, ‘if you get out of bed again, I’m giving you a spanking.’ And I would. It wasn’t long until they gave up on it all and went to bed. You’ll have to endure screaming for a while, but it shouldn’t be for too many days.

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  62. I have used a wooden spoon a few times, my wife uses her hand. She has said that it’s too harsh to spank with anything other than a wooden spoon. He’s a mama’s boy so it has a greater effect when she gets on to him. She will spank him, but she doesn’t hit very hard. She thinks one little tear shed is enough and he’s learned his lesson. She often gives in to him and will let him get out of bed, come downstairs, and watch TV for a little while longer. She’ll hold him and once he falls asleep, she’ll take him back upstairs. She usually does this on a nightly basis and doesn’t get to go to bed herself until 3 o’clock in the morning!

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    1. My mom and dad stopped spanking me at some point in my childhood. It was a bad idea— I needed it! If it wasn’t for Jesus, I’d be in a world of trouble! Later my mom told me that spankings didn’t work on me and that’s why they stopped. But I keenly remember pretending to cry when my mom spanked me so she wouldn’t get my dad to do it. His spankings hurt, hers didn’t.

      In my humble opinion, your son is not going to shape up unless you give him some meaningful spankings. But you and your wife need to be on the same page. The Bible says to use a ‘rod’ for a reason. Hands are padded and blunt. You have to hit really hard to make it meaningful. A spoon, or small stick, however, stinks with a flick of the wrist. Much more effective and less harsh than the hand. Besides, with my kids, the wooden spoon is the bad guy. Daddy’s hand is for loving and hugs and high-fives.

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  63. I understand that but here’s the thing, it’s not that I don’t believe in God or discipline, it’s that even though the spankings that I give him, they hurt and I make sure of it. I don’t use my hand, I either use a switch or a spoon, or a flyswatter. I do it (depending on the severity of the situation) either over the underwear or on the bare bottom. My wife often comes in a snatches him up and loves o him =, then she tells me not to be so hard on him. I think she feels like I am abusing him

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    1. She swoops in and snatches him up? You guys need to have a serious chat! Is she the only one that loves your son? Does she have the final say on what happens in your house? God has put you as head of household, but to me it sounds like she runs the show. I’m not saying that you should rule with an iron fist; but she completely undermines your authority as a parent by doing that. She makes you the bad guy and herself the good guy. She’s wrong. The Bible says that ‘he who spares the rod HATES his son.’ Why? Because the rod is the right and proper and effective way to discipline your children.

      I’d encourage you to look up these passages of scripture yourself. Sit down with your wife and talk about them. Ask her to read this blog. Pray together. God bless.

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  64. Hal this is Kelly, Jonathon’s wife, I was asked t have a discussion with him later in tonight about discipline. He pulled this page up on my phone and while reading it, a few things popped in my mind. First things things first, is spanking really necessary? Is spanking the bare bottom necessary? Why do children have to feel pain in order to learn?That’s why I protect my son. Does that mean I hate him? Absolutely not. It kills me to hear and see the pain is his eyes when being disciplined. Did I mention that he yells out “mommy, mommy, please help me” I feel guilty not going after him. I do some times spank him. But he is only three, why does he have to be paddled? When I spank him, he seems to get the picture. I get he needs to learn right from wrong but aren’t there other ways. Wouldn’t you agree that spanking a three year old isn’t all that necessary?

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    1. Hi Kelly, your husband is apparently very frustrated with the behavior of your son. To use his own words: “My 3 year old son is driving me insane.” After hearing about your methods of discipline, I can tell why. I don’t doubt at all that you love your son. Of course you do. The scripture I referred to is making the point that parents who don’t discipline their children with the rod will ultimate hurt their future. I would encourage you to read over this blog post again. It gives some good reasons why I think this kind of discipline is so necessary. There’s another scripture that applies to your situation very specifically. “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare him for his crying.” – Proverbs 19:18. Another translation says this: “Discipline your son in his early years while there is hope. If you don’t, you will ruin his life.” Don’t feel guilty. Your husband is doing the right thing by spanking him. It’s for your child’s ultimate good. After the spanking, reassure your love for him.

      Your son apparently isn’t getting the picture when you spank him, or else your husband wouldn’t have written me. I think spanking a three year old is absolutely necessary. I want my child to stop when I yell for him to stop. I don’t want him running out into the road. Children aren’t old enough to understand reason, but they do understand a wooden spoon to their buttocks. It sends the clear message that doing what’s wrong hurts. It’s a good message to understand in the teenage years and in adult life.

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  65. Okay but here’s the thing,spanking on the the bare bottom or over the underwear, isn’t that too much? What do with your kids? I just don’t thinkbl this is necessary to go about.

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  66. The discussion between Johnathon and i went okay, but we have a few questions.
    1. Do you think we should both spank him?
    2. Would a paddle be fine to use?
    3. Should his actions at daycare be met by a spanking?

    Thanks for all your help!
    If you could answer these questions, that’d be great, thanks again!

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    1. Glad you guys talked. It’s important for you to be in agreement.

      1. I do the spanking if we are both home but my wife does it if I’m not. But I don’t know if it matters.

      2. I’ve never used one, but lots of people have so I’m sure it’s fine. As long as it stings. Try it on your husband first 😀

      3. I don’t know. Only if you’re sure he can associate the spankings with what happened at daycare. You guys will have to determine that.

      God bless you guys. I pray that you guys get everything worked out.

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  67. What if you are home about to give them a spanking and they ask if your wife can spank them instead?
    My daughter does that sometimes, she wants me to spank her because mine don’t hurt s bad (or so they say). So, if that were the case, would you let your wife give them the spanking?

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    1. I guess it depends. Depending on what they did and how their behavior has been in general, I might allow that. Especially with a daughter. Maybe you guys could say, ‘We will allow it this time, but if this continues it’s gonna be daddy giving the spanking.’

      I think it’s good to make concessions like that. It’ll help your child to realize that you are listening to her and that you aren’t unreasonable.

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  68. Well Jackson gave us quite the fight tonight. Kelly was very tempted to give up on it all and go in there but I held her telling her it would be okay that he would stop crying eventually. it got to the point where she did shed tears but she did wonderful in the end I am so proud of her. Glory to God! Thank you so much for helping us out. He finally stopped crying just a little while ago and me and Kelly are about to turn in. Thanks again you are amazing

    Liked by 1 person

  69. At what age would you reccomend stop spanking your kids? My oldest daughter is almost 10 and me and my husband were debating in whether or not we should stop spanking her.

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    1. My oldest daughter is 8. I can’t remember the last time we spanked her. She’s a typical first child and pretty well behaved. I usually send her to her room if she acts up (which is rare). I don’t know if I’ll ever spank her again. Probably not.

      It might be a good time to stop spanking your 10 yr old. Especially a girl. Now, I think I’ll probably spank my sons up into their teen years if I have to. But I can’t see myself doing that with my daughters. I don’t think it will be necessary or good. But, of course, I’m not there yet.

      Why make a blanket decision? Try other forms of discipline. If that doesn’t work, you could always spank if you absolutely need to.

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    1. I usually tell them they can come out when their attitude has changed and they are ready to apologize. Sometimes it doesn’t take long, sometimes it does. Sometimes I do a timer for a set amount of time. We usually do the amount of minutes that they are old. I like doing the attitude time better. It forces them to learn to calm themselves down. Sometimes I make them do extra cleaning. I guess it just depends.

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  70. Hal, my son has a major problem with lying. He does lie about pretty serious stuff, he for some reason fears to tell the truth. What should we do, is it okay to spank for lying?

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    1. YES! I HATE when my kids lie to me. To me, that’s the worst.

      I don’t know how old your son is, but as long as he is old enough to know what lying is, I would say yes, for sure. If my kids do something wrong and then lie about it, I’m sure to let them know that the punishment is more because they lied (extra swats).

      With my kids, when they would lie (if I find out for sure that it was a lie), would sit them down and explain how lying is bad and that is why they are getting a spanking. I also would explain how much I hate lying. I love them, but I hate lying. I’d reassure my love afterward. Hope that helps

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  71. Ha! I told my wife..”fine, you can do it on me, then I do it on you” Wish you could have seen her reaction, hilarious!!!!!!!
    Now, would I actually spank her against her will?!? Of course not.

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  72. Hal, me and my wife Alexa are having some cooperation issues with our son. whenever he is going to get a spanking, he immediately starts to run and cry. he begs us not to spank him saying that he promises he’ll be good, and that he’s already learned his lesson and he does not need to be disciplined. we try not to let him get away with it, but sometimes we’re not sure if it’s really worth the fight. when we finally have gotten him over our knee or on his bed or wherever, he continuously squirms, kicks, and jumps trying the best way he can to get up. Me and my wife have both tried to tell him that he just needs to lay there and take his punishment and it will be over in a matter of seconds. I understand his feelings about being spanked, but he doesn’t understand that not cooperating only makes it worse. do you have any suggestions?

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    1. Hi Daniel, I always give my kids warnings, but as soon as I say ‘That’s it, you’re getting a spanking,’ I make sure that I do it, no matter how much they beg or cry. Next time they’ll know you’re serious.

      As far as squirming, I tell them that they can cooperate or they are getting extra swats. I might say, ‘right now you’re getting 2 swats, but it’s about to go to 3 if you don’t hold still.’ If they still don’t comply, I go up another. And I do it. Next time they’ll know you’re serious. Of course you don’t want to go too many. After a few times of raising the number, I just hold them still and spank them.

      That’s what I do and it seems to work.

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  73. Okay, but the problem is he runs away from us (sometimes he will run outside) Every time we grab him, he kicks and screams. One time we were holding him and he screamed CPS. Kids are so over dramatic these days. We just get tired of the fighting and the screaming, we are soo close to giving up. We’re not sure what to do anymore. :/

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    1. Let him call CPS. Spanking is not illegal. Give him the phone. Sounds to me like he’s not getting the spankings he needs. Get locks for the doors if you have to. It’s hard for me to speak to this exact situation. I pray you guys can work it out and get some peace.

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    1. My daughter is 8 and I would spank her if I felt like I needed to. But my kids are used to spankings, so it wouldn’t be that big a deal. That’s the best advice I can give you. I think there are too many variables to be able to give you a straight answer. Pray for wisdom! (James 1:5)

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