I am 46 years old...
Balance. My parents would talk with me very calmly if I did something wrong. They would carefully tell me what I did wrong and why it was wrong.
If I did it again, I was then warned that I would be spanked. The third time, I got a spanking on my rear. I only got spanked by my parents 3 or 4 times total from about age 3 till about age 7.
In school, I got paddled on occasion and it did stop me from misbehaving. Each time the teacher would first warn me.
Let me be clear, these spankings did not cause blood loss or broken bones, just enough to tear up the eyes and stop the bad behavior from happening again.
Can spanking be over aggressive by an over aggressive parent...Yes.
I also remember my grandmother talking with me first about using bad words...the 2nd time, she put a bar of soap in my mouth. Guess what, I didn’t dare use foul language around her ever again. Is any of this child abuse? Not in my book.
I spoke to a 34 year old woman recently who recalled how much she missed her grandmother who had passed away. She said, "I loved her because she would TALK to me when I was bad, unlike my mom who would hit me". I could see the child in her eyes. She was the same person from back then. No one would hit their adult child, yet they hit them as a young person - knowing full well the terrible memories you're burning into their mind. Degrading, awful moments that they will never forget no matter how many years go by. AT KINDERGARTEN AGE my mom spanked me in front of my friend. What do I know as a 6 year old child? I knew embarrassment and shame. I knew that I felt out of control and upset, jumping and crying - and my mom's solution was to hit me (as if that helped the situation). I could've been tired or hungry. And months later my friend was paddled in front of the whole class. I had a front row seat to the abuse. I saw her face, I heard the hits... AT KINDERGARTEN AGE I knew empathy. I knew how awful and horrible this situation was. And as an adult, when I became a mom myself I knew there were other ways. I found helpful articles on the web before my son was even old enough to walk. The best advice I found was: 1. NEVER PUT YOUR HANDS ON A CHILD and you'll never have to experience the regret of hitting to hard, hitting in anger, etc. 2. PICK THEM UP AND REMOVE THEM FROM THE SITUATION if they're too young to understand. Child-proofing helps many situations. 3. TALK TO THEM AND EXPLAIN dangerous situations, reasons, and consequences. If they continue, rest assured that you have options. There's no reason to freak out or fly off the handle. Put into effect the methods you learned (by learning ahead of time the non-violent ways to discipline a child). A child is not a villain or monster looking to stress us out. They are a young human being, prone to error and lack of impulse control. They're not going to know everything right off the bat. They're going to be immature for a limited number of years. Look into your child's face. They are worth the time you take to learn alternative methods to bring them up without violence and pain.
Sorry Becky, most kids turn out OK despite being spanked, NOT because of it. It's a violent, barbaric, unnecessary way to solve problems. It only teaches the child to put your hands on others and cause them pain if you're bigger than them and don't like what they're doing. Hitting kids continues because it's a tradition passed down through the generations. I was determined to never hit my son, and am embarrassed to say that I actually put my hands on him 3 times when he was little. Little.... smaller than me. That's called bullying. It was stuck in my head from years and years of being hit when I was bad, and seeing my siblings treated the same way. Your brain goes into cause and effect mode, and you hit automatically to solve the problem. After all, it would require thinking and reading to learn a better way. To change the violent pattern. THERE ARE OTHER WAYS that are more effective to discipline a child. But many adults carry the tradition because "I was spanked and turned out OK". Some children get aggressive and lash out. Others continue the abuse. Some withdraw in-ward and hate themselves, suffering depression and strained relationships. My parents spanked, but never abused me and I find it difficult to accept authority figures, especially women. My mom spanked me more, and I often feel right back in that parent/child moment when faced with an authority figure. The buttocks are very close to the genitals and they can be inadvertently stimulated during punishment. Some children get confused and subconsciously begin to associate pleasure with pain. They may grow up unable to have a normal sexual relationship. Look around BDSM forums, there are many who have experienced this. It's not clear why it doesn't affect every child. But if we ever want children to learn to keep their hands to themselves and not solve problems with their fists, it starts first at home. Daddy can't hit Mommy because the rules apply to everyone in the house: NO HITTING EACH OTHER. It's not an acceptable way to show anger or solve problems. It's a violation of another's body to put your hands on them, regardless of their age. What if I showed you an elderly person who made mistakes less often due to their caretaker hitting them? Or a wife who gets along better with her husband because she understands her role and knows the boundaries? Would that make hitting OK? It takes re-thinking, re-learning, and undoing the old patterns we witnessed from our parents. I VALUE CHILDREN so much that I never want them to feel the belittled embarrassment that a spanking brings. They shouldn't feel my hands (or even an object in my hands) because they made a mistake or lack impulse control. KIDS MESS UP IN LIFE, AS DO ADULTS. We make mistakes, lash out in anger, and have to apologize for the effect on others. But no one hits us for our mistakes.
If over 80% of us were spanked as a child, and it is do detrimental then why aren't we all mentally ill, maladjusted unproductive adults or criminals? It is because those spankings taught us boundaries we remembered longer than a little chat with mom or dad about our direct disobedience or improper behavior. Get real, people! You can manipulate the interviews or the numbers in studies to prove whatever points you wish to make. I have 2 adult children; the oldest has s chip in her shoulder about her horrendous upbringing, yet her younger brother thanks me for standing firm. He sees the undisciplined college grads close to his age not knowing how to solve problems in his workplace because they were coddled as children to think that everything they wanted they could have without work or consequences, and they think they should be praised for doing nothing!!!