spanking, violence

Please watch this entire video. It’s less than a minute long:

I had some very disturbing conversations on Twitter yesterday. Not only were they disturbing, but mind-boggling. I was floored that I had to provide the following information to so many people:


Definition of SPANK

: to strike especially on the buttocks with the open hand


Definition of STRIKE  :to hit (someone or something) in a forceful way

Spanking = hitting in a forceful way.

Hitting = violence. Clear? Unless, of course, you don’t consider striking or hitting to be violent. But, oops, physical force is part of the very definition of violence:

vi·o·lence : the use of physical force to harm someone, to damage property, etc.

One does not strike another unless they intend harm. Hurting someone is the whole point, no matter what the motivation.

That I even have to explain any of this is appalling. But what is more appalling is the minimizing and rationalizing all over my Twitter stream, my Direct Messages, and comments on Facebook. Below are some examples that I cobbled together. I was actually seeing tweets like, “They hit me because I misbehaved.” Doesn’t matter. It’s not your fault, you didn’t deserve to be hit. No child deserves to be hit.

Violence is violence, and it’s wrong. Justifying it with, “So? Look at me! I turned out okay!” makes no sense. How do you know how you’d have turned out without being smacked around? 

Violence against children is NEVER okay.

I chose to keep these messages anonymous. My responses are italicized:

My parents used to hit me as a child and I turn out okay! What Adrian Peterson did was bad. He left scars on his son. My parents used to hit me because I did not listen.| That does not justify violence used on a child. Nothing does. What, so as long as there are no visible scars it’s A-OK? What about emotional scars? What can possibly justify an adult intentionally hurting a child?  

Frustration or the inability to find nonviolent ways to communicate is no excuse. And no matter how much a child misbehaves, inflicting pain as a way to change that behavior is unacceptable.

: Adrian Peterson: “I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser” |If you abuse, you’re an abuser.

–I’m against corporal punishment, but I recognize a qualitative difference between a spanking and being brutalized with a switch.| Yes, but where do we draw the line? How hard is too hard a smack or “whooping”? There is no justification for any violence against children. Use your brains, your reasoning, your parenting skills.

Feel inept? Powerless? Because that’s what often motivates abusers, feeling powerless and frustrated, which leads to anger, rage, and finally, assault. Educate yourself, get therapy, break the cycle, but do not rely on hurting a child to resolve your own impotence.

–Eh.. I got spanked and I’m pretty normal. But, I know people who got severely beat and they are seemingly normal too.  | “Seemingly normal”? How do you know how these “seemingly normal” survivors act out in the privacy of their own homes? How much more “normal” would they be had they not been beaten? No child deserves to be struck.

This next one is a jaw-dropper. I had to ask if they were kidding or serious. They replied, “Serious”:

Spanking is only violence if you are violent and do it violently… Kids are harmed in lots of worse ways than spanking. Who says that all adults who spank a child are angry. Spanking should not occur when mad… Well I guess thats hard for u2 conceive if the ppl that spanked you were violent. My granny spanked me calmly & would hug me after…| “Family values” strikes again… literally! To quote a follower who replied snarkily to this misguided Tweeter, “NEVER be angry when beating a defenseless child.” Note to Tweeter: Your sentence, “If the people that spanked you were violent” should have read, “The people who spanked you were violent.” The author of these tweets clearly has more serious problems than could be addressed in 140 characters or less. I ended up blocking this account. 

My sister raised her kids on Time Outs instead of spankings. They grew up to be monsters who can’t hold jobs & manipulate her…  I only had to spank my son once and he got the message on listening about boundries. He grew up to be an Airline Pilot… no use programming children to learn they can Walk All Over You.. Every case where I’ve seen kids manipulating and walking all over their parents were parents afraid to spank… Getting more positive feedback about Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child than your Sissiness Fear of spankings.| Not even worth a response. Needless to say, I blocked this one too. 

One of my followers tweeted: “Hitting means you don’t have ability to parent as an adult. Bullies hit. People who lose control hit.” Bingo.

To those who say spanking is okay, where do you draw the line? Is there a HitOMeter? A PainOMeter? Inflicting some pain on a little kid is okay, just not X amount? How does one measure that exactly? Someone please delineate the precise degree of pain and trauma it is okay to inflict. That should clear things right up.

The answer to that should be NONE. No amount of pain, hitting, slapping, whipping, whooping, or spanking is okay. None.

As for the “cultural differences” that were brought up to rationalize abuse, sorry, not buying it. White violence exists, too. And breaking the cycle is the answer, not dismissing it as a cultural thing. Tradition does not justify physical abuse to children. Nothing does. Nothing.

angry frustrated biting laptop