Development, Gentle, love, punishment, reasonable expectations, respectful parenting, spanking

Please don’t spank your child.

Please don’t spank your child.

“But if I don’t spank them, they will grow up to be entitled brats.”

Everything you do as a parent will impact your children. Whether you spank or not does not have anything to do with your child growing up to feel entitled. It will, however, impact the way they handle conflicts or problem-solve in the future. If an adult is modeling that it is ok for someone older, bigger, or more powerful to inflict physical punishment on a person who is younger or smaller, then that is what the child will learn. Modeling empathy, setting boundaries and sticking to them, talking through issues with your children… treating them like the valuable humans they already are… that is what will help your children grow to be wonderful, caring, well-adjusted adults.

I also saw something online recently that stuck with me: that we should all feel entitled. Yes, children should feel entitled. Every person should feel entitled. Entitled to human rights, free from degrading treatment.

Please don’t spank your child.

“But spanking is not physical violence. It’s not the same as hitting.”

Here’s the definition of spanking, from (you can easily google this):


  1. to strike (a person, usually a child) with the open hand, a slipper, etc., especially on the buttocks, as in punishment.


2. a blow given in spanking; a smart or resounding slap.

Yes. Spanking is hitting. It is slapping. It is a blow to the body. The behavior, the act, of spanking cannot be defined without a term that either IS hitting or is synonymous with that term. It is physical. It is violent.

Defining spanking as “a disciplinary method” does not describe the action, or the behavior, or what spanking looks like. It is NOT an accurate definition.

Please don’t spank your child.

“But I don’t do it to hurt my child, so it’s fine.”

Whether or not it hurts doesn’t necessarily matter. When you spank your child you are modeling the act of hitting. Your child is more likely to hit other children or people as a result. Your child is more likely to think that bigger, stronger people have the right to force smaller or younger people to do what they want. Your child is more likely to think that hitting or overpowering another person is an acceptable means of solving problems.

Please don’t spank your child.

“I was spanked as a child, and I turned out fine.”

Many of us were spanked as children. This doesn’t make it ok. Many of us turned out ‘fine.’ Or, at least, we’re functioning adults. But how many of us have health problems? And I’m talking about every aspect of your health: physical, mental, emotional. How many of us suffer from anxiety, or take medication for depression? How many of us face relationship issues? It’s true, it can be difficult or nearly impossible to trace every person’s health issues back to being spanked. But we do know that trauma experienced in childhood plays a massive role in our health later in life (take a look at the ACE study, even take the questionnaire. It asks about spanking.). We also know the importance of attachment and bonding, and that the relationships between young children and their parents are extraordinarily important because it sets the stage for the quality of relationships that child has later in life. We also know that physical punishment or abuse can erode the quality of a relationship.

And for many others, being spanked as a child turned into severe physical abuse.

When you spank your child, you put your relationship with your child at risk. You put your child’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being at risk. And, not to mention, if you think it’s ok to strike or hit a small child, you did not turn out ‘fine.’

Please. Don’t spank your child.

“Spanking is EFFECTIVE though!”

Yes. It can be very effective. Naturally, if every time you do something, then someone hits you… you will most likely stop doing the thing that was resulting in you being hit. OR, you may stop doing the thing in front of the person that hits you, because you’ve learned that you only get hit when that person sees you do that thing. You don’t get hit if the person doesn’t see you do it. You may begin to lie to try and get out of being hit.

Of course spanking can be effective. But just because it’s effective does not mean it’s the right thing to do. I wouldn’t hit one of my young clients to try and get them to stop doing something. Hitting a child, whether as a parent, educator, or coach, as a means of discipline is morally and ethically wrong.

Please. Don’t spank your child.

“It’s the parent’s choice. Don’t interfere with my rights as a parent. Don’t tell me how to raise my children.”

It’s illegal to strike your spouse. It’s illegal to strike your neighbor. It can be illegal to strike your dog.

It’s illegal to strike your child… but only if you are leaving bruises or marks.

Why are there conditions attached to that last one? Did you know that the United States is one of the only first-world countries that hasn’t banned spanking? Why do we think of our children as second-class citizens… unworthy of the same rights and freedom from abuse that we have?

When you lash out with violence, it is a loss of control on your part. It is harmful and degrading. There are so many studies indicating how physical punishment is harmful to a child’s overall well-being. You can also check out this comprehensive article, here.

There are also so many resources to help you use other disciplinary tools instead of spanking. Here’s a free class to get you started.

You can also sign up to receive a free 3-Day Mini Email Course.

And, you can join this amazing group for support and advice!

So please… don’t spank your child.

Be sure to check out How We Avoid Punishing Our Children for more tools on how to parent your children with respect. <3How We Avoid punishing