Spanking :: Not My Choice for Discipline

Running a close race with religion and politics, discipline techniques for children is a pretty taboo topic of conversation in mixed company. These days, there is such an influence of media over our parenting styles and discipline tactics. 

As I child, I surely received my fair share of spankings and can remember hearing rumors of a paddle used on naughty children in the school principal’s office. Before I had children of my own, I was never against spankings and thought I’d eventually resort to spanking as a discipline tactic with my own kids. When the time came to truly implement discipline, I found myself on the other side of this discussion and much to my own dismay, I have and hope to continue disciplining my children without the use of spankings. 

My decision to discipline without spanking was an easy one for me for many reasons.

We live in a world where physical violence and abuse is a topic frequently present in media, on TV, and in our communities. I do my best to shield my young children from these violent influences and want them to always feel safe and protected as members of our family in our own home. We teach our children to respect one another, their friends and teachers; physical aggression is not acceptable. In our home, we strive to create an environment of mutual respect and trust. My husband and I carry this forth in our everyday lives and expect our children to do the same. I never hit my children and expect that they will never hit me.

Trust me, my children are not perfect, and they have thrown their fair share of tantrums during which I sometimes completely lose my cool. We implement a time-out system which allows us all to cool off and resolve our differences peacefully. My temper can be short, and in those stressful moments had I chosen to utilize spankings for discipline, I sincerely feel that my temper would result in possible physical injury to my children. I’ve also found that by giving myself and my children an opportunity to calm down when angry, I’m better able to parent with a level-head and use these frustrating situations to teach life lessons.  

With both kids, we’ve gone through phases where they have resorted to physical aggression to relieve their frustrations. As a toddler, my daughter was a biter. My son who is currently in the midst of toddlerhood has, at times, hit when he became frustrated. When reprimanding my children for undesirable physical aggression, correcting them through physical punishment in the form of a spanking sends mixed messages and is pretty unfair. 

How can I teach my children that hitting isn’t ok, if mommy hits them back??? 

As I mentioned previously, I was spanked as a child (sometimes even in public) and certainly would never consider myself abused, but that was 30 years ago. Now we live in a different age, and it seems that everyone is quick to judge and form opinions about our parenting techniques. I’ve read countless articles about well-meaning parents who make quick decisions that are hastily judged by someone else. Disciplining my children in public with spanking is just not an option. While I accept that some families use these tactics to enforce rules, I know many who are not as open minded and would be quick to judge and potentially report an “abusive parent.” 

Discipline techniques are a personal decision, but for me and my family, spankings are not our choice. 

Jennifer is a native of Houma, LA, but moved to Baton Rouge nearly 10 years ago to be with the love of her life. She and her husband are proud parents to a spunky five-year-old daughter, Kendall, and curious two-year-old son, Keller. Jennifer works part-time as Speech Therapist treating the adult and geriatric populations. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking food from scratch for friends and family, shopping, exercising, volunteering in the community and exploring the wonderful world of wine! Jennifer believes that love is shown through food (as most Louisiana natives do) and enjoys filling the tummies of those for whom she cares. Jennifer is a member of the Junior League of Baton Rouge. Jennifer and her family are proud residents of the Baton Rouge area and love the culture and fun our community has to offer.


  1. This is a great blog that goes into the topic of spanking. I like that it goes into the fact that discipline techniques are a personal decision. It is important that people know the facts and myths surrounding the topic of spanking. There are different levels of spanking from harsh frequent spanking, mild spanking in appropriate situations, and no spanking at all. Lansford, Wager, Bates, Pettit, and Dodge (2012) found that there were significant differences between the harsh frequent spanking group and mild infrequent spanking and no spanking but they found no significant differences between no spanking and mild spanking only groups. When it comes to mild spanking it can be useful if used appropriately. Larzelere (2011) also found no concrete evidence that shows that occasional spanking harms children and anti-spanking researchers failed to study the effects of appropriate spanking in appropriate disciplinary situations. The effects of spanking and harm can be based on the severity and the situation in which it is used. Larzelere (2011) also found that its children’s defiance that makes them likely to be aggressive not the disciplinary methods used to improve there behavior. It is important to know you boundaries and when it is appropriate to spank if that is the disciplinary method you choose. I was spanked frequently as a child and harsh ways I was against spanking. I never spanked my 4 year old daughter time-out have worked well for her. However my 2 and half year old son seems no disciplinary method has worked for him so I tried time-out initiated by spanking on occasion when he behavior is really uncontrollable. I would say there has been only a few times that I found a light spanking appropriate but I had to learn what worked best for each of my children. According to Bogenschneider (2014) it’s important that parents are able to talk with each other, observe other parents interacting with and disciplining their children and in doing this they are able to learn about the norms in their community as well as the standards for childrearing. It can be helpful to know what discipline is acceptable in your community as well as different methods other parents use which may be useful for you but know what works for one child may not work for another child or even the same child in a different situation.


    Bogenschneider, K. (2014) Family policy matters:how policymaking affects families and what professionals can do (3rd ed.).New York NY: Routledge.

    Lansford, J.E., Wager, L.B., Bates, J.E., Pettit, G.S., and Dodge, K.A. (2012, April). Forms of spanking and children’s externalizing behaviors. Family Relations. 61(2). 224-236. DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2011.00700.x.

    Larzelere, R.E. (2011, September 9). Should there be a law banning spanking of children? U.S. News Digital Weekly. 3(36). 17.


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