Ha, you can't hit me, corporal punishment is illegal!

Corporal punishment, the spanking aspect at least, has been studied and bashed around for years, but do you really know what has transpired? Do you realize that many, many countries have banned it outright, and that as parents and residents of such countries, you have been legislated never to hit your child.

There were exceptions of course, holdouts like Canada, where it was OK at least for kids up to 13 years of age. Parts of Australia and several of the United States also seemed to hold their ground as well.

Review the Wiki description of Corporal Punishment for a brief look at spanking.

The links on this page will let you learn more about the issues yourself. Make up your own mind and make decisions that count. For myself, even before studying all of the pros and cons, I was appalled by how the knowledge of such a ban enables kids and how it further disrupts an already crumbling relationship with their parents.

I am particularly intrigued by this study regarding the effectiveness of spanking which looks at some research from a higher perspective. When studies take place, the statistics tend to slant our perspective and we must be careful to remain objective. When multiple links have been identified between spanking and bad psychological behaviour later in life, we can't lose site of other aspects that are not studied.

For example, let's say Billy is a boisterous 8 year old, who would rather climb on the furniture and try to swing from the drapes than do his homework.

OK, in scenario one, you don't spank him. He won't do what you say, but you have spared him from the theoretical, psychological trauma touted by the researchers. He also won't take the position of wanting to hit those smaller than him... we think. Now, he didn't do his homework when told, mom resorts to threats of limiting privileges or being grounded, and Billy goes to play on his expensive video game. Well done mom.

In scenario two, Billy is informed that he will be punished when his father comes home. Mom and dad collaborate, agree, and dad administers a controlled, planned spanking on the bottom without anger, and, after providing full disclosure of what it's for. Billy is reminded that he must obey his parents because they love him, and they are his protectors. Also, that this minor pain is far less than what he might experience should he fall from a curtain rod.

With a 'civilized' corporal punishment, will Billy experience any trauma in the future? It was theoretical anyway. Or might he recognize his parents as a team, that they cared for his safety; that he will be better off for it... and that he might be in a better position to listen in the future? Any other benefits? Actually, yes. This happened to me, as you might have guessed, so here is some of the good side. I respect the law, friends, property, teachers and parents. I was a good student and I am good to animals. I don't have an evil bone in my body and I even respect my elders... a lost art. Was I ever traumatized by being spanked, infrequently, but when it was warranted? No.

Now the whole issue of corporal punishment gets clouded when we speak of the masses and the abusers. Governments install laws to protect the idiots of the world and to eliminate lawsuits. All of this legislation sacrifices the freedoms of the many to control the infractions of the few. You have to make decisions for yourself. Educate yourself, by all means, but make up your own mind.

And the next time your little guy looks you straight in the eye and yells 'YOU CAN'T HIT ME', perhaps you'll remember my words.


Your comments on spanking?

Get exclusive content by subscribing to my newsletter

Return from Corporal Punishment to Short Stories Help Children