Dear Ms. Marwood—Spanking Kids

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Dear Ms Marwood,
Loved the advice from the first post, even if it was hard to read. Is spanking just something that should be used on consenting adults? Because as a mother of two  I would love your views on spanking as discipline for kids? My husband and I are split on it. I was raised with spankings and I think I turned out fine.
Dear April,
This subject is very controversial and I’m kind of torn between yes and no, myself. Current wisdom seems to say that Corporal Discipline is child abuse. How do you teach a child not to resolve things by hitting people if you hit the child? That being said….  I cannot tell you the number of clients I have known who were spanked his children and feel that it benefited greatly. What they appreciated about it, is that it was a very clear cut, distinct message. Action equals consequence.  AND… they were warned beforehand that if they committed a certain “crime” they’d be punished, and punishment meant a spanking. Emotion was kept out of it. In some cases, there were even a specific number of strokes for first offenses, more for 2nd or 3rd, etc. After the spanking was done, my clients reported, they felt better. They’d paid the price and the slate was wiped clean.   If I were to condone corporal discipline for children this would be the way. Having said that, here’s a few caveats:  Each child’s temperament must be considered. Some children are confident and secure, others are sensitive and/or insecure. I wouldn’t consider using spanking punishment for a shy or sensitive child.  Also, if used, it should always be approached conservatively–in small doses, at first–and evaluated afterward as whether to continue with it. I would also insist that parents sit with their child afterward and discuss with him/her what his reactions and feelings are to the misbehavior and the punishment, what he’d learned, if anything; reinforce that it was done to teach him this lesson bc certain mischievous acts could get him into more serious trouble when outside his family. (I.e., it’s for his good and not because you are angry.) Never punish in anger. In fact, I’ve been told that parents who would make spanking appointments with their naughty kids would instill a memorable lesson. The added dread preceding punishment was almost worse than the spanking! I doubt if I’d have the heart to be a spanking parent, but, as you attest, I’ve met many adults who were spanked as children who respected this form of discipline and feel it was very good for them.  My best suggestion would be, if all else fails, you could give it a shot.  HM
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Sorry the first post was hard to read. I’ll “speak” to Andy about it. This format should work best.


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7 Responses to Dear Ms. Marwood—Spanking Kids

  1. heropvoeding says:

    It makes a lot of sense what Ms Marwood has said on the issue. Personally, I sometimes regret not having been treated in my childhood, in the way she described. Escpecially when one knows the specific consequences of specific misbehaviors, one would think twice about it. Well, perhaps not the first time, but after having been spanked once …

  2. gravano says:

    I think very few parents who spank their kids have the mental or emotional ability to do it in the controlled, methodical way Ms. Marwood described. Anger is involved a lot.

    Let me offer another scenario: I was spanked, some. Not a lot. I was threatened constantly. If someone asks me what it was like to be a kid in the 70s, I tell them all I remember is that adults seemed to really want to hit us a lot.

    In my mind, you can’t hit me and love me. PERIOD. If you hit me, I no longer trust you. No amount of speeches and explanations fixes that. That’s what happened with me. I internalized the message that I was worthless because if the people who were charged with caring for me and loving me would hit me, I couldn’t possibly be worth anything. My father is dead, and I have a lousy relationship with my mother and a ton of resentment.

    The reason I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on the services of women like Ms. Marwood is to deal with the feelings that won’t go away from all of this. Ultimately, I sexualized the trauma and I keep reliving it in the controlled atmosphere of a professional disciplinarian or dominatrix because, I believe, that it somehow helps me to deal with it when I can re-enact it in a controlled — and not out of control–manner. I also use it in a therapeutic sense because it brings my anger to the surface, and I vocalize how I felt about it as a kid while I am being spanked as an adult. A lot of times instead of screaming during a spanking, I’ll growl, which somehow feels good.

    Fortunately, for most parents, when their kids reach adulthood they are reluctant to 1) criticize their parents, or 2) conclude that they did not turn out OK. So, they never have to face the consequences of having spanked their kids. Unfortunately, for my parents, I’m not one of those kids.

    You don’t necessarily know how a kid is going to process being spanked. Some kids are real secure and have a strong inner sense of self that keeps them from internalizing the punishment. I was not one of them.

    You can’t take back a spanking. .

  3. gravano says:

    By the way, my comment about spending “tens of thousands of dollars” for the services of women like Ms. Marwood should in no way be construed as a reflection on those who do this for a living. If she were near where I’d live, I’d definitely request a session with her. My point was that I think spanking in childhood led me to a need for it in adulthood which I could probably do without. However, now that I have it, I am grateful to those who provide the service.

  4. franzcoughka says:

    I liked Ms. Marwood’s answer, though I don’t support spanking kids. I am one of those spanked growing up, and I would want to tell Ms. Marwood that I benefited from them greatly. I would want her to know why I hated those experiences and all the reasons why spankings were so effective, and how things got worse when they stopped. If I went to see her, to me she would be a spanking parent. I would want her to think of herself as a spanking parent and, as such, she must at least understand the value of what real parental discipline spanking is all about. However, spanking is my fetish, so that colors my thinking. Ms. Marwood has it right that each child is different, and her warnings and concerns should be taken as valuable advice.

  5. Blogger says:

    I too thought it was a well considered answer. It is a difficult subject. I was not spanked at home as my Mum didn’t believe in CP but have been interested in it since I was a teen. Spanking was common & all schools used CP (1960s). My first experience was an attractive babysitter whom I provoked, although I can’t remember if I was just being bratty or if she said that a spanking might result. Whatever it was, she said she would report my bad behaviour to my parents or she could spank me. I plucked up the courage to take the spanking and enjoyed lying over her lap but then found that her small wooden hairbrush when applied vigorously to my pyjama bottoms was very ouchy. She had obviously spanked before as I was spanked to tears and went to bed obediently with a sore bum. I also was not cheeky to her again, for while I liked the idea of a spanking the reality hurt!
    Likewise at school I largely stayed out of trouble. CP was falling out of favour & many teachers didn’t use it or were simply too timid. I had a couple of frankly pathetic strokes of the cane which I laughed off. Until my 4th year when I was doing poorly and slacking around. My English teacher decided after a few ineffectual detentions that I would benefit from a flogging, as she called it. I was made to wait until Friday after school & then given 5-6 strokes from a woodwork teacher. I cried from the first stroke & had bruises for over a week. But my English teacher was correct and my work improved a lot. How she knew or guessed I don’t know for she did not send many boys to be caned.
    BUT. We have never spanked our kids & I would hate for a school to be able to cane them. They are well behaved and doing well. The only CP in our house is consensual between my wife & I. While I am sure there are still kids like me, if they were spanked would feel they benefited from childhood CP I have NO idea how to tell who they are!

  6. Daniel says:

    The question is a very important one and with all important questions we should seek out the answers among experts who have researched the subject, not rely on anecdotal “evidence”.

    This article sums up the answers:

  7. otktotto says:

    that a spanking of kids the last way is should be clear – which implement would you use for it when the last way has to go`?

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