Previous   Next

Should there be a federal ban on corporal punishment?

Asked at Hy-Vee, 4000 W. Sixth St. on April 21, 2010

Browse the archives

Photo of Sharon Harriman

“No, that is a local and family issue.”

Photo of Adrian Marquez

“Yes … it’s not good for kids, they grow up doing the same thing to others.”

Photo of Tim Orr

“No … I believe that is the parent’s job to basically discipline their children the way they want to.”

Photo of Liz Friedrichsen

“No, it should be handled from state to state, not federal government.”


Maddy Griffin 8 years, 2 months ago

The government needs to keep it's nose out of how I discipline my kids/grandkids. If they need a spanking, I will give them one. That "time-out" crap isn't always as effective as a good swat on the butt.And don't give me that"it only teaches kids to hit" crap either. I've got a 3 year-old grandson who has never been spanked and he hits more than any kid I've ever seen.All kids are different and must be treated as such. What works for one may not work for the next.

Kat Christian 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree with you 100%. This crap of sweet-talking a bratty out of control kid is full of crap. Some kids just need a swat on the butt to get their attention. Now I don't believe in using a belt or paddle, but I do believe a swat is necessary at times. I see so many kids that bascially run their parents. I believe the parents needs to establish the Alpha bond early on so when their kid becomes that hormonal teenager it is established who is in charge. Otherwise you have kids running amuck. I think when a kid controls a parent it makes them a bully in school to other kids. Kids need boundries, they need a parent to establish rules and limitations for them (no matter how much they whine or complain - and parents shouldn't let other people influence how they discipline their child in public - kids now use that to get their way). Kids have no idea what they want or what they are doing - they need parents to help them through this by establishing guidelines - otherwise they become confused, lazy, and disrespectful and feel unloved. Some parents can be too controlling and too over-protective - so there has to be a medium. I believe that teens be taught parenting skills before they graduate high school and the first year of college - be added to curriculum. It's the only way to assure good parenting especially at the rate of teen pregnancies we are having in this country.

Ron Holzwarth 8 years, 2 months ago

Quite a while back, I babysat a couple of my small nieces for years. All along, their mother made it VERY CLEAR that if they needed a spanking, I should give it to them.

In all those years of babysitting, there was ONLY ONE swat. But, they were good kids, and they seem to have turned out just fine!

igby 8 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

geekyhost 8 years, 2 months ago

Things that didn't exist before 1990: Google. All the other things you listed as not existing before 1990 can be refuted by it.

Tough Love was invented in 1979. ADHD was first recognized as a disorder in 1902. Co-Dependents Anonymous was founded in 1986. Rehab, of course, is much older than that.

ralphralph 8 years, 2 months ago

There should be a Federal Ban on Federal Bans.

RoeDapple 8 years, 2 months ago

He d@#n sure was still using them in the mid '60's!! I can still feel the sting!

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

Corporal Punishment, Major Disaster, General Confusion.

jafs 8 years, 2 months ago


If an adult hits another adult (a fairly equal contest) it is illegal.

Why is it ok for an adult to hit a child (a completely unequal contest)?

Tony Kisner 8 years, 2 months ago

Because kids are little and don't vote.

Kat Christian 8 years, 2 months ago

If its not your kid - yes it is illegal. If it is your kid and the "hitting" is a result of discipline it should not be the government business, unless the child is physically hurt beyond reasoning than that should be illegal.

RoeDapple 8 years, 2 months ago

When I told Nanny Duver I wasn't going out for football he responded," Well you'll damn sure wish you had!"

jafs 8 years, 2 months ago

Capital punishment in families would certainly be illegal.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 2 months ago

Spanking is such a primitive method.

It should be replaced by tasing, and in extreme cases, a little light waterboarding.

Like spanking, these punishments won't help the kids any, but it sure will provide temporary relief for frustrated adults.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

Children should be spanked only if it helps bring about the dictatorship of the proletariat.

georgiahawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Corporals should only be punished when they can't find someone lower in rank to blame.

oldvet 8 years, 2 months ago

Thanks, georgia, I was also thinking that we should ban Lance Corporal, PFC and Private punishments as well... And while we are at it, we should avoid Sergeant punishment too!

remember_username 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm for that. Let's stick with anything between major punishment and general punishment. In my day the NCOs could deal with captains on down.

Kat Christian 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree. These legislatures obvisously are bored and have too much time on their hands and sit there and think up more laws (that really just serve as band-aids on these problems). Its like they have a goal to fill an agenda to climb up the ladder. Dare they go against the grain and come up with an innovated idea as to fix the laws already on the books. Whatever is popular is easier way out for them - and they think they've done their job. Blah! We need real reform, if a law isn't working - fix it, not band-aid it.

RoeDapple 8 years, 2 months ago

Nah! spacehog and I were the guys picked to do 200 push ups, climb the rope 25 times, run the track 50 laps, and stay outa the way while "real" men played team sports. His favorite expression... "What are you characters waitin' on? Move! Move,move move! Get outa my sight!" Worst case of short man syndrome I've ever seen!

whats_going_on 8 years, 2 months ago

No, I do not agree with this. However, I think for actual child abuse, obviously there should be consequences. Drawing the line is hard, especially in a society where spanking your kid is automatically labeled as abuse and people feel the need to stick their noses in other personal, family business, even if a spank if obviously a spank and not a hit.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

Mistress Ilsa charges $175 an hour for spankings. You can get $5 off if you bring your own paddle.

gogoplata 8 years, 2 months ago

This is stupid. Less government intusion not more.

Kat Christian 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh come on - they were parenting and obviously abusive to their children.

Kat Christian 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh come on - they weren't parenting and obviously abusive to their children.

Georgine McHenry 8 years, 2 months ago

No ban please. I will say however, make the punishment fit the crime. Be fair. Spanking to get a kid's attention is no big deal. I've seen mom's and dad's pull a kid by the arm and it seemed far worse.

denak 8 years, 2 months ago

I don't agree with a federal ban. I think it should be left up to the state to decide whether or not to ban spanking.

However, I just read a week ago that the American Pediatrics Association came out staunchly against spanking and showing that spanking is more detrimental to the child than any other form of punishment and that it has serious ramifications on a child's developement. My personal opinion is that the overwhelming majoirty of time parents spank out of a sense of frustration or embarassment and not because the child is acting in a manner that warrants it. It is the parent that needs a "time-out" not the child.

And lastly, I think the reason parents spank is because they can get away with it.. A four year old can not defend himself. If that child had the ability to hit his parent back with the same force that he is hit with, some parents might think twice but because he can't, the parent doesn't think twice about inflicting pain onto a child that has only been alive for a few years.


Maddy Griffin 8 years, 2 months ago

Geez, I've heard all this crap before. No offense Dena, but that silliness makes me wonder why everyone over 40 isn't a serial killer. When I was a kid, it wasn't unheard of for anyone's dad to take them out "behind the wood shed and show them who's boss". I don't spank ALL the time, but if the child is putting his or anyone elses' life in danger, I will get that butt. I think that's what is wrong with the kids today. The parents are so afraid that SRS will come to the house that the kids get away with everything. My oldest son (then 12 now 34) tried to threaten me with calling SRS for a good smack he got for shooting at people walking on east 15th street with his BB rifle. I wished him luck in beating me to the phone. Never had another problem with him after that.

denak 8 years, 2 months ago

If a child is putting his life in danger, the response is not to spank him, the response is to remove the child from danger. You see it all the time, Inattentive parents paying attention to everything except their child and when their young kid makes a mad dash towards the street following a dog or a ball, the parent has the nerve to come out and spank the child. Hellooooo, parent. The child didn't do anything other than act like a normal child. If you don't want your child running in the street, put a fence up or remove the child from the area. The parent was the one in the wrong.

Secondly, it has been my experience, that people who parent, without using corporal punishment,are actually better at disciplining their children then those who use corporal punishment. You actually have to learn something about child developement and parenting techniques rather than rely on spanking.

Lastly, one thing I have learned is to call your kid on his b.s. Instead of spanking your 12 year old, you should have walked over to the phone, handed it to him and said, "go ahead." Then you should have went back to making dinner or reading or whatever, I bet you who would have never made that phone call. Kids know from a very young age how to manipulate their parent and if the only thing you have to enforce your rules is spanking, then they will very soon learn to be sneaky, act out more in public because most people won't spank in public, and to just go ahead and get the spanking over and so that can go right back to doing what they did in the first place.

Spanking is nothing more than an act of agression against a small child that does nothing more than inflict pain on the child and does not offer any long term disciplinary benefit.


Kat Christian 8 years, 2 months ago

Bull - if a parent is truly discipling their child they aren't going to hit them with full force. You don't need to. All is needed is a jolt, if its any harder than that or hard enough to leave a permanent mark that is abuse. Children are born manipulators, that is their key to surviving in their small world, since they can't express themself in the adult world. Still they need to be taught boundries, for many reasons, safety the most important. Some children seem to be more addicted to manipulation than others. Talking to them isn't an option at times, but a swat on the butt and a time-out or temporay isolation will surely get their attention. A parent needs to establish the Alpha stature early on, especially before they reach the hormonal teen years. No matter how sweet a kid they are before that, THEY all experience the moods, rebellion, etc at various levels. That's nature. But along with that discipline there needs to be a lot of love, respect, listening, interest and participation in that child's life. Only than will that swat have more meaning to a child. Otherwise, if love is lacking that swat can turn determental to a child's outlook on life.

DRsmith 8 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, we should go ahead and ban it. Because Lord knows kids these days are much better than generations past. (sarcasm) A good butt whoopin never hurt anyone and it certainly kept me in line. Fear of the swat was much more effective then any kind of grounding I had coming.

Deja Coffin 8 years, 2 months ago

I don't spank because my children respond just as well to a time out but I do think that there may be children that might need a spanking. I think that a lot of the problem with spanking is that a parent might just tell their kid no and smack them on the bottom and think that solves the issue. I once saw a mother smack her kid and say, "No hitting!" After a time out I have my girls tell me what they did wrong, why it was bad, and then I give them a hug and thank them for serving their time out. It works wonders for my 2 year old and 5 year old but I have no clue what I'm going to do once they outgrow them or it doesn't phase them. In my opinion there's a fine line with spanking and I don't think the government should say what is best for the individual.

gogoplata 8 years, 2 months ago

Can we get a federal ban on federal bans.

LoveThsLife 8 years, 2 months ago

No, most states already have bans on it. Those schools that do use it do so sparingly (from what I understand). I don't think corporal punishment is a huge problem...our government needs to focus on more important things.

ozzynbn 8 years, 2 months ago

Verbal abuse to a child will last much longer than a swat on the butt.

Katara 8 years, 2 months ago

I don't think this poll question is referring to family discipline. There was an article yesterday or the day before about a Texas town okaying corporal punishment for the schools to use.

I'm fine with disciplining your child as you see fit. I am not fine with the schools doing it. You tell me what my child did and I will determine any additional punishment. Schools should stick to detention, suspension & expulsions.

gccs14r 8 years, 2 months ago

Katara has it right. The proposed federal ban is for the schools, which should not be engaged in ritual institutional beatings of children.

Regarding parental discipline, I've seen a well-placed open-handed swat on the butt get the attention of an out-of-control kid who wasn't responding to words. Regular application of spankings is detrimental, though. If you can't count the number of times you've swatted your kid, you need to re-examine what you're doing as a parent.

independant1 8 years, 2 months ago

Fed ban? We don't need a law for every good idea. If this was a good idea.

I coulda used a couple more spankings when I was young. I might've ended up just a little smarter/wiser for it.

timetospeakup 8 years, 2 months ago

I think there should be a federal mandate!

whats_going_on 8 years, 2 months ago

I saw a lady in a parking lot once whose small child kept running around. While it was her fault probably for not teaching the child this is will be kids, and he wasn't listening to her to stay next to her. Finally, after an out of control car comes whizzing by and the kid almost becomes road kill, she grabbed his arm to pull him away from the cars and firmly told him to behave. Another lady, also witnessing this, comes up and threatens to turn the lady in to child protective services. It pissed me off...I wanted to smack THAT lady...what a nosy b*tch, especially in the circumstances. If that mom hadn't had been firm, after being "nice" for long enough, who knows what could have happened.

1029 8 years, 1 month ago

I learned my lesson about messing with other people's kids. One time I was in Walmart and this little kid comes running towards me down the aisle, and then I see this kid's mom come running around the corner behind him yelling for the kid to stop. So I stuck out my foot and the kid trips and slides like 15 feet across the floor. At this point, I'm thinking I did the lady a favor. But no, she comes running up to me and strikes me in the side of the head with a closed fist. I stumbed and fell over and when I turned to look up, this lady pepper sprayed me all over the face. Absolutely uncalled for. So, yeah, I think as long as the government doesn't allow unruly kids to be sent to prison, they should at least allow us to punish them corporally so that they learn to be more obedient.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.