Introduction
 
Why Punishment is Needed
 
Why Spanking is Needed
 
But the "Experts" Say...
 
When to Spank
 
At What Age to Spank
 
How to Spank
 
Summary
 
Reader Questions
 
Search This Site
 
Who is Paul Preston?
 
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In Defense of Spanking:
What Every Parent Should Know About Corporal Punishment

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As a parent, have you ever encountered any of these situation?

  • Your toddler whines excessively and refuses to do what she is told.
  • Your toddler tells you "No" when asked to pick up his toys.
  • Your preschooler takes a toy from another child and will not give it back.
  • Your preschooler does not stay close to you at the mall but runs through stores despite repeated requests not to.
  • .Your adolescents argue and fight despite repeated warnings to stop.
  • Your adolescent disobeys the babysitter and refuses to go to bed when told.
  • Your preteen is sassy and back talks whenever you try to tell her something.
  • Your preteen sneaks onto his video game and plays although you had told him he can not play anymore that day.
  • Your young teen throws things and slams doors when sent to his room.
  • Your teenager lies about where she was the previous night.

If you are like most parents, you have faced at least some of these problems. Or you will face them soon. How do you handle problems like these? Do you yell and scream? Do you try to reason with your child? Do you beg your child to behave? Do you bribe your child? Do you ignore the bad behavior?  Do you punish your child? How do you decide how to handle these problems? Is there any way to know what way is best?

In these pages, I will show that punishment is the most reliable way of eliminating bad behaviors such as those listed above. And in these pages I will defend the use of one controversial punishment: spanking. A generation ago, there would have been no need for this site. Spanking needed no defense. Most parents spanked their children and didn't feel like they were doing anything wrong. After all, they had been spanked as children, and they had turned out all right, thank you very much. But over the decades, spanking has been attacked. Some "experts" advise parents not to spank their children. Some even go so far as to say spanking may harm children. Spanking is said to have no instructional value; to teach children aggression; and to be abusive.

The majority of American still feel that children need an occasional spanking, and well over 90% of parents actually use spanking.1 Are the majority of parents harming their children? Or do the parents know something that the experts don't know? I believe that parents know something that the experts don't. I believe that parents know that spanking--if properly used--can be an effective form of discipline that does not harm children. I think it is time for parents who spank to raise their voices. We have allowed the anti-spanking movement to shape the debate on spanking. It has gotten to the point where parents who spank are afraid to admit it for fear of being labeled ignorant or child abusers. But remember that those who think spanking is wrong are in the minority. Why should we let the minority tyrannize the majority? Especially, when the majority is right!!

In these pages, I will look at the reasons why spanking works. All I ask of you is that you read this site with an open mind. Think about what I have to say and discuss the topic with your spouse. Come to an informed decision about whether or not to spank after considering all the arguments. I hope that this site will convince you that spanking works and that you should not dismiss it. If after reading what I have to say, you decide that spanking is not for your family, then I respect that. In the end, you have to reach your own decision about this important issue. All I ask is that you give both sides a fair hearing.

If you currently use spanking, this site may offer support. Many parents who spank their children are made to feel ashamed and guilty. They are made to feel like they are bad parents who are ruining their children's lives. If you have been made to feel ashamed or guilty by the "experts", I hope this site will strengthen your resolve. If properly used, spanking can be effective in stopping misbehavior without wounding your child's psyche. Deep down you may know this, but you want to be reassured. Hopefully, this site will reassure you.

But remember to use this advice--and any advice--at your own discretion. Every parent must use his own sense of right and wrong when making parenting decisions. A parent can look to others for advice, but in the end, he must make his own choices based on what is right for his children.

Paul J. Preston
paul_j_preston@yahoo.com


  1This figure of 90% comes from Straus, M. A. et al. (1999). Corporal punishment by American parents: national data on prevalence, chronicity, severity, and duration, in relation to child and family characteristics. Clinical child and family psychology review, v.2:no:2, 55-70. The figure given by Straus is corroborated by other studies. Over 90% of college students say that have been spanked at least once during childhood. Graziano, A. M. et al. (1992). Physical punishment in childhood and current attitudes. an exploratory comparison of college students in the United States and India. Journal of interpersonal violence, 7, 147-155; and I. Chang et al. (2006). Where and when to spank: a comparison of U.S. and Japanese college students. Journal of family violence, 21, 281-286

This site was created June 1, 2004
Last updated on July 26, 2017

This material is copyrighted by Paul J Preston, 2004-2017. All rights reserved.