Thursday, January 13, 2005

Beat Your Children Well

My kid came home from Montessori school yesterday afternoon and told me, in a worried tone, "You know, I'm the only kid in kindergarten that doesn't get hit."

I was taken aback. "What?"

"Everyone else's parents spank them," she explain. "Or smack them. Or pop them. Katie's parents spank her if she doesn't get up when they say to, and Lee's parents smack him if he doesn't behave, and Emma's parents pop her --"

She went at some length (I've changed the names, by the way), but my point here: this is a progressive school, probably the most progressive school in town. (Mind you, being the most progressive school in Fort Smith, Arkansas is a little like being the prettiest hog in the slaughter yard, but nevertheless....) And all the parents at this school whack their kids.

I'm disturbed by this news, the more so since I am currently reading Alice Miller's For Your Own Good, which outlines just how destructive hitting kids is; and since I had just seen this charming story on the General's site (

Which led me to this link:

It's a "rod" being sold to homeschooling parents, a whip, basically, for beating children with.

And then, following the General's links, I found this site:

where some Leviticans, Patrick and Elizabeth Johnston, advocate hitting your infant children with sticks, for such high crimes as reaching for a toy when you have told them no. Don't bother to put gates over dangerous stairwells! Just tell your baby not to go near the stairway -- and when she does? Whip the little minx! She'll learn! Especially if you hit her often enough.

And, of course, you'll need to keep on whipping those kids as they grow up, since the seed of rebellion is indeed in them.

My father came in with his belt in hand, calmly instructing me to get control of myself. He gave me five whippings on my rear end with his belt, and then told me that if I didn’t stop crying within five minutes, he would come back and do it again! Every five minutes for the next thirty the ritual continued. I would commence my temper tantrum and loud crying and he would re-enter, give me five whippings, then, calmly and patiently, he would warn me once again. After the last whipping, I collapsed and wept – not out of pain, but in submission. He had broken my will – that was a very good thing for me. He had broken my rebellious will but won my spirit! The temper tantrums stopped on that day. I hardly ever needed a spanking after that for the rest of my life. (The boy is twelve at this point, btw.)

Alice Miller did research on just this behavior -- have a look at her book if you haven't read it. This isn't discipline. This is child-hatred. This is projecting the parent's contempt for his own child-self (the child his own parents taught him to hate) onto the child, and then trying to destroy that child.

This is, in other words, sick, sick behavior.

What it leads to is the Levitican behavior we see in Fundie churches around us today -- and the political situation we see today.

And every single child at my daughter's school is being raised this way.

I gotta tell you, I'm alarmed.


Diane said...

You have reason to be alarmed. This is a violent nation that believes in hitting children, hitting pets (what we do to non-pet animals is obscene, but hey, it makes people a lot of money and no one seems to care), women, and anyone with whom we have a disagreement.

Hitting children with belts and sticks is very common, as is slapping children. Among religious fundamentalists, the behavior is chronic, but it is prevalent throughout America.

It has always amazed me that anyone could hit a child, much less his or her own child. If that same person whacked an adult, s/he would be charged with battery, although at least the adult would have a fair chance to fight back.

I expect this problem to get worse now that we are in the government-sanctioned age of kick-their-ass. I predict there will be more children slapped, punched, and whipped, more pets kicked and whacked, more women punched and thrown against the wall, and more gays and people of color beaten up.

The child protection departments of most states are woefully underfunded and understaffed, and cases often do not get investigated, much less handled.

zelda1 said...

This is a society that is regressing so far back that i sickens me. Not only do people brag about the tight control they have on their children but freely whack them in public. There is no excuse for such rude behavior and the damage they are doing to their children is measured not in how well they behave today, after the whipping, but years later. Behind every psychotic, neurotic, deviant, or republican, is a parent who beat the crap out of their child. And the fundies, well I am just sure as can be that not only did they get the crap beat out of them, but they also had to have been beaten on the head to have thier thought processes so damaged as to think that whacking a baby is okay. Shame on those people.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally with you. It sounds as if your daughter was also trying to understand. Violence adds up to enormous suffering at the personal level and at a global level. Dianna

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed. Don't spank your children. Medicate them! Give them Prozac and Ritalin to "adjust" their behavior to suit yourselves instead!!

So, you think it's better to control them with drugs? "Parents" who believe that are doing one thing: Making the children dependent upon other outlets and ignoring the very basic elements of life: All choices come with responsibility.

You people are out of your minds.

Respectfully submitted.

Anonymous said...

I bet each one of ou morons that are "ALARMED" at hitting of children has little bad ass kids that don't listen to shit you say! I'm not saying you have to beat a child to death; but as a parent you need to have the upper hand- and yes the child needs to fear you. Your job is to PARENT and make sure the child knows right from wrong; if you don't do this through discipline and tough love you will raise a bunch of idiots that think they can do whatever that want to whoever they feel like doing it too... One day they will come across the wrong person and end up getting their ass beat! Would you rather have a stranger kick their ass because you didn't teach them right? Get a backbone and stand up to your kids; it's not your job to be their friends! And yes I do have a child!

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you this but when your kid turns sixteen, you'll wish you had backhanded her much more often

Anonymous said...

hey guys.
dont be alarmed by this ladies blog, in my opinion you should beat the shit out of your kids often. once they turn into teens and young adults they are going to take advantage of teh fact that youve never disciplined them before and by that time youll acctually be afraid to hit them.

any of you who disagree with me shoot me and email at

Anonymous said...

If you don't discipline your children when they are younger, they will not understand consequences for their actions. Spankings, when given in moderation, are more healthy for your children than not spanking, or overspanking. Everything in moderation. Children that are overspanked, yes, are numbed to consequence and may, yes, go psycho, but children that are never disciplined (spanked), never have any real concrete consequence. These children believe they can do anything they feel, because they feel they are more superior than anyone else. These are the kids that go around, not knowing the actual damage they do to others. These are the true psychopaths. Because a psychopath is one who has no care for others. Remember this when your kids are parading around destroying your home.

Anonymous said...

What? I'm just got out of childhood (and am 15) and if you don't beat you kids, they'll end up spoiled.

Not as in get whatever they want, but cursing at their parents, taking money from their parents, and acting like they can own the world. They'll never grow up and realize that the world is a harsh place, and instead, will live in a fantasy world where everything is handed over to them and they have no use in society.

Anonymous said...

BEAT THEM HARD!!! they need it

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You know, at first I was in favor of NOT hitting those smaller, weaker, and less knowledgeable than me...then I reconsidered.

You folks who advocate hitting have a point! If my boss would just come in with a belt or a whip every time I do something I ought not to at work, I'd probably be a MUCH better, more productive, and even happier, employee.

In fact, the next time I see an auto accident I think I'll pull over and advocate that the dunce who caused it through their careless driving be caned.

Perhaps we might take the president and the Rumsfelt to the "punishment room" since they've obiously made so many back to back mistakes with regard to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most of us now agree that we are saddled with many senseless dead/wounded individuals of every stripe and color and enormous financial burden. I mean, they were told no, and they lead us on anyway, right?

The other place we need to reinstitute beating should be spouses. Hey, anyone who cheats on their partner (we all agree that's inappropriate, right?) should be forced to submit to public lashings performed on public tv. Both parties, of course. Maybe then we could all call in our votes for who should get more lashes. It could be a weekly show. Now THAT would probably bring the donations in for PBS!

Respectfully and outraged,
Mother of two,
Teacher of c.3,700.

Unknown said...

If you met my mother. You would learn that there is something scarier then someone hitting you.

She doesn't lay her hand on me. but her voice is so damn loud... and it comes out so random haha. thinking about it now cracks me up (i'm 25) but wow when i was younger it was really scary..

but in the end.. nothing causes me to feel bad more then her....


damn... i kind of don't like it when females cry...

it's like an auto-win...

Anonymous said...

There seems to be some question as to the efficacy of corporal punishment for children. Some say it works and others, not. Some claim is is morally appropriate, and others not. Some invoke various ad-hoc psychodynamic models, whilest others quote Scripture. What is over looked is the benefit to the parent in beating their child, for our self respect depends on our ability to repay injuries. Children have down to science, as the grow, what actions will annoy their parents most. Without this very reasonable form of revenge, parents would be obliged to despise themselves. As long as the parents play the game fairly, as in a well regulated nine innings of baseball, with rules and outs, I see no harm, and a possible upside.

Anonymous said...

You idiots.
You act as though we're ASSAULTING the children. Most decent parents have the courtesy to get up and spank their children for something they've done wrong.

When I spoke back to my parents, do you think they came up to me and tried to talk it out with me? Do you think they tried to "ground" me to my room?

Hell no, they put that hand to the back of my head. Do you realize that trying to talk things out with your kids actually increases the liability of them doing something misdemeaning in the future?
You have to understand that as a parent, YOU ARE THE LAW. Your kid talks back, but a belt to his ass. There is no room for discussion in your household, or with you, for that matter.
If these children begin to believe that they can reason their way out of your decisions, then you've just failed as a parent.

So, I was gonna laugh, but some of the comments were rather good.
Y'know what? I'm gonna laugh anyway.

Anonymous said...

DON'T BEAT YOUR KIDS?!? What are you talking about? Parents should regularly beat their children. It teaches them something that prescription drugs can't: discipline. I live in a suburban neighborhood, and I've seen parents that have children grow up to be vandals and nuisances, and guess what? They were never beaten. I know what you're asking: how do I know this? I know because get this: I'm 16. My parents actually beat me and properly disciplined me during my childhood, and look at me today: flawless. I seem to be the only person my age that doesn't go to stupid parties and drink and do drugs and other such pointless things, and I actually do well in school. This is coming from someone who hasn't even entered college yet: BEAT YOUR DAMN KID! If you need anymore reason why people need to beat their children, than visit and read his article about beat your kids. Hell, it may be good advice for some of these people on here.

Anonymous said...

You KNOW when you live next door to "parents" that don't discipline their kids properly.

It's a nightmare. The kids get away with everything. They are the future criminals of tomorrow.

Reinforce your point when your kids don't mind you. You'll make it easier on their teachers and their neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Are you people blind? Hitting ANYBODY for ANYTHING is WRONG. I was very seriously abused as a child (Admittedly by a brother but that's because my parents were alcoholics. Go figure.) and I think anyone who corporally punishes there child should be sent to prison. No question. It's just wrong.


Anonymous said...

Also. Statistics show that children who are beaten are more likely to A) Turn to crime and B) Break down mentally.

Anonymous said...

hell yes i spank my kids. it gets their attention. im not saying to dropkick them but when they need it bust their ass. having said that i rarely have to spank my kids, less than 10 times a year, because they know that im not playing. they dont have to fear you but they do have to respect you and everyone else for that matter. if they have no disipline how will they ever learn right from wrong. ive got to hand it to my dad when i needed it he busted my ass and you know what i thought maybe i shouldnt do that anymore. spare the rod and spoil the child or visit them in jail anyway.

Anonymous said...

i bet all the money in the world that the people who are saying that you should beat your kids are either nasty ghetto blacks or those disgusting trailer trash whites. Hitting your kids is child abuse. One comment said that if you don't beat your kids they won't be afraid of you. Is that all you want in your life? You want your children to fear you? As a person who was hit by her parents, I have no problem saying that I hate my parents, and i'm scared of them. That's all you'll ever acheive. Your kids will hate you and when it comes time for you to retire and you want to live some place nice, your kids will turn their backs and you'll be left out in the cold. Oh yeah i forgot to mention the mental problems that beating me has caused. When someone raises their hand around me I flinch. When someone yells at me I want to cry. It's not funny, and it's not cute. If you are selfish enough to have children then beat the crap out of them whenever they do something that embarasses you then you shouldn't be a parent, point blank!

Anonymous said...

I got the tail end of the beatings when I was growing up, but I still got some heat from dear old Dad's hand/ arm. My father was a deadeye with small objects and he could hit you in the forehead two rooms away. I grew up to be a well adjusted citizen with no problems whatsoever. Maybe it was because my father is funny as hell. He would beat your ass, then read you a bedtime story that would give you a cramp in your stomach. My emotional scars came from my babysitter, a heroin addict named Michelle Weidelle.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a ghetto nasty black or a trailer trash white; I mixed (both black & white) and I spank my kids as needed- so whomever left the comment that the aforementioned (steryotypes) are the only people that hit their kids is DEAD WRONG! Hey, don't you own me all the money in the world now?!?! LOL! My husband is a real estate attorney with his own practice, I am an educated stay-at-home Mom who is very active in my childrens lives/activities... nothing ghetto or trashy about us. My children however are well behaved, respectful, good students and all around good people... they don't fear me or my husband, but they respect us and all of the people around them. You don't have to beat the hell out of your kids that can really mess them up; giving them no discipline and letting them get away with murder can make them even worse. Also, if you're an adult and you're still scared of your parents, walking around holding anger towards them because they did what they thought was right as a parent, you're just f**ked in the head and need counseling! Not to mention you sound racist and ignorant

John Watts said...

Look People, I Was Never Hit As A Child. I'm Now 17, And I Know Right From Wrong. I Don't Talk Cross To My Elders, Never Did. The Reason Your Kids Fuck Up, IS BECAUSE OF YOU! If You Hit Your Children, It Means You Have Problems, It Also Means Your A Pussy Who Has To Take It Out On Your Children Because You Fucked Your Life Up.

Anonymous said...

Beat your kids you faggots. I was raised in china, and you know what, everyone, all 1.4 billion people beat their kids, and thats why china is rising to surpass you lowly fat americans. Now there are so many homosexuals, sex at 16, and gangs out there all because of you! Beat them to make american better. Also, you sould like we are assulting them, but no, they are our kids and we love them, so we make them stay on the right track. Making your kid go to their room and be grounded? please. when your little motherfucker is alone, they party and call a striper to have a damn sex party. BEAT YOUR KIDS!

Anonymous said...

Hell yes children should be slapped and spanked. Hell no children shouldn't be beaten into a bloody pulp or knocked out. That being said they NEED to have a healthy fear of parents, teachers, and authority figures. You're curious about the effects of spanking and slapping as discipline? Look at the literacy rates decline since capital punishment was removed from the school systems. Look at the crime levels in schools now vs. when the teacher could set you up in front of the class and paddle you.

Children should NOT be abused. I don't think anyone would argue that. But there is a HUGE difference between discipline and abuse.

Look, at the end of the day if your child grows up mouthy, they will eventually run into someone who WILL beat them. Wouldn't you rather it be you than somebody that actually intends permanent physical harm?

Anonymous said...

damn.. if u dnt give ur kids a good whack once in a while, theyre gonna end up SPOILT BRATS.. trust me they are gonna use the fact that u dnt do anthin against u...aint always worth bein a softy.. when they become teens you will be arfaid to hit them (cos now they know all about it)an they will be rebellious... my mom hit me and thats the reason im not like the other kids around. i dont drink, smoke or do drugs. i respect everyone and speak the whole truth. (im 15 years old)

Anonymous said...

What really amazes me is that some adults really believe that hitting solves problems. Believe it or not, my adopted mom actually broke her hand trying to hit me because I moved at the last second.

It teaches that it's perfectly acceptable to bully things smaller than you, and belittle other sentient beings who can't fight back.

I got hit in the crotch with a dogs leash because I didn't take the dog for a walk when I was "told" to. Honestly, later in life, I regret I wasn't a better pet owner to that wonderful dog. I watched my adopted father beat that dog when it did it had accidents. It's what I was taught from him, and I had a true moment in the clear to understand how horrible hitting and beating really is.

The only thing I don't regret is wishing I didn't have a chance to beat him with a dog's leash for teaching that type of behavior. But, that wouldn't have taught the ignorant anything.

Anonymous said...

The things I learned from living through it. I grew up with an adopted father who I believed just hit me for stuff I never even did. I was told that it was in my best interests, and even that his father was very hard on him in his "best" interests. His last Christmas alive - he threw a drink at me because I wanted him to go to a hospital because his condition worsened quickly enough that it was beyond my basic skills to heal. I was told that he was in pain due to his illness, and didn't "know" what he was doing. I found ANYTHING, regardless of what money, priviliges given, or promises were told hard or totally impossible to believe. It was always "you shouldn't speak THAT way about him", or "you'll give someone the wrong impression of that man".

I learned through life, and laughter, and watching another man who has been in pain longer than my adopted father has even been alive NEVER throw a drink at me, or choke, or punch me in the face over words.

Another man, whom I've known since I was six months old, even though he was of no actual relation, told me of stories of abuse, and I don't know because I wasn't alive when it happened - I believe his heart changed. Every day, I live my life because he NEVER did hit or abuse me. If I had the chance to go back to the time he lived, and did as a sign of his times, tell him that I cherished the time I had with him when his heart changed - even though I was too young to understand or appreciate it. I believe he could have found the words to let his kids know he was unhappy with what they were doing, because I saw his changed heart when I knew him.

Anonymous said...

I remember as a kid, having a dream of being on a children's TV show where they ask you what your Daddy does for a living. A BIG portion of me wanted to blurt out "HE HITS. HE HITS REALLY GOOD".

Anonymous said...

Somedays you wake up in the morning thinking that you've made the world worse by being in it and that everything you touch has now been devalued because you had your hand in it.

Anonymous said...

I wonder sometimes if that man thought he was "more of a man" because he could hit.

He just thought that beating values into someone smaller than him would show the world how great his values were.

A day I came to school with black and blue on my arm - a kid asked me "what happened to your arm" - I said "my dad hit me". They replied "for what". I said "no reason, I think he just likes to hit".

Anonymous said...

Being around the jackass made me really believe I was more of a piece of property to him than I was anything else. It was always that "his" way was better, and if you wanted to live under "his" house - he was the benevolent monarch.

I'll never forget when he told me he wouldn't even like me if I wasn't his "son". He would rather believe someone else's lie than what I was trying to tell him truthfully. Thankfully - I always had the gift of knowing I was adopted, and I'll do him one better - in a lot of ways, I'd rather be nothing to him so he could have a fairer chance with fate, karma or God - take your pick.

Anonymous said...

What hitting your children teaches them is that they really can't come to you when they truly have an issue in their life (even IF YOU think it's small).

I was raised catholic, and even though I was never inappropriately touched during all of the sex scandals - I truly believe even if I was groped on the altar - I couldn't count on my adopted parents to do ANYTHING except say it was my fault for putting myself in that position.

Anonymous said...

I hope no child ever has to wake up thinking / believing that they can never come to their parents with a legitimate problem in their life. Sometimes I woke up knowing that if I they got involved in something - it would be turned into my fault, regardless of what happened.

Anonymous said...

I remember having to listen to being yelled at for over and hour from my adopted father being told he wouldn't like me if I wasn't his "son". He kept on arguing that all I had to do was apologize and everyone would "forget it" for doing something, ultimately that he really believed I did. I remember the moment in my head as I finally just went out and said "I'm sorry". From that moment on until the end of his life, and many years afterward, I had such a warped and sadistic sense of what forgiveness is. I said "sorry" or anything he wanted to hear just to avoid being beaten. I don't believe for MANY years I had ever meant an apology because I used that word to avoid being hit.

Anonymous said...

What I believe you are teaching your child through corporal punishment is such a hypocritical lesson.

What you are teaching them is ultimately to be afraid, not be good. In a court of law - which EVERYONE is part of - you try to determine whether or not the accused has done something against the laws of society, and ultimately remove them from injuring themselves and other people if that need be.

I find it completely hypocritical to hit or beat YOUR child over words or ideas, then expect them not to do the same. You're preventing them from truly experiencing the joys of life and pronouncing yourself as the ultimate judge in an unfair trial.

Anonymous said...

The thoughts in the nights of tears...

The feelings no child should go through - growing up with an unappeasable rageoholic.

What was the word spoken, gesture performed by someone who couldn't fight back, or was too small to really harm you that set you off?

Was what was said, or done - either intentionally or unintentionally by a small child really worth showing how much rage was in your heart and soul?

Was it the perfection you demanded but couldn't explain, or obtain yourself worth it?

Was it that you didn't want the world to see you for what you really were?

You couldn't take the time to learn a single name of any of the superheroes or figures your child played with? Instead - scolded them for not being good enough in school, when you yourself barely passed every grade?

delagar said...

To everyone who has commented here: This is one of the most frequently accessed of all my posts; and what amazes me (frankly) is all the people who are defending beating children.

I've raised a child who is now fifteen. We've never hit her, and we're never going to hit her. She's smart, tough, outspoken, and respectful. Does she argue with us? Yes, she does: when she thinks she's right. Do I have a problem with that? No, I don't. You know why? Because I am not raising her to be a little lamb. I'm raising her to be a tough, strong, citizen of the world.

You beat your kids into submission, you make them so scared and terrified that they will do whatever you say, even when they think you're wrong, what sort of adult do you think you'll have when that child grows up?

That's my first point.

My second point is more basic. What sort of human beings *are* you, to defend the abuse of children this way?

And don't tell me that hitting children is not abuse, because it is.

Would you hit another adult this way? And if you did hit another adult the way you're hitting that child, what would we call that? (Let me tell you what we would call it: assault. And it would be a crime.)

If it's a crime to do it to an adult, how on earth can you justify doing it to a child?

That's two.

Here's three: This child is dependent on you for everything. This child will believe everything you tell him or her. When you tell this child you are beating it because you love it -- because it's good for the child to be beaten -- the child will *believe* that, because you are its parent, and if the child doesn't love you, it knows it is doomed.

(Hence, all the children who are commenting on here about how they deserved their beatings, and how their beatings were good for them. <-- Which I have to say are truly the saddest comments of the lot.)

That is what you are doing by beating your children. You are telling them that they deserve to be beaten. That people who love them will beat them. That if they want to know what love is, they should look for someone who will hurt them, beat them, punish them, do them harm.

Is that what you want to tell your child? Is that what you want your child to look for, in the future, in their spouse?

I know I don't.