The Spanking Board

A recent study concluded that children who were spanked before they reach the age of 6 were likely to do better in school and to do more volunteer work than kids who weren’t spanked.  Parents evidently have to stop spanking at a relatively early age, however — the study found that kids who are still spanked into adolescence are likely to have behavioral problems.  (No kidding!)

When I was a little kid, spanking was pretty common.  I’m confident that I was spanked as a child, although I really don’t remember any specific spanking incident.  (That probably just means that the spanking occurred before age 6, when according to the study it would have had the maximum positive impact.)  In our family, kids who were bad might get an open-hand swat on their clothed behind from Dad.  We called it “the spanking board.”  It was embarrassing, and the psychological impact of dreading the trip to the spanking board was much worse than the sting of the spank.  I think it was an effective, and rarely used, disciplinary tool.  And I have no doubt that there were times when we kids were out of control and the only way to get our attention and obedience was a swat on the behind.  I don’t think it was psychologically damaging in any way.  We’ve all grown up to be reasonably well-adjusted adults.

3 thoughts on “The Spanking Board

  1. Spirit of the law or letter of the law?: The vast majority of professionals agree that child bottom-battering/slapping isn’t healthy. A marginal few (mostly religious fundamentalists as those at Calvin) think that child bottom-slapping is good.

    “The much-touted ‘biblical argument’ in support of corporal punishment is founded upon proof-texting a few isolated passages from Proverbs. Using the same method of selective scripture reading, one could also cite the Bible as an authority for the practice of slavery, adultery, polygamy, incest, suppression of women, executing people who eat pork, and infanticide. The brutal and vindictive practice of corporal punishment cannot be reconciled with the major New Testament themes that teach love and forgiveness and a respect for the sacredness and dignity of children, and which overwhelmingly reject violence and retribution as a means of solving human problems. Would Jesus ever hit a child? NEVER!”
    The Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf, United Methodist Clergy (Retired), Hamilton, Indiana. Personal communication, 2006.

    “If we really want a peaceful and compassionate world, we need to build communities of trust where all children are respected, where home and school are safe places to be and where discipline is taught by example.”
    Desmond M. Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2006. See http://www.nospank.net/globalreport.pdf

    Ten Reasons I Can’t Spank A Catholic Counselor’s Critical Examination of Corporal Punishment By Gregory K. Popcak, MSW, LCSW
    http://nospank.net/popcak.htm

    “I have always been an advocate for the total abolition of corporal punishment and I believe the connection with pornography that is so oriented has its roots in our tradition of beating children.”
    Gordon Moyes, D. D., Pastor, Uniting Church, Superintendent of the Wesley Central Mission, Sydney, Australia. Excerpt from personal communication, 1980.

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  2. People used to think it was necessary to “spank” adult members of the community, military trainees, and prisoners. In some countries they still do. In our country, it is considered sexual battery if a person over the age of 18 is “spanked”, but only if over the age of 18.

    For one thing, because the buttocks are so close to the genitals and so multiply linked to sexual nerve centers, striking them can trigger powerful and involuntary sexual stimulus in some people. There are numerous physiological ways in which it can be sexually abusive, but I won’t list them all here. One can use the resources I’ve posted if they want to learn more.

    Child buttock-battering vs. DISCIPLINE:

    Child buttock-battering (euphemistically labeled “spanking”,”swatting”,”switching”,”smacking”, “paddling”,or other cute-sounding names) for the purpose of gaining compliance is nothing more than an inherited bad habit.

    Its a good idea for people to take a look at what they are doing, and learn how to DISCIPLINE instead of hit.

    I think the reason why television shows like “Supernanny” and “Dr. Phil” are so popular is because that is precisely what many (not all) people are trying to do.

    There are several reasons why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea. Here are some good, quick reads recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak,

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson,

    NO VITAL ORGANS THERE, So They Say
    by Lesli Taylor M.D. and Adah Maurer Ph.D.

    Most compelling of all reasons to abandon this worst of all bad habits is the fact that buttock-battering can be unintentional sexual abuse for some children. There is an abundance of educational resources, testimony, documentation, etc available on the subject that can easily be found by doing a little research with the recommended reads-visit the website of Parents and Teachers Against Violence In Education at http://www.nospank.net.

    Just a handful of those helping to raise awareness of why child bottom-slapping isn’t a good idea:

    American Academy of Pediatrics,
    American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,
    American Psychological Association,
    Center For Effective Discipline,
    Churches’ Network For Non-Violence,
    Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
    Parenting In Jesus’ Footsteps,
    Global Initiative To End All Corporal Punishment of Children,
    United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    In 26 countries, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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  3. You want to know what happens I wont say I was specifically spanked but I was definietly beaten to a pulp every single time every single day. For more than 18 years. I live in world which is pretty dark rest assured, and trust me, its evil, and I would beg to any parent not to do the same. You know why because my world is a hostile world, its like eat to be eaten and thats dangerous.

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