I was raised this way and I promise you it is abuse even though most of the parents who spank do it "with love". A lot of people who are raised being spanked raise their own children this way as well and think it's a perfect method but for a more sensitive child like myself it is traumatic. I remember being terrified and having panic attacks and hyperventilating. I felt terrible even when my siblings were spanked and would sometimes cry when I heard them screaming in the other room. Even now my parents will make jokes about how I would act if they threatened spanking or spanked me. I don't think its funny.

My parents spanked "the right way". They rarely spanked in anger. They sat me down and told me why, calmly put me through searing pain, and then made me apologize, finally cuddling me and telling me they did it because they loved me and it hurt them more than it hurt me. Somewhere in the process there was usually praying, too. This confused me and made me angry. I don't think I feared my parents but I do feel that it put a rift in my trust in them.

The last time my parents attempted to spank me I was thirteen years old and I fought back. I wasn't putting up with it anymore. It was just wrong. After that they decided I was too old for it. Damn right.

I've watched fundamentalist families spank babies that were not yet a year and a half old, and teenagers as old as seventeen. I've seen more than one ADHD kid get spanked multiple times a day until they acquire bruises when they can't help their behavior or even connect the abuse to their actions. I think most parents randomly pop their kids asses when they throw fits and it doesn't do anything but make the kid more angry. Enough already. Spanking is bullshit and I wish it wasn't taboo to say so. Watch Super Nanny or something and figure out a better way.

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Comment by HotMess on November 30, 2011 at 10:49pm
Lucky you. I just got beat even harder when I tried to defend myself, then got ridiculed on top of that.
However, these days I see spankers and non-spankers fairly evenly distributed throughout the atheist and theist worlds, even to the point of hitting infants under the age of 12 months.
Comment by Earther on November 29, 2011 at 11:52pm

google HR3027 and help end corporal punishment in American public schools.

Comment by Joshua Dolan on April 2, 2009 at 5:33pm
My parents also rarely spanked me or my brothers, but I certainly DO NOT recall ever being terrified during one of those occassions. It was also not the kind of severe beating I had seen some of my cousins take from their parents. I will not say that I am not for spanking or against, but there is something to be said for the shock I felt of having pushed the line just that bit too far to where a parent would raise a hand to me or my backside. Spanking was the last resort punishment in our home and one of us had to have gone completely sideways out of line to warrant it. (Note: A spanking for us was usually a single swat to the rear and not the solid minute to several minutes I had seen others take... there is a line where you cross from re-establishing who is in control and outright abuse.)

Spankings for me stopped when I was 11 and I grabbed my Mother's hand mid swing and through it down from my backside. I was sent to my room and my Ma never tried to raise a hand to me again. Self assertion put an end to that and from then on it was drag out yelling fights. (Mom and I have similar personalities and we're both stubborn... heh) In many ways I think this brought my Mom and I closer because she knew when I was "growing up" and we would yell it out, storm off, and come back and talk. And of my brothers I am the closest to my parents even though my younger brother was rarely ever in trouble for anything and my older was a trouble maker from the earliest I can remember right through to this day. (He is in his 30's now.)
Comment by Jennifer W on April 2, 2009 at 2:47pm
I share your opinion, not only its taboo to call it bullshit, its actually PRAISED by some people. It's really hard to try to be an authority figure. Being an authority figure based on fear is another thing.
Comment by Martin Snowden on April 2, 2009 at 9:59am
Such is the isolationism in the US that few Americans realize how slow we are to progress compared to other parts of the civilized world. This applies of course to many topics including atheism, but it is especially true of how we treat our children.

Sweden was the first country to outlaw ALL violence by adults on children back in 1979. That includes any and all forms of physical abuse, including spanking, slapping, smacking, corporal punishment and whatever mild-sounding euphemisms for child violence we have become accustomed to. Parents who hit their children are fined on a first offence and must attend parenting lessons. While initially highly controversial, the law quickly grew popular and 30 years later with a generation of violence-free children now grown, few would ever consider repealing it. 17 other European countries slowly followed Sweden's example: Finland, Norway, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy. Seven other European countries are commited to abolishing it in the near future. In South and Central America spanking is now illegal in Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela and Costa Rica. Violence-torn Israel made spanking illegal nine years ago. New Zealand made it illegal a year ago.

The United Nations has declared corporal punishment a violation of human rights as well as counterproductive, ineffective, dangerous and harmful to children. Both the UN and the EU make continued efforts to stop this cruelty.

If this wasn't all surprising enough, read on: The UN General Assembly adopted the "Convention on the Rights of the Child" (CRC) and opened it for signature on 20 November 1989. Currently, twenty years later, 193 countries have ratified it, including every member of the United Nations except, amazingly, the United States and Somalia (Somalis's central government collapsed in 1991 so lack of signing is hardly surprising). The CRC, as well as acknowledging that every child has certain basic rights, forbids all forms of physical or mental violence to children.

Apart from spanking's obvious and mindless cruelty, many studies have shown the correlation between corporal punishment and aggressive, delinquent behavior. I believe, like many other things in our culture, and like segregation and many injustices of our past, this nation accepts spanking because of its ubiquity. Parents will hit their children because they themselves were hit and think it normal and a necessary parenting style. It is far from it.
Comment by HotMess on April 2, 2009 at 12:05am
I didn't make it through without spanking, but have never regretted a time that I was able to just walk away from a seemingly impossible situation. These days, we know of better ways to discipline our kids, and we also see that the kids who were never spanked came out just fine, too.
However, it amazes me that people still use spanking as a routine method of punishment.
And then there are the soap-in-the-mouth parents and the hot-saucers, too.
Comment by cj the cynic on April 1, 2009 at 6:18pm
My parents rarely ever spanked me. The times they did, it only terrified me and made me afraid of my parents. Definitely not the best way to get something across to a child.

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