Spanking A Teenager Who Breaks Curfew Is Borderline Child Abuse

By  | 

shutterstock_84057781I’ve already drawn my line in the sand—I am not an advocate of spanking for any reason. I believe that there are dozens of other ways to teach a young child how to behave and deal with conflict, beyond providing the example that it is okay to use physical force as an adult.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should never, ever touch your child; a swat on the hand to keep your toddler from reaching for a hot pot on the stove just makes sense.

I was spanked as a child, which may be one reason why I can’t get behind regularly spanking young kids. According to a recent survey, I may be in the minority:

Some parents may start off with the notion that “I will never spank my child!” – but does that hold up? Not really, as eight in ten Americans (81%) say that parents spanking their children is sometimes appropriate, while 19% believe it is never appropriate. Among those with a child in the household, almost eight in ten (78%) believe that spanking is sometimes appropriate. Interestingly, in 1995 (the last time The Harris Poll asked this question) 87% of Americans believed that spanking was sometimes appropriate – so this has gone down slightly.

There is still dissension on the topic of spanking a young child, based on these survey results. But I’m sure we can all agree that spanking a teenager is ludicrous:

My daughters are 16 and 18. The 16 year old has curfew times and the 18 year old does not. My husband and myself expected to be staying in a hotel overnight but we came back early as I was feeling a bit unwell. Our daughters went out together and came back in 90 minutes after the younger ones curfew time.

The next morning I decided that my younger daughter was going to get a bare bottom spanking and she did take her skirt off and put herself over my knee and took her punishment. I took her knickers down. It consisted of 32 smacks ( double her age ). To my surprise my older daughter then removed her skirt and placed herself over my knee and I gave her 36 smacks after taking her knickers down. I did think my older daughter needed punishment as she was the one who organised the night and I was pleased she took it without being forced.

Wow. Spanking older teenagers for regular teen antics is borderline abusive. This may lead many parents to question the proper age to stop spanking a child; you already know where I stand—I would not spank the child to begin with.

I don’t know the appropriate age to stop spanking, but I do know that these parents are way out of line. Many of the commenters on the thread above agreed, calling the OP “abusive” and her actions “assault.” Other commenters on the thread urged her grown daughters to press charges, as spanking teenagers is “wrong.”

I don’t support spanking a young child, but many parents still do it. I also don’t know the magical age where parents should stop using physical force as discipline. But I do know this—spanking a teenager is unquestionably wrong. The parents in this example are at fault.

(Image: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)