Spanking: It Shouldn’t Happen

spanking_0409Dogs and children are two different beings who share one very important trait: they are highly vulnerable and are at the mercy of the decisions made by the adults around them. When you use physical force to discipline either a dog or a child, you're taking full advantage of that vulnerability and are using fear and pain in the place of truly teaching a lesson.

Force and fear have no place when you're working with innocent, vulnerable beings that soak up our every word and action. Aggression breeds aggression, regardless of species. If you hit your child, (and yes, personally, I do believe that spanking is hitting) you're asking for a child that will likely view physical force as a viable solution in various situations in the future. If you hit your dog, you break the bond of trust and increase the chances that your dog will show aggression or snap much more quickly next time.

No reasonable person would say that dogs and children are one and the same, but research has shown that dogs have the same learning and thinking capabilities of the average toddler. Why not take advantage of the incredible intellect of both children and dogs, and use it to teach them exactly what we want and don't want? scared-dog1

I am a mother and have raised my 9-year-old daughter to be kind , thoughtful, and respectful. Not once have I ever laid a hand on her. And through the bond of trust we were able to build, she has learned appropriate behavior and how to find workable solutions, while I have cemented my belief that it's most valuable to teach with patience and love. Hitting a dog or a child is easy--all it takes is a hand and the willpower to do it. But what's much harder is putting away the paddle and using a much more powerful tool--your mind.

Read a powerful narrative about spanking. (WARNING: Contains Expletives)

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15 thoughts on “Spanking: It Shouldn’t Happen

  1. Gabrielle Dunne

    Victoria, I agree with you 100% with regards to hitting or should I say assaulting a child/dog. If we were to hit an adult it would be defined as assault so in my view we are doing the same if you hit your child or dog. Children do not learn through physical violence and instead can mirror adults action by hitting out at other children. I don't hit my children or dogs as I believe it instills fear in them and this is a not a good basis of viewing what is right and wrong. I have seen the destruction of parents who have hit their children and the results of low self esteem, withdrawn, depressed actions for them. Anyone who hits or harms a dog in anyway is doing the same thing. It is cruel, abusive and should not be happening. I have trained our dogs in your methods and my kids have copied. As a result we have happy dogs and children who can see the powers of positive training which is rewards based. I have completed rewards charts with my kids to reward positive behaviour and by following your methods we are doing the same for dogs.
    Twenty years ago parents thought it was acceptable to hit children and now it is no longer seen as acceptable. Hopefully in a few years down the line people will also take this view to dogs.

  2. Eve

    Yes! Thank you, Victoria! I am sorry that so many of your followers on Facebook are defending child abuse but I am so proud of you for stepping up and taking this stand. It's important that we say it out loud instead of just knowing it in our hearts: Hurting animals and children is never okay. It doesn't teach anything but fear to hit a defenseless child. Cowards and dullards hit children. It's an ignorant act and only ignorant people are going to defend it.

  3. MegForster

    WOW! For this discussion please do NOT put children and animals on same plane. Period.

    Children have the ability that surpasses animals for communication.

    BTW - take a look around at what conversation has done for the youth today - NO Consequences has NOT benefited man or beast.

  4. Jenn Sweeney

    I agree with you 100 percent. If I could go to jail for hitting an adult to get my way then why is it ok to hit a child?

    Its not.

  5. Brenna

    Victoria, while agree with you for the most part, I still believe that spanking has its place. I not only have children but I also have dogs to. My go to punishment is not a spanking, but I feel that every situation is different. I can count on one hand the number of times I have spanked my children. The truth is that my children and I have a wonderful relationship filled with love and respect. They know that they can talk to me about anything and I will always listen, they know that I always have their backs and will defend them to the end of time. However, they also know that there are consequences to our actions and if we make a bad decision there are punishments. I want my children to fear that. My children don't fear me and they don't cringe or cower when me or their dad enter the room, in fact 99% of our day is filled with hugs and kisses and laughter. When they are in trouble spanking is always a last resort not done out of anger.

  6. Tami

    I have to respectfully disagree, and, as much as Eve would like to think so, I am not an ignorant person. I have had dogs all of my life, and my children are 16 and 17 years old. I have spanked dogs, and I have spanked my children. The dogs have learned that their behavior was not acceptable via this route as have my children. My dogs have never become aggressive, and my children have never hit another child and have always had excellent reports from preschool/school for their behavior. When they were little, we were also told in public how well behaved and polite they were. Spanking did not start until they were old enough to understand, and they were not spanked as babies. Once they were old enough to understand verbal commands/timeouts, my mode of discipline was always handled in this way: Verbal warning - if behavior continued timeout with a warning that a spanking was to follow, and, if behavior still continued, one smack on the bottom was given. I probably had to get to the smack on the bottom less than 10 times, and, as they got older, being sent to their rooms and items taken away were used as I did not feel spanking was necessary after the age of 4 or so. My children do not fear me nor did they when they were little. They still acted out in public at times, but we generally had an easy time of it. I agree that it may not work for all children, such as children with ADHD or other behavioral or medical issues. I also do not believe in the use of any weapon/item (shoe, belt), pulling down pants, spanking in anger, or any form of abuse. I also received a few spankings as a child, once had my mouth washed out with soap for saying a bad word, and I neither feared nor hated my mother - don't remember the spankings at all and vaguely remember the mouth wash-out. I believe that children have become much more misbehaved since the psychologists started coming out with their "studies" that spanking was harmful, and I also believe that the majority of the subjects that they studied were actually abused and did not just undergo the usual "smack on the rear" that most parents used back in my growing up years. As it is, you can find pros and cons to everything, and I also have an article that backs up my stance: So, in conclusion, telling EVERYONE that they must follow what you believe is never the answer. Until it is a law (which obviously didn't work per the article posted above), spanking is still allowed in the US, and some parents do find it a reasonable way to discipline their children.

  7. Jennifer

    I never once hit my children. They are in their mid 20's now and are good, kind, respectful, loving people. I have never hit my four dogs either- one of our dogs, Millie, must have come from an abusive home before she came to us, She used to just cower and pee on the floor any time i raised my voice in the house! I'm Italian, I raise my voice!! LOL. Poor Millie, you should NEVER hit a dog, or a child. All you're doing is harm nine different ways!!!!

  8. keith

    in a perfect world this would make since. I won't state the obvious here. I think it's different for every kid. some kids don't need extra discipline. however some do, and we should not feel as though popping our kids on the hand is child abuse. in some places of the world, if a kid breaks into someones house, the perent is punished. if I'm going to jail because my kid did something stupid. i'm going to spank them when they do something bad.

  9. Danielle

    I disagree. You don't need to hurt a child to get their attention; a light smack gives no pain and shocks them when they're being unruly.

    Case and point:

    There was a time in my childhood when I went through a phase in which I was just a little terror. Tantrums, disobeying, etc. My mom tried everything to get me under control, but one day, she lost her patience and gave me a good smack on the butt.

    I NEVER, EVER, misbehaved again.

    See the thing is if there are no negative consequences to their actions, a kid will walk all over you. If time-outs don't do the trick, if taking away a toy doesn't do the trick, the last effective resort is to smack some sense into them.

    My parents were not abusive. I only recall being spanked twice in my entire childhood. I was never walking around with bruises or sores and I was never, ever afraid of either of my parents. I turned out perfectly fine. Calling a parent abusive for disciplining their kid is highly judgmental. If a kid is throwing a screaming tantrum in the middle of a store and is ignoring everything a parent is saying, they need a wake-up call that what they are doing is NOT okay. Sometimes words and actions aren't enough. I've worked in retail for nearly 5 years and I have to say that the next generation of children are the MOST disrespectful and awful human beings I've ever had the displeasure of encountering, and I firmly believe it has a direct correlation with our society's hatred of using spanking as a disciplinary tool.

    If you give only love, they will manipulate you.

    If you give only pain, they will fear and hate you.

    If you balance the two perfectly, they will respect you.

  10. Nancy

    Yes, yes, yes!!!
    My son just sent this link to me. People get indignant about this issue.
    There is absolutely no need for spanking, ever.
    And the reward of not spanking is what you have with your daughter, a great bond!

  11. Sara

    While I mostly agree with you, I don't completely. I don't have kids but I have 4 dogs. I don't hit my dogs. But I was spanked as a child and have no issues with it. I always knew why I was in trouble and never made the same mistake twice. I had a wonderful relationship with my parents! I only remember ever getting spanked a handful of times growing up and I feel it helped me to become a better decision maker.

  12. Linda

    You are totally right in what you say about spanking. It teaches nothing, and the parent has to live with the knowledge that they lost it with their precious child. Dogs, as well, should not be hit for punishment. They respond to kindness, as does any normal creature.

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