Your argument is invalid

So… I came across this on my Facebook feed the other day.


Whenever I see these, I have to grind my teeth. You know what? I was never spanked as a child, and guess what? I also have respect for others. So do a lot of people who were never spanked. There are also a lot of people out there who were spanked, who don’t have respect for others.

So, really. Your stupid post means nothing.

If we’re going by the logic in that image, then we can pick any random thing that happened to you and say that it formed you in some way. Then pretend like because it had X effect on you, it should have the same effect on everyone else. Sure, the post doesn’t explicitly state that people who are spanked have respect for others, and people who aren’t don’t. But it’s heavily implied.

I just don’t think that corporal punishment automatically makes someone a better behaved person. If anything, I’m leaning towards it just making you fear your parents, rather than actually understanding the difference between good and bad. You just know that you shouldn’t hit your little brother because then someone will hit you.

I don’t know. I know corporal punishment is very common in a lot of countries. But I just don’t think it’s the answer to why people are rude and misbehaved. I’ve seen kids that I know are spanked who are equally rude and misbehaved to kids who aren’t.

Since the difference seem minimal at best, I’m just tempted to say there’s no point to corporal punishment. Admittedly I’m biased, since I live in a country where corporal punishment is illegal. Funnily enough though, our kids aren’t less well-behaved than others. (Come on, most kids are little monsters, no matter what!)

What do you guys think? Do you think corporal punishment make for more well behaved children?


Your argument is invalid — 7 Comments

  1. I think it is a ridiculous argument. I also think a lot of people think a light swat on the bum is how people spank, where it is more of a shock thing than a pain thing.

    Really, though, I don’t get the idea. You want to teach your child they should only be good because they will be hurt otherwise? How is that a good life lesson?!

    • As I wrote in the post, it’s illegal in Sweden with all kinds of corporal punishment (I think since the last 50 years or so now), so I have very little knowledge about it. I did see some when visiting the States though, and it was also allowed in The Netherlands (I think? Correct me here if I’m wrong, Erin.)

      It’s just not something I can believe in. We raise perfectly fine people here in Sweden without corporal punishment. And since it’s obviously possible to raise a child without spanking, why would you ever opt for the option that includes it?

  2. …I have very strong and opinionated feelings about corporal punishment. (There, Warned!)

    I don’t believe it makes kids respectful. I believe it has one of two effects on kids depending on personality type. Scared and Pissed Off. And any shade of grey between. I was scared the first half of my life and pissed after that till later in life when I finally cut ties with one parent and moved on.

    Kids who behave out of fear become adults who need ridiculous spelled-out-to-the-letter-and-every-possible-sub-clause laws in order to behave properly. Why? Because they were hit instead of told how to behave. They know what not to do but do they know what to do? Would they do the right thing if they were alone and didn’t have someone standing over them with a belt or the threat of arrest?

    I honestly feel anyone who defends the striking of defenseless children (out of love, really?!?! how sick is that?) comes from a history of abuse and needs help to get past the pain of their childhood. Lots of adults who were spanked refuse to spank their own kids. I’m one. I’ve yet to meet anyone who was not spanked, later turn to spanking because it’s the better parenting choice…

    When I see those signs on facebook and elsewhere…”I was spanked daily and I’m fine” I just want to say “no, you’re not”, because no one in their right mind can think hitting a child is fine.

    • With the facebook ones, I hate even more the signs that basically try to say that they’re better people because they were spanked. And kids these days are spoilt and don’t know to respect others because they’re not spanked. Sure, kids sometimes seem more disrespectful these days, but I don’t think that has anything to do with the lack of spanking. I think it’s the fact that you’re thrown into kindergarden/school a lot sooner, and the classes are bigger and supervision less.

      I agree that we should teach kids the difference between right and wrong, and not the difference between pain and no pain. Because as you say, how will that help them in the future?

      I think it’s also difficult to keep it to a “light” spanking. Because when the child is acting up, you’re probably angry – and I’d think it’s difficult to judge how hard you hit then. But then, the whole rule in the US (I’m sure this differs between states though), that it’s okay as long as “there’s no bruising” seems insane. I’m sure you can hit someone pretty hard before it bruises. Not to mention that some kids maybe just don’t bruise easily. Does that mean you’re okay to hit them harder then? Madness.

      I’m not clear on the laws in the UK about corporal punishment, but I’ve spoken to the boyfriend about it a few times. He’s used to different things than I am in Sweden, for sure – though spanking was never really a thing. Thankfully, he’s agrees that there will be no corporal punishment in our home, since I feel so strongly about it. For which I love him even more.

  3. Ok, I let the steam off. I can think clearly again.

    Spanked children may appear to behave in front of those who threaten them, but away from those people, their behaviour changes drastically. They are more likely to have a “Wild” side because of the oppression they endure. Much like bottling up anger can cause a person to lash out suddenly. Bottling up who you really are cause a person to “Let it all hang out” when they are away from home. A balanced person doesn’t need to do this. I hope my kids will feel comfortable with who they are and be able to make good choices on their own….to do this, I have to let them be themselves and learn early on about life the universe and everything 🙂

    The idea of “control your child” is also ridiculous! They are young human beings! Why should the family cat get more freedom and respect? Because the cat demands it while the child has no voice. Want kids to behave better? Be better yourself first, then talk to them. I’m pretty sure every family with a crazy teen has misbehaving parents too, even if that misbehaviour is socially acceptable. Just because it’s “normal” doesn’t make it right. Ok, that was my 75 cents…I’m clearly not as moved on as I’d like hahahaha

  4. Without delving into the murky waters of spanking versus not, my own observation has been that the worst behaved children I’ve seen have always been the ones who don’t have proper boundaries enforced by their parents.

    I’ve seen everything from the parents who are so lax that the kid basically calls the shots (thus putting the child in a terrible position because children don’t have the capacity to self-govern the way adults should) to the parents who are sometimes strict and sometimes lax (thus confusing the hell out of their children because sometimes a certain behavior is okay and sometimes it’s not) to the ones who are so strict that the kid doesn’t ever get the chance to make a mistake and know it’s okay and he’s still loved by his parents (which is too much boundary and not enough love, no matter what the form of discipline happens to be).

    I don’t have children of my own, so I’m no expert and wouldn’t pretend to be even if I did have kids. But I do think being a parent must be a very fine balancing act and we’re all human so no one gets it right 100% of the time.

    I hope if I ever do get to be a parent I’ll be able to provide my children with realistic and clear expectations for what is and isn’t acceptable behavior and that I’ll be able to be consistent in how I approach any discipline. Not sure that it’s really the key to turning out respectful humans, but I’m certain it can’t hurt!

    • I completely agree that consistency is probably very important. A kid won’t understand why one day he/she can do one thing without reproach and then the next day get yelled at for doing the exact same thing.

      What annoys me with the kind of images like the one in this post though, is the implied belief of those posting that if you don’t spank your kids, they won’t know how to behave/act. But I think there are so many other ways of disciplining your child than spanking. And not spanking doesn’t automatically move that your child’s actions doesn’t have consequences.

      At the same time, I don’t have kids – only a niece and two nephews. I’m sure it’s a lot easier to discuss doing all these things than actually doing it 😀

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