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So, what in your opinion, is the difference between spanking and beating? S/O question...

I've heard this said time and again and a few times on my post earlier this morning about spare the rod spoil the child.

To me, the only difference I can see is that beating leaves physical marks- the emotional, & mental bruising are the same in a beating and a spanking IMO. Both are scare tactics, both are done out of anger and frustration- do YOU smile happily while spanking your child or speak in a calm voice explaining what they did wrong while hitting them on the hands or butt? I didn't think so.


Asked by IhartU at 2:19 PM on Apr. 2, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
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Answers (26)
  • I believe that no matter what form of discipline is used you must be very careful and watch the child carefully. For my oldest I can't use timeouts because it seems to be like torture to him. If you are careful you can find something that will work without damaging the child in any way. It just may take some trial and error and what works for one may not work for another.

    Answer by BUTTERCUP777 at 5:24 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • I was spanked as a child. I do not have emotional scars. I do not have mental bruises and I am not afraid of my mother, nor was I ever. It was not done out of anger. My mother tried time out for me. It didn't work. I would just go and do the same exact thing again and again, and again. When she began to spank me--one swat on my bottom with a bare hand, I wouldn't do it again.

    And yes, she did speak calmly and said "Well, I'd prefer time outs, but that doesn't work. "


    Answer by layh41407 at 2:23 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • You honestly don't think a parent can spank while being calm, even-toned, rational? Disciplining based on anger is never good, regardless of method.

    I've never smiled while giving a time or taking a toy away; that sounds disturbing.

    Generally, I'd say a spanking leaves no marks & is more to stop a behaviour quickly. A "beating" stems from using physical pain alone as a punishment. Abuse is abuse. To me it's like porn, you know it when you see it.

    Answer by BubbaLuva at 2:37 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • IT'S NOT THE SAME! When my kids were young, I spanked them when I felt it was necessary.

    I NEVER spanked them when I was angry. I NEVER spanked them for anything that they didn't know in advance could result in a spanking.

    I found it more "efficient" to send them to their room until I cooled off, make sure they understood why they were going to get spanked, deliver the spanking (the child over my lap, spanking with my hand). Done. No restrictions that dragged on for a weekend, no having someone missing while the rest of us enjoy a special dessert, or whatever else was sometimes used as punishment for deliberate bad behavior.

    My kids were NOT scarred by the spankings. In fact, usually they would hug me afterward and offer a sincere apology. "...I know it hurts you to spank us." I always accepted their apology and followed it with the request that they please don't do anything else that would make me have to spank them.

    Answer by ss_mom at 3:33 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Beating leaves welt's or cut.s and bruises. A Spanking dosnt. It's that simple.

    Answer by vbruno at 3:33 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Spanking is a slap with your hand on a clothed child's rear end. A beating is using a spoon, a belt, a weapon on bare skin ,leaving a bruise.
    Obviously, the parent who uses a stick,weapon , will not hurt his hand and it will hurt their child which is their goal. Obviously,hurting a child is wrong. And verbal abuse is just as bad,maybe worse,because it destroys the child's feelings of self confidence and damages their soul. Discipline should improve the child, not destroy him.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 2:39 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • I was NOT afraid of my mother. I didn't like being spanked. There IS a difference. If I was afraid of my mother, I would be afraid of her all the time. I didn't fear her during or after the spanking. Did I like being spanked? No! THAT is what worked. Not fear of my mother. That's just a bunch of crap.

    Answer by layh41407 at 2:44 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • I DO NOT spank or beat my child but I do know that there is a BIG difference. When I was a child, my father would beat me and my brother with our pants down and with belts. He would leave welps so bad that we wouldn't be able to sit on our rear ends for quite a while. Before church every Sunday morning (he was a preacher), he would beat us so that "we would behave in church".I also remember accidentally hitting his guitar with a toy and him getting horribly angry, taking me to my room, making me pull down my pants, and beating me (again with a belt). Beating a child is abuse and absolutely done out of anger. Spankng is a form of discipline, that I look at as a last resort. Like, if a child is old enough to know better than to do somethng and you repeatedly tell them yet they never listen, then I find spanking understandable. But beating a child is a COMPLETELY different story.

    Answer by tiffanynichols at 3:40 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • BTW: My kids, now teens, laugh about the times they were spanked. They hold no anger or ill feelings.

    I, on the other hand, was beaten as a child. My parents were usually taking their anger out on us when they beat us. The beatings hurt, but some of the ugly, demeaning things that were said while they beat us hurt more. Some of the things that were said instead of a swat or beating hurt most of all.

    I don't think the difference between beating and spanking is in the physical scares left or not left behind. It's in the intention of the parent. I don't believe we should ever intend to injure -- physically or emotionally. My parents' beatings didn't always leave a scare on my body. But the wild anger on their faces, and cruel words said in anger left emotional scares that took me a long time to get over.

    Answer by ss_mom at 3:46 PM on Apr. 2, 2011

  • Um excuse me but you don't witness all of us spanking our children.  A SPANKING is not out of control, it is not going "off" on your child.  The main thing I think is, it's none of anyones business period.  I spank, was spanked.  My children are not afraid of me.  I do not go "off" on them.  No I don't smile at them while I spank them but I certainly am not angry and hitting my child out of that anger.  Maybe you should know a little more about what your talking about BEFORE stating that all spankers are the same.


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 4:51 AM on Apr. 3, 2011