I have been called a ‘baby bruiser’ because of my pro-spanking position. Oh yes, I have been targeted by several name-calling, anti-spanking fanatics who evidently have nothing
better to do than find spanking parents to malign on various Internet sites and mailing lists.
A recent study reveals that 97% of American parents admit to spanking their children at one time or another. I will not dispute that there are probably parents out there who react
in anger rather than according to a carefully thought out plan of discipline, however that doesn’t mean that spanking should be outlawed.
Yes, I said outlawed. The anti-spankers are waging an emotionally charged campaign to outlaw spanking. They are also employing various back-door methods to prevent parents from
spanking their children.
If a parent is charged with child abuse or neglect, the court will order them not to spank the children as part of the case plan. I recently attended a hearing for a 6 week old
infant who was removed because he failed to gain weight - apparently due to an intolerance to his formula. The judge returned the child to the parent’s home on the condition that he would be
supervised by the maternal grandmother with the instructions that she ‘never let that child out of her sight, even if she had to go to the bathroom,’ and to not spank the child. I wonder, who actually spanks a six week old infant? What an absurd ruling.
It is irrelevant to the courts that spanking is legal in Colorado, they are outlawing it one family at a time. But how do the children feel about being spanked?
I belong to a fascinating Internet mailing list called the redbottomclub(this list has been closed due to the inappropriate postings of adults with spanking festishes - see how
sick some people are, they can’t keep their sexual perversions to themselves, they have to inflict it on innocent children). It is for children who are spanked as punishment or discipline. They
share their experiences and discuss the associated issues. The children who are on this list are from around the world, including countries where spanking has been outlawed. It is interesting to note
that many parents will break the law and spank their children in these countries.
What is more interesting is that many of these children recognize when they deserve a spanking. As one fourteen-year-old from the UK said, “. . .don’t want the time? Don’t do the
When advised by a rabid anti-spanker to ‘refuse to be spanked,’ one astute youngster said, “. . .I think it would probably make the situation worse. . .”
More advice to the youngsters included, “Don’t back down, don’t let them scare you or bully you! They [spanking parents] are wrong! You have RIGHT on your side! FIGHT for what’s
right!” To which another young man from the UK replied, “Wrong about what? That [disobeying] wasn’t such a good idea? Or that they think that , unfortunately, as this is the third time [I’ve] done it,
and nothing else has worked, a spanking might work? I don’t know about anyone else, but I get scared just thinking about a caning! They don’t need to bully me!”
Hmm. Even when the anti-spanker said, “Don’t be afraid to call the police or child welfare. . .” the overwhelming sentiment from the youngsters was, “Which will result in being
taken away from your parents, maybe for good. No thanks!”
One youngster stated, “. . .criminals are usually adults who know the difference between right and wrong, but kids have to be taught the difference by their parents. . .And in
some homes discipline means a spanking. . .” Sounds like a few adults could learn a thing or two from this youngster.
The child-savers who want all children to grow up in an idyllic, pain-free, conflict-free world would say these youngsters are brain-washed. I think they are well on the road to
becoming responsible and self-disciplined adults. If, at their tender ages, they can see how their parents love them and want the best for them, they are not abused children.
The attitude that spanking parents must face can be summed up by one of the points that anti-spankers espouse, “Refuse to accept your parents as people who have authority over
you. In good homes, all are equal.”
What a crock! These people are obviously not parents. They’re not even residing in the real world that the rest of us live in. I guess, then, that teachers shouldn’t have any
authority, or bosses, or police, or courts either. Sounds like anarchy to me.
I’ve seen a child who isn’t spanked. At five years old, her father never even says ‘no’ to her lest he damage her delicate psyche. This child is a horrendous brat. In one day I
observed her running completely out of control in an adult setting while daddy spent his time chasing her from one end of the arena to the other. At dinner, she colored on the walls and broke a glass
for which she was never even chastised, much less punished. And daddy never even paid for her damages, either. Daddy was incredibly cruel to this child with his indulgence; everybody who saw her
despised this terror. Is that fair to her? I don’t think so.
Does spanking harm children? No. Emphatically no. My son Jacob , who had turned my husband, Dennis, in for child abuse in 1992 for a spanking, recently admitted that he knew he
could count on Dennis to do whatever he said he would do. He also stated that he learned more from Dennis than he did from his own father. He loves us and respects us. He regrets what he did at thirteen. He has become a responsible man. That speaks for itself.
Parents who spank their children are confessing in ever-increasing numbers that they are afraid of ‘being caught.’ Our government agencies charged with child protection have made it
very clear that they do not condone the parental practice of spanking as a form of discipline.
How do we know this? Look at how many horror stories there are about parents whose children have been taken merely for a spanking. There is a concerted effort on the part of child
protection agencies to outlaw spanking. This is done on a de facto basis, meaning this position is not supported by law, but is treated as if it were.
We do not have to abide by ‘de facto’ laws. We also do not have to particpate in the enforcement of ‘de facto’ laws. Participation includes refraining from using spanking because
you are afraid of the consequences, or refusing to challenge a court order that you refrain from spanking.
The first thing parents have to be prepared to do is to stand up against the usurpations of parental authority. Do it smart, and you will win.
Smart means knowing the laws pertaining to child abuse. We’ve all been told that a spanking that causes a bruise is child abuse and can be successfully prosecuted. However, an
examination of the laws reveals that a parent may use reasonable force to discipline their children.
The laws that provide for the use of reasonable force are an affirmative defense agsainst child abuse charges. An affirmative defense sets out new facts and arguments that might
win for the defendant even if everything set out in the complaint is true. In this case, the affirmative defense argument that is presented is that the force used was reasonable under the
Let’s examine a few State’s affirmative defenses for ‘use of force’ as it pertains to parents:
ARIZONA 13_403 . Justification; use of physical force
The use of physical force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances:
1. A parent or guardian and a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or incompetent person may use reasonable and appropriate physical
force upon the minor or incompetent person when and to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain discipline.
CONNECTICUT Sec. 53a_18. Use of reasonable physical force or deadly physical force generally.
The use of physical force upon another person which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal under any of the following circumstances: (1) A parent,
guardian or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person, except a person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor for school purposes as
described in subdivision (6) of this section, may use reasonable physical force upon such minor or incompetent person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to
maintain discipline or to promote the welfare of such minor or incompetent person.
DELAWARE § 468. Same _ Use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline or safety of others.
The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable if it is reasonable and moderate and:
(1) The defendant is the parent, guardian, foster parent, legal custodian or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of a child, or a person acting at the request of a parent, guardian, foster parent, legal custodian or other responsible person, and: a. The force is used for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the child, including the prevention or punishment of misconduct; and b. The force used is intended to benefit the child, or for the special purposes listed in subdivisions (2)a., (3)a., (4)a., (5), (6) and (7) of this section. The size, age, condition of the child, location of the force and the strength and duration of the force shall be factors considered in determining whether the force used is reasonable and moderate; but c. The force shall not be justified if it includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: Throwing the child, kicking, burning, cutting, striking with a closed fist, interfering with breathing, use of or threatened use of a deadly weapon, prolonged deprivation of sustenance or medication, or doing any other act that is likely to cause or does cause physical injury, disfigurement, mental distress, unnecessary degradation or substantial risk of serious physical injury or death; or
HAWAII §703_309 Use of force by persons with special responsibility for care, discipline, or safety of others. The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable
under the following circumstances:
(1) The actor is the parent or guardian or other person similarly responsible for the general care and supervision of a minor, or a
person acting at the request of the parent, guardian, or other responsible person, and: (a) The force is employed with due regard for the age and size of the minor and is reasonably related to the
purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of the minor, including the prevention or punishment of the minor's misconduct; and (b) The force used is not designed to cause or known to create a
risk of causing substantial bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or mental distress, or neurological damage.
Spanking is a parental preogative. Caseworkers refuse to recognize that. As an example: I attended an initial interview with parents who had been accused of abusing their son. During this interview
the caseworker asked, “What are your parenting practices pertaining to discipline?”
I said, “The parents aren’t going to answer that question. We would prefer it if you stick to the presenting incident.”
CW, ingnoring me, “Do you spank your children?”
Me, “Excuse me, is spanking legal?”
Me, “Are you personally opposed to spanking as a disciplinary technique?”
CW, “There are more effective discipline techniques. There is too much risk of abuse if a parent spanks their child.”
Me, “You didn’t answer my question. Are you personally opposed to spanking as a disciplinary technique?”
CW, “My personal views on this are irrelevent.” Turning to the parents, “According to the law, if you spank your child and leave a mark that lasts longer than an hour, that’s child abuse.”
Me, “Hold on a minute, would you please show me the law that states that?”
CW, “I don’t have the laws with me at this time.”
Me, pulling out my Colorado Children’s Code and placing it on the table in front of her, “I have it. Please, show me the law that says leaving a mark that lasts longer than an hour is defined as
child abuse. ”
CW, “uh, er. . .It’s actually a matter of policy.”
Me, pulling out Colorado Volume 7 (Policy and Procedure manual), “Ok, then show me the written policy that says that.”
CW, flustered and red, “It’s not that important. . .”
Me, interrupting, “Excuse me, it is. You just told these parents that it was ILLEGAL to spank a child and leave a mark that lasts longer than an hour. You said it was the LAW. In saying that, you
lied to the parents about what the law says about spanking. . .and you would use that to take their children away from them. If I weren’t here, these parents would never have known any better, would
they? You could have just lied and gotten away with it!”
The interview was quickly terminated, after I received assurances the investigation was closed. Spanking is legal, if they say it isn’t, make them prove it. (All of this was audio taped in El Paso
County, Colorado. )
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