Peter says: I'm not against spanking

Spanking has (once again) been in the news this week, and Peter wants to add his two cents.

By Peter van de Geyn
Peter says: I'm not against spanking

Photo: RapidEye/iStockphoto

I read a couple of articles this week about spanking. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published an editorial urging our government to change the Criminal Code and revoke the right for parents to spank their kids. The editorial also says that spanking is an excuse for poor parenting. (That's kind of hitting below the belt, no? Pun intended.)
Yeah, it's another one of those contentious debates, and I know I'm probably not going to make any friends by saying this, but if there's one thing Lisa's taught me through this blog, it's to be who we are and embrace it, even if the masses don't agree.
So here goes: I think spanking is OK. (That's a general statement. I actually think it's acceptable based on the situation.)
I hate to go down this road, but I was spanked as a child. I was even spanked at school by a teacher on at least one occasion that I recall. Heck, I even had a teacher wash my mouth out with soap! While I say spanking is OK, let me be clear: I am in no way condoning child abuse, and if you don’t know the difference, you're probably not going to be convinced by me telling you the difference or expressing my opinion. (I'm suddenly starting to feel the way Lisa did when she came out pro-formula feeding. The horror! The horror!) 
I was spanked as a child on the bum with a bare hand, and when we were older, we got it with a wooden spoon. Do I feel I was abused? No. Did I feel I deserved it? Not at the time, I'm sure, but looking back, I'm fairly certain I did. Do I harbour any feelings of poor parenting or ill-will toward my mother and father? No.
As far as I'm concerned, and in my experience as a kid, not yet as a father, spanking works.
When I was a kid, I knew what would happen if I was out of line, and it would make me think twice about my actions. I also knew I couldn't get away with everything (the way kids these days think they can). If I had told my mother, the primary disciplinarian in our house, that I was going to call child services on her, she would've passed me the phone and went and packed me a bag.
Would I spank our kids? Maybe. It depends. I can't say I'd never spank them, and I don't think that makes me a bad parent who has poor parenting skills.
So, where do you stand? Have you spanked or would you spank your kids? Why or why not?

This article was originally published on Sep 06, 2012

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