In Front of God and Man: Spanking Discipline in Public

Parenting styles and views on discipline vary widely. Some parents use time-outs and groundings. Others take away privileges or monetary allowances.

Parenting styles and views on discipline vary widely. Some parents use time-outs and groundings. Others take away privileges or monetary allowances. Style others use the spanking discipline. For parents in the latter group, society’s new mores often force them to go underground with their discipline. Many pro-spanking parents remark that they are not comfortable spanking their child in public. However, this is not always the case.

On a recent trip to Walmart, I turned into an aisle to spy a woman with her son bent over her knee on the ground, spanking him on the rear. A crowd of ten or twelve other patrons were gathered around her. With a defiant air, this woman looked up and stated, “Before God and man, I am not ashamed to spank his butt. Spare the rod and spoil the child.”

Spanking Discipline in Public: Is it Legal?

The legalities of spanking discipline are often debated. What constitutes spanking, and when does it turn to beating? Is it abuse only if it leaves a mark, or only if it is prolonged and severe? Who makes these decisions?

Spanking laws vary by state, though most state something to the affect that a parent or guardian may use reasonable physical force or discipline to correct or benefit the child. Therefore, engaging in spanking discipline of a child in public can be construed as being legal.

Spanking Discipline in Public: Is it Ethical?

The ethics of spanking discipline are as varied and contentious as the legality. While some quote the biblical epitaph of “spare the rod and spoil the child” as a godly decree to spank, others consider the rod spoken of to refer to a shepherds crook which is used to gently guide sheep rather than smack them.

Different cultures look at spanking in different ways as well. What it comes down to is personal preference and personal responsibility.

Spanking Discipline in Public: The Shame Factor

Most children above toddler age who are spanked in public will feel a sense of shame. It is embarrassing to be physically reprimanded in front of a gawking crowd of strangers. One could argue that the shame helps correct the child’s misbehavior while others believe shame should never be inflicted upon a child.

The mother in Walmart, spanking her child, commented that she was not ashamed to use spanking discipline on her child. It is possible that some pro-spanking parents are ashamed of their discipline practices in this increasingly anti-spanking society. They might also be ashamed that their child requires such extreme discipline.

Spanking discipline in public arouses many different feelings and thoughts. With ambiguous legality and ethical considerations, the only thing left to do is stand around and gawk.

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  1. That’s one sick woman in dire need of education. Poor child.

  2. She was doing what so many agree with, Shame and spank naughty children, Go back a few years, it worked then and it should be allowed to work now

  3. It sounds like this woman was spanking her son long enough to carry on a conversation throughout the spanking. I’d hate to think about how he is spanked at home. Personally, I don’t think a spanking has to be (or should be) more than one to three good swats on the bottom to accomplish its purpose.

  4. I never got more than one warning smack in a public place, but when mom and I got back to our house after I’d been acting up, mom would lead me to the living room couch and wear out my hiney. I think that’s more the way to handle it than making a public spectacle.

  5. Spanking should be done only on the rear and only on the bare.the good old fashioned way of Pants Down Bottoms Up helped people in all generations to stay in line

  6. I hate seeing kids getting spanked in public. I hope that the parent never does anything wrong to warrant getting hit in public as a way of “correcting” their behavior. We think spousal abuse is wrong, why is it okay to strike a child? That woman in Wal-mart is a child abuser.

  7. I am OK with a parent spanking their child in public if it’s just a couple of swats on the bum, not an all out beating. How many out of control brats have you encountered at public places, whose parents pretend it’s not happening and refuse to correct them? Makes you want to spank the parents!

  8. The embarrassment factor is clearly part of the reason spanking is effective discipline. Therefor the increased shame of a public spanking will act to improve the childs behaviour. Also the punishment is more immediate and relevant to the behaviour. All parents who believe in spanking should spank in public. Then maybe the decline in spanking would reverse as it becomes visually acceptable.

  9. corporal punishment should be done in private.a good spanking concentrates the mind of a youth.the reason and right to spank should be left with parents.spanking is punishment not abuse and most kids who have received it know that.

  10. i very well think that spanking is a great way to dicipline your children. it teaches kids how to respect their parents. the non-spanking way is not teaching kids how to respect and listen to thier parents

  11. I believe in public spanking because if you don’t correct the behavior right away and wait till later they don’t remember what it was for. You can give a few smacks on the butt and they will not like the attention, nor want to repeat the action that caused it. Spanking teaches them to listen and respect the parent not to mention the consequences for misbehavior, this teaching was good enough for most of us growing up, so why wouldnt be good enough for our kids? I enforce this on my kids and they know its a warning and then an spanking of they continue, and they are only 3 and 4yrs old. My kids will show respect instead of acting like unrully jackasses not to mention I will never be afraid of my kids because they understand respect, these parents that go just by verbal or ignoring the situation totally are just raising the next crimials because they don’t understand boundaries an that stems to the parents. In that case they need a good spanking to remind them, maybe it will put some good sense into them!!! That woman isn’t a child abuser look up the definition so you will understand what the term means.

  12. i was spanked on the bare behind well into my teenage years when a more severe punishment was nescessary to instill a lesson.most times i was given a warning and if that didn`t have the desired effect, it was pants down and over the knee for a sound bare botom strapping.the lessons learned from these spankings kept me on the straight and narrow most of the time because i knew the conquences of crossing the line.for this reason i spank my children when deemed necessary and hope it has the same long term effect it had on me as a kid.

  13. i was spanked over my mothers knee when i was about 12 the humiliation was unbearable but i learned my lesson and never did misbehave again

  14. The erosion of PARENTAL rights (to spank or not to spank…do so in California and risk a feloney charge) mirrors the erosion of ethics and morals in this country. We need to take a massive step backwards, to a time when there was shame involved in teenage pregnancy (not TV celebration) and discussions such as the above weren’t worth having. By the way, Dr Spock (who condemned physical discipline) raised a child so well adjusted he killed himself.

  15. My dad warmed my ass when I was 19 in front of everyone at a camp ground. I had it coming and it worked

  16. When I was 15 I went shopping with my mother to the mall, about half way thru I guess I was getting board and wanted to leave but mom told me to behave myself, I guess I said sometimg that made her angry, she found a bench and took down my pants and put me over her knees then she took down my underpants and spanked me it was very embarrassing, their were alot of teens there both boys and girls, when mom was thry spanking me I got up to pull mt pants up and everybody saw my erect peepee, when we got home mom told dad what happened and dad took me to the woodshed and whipped me, im 25 now and its still embarrassing.

  17. Stu that happened to me too, dad spanked me on my barebottom at the mall becauce I was not to be there I was getting grounded when dad found me there he pulled down my pants right in front of my friends and spanked my barebottom so you see your not alone, I also got taken to the woodshed when we got home, by the way I was 16 at the time

  18. My dad spanked me in public when we were on a fishing trip.I was 17 and had created quite a problem in the car on the way up to the meeting place. There was a big parking lot where people,mostly men and children left there cars and took a small 10 passenger bus down to the river.dad made me stand by the side of the car and lower my pants and underpants to get a sound 20 swat paddling.I then had to ride down to the river with those that watched it including bous and girls half my age.

  19. when I was 16 I was being grounded but I wanted to go my friends party so I snuck out, about an hour later dad came to get me right there in front of my friends both boys and girls dad took my pants down and put me over his knee then he did the worse thing he took my underpants down and gave me a spanking,when he was thru spanking me, I got up from his lap and everybody saw my erect pp, he then told the host that he was sorry not as sory as I was

  20. I wasa spanked over my mother’s knee on my bare bum.
    My wife Laurey was also spanked by her mother otk on the bare bum.

    We have twin girls. 1 year old.
    We plan to spank them when older.

    William.

  21. Im 17 and my girl friend were in my rec. room makeing out, I thought my parents were not home but I was wrong, mom came down and caught us naked and I had my penis in her vigina, mother grabed me and spanked me right there, then put me in the corner and told me to stay there till dad came home, she then put my girl friend over her knees and spanked her, then she drove her home, when dd got home and mom told him everything he took me to the wood shed and whipped my vbottom till I was black and blue, at school the next day Mary told me she got spanked too.

  22. I go to collge im 20, and I live at home with my parents, my mom still spanks me, whats worse then being spanked at 20 is she does it on my bare bottom over her knees, the last spanking I got was in front of dad its embarrassing to have your dad see your vigina and beind, there are 3 children in the family 14 18 and me 20 and we all are spanked sometimes in front of each other, the 18yr old is a boy and im sure he get embarrassed when I see his penis, don\\\’t you think we are all to old to be spsnked I do but my parents dont.

  23. Don’t know about outside but although my Dad didn’t smack-he still made sure i got an extremely sore behind when i needed one!. He would place me across his knee and would rub a small piece of sandpaper on my bare bottom, hard, for about 30 seconds, wasn’t too bad at first but after a few minutes it felt like my bum was literally on fire!!-VERY VERY sore, it was still sore a week after!. I then stood in a corner saying “sorry Daddy” with my poor red sore burning little bottom!. He offers cream after half an hour but i get VERY VERY embarrassed as he sees everything!! mind due sometimes i just poke my bottom out and let him-anything to curb the burning and stinging!!. I know it’s silly cause he often sees my bare bum and when i’m shy says “don’t be silly-i’m your Dad”. I still adore him and love his cuddles (some of them bare bottomed on his lap)!!.

  24. I was very embarrassed to be an 18 year old guy getting the bajesus bare butt paddled out of me while leg locked pants down over my maternal aunts knees during fall senior year parent teacher conferences as the teacher-who’s paddle my aunt was using-filled my aunt in on my truancy, misbehavior, and sauciness in school. Not only was I being punished for the reported bad behavior but also for forging disciplinary notes the teachers and principal repeatedly sent for my aunt or my mother to sign. I must have been spanked like that for twenty minutes as my home economics teacher explained why I was failing her class so far and how she had already had to have me disciplined at the office four times this year including for a bare knuckle boxing match with a class mate right in the classroom. A stop by the principals office was in order once our conferences with some of my other teachers in who’s classes I am actually getting 3 A’s and two B’s thus far resulted in 10 hard pants down licks with the principals razor strap in front of my aunt and a months all day punishment detention running from 6AM every weekday and Saturday morning to 6PM each evening.

  25. In the summer when I was 18 my mom caught me smoking in the yard and dragged me into the kitchen sat down on a chair, pulled my swimsuit down and started spanking me just as my girlfriend walked in. My mom told her what happened and asked to borrow one of her leather sandals and proceeded to paddle me with it. Afterwards we went to her friends house for a b’day pool party and got into an argument. She told her friend that we had to leave and told me to get into her car as we were heading home. Half way home she pulled down a dirt road in the woods and told me to get out as we walked down a path. We came to a fallen tree and she sat down telling me to come over to her. When I did she reached up to my suit and in one quick motion pulled it down as she pulled me over her knee and started spanking me bringing the heat back from a water cooled hiney. I started to fight her when she told me to stay still as she was only beginning. I tried to push off her lap but she was too strong form me in that position. She also told me to stay still or she would tell everyone that my mama still gave me bare bottomed spankings. Then she took of a sandal and continued. I got spanked a lot from her that year. Now my wife does all the spanking.

  26. I’m anti-spanking – even though I plan to be childless and celibate, I don’t believe in that disciplinary method. I’m reminded of a stranger who spanks another stranger’s child at a Walmart near Atlanta. Also, I saw a man slap his kid as Muetti and I exited Epcot after reveling in its International Food and Wine Festival. Spanking in public is embarrassing, and multiply the emotional magnitude if you are doing Disney, as in going to a Walt Disney World theme park. Ouch.

  27. The need for spanking appears at all ages, not in all, but in some. I believe that real behavior modification spankings should start when people begin to have some use of reason, normally at 6 until wherever there is need. Then, if the person becomes orphaned and the spanking is interrupted, a need may reappear at 15, usually it does, when a person begins to rebel and really “experiment,” pushing the limits in the wrong way. Such person is literally “asking for a spanking.” Because there is no spanking, and because the person spanked till the age of 15, associates good with spanking, and spanking as remedy for evil in it, when deprived of spanking, the person suffers terrible psychological cataclysm, and mental unrest often ending in jail, or death, or suicide. Such people should be identified by society as in need of spanking, before it is too late! Psychological tests and inquiries ought to be developed to identify their colossal desire for spanking (which they may desperately hide). But, believe me, they dream about it. One young man told me this telling account: “My backside hurt, by I was growing up interiorly. My parents always hugged me after spanking, conversing with me and reassuring me.” I became a good citizen and person! Billions would be saved by societies, on prisons and crime expenses, if this dramatic discipline need was met, intelligently!

  28. No, you are wrong. If you have to spank a child in public like that then there’s something wrong with the parent. That child could feel disgruntled and harbor many bad feelings.

  29. Sorry that’s child abuse.

  30. I don’t like it. I think some parents enjoy spanking their kids – makes them look good and powerful.

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