Dolling out corporal punishment is a controversial topic. While some schools have brought back paddling to help discipline misbehaving children, many parents still think it is a horrible sin to spank a child as a form of punishment. But are they just overreacting? Is it okay to beat your child every once in a while if they do something wrong? Kelly Clarkson thinks so. And her perspective has made her a target for the proliferation of outrage coming out of the liberal parenting community.
Because she admitted her strategy to discipline her kids the way her parents did with her included spanking, Clarkson quickly found herself in a whirlwind discussion on social media. The 35-year-old singer was somewhat overwhelmed. She did not realize that the way she disciplined her children was everyone else’s business. And if the parents are spanking responsibly, then studies have shown that corporal punishment can be a very useful deterrent to negative behavior.
Clarkson appeared on a Rochester, New York radio program. There she described how she was merely following the excellent example her parents gave her.
“I’m from the south, Y’all, so like, we get spankings,” she said. “So, my parents spanked me and I did fine in life, and I feel fine about it.”
Clarkson says she’s not “above” using tough love on her 3-year-old daughter River Rose and 1-year-old son Remington.
“I’m not above a spanking which people aren’t necessarily into, and I don’t mean like hitting her hard, I just mean a spank,” she said.
Disciplining her children in public is difficult because spanking is not considered “socially acceptable.” Therefore, she does not spank her kids in public unless they really deserve it. Otherwise, she waits until they get home to really teach them a lesson.
She described how she does it.
“So, that’s the tricky thing, when you’re in public ’cause then people are like, you know … they think that’s wrong or something, but I find nothing wrong with a spanking,” she said.
Spanking is a personal choice parents must make. And not everyone believes it is good for the child’s development. Although most people are against spanking, Clarkson is not interested in following the crowd. Because her parents did it to her, she’s going to do it to her children.
“I’m a well-rounded individual with a lot of characters, so I think it’s fine,” she said.
A poll found that most parents approve of spanking in principle, so long as it does not border on child abuse. And half of those who were polled admitted that they occasional spank their children to teach them not to do something.
Parents and experts agree on one thing about spanking. It should not be done in anger. It should be a level-headed punishment that is used intentionally. If a parent hits their kids because they’re angry, they’re not teaching children how to deal with their emotions. And that could cause some long-term psychological damage.
Do you think it is okay for parents to spank? Why or why not?