There continues to be a lot of new articles about spanking children. Some write sincerely in favor of spanking and others passionately oppose it. This article questions the wisdom of any position about spanking. It's occurred to me that my position against spanking in some way empowers those who still justify it as a last resort tool for getting children to behave. Is not a self-righteous position flailed (even silently, non-verbally) against spankers itself lacking compassion and abusive? Does it not attack, invalidate, strike out at the spanker?

Let me explain: It's important for those of us who are against spanking to notice that our position isn't having the effect we say we want. Our position is adversarial. It's similar to one's position about peace. "Peace-niks" in the ?0s were every bit as violent as were the soldiers in Vietnam. That is to say, any position automatically brings forth an equally powerful opposite position.

I know also that my position against spanking is loaded with self-righteousness. It's culturally and intellectually biased. We "enlightened" ones for human rights are so right that we automatically bring forth an opposite position. I have had no space for a local parent (those born and raised in Hawaii) to strike out in anger at their child. They are wrong, and I am right that they are wrong, and, for "reasons," they keep on doing it. They argue violently, "It's my child and it's none of your @#$&* business, you @#$&* haole." this from a neighbor who was repeatedly beating his child. I eventually reported him to the police.

Something about how I/we have been communicating keeps producing more of the same. It's as though the spankers have to keep hitting me where it hurts, to punish me for my self-righteous position. No matter how loving I think I may be I have a sense of what it must be like to be a mother in the supermarket on the receiving end of my stink-eye, masked as compassion, as she verbally and physically abuses her child. Nothing seems to ultimately work. If anything, it looks as though my efforts as a communication consultant these past 25 years has had the opposite effect.

In my profession we say that spanking is what adults resort to when they've lost their ability to be in communication (verbally) with their child. Ironically, yellers and spankers are unconsciously programmed to not seek out a communication skills consultant. Why? A communication coach works with the family in creating a new communication model based upon truth and integrity. Family members intuitively know that their child has been merely drawing attention to some out-integrity, some unacknowledged perpetration, within the family. Usually this out-integrity is an addiction. It's something that no family member is even willing to acknowledge let alone give up. It could be an addiction to lying, or deceptions or drugs. Children are integrity meters. They know intuitively when something is wrong. They do what it takes, even get hit, fail in school, or make themselves sick, in search of the experience of love.

My purpose in writing this article is to share these thoughts. I offer no solution. Many of my/our solutions aren't working, other than to upset spankers and make them feel badly, or less-than, which results in more violent yellings, harder swats or more vigorous shakings.

All abuse, to include yelling and spanking, is an addiction, just like alcohol or marijuana, and equally difficult to acknowledge and master. What I have never done is share with the community at large my experience like I'm doing through this article. Have you? I'd like to read other's thoughts and experiences about spanking. For me, it hurts to see a child spanked. I was spanked "from love" with a hairbrush more times than I can count. Only now do I know that my mother and I had absolutely no choice but to communicate with each other that way. My mother never learned how to get into communication with me to find out what I was trying to communicate nor were there any relationship communication consultants back then. Worse yet, I knew it was right to hit a child and that I deserved to be hit because the "nice" relatives, teachers and neighbors stood by and non-verbally supported it.

It's clear we haven't had enough conversations about this subject to make the kind of difference we'd like to make. I support you in clipping this article and giving it to someone, even anonymously.

For more about abuse check out our website

Kerrith H. (Kerry) King
Communication Skills Consultant/Coach
Pres. Community Communications


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Note: Community Communications (ComCom) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization. We present communication skills workshops, on-line tutorials, seminars, lecturers and private consultations, to individuals, couples, groups and organizations. Several of our on-line tutorials are free including the communication skills tutorials for teachers and parents, one for the teacher and another for the parent, who has a child who is failing. Another free tutorial is an extremely powerful one for someone intent on completing his/her experience of abusing or being abused?all tutorials include personal coaching. Contact: