September 22nd, 2014
10:48 AM ET

Should You Spank Your Children? Dr. Drew Says No

As Adrian Peterson continues to be in the spotlight, the larger question remains for the general public, is it right to spank your kids?

HNL's Dr. Drew Pinsky says parenting experts agree that the answer is no.

“There’s nothing positive about it, there’s always better alternatives,” he told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" Monday.

Does that mean society agrees?

According to results from the New York Times, "polls consistently show most Americans believe spanking is an appropriate form of discipline, although it varies by party identification, race, region and religion."

Though it's decreased from earlier highs, about 70 percent of people supported spanking in 2010 and 2012.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Posted by
Filed under: News • Opinion • Videos
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Dola

    I don't spank because I'm over three and can use my words.

    October 4, 2014 at 8:59 am | Reply
  2. analyticalmom

    Honestly, in this day and age, if you spank your kids it's because hitting makes you feel better and you selfishly choose what works for you not your child. It's clear it is ineffective, even dangerous and that there are plenty of effective alternatives available. There's no acceptable excuse for inflicting pain on a child.

    October 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  3. Drew Davis

    I agree w/Dr. Drew. Spanking is assault, completely unnecessary, and highly immoral. "I was spanked, but turned out okay" is a total b.s. rationalization. People turn out "ok" DESPITE being assaulted by their parents.

    October 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  4. kidsrpeople2

    Spanking a non-consenting adult would be considered sexual assault by law, yet spanking children is not considered sexual assault by law and legally persists in taxpayer funded public schools in 19 states today with no safety regulations and no legal redress for injuries, laws protect school employees from criminal/civil action.

    See School Paddling Blog dot com proof that school paddling is sexual violence targeting children in America's taxpayer funded public schools with No Way to prevent cell phone recording and sharing of school paddlings of children.

    WATCH 3 min. trailer for Documentary Movie "The Board of Education" by Jared Abrams Exposing Violent Pain Punishment of children, even against parents' wishes, in Public Schools based on where they live, protected by law

    20,000 children seek emergency medical treatment from school corporal pain punishment each year. Proposed Federal bill H.R. 5005 "The Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act" is languishing in Congress NOW for the 3rd time thanks to U.S. House Education Committee Chairman John Kline's R-MN belief that our nation's children's constitutional rights to equal protection against assault in school is a "States' Rights Issue"! … … …

    Every 20 seconds of the school day, a child is beaten by an educator. Every 4 minutes, an educator beats a child so severely that she seeks medical attention. According to conservative reporting to the U.S. Department of Education 223,190 students were the victims of institutionalized violence at least once in the 2006-2007 school year, of which over 20,000 sought medical attention. [source 1="Office" 2="for" 3="Civil" 4="Rights" 5="at" 6="the" 7="US" 8="Dept." 9="of" 10="Education;" 11="Congressional" 12="Testimony" language=":"][/source]

    7/17/2014 USATODAY: "As more schools ban paddling, others defend it" eas-defend/12421465/?siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-2SEPz24l_iHlt9LBNmsTLQ

    Top 5 states for corporal punishment in schools
    Mississippi ... 41,146 (students paddled).
    Texas .... 37,290.
    Alabama ... 30,061.
    Arkansas ... 24,490.
    Tennessee ... 16,645.
    Source: Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Base, 2009-2010

    Child Abuse in Schools Protected by Law with tacit approval of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court 3/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Latest Corporal Punishment Challenge

    Please join 6,000+ by Signing and Sharing Petition Congress to End Corporal Pain Punishment of Children in Schools HR 5005

    September 24, 2014 at 12:54 am | Reply
  5. Name*Ke

    I think a child needs one good butt whooping at least once in their lives. For the rest of their lives, parents should drill into their children's minds that they are crazy and put the fear of God into them. But also...temper all that with love and respect. There has got to be a balance.

    September 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Reply
    • Douglas Day

      I agree 100% with this except the spanking part (1)once isn't enough, we all wish it was but it isn't it's like 3 or four times...I have 7 kids and they no them as brain slaps, do to brain farts and let them be the one's to tell ya they are better for it...thanks for reading, and thanks Name*Ke....

      September 27, 2014 at 11:57 am | Reply
  6. Larry R Cleveringa

    I got my behind handed to me alot when I was a kid...It teaches respect for authority and helps form manners by making us think about something before we do them ...granted I didn't straighten up till I was in my 30 d's' it stopped me from doing alot worse things than I did.If you people really think that disciplining your child doesn't work than I guess you haven't been watching the news the last 25 yrs.Since we removed prayer and the pledge of allegiance...since we have tied the hands of our parents....we have a bunch of wild youth who could care less about what anyone thinks..let alone rules..I could go on and on but I'm sure there will be screamin people over this...Last thing..we curbed the spanking because child abuse seemed to sky rocket ..but what really happened was the information age.We know about things the split second they happen ,child abuse has always been around we just know and see it more readily now than ever before.Someone wants to abuse their child our little rules wont stop them..same thing with gun control...same thing with drugs same thing with drinking...we have addressed this all backwards and now we are paying for it...We live in a country that is soft and lazy and inconsiderate of anything or anyone who wishes to see order and integrity brought back to this country..God had and has rules to live by to keep us safe from ourselves and yet we spit in his face.He doesnt ask for perfection...he ask's that we try to be good decent people and he knows by ourselves..running our own show we will self destruct..I love my country but we are headed for a very rude awakening soon..Lord help our children..God knows we aren't

    September 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • Douglas Day

      YES,,,YES...YES....Finally someone took the words right out of my mouth...and if people rant and rave about this then I would have to assume common sense had not hit them yet. You should be invited to appear on the panel and set those New Anchors straight....I felt it to be really bias the other day....Thanks Larry great comment!..

      September 27, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  7. noah

    If you seem to know so much about what is best for my kids, what are their names??? Peterson is pompous and intolerant consistent with his leftist view. I usually agree with Dr drew, but not here. It's about time for the lefties to propose a law against spanking! It is plainly a tool to be used appropriately, and in the wrong hands spanking is capable of being abused and overused as a crutch, just like a gun…something else the left knows not what it speaks as they try to legislate generalities. And before you say just another uneducated redneck, I’ll see Drews doctorate and raise him a PhD.

    September 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  8. ttarmstrong

    My mom "spanked" us with belts (and even switches), ONLY on my bottom and NEVER did I view it as abuse (nor did I ever have marks). There were things that she did (and did not do) as far as our upbringing goes that I may have disagreed with once I grew up but...never did I hate her for applying discipline the way she did and when she did. I think men, especially, should check themselves before applying discipline because they are stronger and what starts out as discipline can turn into a beating very quickly.

    September 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  9. ttarmstrong

    I was "spanked" (w/belts and sometimes, switches – ALWAYS on my bottom) as a child and NEVER do I look back and think I was abused. My mom was not perfect and there were things I don't agree with that she did or did not do; however, her spankings were not abusive. She was raising 6 kids, basically on her own, and that's how we received discipline. I think Peterson took it way too far (obviously) and think that men (especially) should "check" themselves before ever applying discipline. They forget how strong they are and how quickly it can escalate from a spanking to a beating.

    September 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  10. noah

    If you seem to know so much about what is best for my kids, what are their names??? Peterson is a pompous a$$. Usually agree with Dr drew, but not here... about time for the lefties to propose a law against it. It is a tool to be used appropriately, and in the wrong hands capable of being abused and overused as a crutch, just like a gun...something else the left knows not what it speaks. And before you say just another uneducated redneck, I'll see Drews doctorate and raise him a PhD.

    September 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Reply
  11. User

    Spanking is tantrum control. I think spanking works to discourage inappropriate behavior at the moment, i.e. a tantrum, but only as a last resort. Highest age is around 6 though. After 6, a child has been through Kindergarten, become socialized and has learned to listen, so give up the spanking I say. Throwing tantrums at that age is more a home training problem. What are the kids watching at home? Karate cartoons with hitting and kicking and fighting? Thats where the violent behavior comes from. Not the spanking. Its the video games and tv shows with fight scenes. Spanking is tantrum control. But never in anger.

    I am black on both sides and I never understood why there are some parents (not all black parents obviously) who brag about how they spanked their kids to their friends. As if its revenge or payback for a child misbehaving.

    September 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  12. Michele Zapple

    Just because a particular culture does something, doesn't mean it's right. If spanking worked, parents would only have to do it once. All African American families don't spank, and it would help if those families spoke up. When you know better, you do better, and that's true for ALL families. Education and science should prevail in this debate, and I hope Dr. Drew continues to stand firm in his opposition to spanking. Don't back down.

    September 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  13. Carol T

    I'm with Dr only taught me to hate my spanker....fathter

    September 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  14. kay kaplan

    I have learned in life the effects of what we do, are unending in life ...I most definitely agree spanking only leads to problems in that life.. thanks....

    September 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Douglas Day

      How intelligent...Defend your statement...Don't post and run....this is a forum for discussion not closed minded comments please thanks...well that's how I see it...peace.

      September 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Reply
  15. Juliette Thomas

    I agree 100% with Dr. Drew.

    September 22, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Douglas Day

      Well I'm sorry to say you happen to be 100% closed minded or you have a nanny taking care of your kids because not 1 parent out there can say someone else is 100% right, or 100% right themselves on the topic of parenting...Sorry but that is how I see It.

      September 27, 2014 at 12:31 pm | Reply
      • anonmom12345

        Assault is 100% wrong. If you think hitting your spouse is 100% wrong, you can think hitting you small child is 100% wrong. All the time, wrong. Less than 100 years ago women were being beaten by their husbands because men believed it was their job to discipline their wives. Now, it is considered barbaric, and soon so will hitting children.

        Want me to back up my statement? Dr Drew understand child psychology and physiology enough to realize that the impulse part of a person/child's brain does not fully develop until over 20 years old. It starts out very immature and grows, and it is our job to mold a child's mind as they grow by modeling respect and problem solving. Nobody respects someone who hits them; I love my parents, and I know they raised me the way they believed was best at the time. Now we know better. Spanking once never helps, it doesn't work any better than any other method, just helps the parents feel better and more in control. But, it is human nature to rebel against tyranny, and when a parent is a tyrant, you are not cultivating respect, you are cultivating fear. Children cannot naturally control their impulses, even if they understand they are not supposed to do something. But, if you hit them enough they stop... until you turn your back the other way.

        See fear only teaches a child not to do something when the aggressor is near. If you are not near, the child may do something dangerous anyway, because they are not afraid of the spanking. You're not teaching the desired behavior, or teaching children to cope with strong feeling like anger, jealousy, fear, sadness. You are simply saying, do not show these feeling in my presence, or I will hit you. Tantrum are a normal part of child development. Their brains don't know how to handle large emotions and they break down and cry, basically begging for you to be there for them and help them understand how to deal with frustration. Frustration of not having a cookie, frustration of not licking the outlet on the wall, jealously that comes with sharing toys with a sibling. These seem like no big deal, but to a small, immature brain they are a VERY big deal. Those things mean the world to them, even if we view them as insignificant.

        Stop being lazy parents and help your child to understand their emotions instead of smacking them for having emotions. Hitting is not a real world consequence, and if my boss at work hit me I sure as heck wouldn't respect him or her. Kids are mini humans learning a new job of being a decent human being. If you were hit and punished after every mess up at work would learn? How about school? Is that conducive to learning respect? No. It isn't. You are an adult, and you are the parent. If you can't control yourself and keep yourself from hitting a baby or a small child, you cannot expect the same out of your kid. If I cry, I want another person to be there for me, to help me through it. Not to say, stop your crying or I'll give you something to cry about.

        Bottom line: discipline does not equal punishment. I means teaching and showing guidance. My kid is not going to learn to be "good" overnight. That's why I get him for at least 18 years. And over 18 years of me showing him the correct way to behave, teaching him real world consequences, and showing him respect, and having high expectations of him in work and school, he will learn to be a functioning member of society. I tell my kid no all the time... but I don't punish him for the reaction. If he asks for a cookie, and I say no, but you may have one tomorrow... he may throw a fit. I won't yell at him or punish him for being upset. I get down to his level and explain why he can't have it, and I understand sometimes its hard to not get what you want very badly. But, I don't give in. I don't know may 20 year olds that cry when they can't have a cookie. THEY GROW OUT OF IT. It's NORMAL behavior.

        Everybody tells me it's the new generation that's gone to crap. I'll tell you, working with the public I know way too many people who are 40 and over who treat me with total disrespect and entitlement. Age has nothing to do with it.

        October 3, 2014 at 9:35 pm |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.