Re: “Well I was Spanked…”

Writes Aaron White:

“I was spanked and I turned out okay” can’t justify spanking unless “I was molested and I turned out okay” justifies molestation. Most people who go through different types of abuse end up growing up as a functional adult to one degree or another. People are complex, people are not fully defined by an abusive situation or relationship. However, if from being spanked as a child you now think it is okay to spank others … you didn’t really turn out okay. You turned out as someone who believes in violently forcing defenseless children to comply with you with little to no regard for why they do what they do. You turned into someone who your children fear despite the fact that you are supposed to be the person that assists them in coping and understanding the world. You are now the person they will need to cope with and the person they will have to battle. They will now have a distrustful combative relationship with you. They will feel like they are broken people who have broken desires and that they must deal with that fact alone… because their parent will hit them if they are open and honest.

Any child who isn’t a liar in this sort of environment is a chump… but that will make them get more abuse if it is found out. I am honestly not as much against spanking as I am against abandoning your children. When your children have moral dilemmas, hard choices, bad days, strong emotions, and immense desires, they need their parents guidance more than ever… but if you punish, you will be the last person a child comes to. It is in the moments where children need the most help where they do things their parents don’t want them to do. When you punish children, you are abandoning your children in their deepest hour of need.

Well said.


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Founder and editor of and, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.