Is it okay for parents to spank their kids?
Tim’s Answer: I think it’s probably not okay. If an adult parent hits an adult parent, it’s domestic abuse. But if an adult parent hits a five-year-old kid, that’s fine? Doesn’t make sense. But it’s tricky because a parent can do all kinds of things to their kids that they’re not allowed to do to adults—take away their belongings, decide what they eat, imprison them in the house because they’ve been grounded, etc. Parents can even get physical, to an extent, without most people raising an eyebrow—a parent firmly grabbing their rowdy child’s arm on the street, giving the child a shake, and quietly snapping, “Stop it right now” seems to most like normal parenting. But a man doing that do his wife would look a lot worse. So there are different standards for children—but where do you draw the line?
Again, to me it seems on the wrong side of the line. But I’ve talked to multiple good, kind, reasonable people who believe spanking is totally okay. So I don’t think this is a simple question.
UPDATE: We created a three-minute survey about spanking and posted the results in a new Dinner Table here.