If You Threaten To Spank Your Kids, Yes I’m Judging You


To the woman at Starbucks who just threatened to spank her kid,

I judged you. Scratch that. I am judging you.

Yea — that judgment thing that us cohort of mothers are not supposed to engage in because we are all one village — I’m entirely doing it to you, and I’m not going to apologize for it.


I suspect that may come off harsh, but what is also nasty is the way you were speaking and grabbing your young boy who couldn’t have been more than 3 years old.

Don’t for a millisecond think that I don’t “get it.”

I fully understand the frustration that tiny, unreasonable and occasionally defiant human beings can cause.

I have three of my own.

But, to intimidate your child into good behavior by foreshadowing an abusive act, you’ve got to be off your rocker.


You’d think this is a lesson I would need to teach my 2-year-old, but instead, I am speaking it to you:

Use your words to express how you feel and not your hands. Additionally, when speaking, your words should never bluff or imply physical violence.

Listen — I get that there are parents out there who believe it’s OK to spank. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM.


If you are someone who believes in spanking, you need to be asking yourself this question:

Would I be okay with anyone laying an inappropriate hand on my child? And if your answer is no, as I suspect it will be, then why in the heck would you touch your child in such a manner?

Spanking has been around forever, I hear you, and yes, I’ve only been around since 1986.  But I’ll tell you this, no one is “better” because they were spanked.

Now maybe I’ve got you pegged all wrong. Perhaps you got your child back to the car and felt horrible about how you berated and imperiled him in front of a bunch of strangers. I can only hope this is the case.

Yes, I understand that some days, “it” and motherhood, well, it’s all just too much.

I hear you, and I have been there. BUT, you must find a better way to deal with your challenging child and stress-filled moments in a non-violent and productive way.

Your son was having a moment and guess what, so were you.

Now think about it. When you are “having a day” and struggling, do you find it helpful when people call you out on that sh*t? I don’t think so.

What if I not only called you out but I did it in front of strangers? And then instead of casually and calmly trying help you recognize, sort out, or solve your perceived or actual problem, I just threatened to hit you upside your head?

That seems nonsensical, right? And that’s because it is whether I was to do it to you or you are pulling that same crap with your developing child.

Did you read/hear that correctly? Your child is smack dab in the beginning (not even the middle) of his developmental process.

He doesn’t yet have the age-appropriate brain development to handle everything this life and his emotions are spontaneously throwing at him.

You, my friend (and I use that term loosely), must teach him how to dodge or catch and re-purpose the lemons being aimed in his direction.

Spanking does not teach. It flippin’ hurts, and it harms.

I repeat, the only thing that spanking does, is impose fear and cause hurt in the person on the receiving end.


Sure, maybe your child will listen a little better next time you venture out to grab yourself a latte. But he won’t be doing it because his mother has worked with him on social etiquette or public behavior.

No, instead he will be doing it out of unease that his blunder would lead to abuse.

I’m typically one who stays neutral on most topics, and while I always openly and honestly share my opinion, I typically make sure to acknowledge that my way isn’t the right or only way.

Not this time.

When it comes to the lives, hearts, and heads of the little people in my home and my village, I will do and say anything that promotes their well-being. And I’ll stand against any physical violence imposed or threatened upon them.


So, to the woman who just threatened to spank her kid, here’s the last thing I will say to you.

You are not a bad mom. You are not a bad person. You did make a really bad choice, and you made it in front of me.

I’ve made bad choices too. I’m a yeller, and that’s something I need to work on. But you, you must never engage in or threaten physical violence upon your child.

It will take valiant effort on your part to reign in your anger and sideline it so you can be the parent your child needs.

Remember, YOU ARE THE PARENT. Your job is to be the calm and not contribute to the chaos.

Perhaps I’m the anomaly, but I sure as heck hope not.

I pray the majority of you reading this feel the same way as me about spanking. If not, well, then I pray for an abundance of resilience inside of the hearts, heads, and bodies of the children in your home so they are capable of surviving and thriving in spite of your poor parent choices.

From, the woman who just spanked you with her words

It doesn’t feel too good, does it?

*This post first appeared here and is shared with permission. 


  1. I believe spanking has its place and it should never be done in anger. I also have 3 kids and they all respond differently to punishment. Your question about “would I allow a random person to spank my child?” No! But would you allow any random person to discipline yours? I am guessing the answer is also NO. When your 3 year old is misbehaving in Target and a stranger walks up and tells your child to go sit in a small chair in the corner of the store for 3 minutes for time out, how would you respond? Bottom line, how you choose to discipline your child is YOUR business as long as it doesn’t cross the line into abuse. A swift pop on a clothed bottom with an open hand to get your child’s attention that leaves no mark, on occasion not the daily, for a child who may not respond to a time out or “talking to” is a parent’s choice. Please do not misunderstand me, I do not beat my kids in an effort to avoid parenting or as a 1st response. My 3 kids have maybe been spanked 2 times each and they are 23, 9, and 7. Judge me if you will but my kids are respectful, well adjusted, have no psychological scars, are very loved (and they know it), teachers praise their behavior, are not scared of me or my husband, and, for the most part (they are kids after all) behave in public. They do all of these things not out of fear but respect. The couple of times they have been spanked, it was done when my husband or I have calmed down and we always had a talk with them afterwards about why they were spanked and it ended in a mutual hug and “I love you’s“. Judge me if you will, won’t be the 1st or last time. I know what is best for MY kids and I will not change my beliefs or child rearing because someone tries to make me feel guilty or shameful. So bring on the judgement, not gonna phase me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is mine.

      • This is the problem with kids today. They are a bunch of spoiled, entitled, little brats who thinks the world owes them because they exist. I’m here to tell you my mom didn’t spank us unless it was an absolute last resort. I to was born in 1986. Had you had me for a kid you wouldn’t be saying any sort of spanking is all out abuse. Like the previous comment, I believe in a small swat on the clothed bottom, to get their attention and to let them know you have had enough of putting them in time out, yelling (which by the way is also considered abuse in today’s world), and repeating yourself, if you’re not a daily spanker when you give that small swat the shock of actually getting that swat that was threatened on top of several warnings, is going to let that child know you’re not playing around anymore. My son has several special different needs one happens to be ADD, and one happens to be ODD, combine those with high functioning autistic, OCD, situational and social anxiety, insomnia, and a generally normal 10yo other then his special needs and your bound to eventually give that little swat. I’m sorry but I’m only going to tell him not to do something over and over and over, especially when I know he’s just testing me, and I’ve been doing time outs, stern talk to’s for the entire weekend, should I keep yelling at him not to hug our dogs as tight as he can around their necks and hope nothing bad happens to our dogs or should I give him a swat after the billionth time of telling him to not hug them in a choke hold type way or do I tap him on his shoulder as I’m watching the dog plead with me for help and say, “Now now son, I told you not to hug the dogs like that. I’ve explained to you they have small not fully grown bones and muscles and tissue and you could break their neck and kill them, cut the oxygen off to their brain and make them have life long damage or kill them. Do I need to explain that to you again or can you willingly stop this behavior and go sit in time out for 10 minutes because every time I turn my back, you’re hugging on the dogs?!” Don’t you think that’s a bit ridiculous?! No he is not intentionally trying to harm the dogs or being mean to them, he just loves hugging his stuffed animals along with being a huge animal lover and they are being trained to be his service dogs, so he treats them as his little brothers and sister. Now if he was truly trying to full on choke them and kill them, you bet your bottom dollar he would be introduced to the old fashioned, “Wooden Spoon”, he wouldn’t be allowed out of the kitchen or his bedroom if we couldn’t keep eyes on him at all times because it wouldn’t be fair to lock up the dogs because he’s trying to harm them. So I teach him in the autistic way. If the dogs howling and crying for hours all night to get out of the kitchen or even kennels when they can’t be trusted to behave, why shouldn’t I do the same with my child? Isn’t that essentially what putting them in timeout is doing but only with an invisible gate or kennel. You might want to come down off your high horse because I’m going to say it now, you can say you have never spanked your kid but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’re either lying or they haven’t done something that serious like run out into traffic to get you to your absolutely terrified for their lives button, and out of pure fear you react with a small swat. Kudos to you if you haven’t been brought to that point yet but, every parent is eventually brought to that point when they least expect it and then you will know exactly what we are talking about. Maybe she didn’t want him bouncing and jumping and running around in a HOT coffee shop where he could accidentally bump into someone and have hot coffee spilled all over him, causing him to have to go through dozens of skin graphs, the absolute horrid pain from the burns, not to mention the mental scarring from a tragic accident like that. I rest my case now.

    • Amen…I had my kids throwing glass on the floor in Sam’s club and I said if you don’t stop I will spank you. Talking doesn’t work. But if I spank it is my choice as a parent. I know what works best with my kids. Low and behold I have someone at my husband’s school tell him I was violent with the kids… Okay. Well when you need food he ain’t willing to watch them while I grocery shop and people telling me everytime I turn around my kids standing in the cart…I KNOW MY KID STANDS IN THE CART BUT IF I STRAP THEM DOWN OR LEASH I’M A BAD parent… No matter what people criticize and I’m sick to death of it… People need to mtofb… Mind their own fn business unless I’m slapping my child… Stay the hell out of it… Okay huff huff I’m done ranting now…

    • Suzanne very well said! “I know what is best for MY kids and I will not change my beliefs or child rearing because someone tries to make me feel guilty or shameful. So bring on the judgement, not gonna phase me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and this is mine.,

  2. Judge me all you want. There is a difference between spanking for discipline out of love (never out of anger or frustration) and abuse/spanking that hurts and is harmful. Sorry but you are not an authority on this or an expert and I know PLENTY of people who were spanked, myself included and are well behaved, successful and well adjusted human beings. I also know PLENTY of kids that have had PLENTY of “conversations” and every discipline method in the book and what they really need is a healthy understanding of who is the parent and yes, maybe a healthy spanking. Go read proverbs 13:24 and get back to me. Absolutely insane to call healthy, responsible correction “abuse”. I love my child and he will be respectful, behaved and discipline and sometimes It will be because he knows if he’s not he’s going to get a spanking.

  3. Spanking done properly is never ever done in anger. I have 4 children (3 of whom are a year apart in age). I have always taken them everywhere. Stores, malls, airplanes, restaurants, church, etc… and I have never been embarrassed by their behavior in public. My children are very well behaved, confident, successful, loved young people. I can assure you that yelling does far more damage to their developing brains than proper spanking and discipline. We all have to raise our children according to our own values and morals. Judging isn’t going to help anyone. My husband and I are confident in our parenting choices and our unbelievably amazing children are proof that we’ve done an ok job!

  4. I got my but busted when I was a kid and I turned out just fine. If a mama wants to spank her kid that’s her deal shut up and walk away do not say a thing to that mama. She is the one rasing that kid not you and she is doing the best she can.

    • Thank you! And it sounds like the mama didn’t even spank the kid. She threatened too. I know my daughter is the type of kid where alls it takes is a do we need to go to the bathroom or when we get home you are going to get a spanking if you keep behaving this way. But rarely do I touch her, Yes, sometimes these words sound angry because O.M.G I am a human being and get angry and upset! Not perfect here so if your perfect self can go sit in a corner nicki then thats great I have kids to raise and stuff to do. Seriously if your going write a blog. Use it to raise people up not tear them down. Seriously your no better belittling that Mom then she was for hollering(not spanking) her kid. Will never read your drivel again.

  5. I as spanked as a child.
    It wasn’t abuse it wasn’t meant to do physical damage, it only hurt my feelings
    Not my bottom.
    It worked and I am not an emotionally scard pussy because of it.

  6. Agreed John! My kids know it too. They can chances, way more than my siblings and I did, and when there is still no compliance, a swat on the butt it is.
    However, if the child is being spanked too hard, I can definitely see your point.

  7. I understand your uneasy feelings towards spanking. Although you are a woman and he is a boy. I don’t care what you think is so morally outstanding about not punishing a child in a manner you, yourself even evaluated. A child does not communicate like an adult can, so you speak to children any manner in which they understand. When my kid is losing his crap, I will swap him on the butt to get his attention because it’s the fastest way of communication to my child. In which there is no questioning my feelings towards his behavior. I am a single father with my son 100% of the time. I work and go to college. I live 45 minutes from town. I don’t have time to explain moral edit kit to him any and every time we are together and he’s acting a damn fool. As well I do not believe that any parents ever spank their child in anger. If you are of the belief that a child can never distinguish the difference of spanking, or violence, then you obviously do not have faith in your child’s comprehension ability. I feel the biggest problem with society today is we have moved away from punishing our children in a manner in which there is no question of what I am trying to convey to the child. I don’t use the 1,2,3 method either, because it teaches my son that I am undecided on my stance of god or bad. Always be direct. Don’t be convinced that punishing your child is the difference in visiting your child at his best, or visiting him behind bars. To those who disagree, come spend a day in my shoes, serve the United States Marine Corps, then tell me what hard is.

  8. I completely agree with the non-spanking. I have never once spanked my almost 8 year old and I never will. I was raised in a home where spanking was the norm and it didn’t do anything but instill fear, not respect. What I disagree with, is your tone in regards to mothers who choose to discipline a certain way that’s not your own. If I see someone abusing their child in a store, there will be problems. Absolutely. But I will never judge a mother for how she chooses to discipline, barring abuse. Because you choose to stop what your doing and calm down, only to go back and then spank and then hug and then say I love you, to me, sounds like one of the worst ideas ever, BUT, if that works for you and your family, that’s fantastic and great for you guys. Whether or not it makes sense to me (it does NOT and I feel like it’s very confusing to the child), is neither here not there. It works for you. I’ve had people tell me that there’s no way that I can have such a respectful, kind, and pleasant child if I’ve never spanked her. WHAT??!!?? I’ve never done timeouts either because I think that having a child face a wall for a determined amount of time is utterly ridiculous. I have a respectful and kind and pleasant daughter because we DISCUSS things. Everything. So, although, I agree with no spanking or threatening to spank, I agree because it would never work FOR ME! But I highly disagree with your judgemental attitude. That’s just me. #momminainteasy

  9. And we are all gonna judge you for being a carpet that your children walk all over because you won’t spank them. Sorry cupcake but spanking works. Your little bull crap DOES NOT! If you said that shit to me, I’d spank your a$$ too because its clear you need one! So keep on judging, cuz we will judge right the fk back.

  10. Not your place to judge anyone’s parenting. Mind your own business. What works for others apparently doesn’t work for your perfect little Angels.

  11. Judge away!! Stop worrying about how someone else parents their kids. I will spank my child if I need to and I don’t care where we are at or if people like you see it. Your kids will probably need him for a attorney in court one day. See there I’m judging you too!

  12. How about you get off your high horse and go fuck your self. Who declared you the expert at parenting and kids? I imagine you find my language offensive. Well so is your arrogance. Go and shake your finger elsewhere.

  13. I love how you just stood there and judged her. If you were really worried about her abusing her kid, you would have tried to be helpful. Instead you use your keyboard warrior skills to momshame her.
    Just fyi… My moms yelling traumatized me as a kid.
    I’m sure you aren’t a perfect parent.?
    Spanking isn’t always bad. And it isn’t always the best method of teaching a child discipline but sometimes it is necessary.
    Stay in your own lane.

  14. Spanking may work up to a certain age, then your children will just hate you and do what they want anyway. I’d rather my children did what was expected of them out of love and respect, not fear and hate.
    People always ask me how I got such great kids-it’s called communication and mutual respect. I respect them as children of God always remembering that He sent them to me to love, teach and protect.

  15. Mam , please don’t comment on parenting decisions . She did not make a poor choice ! ITS YOUR OPINION . You should have worded the ending a bit different . . . You had the right idea about “your not a bad parent , your not a bad person” but then kind of backhanded that with “poor parent choices” then you lost me . . . PARENTING is not a science please stick to “This is my opinion”

  16. I’m going to be as BLUNT as you were.

    You are what’s wrong with motherhood.

    How about you raise “your children” and you quit trying to raise everybody else’s kids. What works for your kids may not work for everybody else’s kids.

    It fully infuriates me that parents like you come across the internet to people who are struggling trying to find discipline methods that work and they come across you feed and it just add more questions to an already complicated conversation. Mind you own. All of you high and mighty usually living in middle America honestly with nothing better to do and decorate your house supervisor kids and lecture the rest of the world on what bad parents we are I have a simple mantra mind your own mind your own raise your own mind your own repeat that everyday you’ll be a better mother for it.

  17. Well I will also be judging you when you have a disrespectful defiant teen that you’re trying to be a friend to. My child who was spanked in her early years will also be judging you because she will witness how horrible your kid acts and be thankful she was taught better.

  18. This isn’t empowering or inspiring. It’s pretty gross. You are a judgmental person that wants to feel good about herself by acting like you Know the best for every family out there. Yuck. I was spanked as a child and am perfectly fine. You have no idea what you are talking about. Once again gross.

  19. Physically hitting a child is never okay. The fact that our society has normalized it is scary. I was spanked also. I’m relatively fine, yes, but it taught me that I wasn’t allowed to have emotions, only my parents were. And then I learned to hide my bad behavior better so as not to get hit. In other words, it makes your child scared of YOU, it does not teach them anything else. Spending time with children you chose to have in lieu of hitting them is harder, but well worth the effort. How dare we expect adult behavior from a 3 year old that we can’t even model ourselves. Disgusting.

  20. To the woman at Starbucks who just threatened to spank her kid…
    There are to many parents not participating in parenting. Spanking is a last choice for the this family. We punish by consequences. Also we dont know the circumstance of this Starbucks mom? Maybe this mother repeated herself one to many times? Maybe the 3 yr old was a repeat offender. I should only have to tell you 1 time to behave. I will also tell you whats gonna happen if you don’t. I.e. a spanking. So shame on you for Judging and wrighting this blog to shame mom’s for thier belief. How about putting more positive content out on how to punish without spanking. Instead of momshaming.


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