About Spanking: No One Cares That You’re “Fine”

So. Every so often an article circulates on Facebook about the negative effects of spanking. Immediately, there are those who feel the impulse to immediately respond with, “I was spanked and I turned out fine.” Perhaps you are one of those people. Here’s the thing: the next time you feel the impulse to write that: don’t.

What you probably haven’t considered is that your response is highly offensive. If someone shares that something was traumatic for them, it’s wildly inappropriate to say that the same thing happened to you, and you weren’t traumatized, therefore you don’t really believe that such an event could be traumatic. Trauma is not up to you, asshole.

You were mauled by a bear and you turned out fine? Congratulations. Oh wait, the reason that you’re saying that is because you don’t believe anyone else could have a traumatic experience being mauled by bears? And you believe being mauled by a bear was character-building for you, and so everyone should experience it? Oh, I see. I guess you’re actually kind of a dick then, huh?

Worse, much of what’s being shared on Facebook is the result of years of research into spanking. And yet you feel it’s more relevant that you’re fine than this research? Do you have any idea what that implies? That you do not believe the experiences of scores of children because whoopdee-frickin-doo, you are fine?

I get it. We love our parents, parents who might have spanked us, and we don’t like the notion that the outcomes could possibly be as bad as the data is showing. We don’t like the idea that someone we love and we know did their absolute best could have made that kind of mistake.

Or you are one of those parents, and the idea that hitting them could have disastrous effects on their development is hard to swallow.

Either way, those are things for you to work through. It’s not okay for you to take what’s difficult to face, and use that to invalidate anyone else’s experience.

And here’s another little tidbit. Unless you are a perfect person and you have no negative behaviors, or you are a perfectly self-aware person, and you know the origins of all your behaviors and can successfully trace their origins, and have determined definitively that none of them are associated with being spanked, then you don’t actually know if you are “fine”. There is no way for you to determine what the difference in your psychological development would have been without being spanked.

Oh, unless by “fine” you’re saying that you have no significant physical, psychological or mental health challenges, unlike those people who do who you have determined are not fine? Cool. Thanks for being fine, buddy. What a fine achievement.

Some people will take their already dickish fine response about spanking and raise it up a few notches by saying that not only should everyone be spanked, just like your perfectly fine self, but, gol darn it, “Kids These Days” who aren’t spanked, while, dern tootin’, you can see they ain’t got no gol darn respect for anyone. You can just, fiddle mcfaddle, see that them Kids These Days are absolutely terrible, and, johnny mcflapjack, it’s all ’cause them kids ain’t been spanked in a coon’s age. Why, if only you could get you a switch and, jesusmaryandjoseph, beat them raw, then they would be perfect upstanding members of society, I tell you what.

While your explanation sounds very scientific and not at all like you are an old crotchety fart who likes to judge other people’s parenting / younger generations, like every old crotchety fart throughout human history, I’m sorry to inform you that your anecdotal observations are not actually grounded in any facts. And, meanwhile, research does exist that directly contradicts your undoubtedly thorough scrutiny of people who are not you, and clearly are not as fine as you.

Here’s the deal. Spanking, as a form of discipline, has many negative outcomes associated with it. Deal with it. If you avoided any of those negative outcomes and you’re “fine”, awesome. Then, maybe at that point, consider that this therefore is not about you, that some children experienced spanking as traumatic, and maybe listen to those stories.

Because as far as you being spanked and Turning Out Fine: no one gives a shit. Next time, shut the fuck up.

Originally posted to Facebook.

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