Is Spanking OK?

As the hosts of ABC’s “The View,” Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd share a common bond: motherhood.

As mothers of varying ages and backgrounds, they express their thoughts and experiences with parenting, often clashing on their individual approach to rearing kids in an ever-changing world. Take spanking, for instance…

“A healthy fear, I feel, turns into a healthy respect later on.” — Sherri Shepherd

“I believe that there are some times when a swat is what you’ve got to do and it’s okay that other people don’t feel like that.” — Whoopi Goldberg

“Let me just say I believe you should never spank a child. I don’t think even a little. We’re putting out a message to the world and to women, who are at their tethered edge and who might lose control and say it’s okay to spank and then they go over the edge.” — Joy Behar 

Of course, a little controversy on The View is what it's all about. But what about when you go out with your mom friends? Does the subject of spanking come up? Or is it a topic you and your friends avoid?

Photo credit: Copyright Bob D'Amico/ABC (American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.)

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6 Responses to “Is Spanking OK?”

  1. Cindy says:

    I’m OK with it… when the parent is in control of him/herself and isn’t just lashing out at a child because he/she is tired, exhausted or overwhelmed. To Joy Behar’s point, I think the thing that sets this apart from angry hitting is giving the child a warning that if the bad behavior doesn’t change, that it will be punished with a spank. It sends a contradictory message that hurting is OK… but it’s sometimes the only punishment that doesn’t get ignored.

  2. Jacqueline says:

    We never hit our kid when she was a child. She’s now all grown up. When I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, spanking was common and accepted, including in my family and my husband’s. I felt a lot of resentment about that, as did he, so when we decided to have a child we agreed on a no-spanking policy. I’ll admit that we had a very mild-mannered child who understood early what “NO” meant. But this is a chicken or egg first? question because I don’t know whether she was mild mannered because we didn’t spank or that she was mild mannered from birth and responded to other forms of correction. I don’t know what we would have done had our kid been more rambunctious.
    I will admit to swatting our kittens, now five months old, who are more rambunctious than the worst-behaved human toddlers. They can climb much higher, I am sick of sweeping up broken glass, and the water spray bottle treatment has become almost, “So what?” to them!

  3. Stephanie says:

    My close friends and I definitely discuss these issues. I am always intrigued by why parents make the choices they do - and I love hearing differing perspectives (and learning from others).
    RE: spanking. I actually recently wrote a post, entitled “7 Reasons We Don’t Spank” ( It’s a personal post - a vulnerable post - outlining why we choose not to spank.
    So, what about YOU? What are your thoughts on spanking?

  4. Kathy says:

    Given that Whoopi said that what Roman Polanski did to the 13-year-old girls wasnt rape (I believe she said “Not rape-rape) I think she’s lost all credibility when it comes to human relationships.
    I remember getting so upset with my older son that I whacked him on the butt once. It did no good at all and I’m not happy that I did it. There are so many other and better ways to discipline a kid that rely on love and reason. Of course we parents get angry but taking it out on our kids physically isn’t helpful to them. Using fear is a terrible way to parent.

  5. Kathy Sena says:

    Cindy, thanks for your thoughts on this. I’m hoping that some of the folks who are commenting on this on FB will come over here to comment! A good discussion there. Thanks again.

  6. Kathy Sena says:

    Everyone, thanks so much for your thoughtful comments here. And thanks, Stephanie, for the link to your post on this. I think it’s an important topic for parents to discuss.