The National Parenting Center

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Spanking Teens

Spanking teaches the use of fear and power over someone more vulnerable than yourself. Is this what you really want your child to learn and to practice when she is an adult? You say “it seems to work”. Well, I believe what’s happening is that she is simply repressing her anger at being spanked. She also feels degraded as a person, and is repressing that. These angry feelings will probably come out later in some unacceptable way.

She may, for example, run away and put herself at incredible risk. Or she may not run away , but harbor increasingly ill feelings toward you, her parent. Do you want your teen to have any sort of relationship with you when she is an adult? Do you want her to be a friend of yours as an adult? If she has children in the future, will you want to see and know them?

If so, you had better stop using this inappropriate discipline and start using communication, clear expectations, praise, problem solving and many other positive techniques that will teach her LIFE SKILLS that are in her best long range interest. Spanking is teaching nothing but fear and anger. How would you feel if you were spanked at your age?

Read a decent book or two on discipline Try the authors E. Crary or Jim Windell…Windell’s first book (50 Failsafe Methods…) is good. Try the authors Mazlish and … “How to Talk So Your Kids Really Listen and Listen So They Will Talk”. I also suggest you find a good family therapist or counseling which will give you better ways of parenting before it’s too late.


Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country.Evelyn Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country. You can read more from Evelyn at her web site: www.askevelyn.com

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