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Courts Agree Spanking OK

In The Myth of the Broken Home - Guidebook for Single Parents I have a chapter dedicated to the "Whuppins & Spankins" and how I used this as a form of discipline for my two children.  My objectives are a little different than what I experienced as a child.  My parents rarely spanked me, however I remember having my mouth washed out with soap, and being asked to go outside and pick a switch off the tree (although my mom didn't use it).

Over the years, I have encountered families from all walks of live who are afraid to spank their unruly children. I hear, "Oh I can't because I'll go to jail" or "It doesn't help".  Although these families consult my services to assist them with discipline, I refuse to insist that they spank their children.  Why not? Well, because I am uncertain as to their own upbringing and I'm not there to see if the punishment is even warranted.


In the case of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services vs Jessica G the Court of Appeals in California, IN RE DM, Cal: Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate Dist., 2nd Div. 2015
vacated the juvenile court's decision for reasonable parental discipline doctrine.
Public Domain: Old Lady Lived in a Shoe - Mother Goose
The Department of Children and Family Services conducted two separate investigations regarding the mother.  One, after a neighbor called alleging the mother was yelling obscenities  and beating her children to the point their begged her to stop.  During this investigation, several people were interviewed including the mother, children, teachers, babysitters, a doctor and family members stating they never saw bruises on the children.  The mother agreed that she yelled at and spanked her children with a sandal when they refused to comply with former attempts of discipline.

In 2014, one of the children's fathers entered the mothers home, beat and raped her in front of the children. The Department of Children and Family Services asked that the juvenile court take jurisdiction of the children stating the mother failed to protect the children during this act of violence and was responsible for keeping the children safe. Preceding this the court found that because the mother repeatedly spanked her kids and hit them with her shoe is not a form of discipline and order her to attend support groups, parenting classes and counseling.

The California Court of Appeal concluded it necessary to apply the reasonable parental discipline doctrine when considering how parents raise their children, considering reasonable and age appropriate discipline.  In California, spanking is not considered abuse. Although there was no evidence of bruising or other physical injury, one child expressed fear when the mother hit him.

Click here to read case in its entirety

COMMENTARY:
As a parent, if you are honest with yourself, you can probably relate to the mother's position. When I couldn't muster up "The Look" quick enough I yelled at my kids.  Maybe not obscenities but I'm sure there were times when I wanted to.  I've spanked my children, more with my hand, but also with a belt on their butts with clothes on. However, not all children need need the same type of discipline, for example, my son didn't require much physical discipline at all.  But, there was an occasional snatching and popping.  My daughter required a more hands on approach shall we say, or just the appearance of seeing the belt hanging on the door handle or around my neck was enough. My mom use to say, "She is such a good child."  I'd respond, "You'd be good too if you got whuppins almost every day."  Of course when they reach a certain age whuppins and spankins should be null and void.

It is ludicrous to me for the courts to punish a victim for not protecting their children amidst being abused.  I was naive to this when Child Protective Services questioned my children following my abuse?  I had an idea why they deemed it necessary, and I didn't fear it, but I was a tad bit offended at first.  I always wonder why the courts treat domestic abuse different than stranger abuse.  So if a stranger were to enter the mothers home, with the children present and beat and rape her would she have been accused of not protecting her children?  How does one gauge this?  How does a parent protect their children, who are in the comfort of their home and someone, even baby daddy comes through the door and abuses the mother.  Whose at fault here?


At the end of the day protecting our children has to be first!  If you would like a free chapter of Whuppins & Spankins send email to webmail@themythofthebrokenhome.com

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