For some reason, I don’t exactly equate spanking with child abuse. I had plenty of friends who got spanked or had their punishments meted out with belts when we were kids. I’m not condoning either one, and yet I never thought of them as abused kids, per say.
That being said, I’d never spank (or hit or beat or whip or grab or pinch or smack or slap) my kids. I think if you hit a kid in anger, the kid in turn learns to hit in anger. And while I find it hard to stand in judgment of how other parents choose to discipline their kids, I can’t imagine what toddlers can do that’s so terrible that a parent feels that laying a hand on them will really make it better. Furthermore, it breaks my heart to think of a kid my daughter’s age or younger being punished in a physical fashion.
A judge in Texas seems to feels the same way, having issued a “stern warning” to a mom who admitted to spanking her 2-year-old daughter.
Judge Jose Longoria scolded Rosalina Gonzales for spanking her 2-year-old daughter, saying it was something that belonged “in the old days.” Gonzales has lost custody of her three kids and was sentenced to five years probation in Corpus Christi. She must also attend a parenting course.
Back in December, Gonzales’ daughter was taken to the hospital by her paternal grandmother after she noticed red marks on the girl’s bottom. A belt wasn’t used and there was no bruising.
Prosecutors deemed it a “pretty simple, straightforward spanking case.”
Judge Longoria, however, said it was unacceptable behavior.
“You don’t spank children today,” he said. “In the old days, maybe we got spanked, but there was a different quarrel. You don’t spank children.”
Gonzales is fighting to get her kids back, but the judge said until she’s deemed capable, they’ll live with their grandmother.
While spanking isn’t officially illegal in Texas, the state’s attorney general’s website says: “The state law allows the use of force, but not deadly force, against a child by the child’s parent, guardian, or other person who is acting in loco parentis . . . Most parents do, in fact, use corporal punishment at least occasionally, and most do not, in fact, consider it abusive.”
I don’t know if other factors contributed to Gonzales losing custody of her kids, although it seems to have just been the spanking from what I can gather. I don’t think spanking is OK, but I’m not sure why it’s so different today from when I was a kid and spanking was more a matter of course for plenty of parents.
Do you think spanking is enough of a reason for parents to lose custody of their kids?
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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