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Note: This article presents one side of a disputed topic. See anti-spanking for the opposing view.
When advising parents on child discipline, pediatricians should emphasize the importance of balancing correction with encouragement. The parent-child relationship is pivotal in determining the success of any disciplinary measure. The selective use of disciplinary spanking with young children can be useful component of the disciplinary process.
  — Den A. Trumbull, MD, FCP, December 2007 American College of Pediatricians

Pro-spanking is a term used to refer to the point of view that spanking is an acceptable form of punishment of children. The opposite is called anti-spanking: the view that children should never be spanked.

The pro-spanking philosophy, generally speaking, believes that children in a certain age range should be spanked for certain categories of offenses because:

  • spanking is an effective way to bring an immediate end to misbehavior
  • spanking connects the misbehavior with pain in the mind of the child
  • spanking is physical, as opposed to forms of psychological punishment
  • spanking is quick, and forgiveness can follow immediately
  • spanking is known for millennia to be an effective parenting method
  • spanking is safe when done correctly, i.e. given only on the buttocks where the risk of injury is very small

Some people also argue for spanking from a religious point of view (e.g. with quotes on corporal punishment in the Bible). For example, in February 2015, Pope Francis I publicly endorsed parental spanking.[1]


A humorous spanking art expressing a pro-spanking stance

The pro-spanking point of view prevailed since known history (see the history of spanking), but was gradually replaced by the anti-spanking view in the course of the 20th century. This caused a revolution in parenting and education methods that led to the complete banning of corporal punishment in many European countries.

The pro-spanking position is expressed in scripture since antiquity (Greek philosophers, Roman authors, the Bible) and in most parenting books that were published before the 1960s, but only very few selected newer publications. Today there is a handful of pro-spanking websites that are run by people as a criticism of the anti-spanking movement. Europeans who express pro-spanking points of view today are in risk of harassment in their home countries, which is why pro-spankers, unlike their anti-spanking counterparts, often seek protection in anonymity and pseudonymity.

Pro-spanking parenting books[edit]

Pro-spanking parenting books are books on parenting that take a pro-spanking point of view, i.e. they recommend parents to use disciplinary spanking in certain ways and under certain conditions. Usually these books take the point of view that a spanking, given at the right time and in the right way, can be beneficial in raising up a child.

Today, these books have become rare, as the majority of modern parenting books takes an anti-spanking point of view and warns parents to avoid all forms of corporal punishment and use other punishment methods, such as time-outs, instead.

Another position is to present spanking and a non-spanking alternative, with the choice left to the reader. The author may also offer his or her individual preference.

Examples of pro-spanking parenting books: