Is It Ever OK to Spank Your Kids? Kelly Clarkson Says Yes

"My parents spanked me. I did fine in life," the singer says.

Kelly Clarkson doesn’t care what you think about her parenting style.

In a recent interview with Radio.com, the singer revealed that she disciplines her daughter, River, 3, and son, Remington, 21 months, by spanking them.

“I’m not above a spanking, which people aren’t necessarily into. And I don’t mean like hitting her hard, I just mean a spanking,” she said. “My parents spanked me, I did fine in life and I feel fine about it. But I do that as well, too…I’m a well-rounded individual with a lot of character, so I think it’s fine.”

She adds that she gives a warning first, saying “I warn [River], I’m like, ‘Hi, I’m gonna spank you on your bottom if you don’t stop right now. Like, this is ridiculous.’”

On the no-to-spanking side, some parenting experts say it’s completely ineffective, and may even make things worse. You can injure a child, instill rage in them that comes out later, and lead them to believe that hitting people is totally acceptable behaviour. Spanking children is actually a crime in New Zealand, so there’s also that.

For those all for it, let’s explore what acceptable “spanking” actually is, according to experts. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes it as “striking a child with an open hand on the buttocks or extremities with the intention of modifying behavior without causing physical injury.” In other words, it’s more about disciplining your kid with a little fear, but no actual pain.

There’s an acceptable age to spank too, say parenting pros — never discipline infants this way, and stop disciplining this way as they enter school, around six or seven years old. It should be phased out completely after they graduate preschool.

According to Positive Parenting, there are other options for parents besides spanking.

Focus on yourself and calm down, count to ten and breathe. If you take alone time, you’re less likely to spank your kid or snap. Be firm with your words, that could work on its own. Warn your kid they’re in trouble and inform them of the consequences before you do anything. If you feel like slapping or spanking the little one, walk out of the room. Take a minute to yourself, it can change everything.

Psych Central  says that spanking teaches that being the physically stronger person is right, and that older people have a “right” to hit younger people. It says that violence causes problems, Psych Central reports, and damages a kid’s self-esteem, possibly long-term.

And in research done in 2016, it was determined that after studying 160,000 kids, researchers found that the more children are spanked, the more likely it is they will defy their parents. They were also found to be anti-social, aggressive, and exhibit behavioral problems and anger that lasted into adulthood.

“Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do,” reports the study.

As for Kelly, the 35-year-old singer is now the center of a social media debate and parenting shamers after revealing her methods for disciplining.
“I’m from the south, y’all, so like, we get spankings,” she explained.

Lyss Stern, CEO of Divamoms, best selling author of Motherhood Is A Bitch, and mum of three, does not personally believe in spanking. However, she says that everyone is entitled to a different parenting opinion and approach.

“What works for one mother might not work for another one. Moms need to stop judging one another! It’s enough already! Kelly Clarkson can parent however she wants,” she tells Personal Space.

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