How to spank (with pictures)

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How to spank (with pictures)
How to spank (with pictures)

In an ideal world, spanking is something that would never happen. However, some parents believe that it may be necessary to pat their children on the butt on rare occasions. This wikiHow is not intended to promote or prevent spanking, but rather seeks to give parents the basics and, where necessary, proper instruction on how to safely spank.

Spanking is a very contentious topic. Most child psychologists do not recommend them as a method of discipline for children. However, some parents find that a spanking given with fairness, love and caution is an effective discipline technique. The decision on the usefulness of this punishment must be made by the child's parents, within the rules and laws of their local regions.


Part 1 of 3: Discipline without violence

Build a Healthy Relationship with a Stepchild Step 5
Build a Healthy Relationship with a Stepchild Step 5

Step 1. Start small

Don't spank your child immediately if you see him doing something that you dislike. Talk to him beforehand and try a non-violent method of discipline, if necessary. If you decide to spank, it should only be as a last resort, after you've tried other methods with no luck.

A conditional spanking (a light spanking after a 2- to 6-year-old has challenged a less extreme form of discipline) is less risky than one used as a first resort, according to some studies

Discipline Your Child Without Yelling Step 11
Discipline Your Child Without Yelling Step 11

Step 2. Ask the child calmly why he did what he did

The child may not have realized that what he did was wrong, or you may have misunderstood what happened. Talking can help clarify the situation either by helping the child understand why their decision was bad or by helping you realize that your child did not misbehave after all.

If you are too upset to calm down, say something like, "I'm too upset, I need a break to calm down." Exit the room and take a few deep breaths. Then come back

Give a Spanking Step 2
Give a Spanking Step 2

Step 3. Talk to the child about the consequences of his actions

Older children are able to reflect and realize why something is wrong. Ask him how he thinks others feel about what he did or what the consequences of his actions are. You can use nonviolent communication and "first person" sentences for phrases like "When you _____, I feel like _____." For instance:

  • "How do you think your sister will feel if you break her toy?"
  • "When I didn't see you in the store, I was very scared. I need you to stay close to me to know that you are safe and that you are not going to get lost."
  • "How do you think Dad felt when he had to clean up the poop in the bathtub?"
Travel with Your Sullen Teenager Step 9
Travel with Your Sullen Teenager Step 9

Step 4. Think about whether it is necessary to punish the child

Not all learning opportunities should include punishment.

  • For example, if your child decides to behave differently after a conversation, then there is no need to punish him. It has learned by itself.
  • Sometimes you are the one who should take advantage of the learning opportunity. Perhaps you are expecting too much of your child or perhaps you have put him in a stressful situation that he has not been able to handle calmly. Children do not always have the emotional tools to handle stress in a mature way. Try to let it go this time and consider your child's limits next time.
Discipline Your Child Without Yelling Step 10
Discipline Your Child Without Yelling Step 10

Step 5. If necessary, consider non-physical consequences

Tell him firmly and patiently what needs to happen. Spanking should never be a first resort. There are other ways to handle bad behavior. For instance:

  • Say firmly no. Give a short and clear answer in a serious voice. For example, "You must not throw snowballs at people in the face."
  • Clap. For a young child, clap your hands hard enough to startle them. Then firmly say "no." But don't scare the child too much or he may throw a tantrum or snap back.
  • Logical consequences. Tell the child to clean up the mess they made, fix something they broke, or pay for something they can't fix. This will teach him to make amends for his own mistakes (if he's too young to clean or pay for something, you can do it along with him).
  • Give options. Let him choose between two or three options that you agree with. For example, if the child doesn't want to get dressed, say something like, "You can put on the shirt or pants first."
  • Make up for. Have the child repair the harm he did to someone. For example, if she said something bad to her sister, ask her how she can make it up to her by doing something nice for her. Make suggestions for him if he is having trouble thinking of something (for example, "You can make him a card").
  • Time out. A time-out should last approximately 1 minute for each year of age (for example, a 2-year-old may have a time-out of 2 minutes).
  • Privilege removal. For example, if the child keeps pushing people while playing, take the toy away momentarily and tell them why you are doing so.
Enjoy Being a Stay at Home Mom Step 3
Enjoy Being a Stay at Home Mom Step 3

Step 6. Take a break if you are angry with your child

Being a parent is difficult and it is normal to get frustrated or angry sometimes. If you feel like you are about to explode, leave the room to calm yourself. You can discipline him when you are calmer.

Say something like, "I'm really upset, I don't know what to do. I'm going to go out and breathe to deal with my emotions."

Unspoil a Child Step 16
Unspoil a Child Step 16

Step 7. Help a child who is having trouble doing what you ask

Sometimes if a child does not often obey a rule, it is because he has problems (not because he wants to be disobedient). Ask "Why is _____ difficult for you?" and listen to him when he explains why he finds it difficult to obey the rule. Then work with him to help him do what he needs to do.

If your child is having a hard time cleaning his room, it may help to do it with him

Give a Spanking Step 14
Give a Spanking Step 14

Step 8. Talk to a child about how he can behave better next time

Sometimes children misbehave because they don't know what they are doing. Try asking something like "How could you best handle this situation?" or suggest some ways to handle a similar situation next time. Talking about the problem can help you understand what to do in the future.

If he agrees to do better next time, then you may not need to punish him at all. You can also implement some reasonable logical consequences, such as having him clean up the mess he has caused or apologize to someone he treated unfairly. The important thing is that you learn and punishment is often not necessary for this purpose

Unspoil a Child Step 23
Unspoil a Child Step 23

Step 9. Congratulate the child on his good behavior

Let him know that you value when he behaves well and help him feel good about it. This measure motivates you to do it more often. The following are some examples of good ways to compliment him:

  • "You have been very patient waiting your turn to use the swings. You did a good job."
  • "I realized that you were playing very well with your brother. You no longer hit him because now you know that he is not right. You are growing up and becoming a very good person."
  • "Thanks for putting your shoes on so quickly. Now we can spend more time in the park because you're ready earlier."
Enjoy Being a Stay at Home Mom Step 6
Enjoy Being a Stay at Home Mom Step 6

Step 10. Be a good role model

Your child learns how to behave by watching you. Act how you want your child to act, even if you're not sure your child is paying attention. Over time, it will acquire your habits.

Avoid hypocrisy. For example, if you spank your child, but then tell him that hitting him is wrong, he may become skeptical

Part 2 of 3: Preparing to Spank

Give a Spanking Step 1
Give a Spanking Step 1

Step 1. Think about whether you have exhausted all other options

Spanking should be the last resort after applying non-physical punishments such as time out, suspension of starts or removal of privileges. Before announcing spanking, you need to be 100% sure you want to do it.

  • Spanking is illegal in many developed countries. Even if it's legal in your country, your city or region may have prohibited it.
  • Recognize that some people think spanking is a form of abuse, especially if it is severe. Never hit hard, use a tool, or bruise a child. If people are concerned about you hitting your child, they can call child protective services.
  • Read about the alternatives for spanking.
982072 10
982072 10

Step 2. Recognize studies on the consequences of spanking

Many long-term studies have shown that spanking worsens rather than improves behavior. After spanking, children often feel rejected, resentful, and unloved. Instead of learning not to misbehave, they learn not to be discovered. Children who receive spanking or other forms of corporal punishment are more likely to:

  • have less gray matter in the brain
  • develop learning disabilities
  • develop mental health problems such as anxiety and depression
  • consuming excessively drugs or alcohol
  • distrust others
  • mistreat spouses
  • engaging in criminal behavior as they age
  • die early


If this is not the future you want your child to have, reconsider the spanking. The steps in the "Discipline Without Violence" section can help you choose a more effective way to change your child's behavior, such as natural consequences.

Give a Spanking Step 3
Give a Spanking Step 3

Step 3. Pick a private place to spank him

Spanking in front of other people, especially friends or siblings, can be too embarrassing for your child. It can breed resentment and be counterproductive to learning better behavior. Privacy is important, especially if you spank her bare bottom.

Spanking is already a harsh punishment. You shouldn't make it worse by humiliating your child in front of people

Give a Spanking Step 4
Give a Spanking Step 4

Step 4. Warn your child that the consequence of his actions will be a spanking

You may become distressed, angry, resentful, nervous, or even panic. You should try to understand these reactions, even if you are firm about the consequence.

  • Crying is very natural before, during, and after spanking, and you should never punish him for reacting this way.
  • Try giving her one last warning, like "If you don't let her hair down when she's done counting, then you'll get spanked." This measure can scare a child and cause him to behave well.

Part 3 of 3: Spanking

Give a Spanking Step 6
Give a Spanking Step 6

Step 1. Spank with an open hand, never with a tool

Using anything other than an open hand can be dangerous and should be avoided.

If you don't think you can control yourself, then leave the room and don't spank him

Give a Spanking Step 7
Give a Spanking Step 7

Step 2. Take all the rings off your fingers

These can hurt the child and be dangerous to your own hands. You should not be wearing anything that will obstruct spanking or potentially injure the child. Also, consider taking out any items in your pockets that might make your child uncomfortable lying on your lap.

Spanking his bare butt will allow you to see if you are hurting him and stop if necessary, but it also makes the hand less protected and can be more humiliating

Give a Spanking Step 8
Give a Spanking Step 8

Step 3. Place the child on your knee

Sit down and then place it on your lap. Lower her pants or underwear if you've decided to spank her over her underwear or bare bottom. Ask him not to get up. Let me tell you when it will be ready.


If you don't think you are able to control your strength or your child feels embarrassed, choose to spank him over his clothes.

Give a Spanking Step 10
Give a Spanking Step 10

Step 4. Relax your hand and all your limbs, placing one hand firmly on your back and the other on your butt

Make sure your child doesn't squirm and has his legs closed.

Don't talk while spanking him. Save the conversation for when you finish. Just do it

Give a Spanking Step 11
Give a Spanking Step 11

Step 5. Give it light blows; never hit it hard

Successfully disciplining your child does not require a lot of force. Hitting him hard can cause injury or trauma. Furthermore, the symbolism of the act is as important as the actual pain inflicted. Make sure you listen to how your child responds, to see if you hit them too hard.

  • To avoid injuring your child, you must keep a safe distance from the genital area, tailbone, and kidneys.
  • A spanking shouldn't last long, possibly no more than 10-15 seconds.
  • Ideally, the slapping should sting rather than hurt, so be sure to listen to your child's reactions to see if you are hitting too hard. You should also pay attention to the marks you leave; if you spank her exposed butt: leave no mark other than a mild, temporary redness. If you spank this way, roll up her pants and underwear when you're done.
Give a Spanking Step 12
Give a Spanking Step 12

Step 6. Comfort your child later

Tell him that you will always love him, even if he makes bad decisions. Emphasize that you think they are a good person who just made a bad decision. Never reinforce a spanking with any other type of punishment. After the spanking there should be immediate forgiveness.

  • After spanking, the child may think that he is a bad person or that you do not love him. These misconceptions can lead to worse behavior later on.
  • Do not force the child to receive affection after a spanking if he does not want to. Studies have shown that being affectionate to a child after punishing him can make his anxiety worse, not lessen it. The child may feel confused and think that his father is unpredictable. If he wants to run to his bedroom and hide after physical punishment, let him do it.
  • Be careful saying things like "I'm hitting you because I love you." If the child learns that violence is part of love, then when he grows up he may think that it is normal for the person he is dating to hit him or that there is no problem with hitting his partner. There are studies on spanking and domestic violence to support this information.


  • Don't spank your child too often. If you do it all the time, it is likely that he will get used to it and his behavior will get worse. Instead, when you get tired of spanking him, hit his hand, but not very hard. In this way, you will learn some discipline.
  • The best age to introduce spanking into child discipline is 4-5 years old. You should not spank younger children. If the child is old enough to use reason, try to reason with him before hitting him.
  • Avoid changing punishments based on gender. For example, if you are willing to reason with a girl who misbehaves, but you immediately resort to spanking when a boy does, then you are unfair. It can make resentment the child already feels worse. Instead, try to discipline boys in the same way as girls.
  • If you spank a child, make sure they understand why you are doing it.


  • Obey all laws that restrict or prevent corporal punishment.
  • Never hit a child anywhere other than the buttocks (especially the head or torso).
  • Spanking, especially of a teenager or bare bottom, can be considered sexual abuse.
  • Do not spank children if you are not their parent or guardian (unless the parent has given you permission). Nannies should not spank.
  • Never spank a child while you are angry.
  • Keep in mind that if you decide to spank in public, you may face people who are opposed to what you are doing, even if it is technically legal. This is especially true in areas where attitudes toward spanking are hostile.
  • Never spank in any type of moving vehicle, especially on public transportation.
  • Remember that your child's bottom is a sexual part of his body, even if he has not fully grown. Spanking him during childhood can make him more likely to have dangerous sexual desires when he grows up.
  • If your child's school uses corporal punishment and he is spanked there, don't spank him again at home. Many parents do, but it is an unfair double punishment.
  • Do not impose any type of additional punishment, such as suspension of starts or time out. Spanking is punishment enough.

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