We have all heard the verse, "spare the rod, spoil the child." In many homes, for many generations, corporal punishment, in the form of a spanking, has been used in response to a child's undesired behavior. The goal of spanking a child is to set him or her straight, promoting child discipline. However, the question spanking an appropriate response to the situation? And will it "save" Black America?

There has been a lot of discussion and debate on both sides of the issue and African-American author, Stacey Patton, adds to it with her new book, "Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won't Save Black America."

"Beating your children may be the whitest thing you can do," Stacy Patton, author and child rights advocate, said to a group of graduate and undergraduate students at Montclair State University. Convinced that corporal punishment was adopted by African-Americans as a result of slavery, Patton states in her book that, "one of the saddest untold stores in American history is the ways that its victims of racial oppression and violence have hurt the bodies of their own children in an effort to protect them from a hostile society."

In the book, Patton continues to support her thesis by highlighting the fact that physical and sexual abuse of children was common throughout European history and the practice was introduced to African slaves through plantation owners.

Citing scientific evidence that spanking children or even threatening to spank them damages a child's developing brain, causing emotional and physical illnesses ranging from depression to diabetes to obesity, Patton is convinced that this practice needs to stop.

"My hope is that this book will help my people enter into a conscious awareness of how whupping children is part of an unhealthy social conditioning rooted in the history of racial trauma and plays a role in preventing us from healing and thriving as a people," Patton commented in a recent interview. Even though her book is geared towards the African-American family, Patton wants all children to grow up safely and not be spanked.

Sound off! Do you agree with Dr. Patton and think that "whupping" children is ruining the black family? Or do you agree that it is a useful method of child discipline? We want to hear from you.

Tiffany Silva

Tiffany Silva

Writer and Editor

« »

Available at Amazon

  1. I disagree with the author. People of all color hit there children. I don’t believe it was passed on through slavery. I don’t think one should hit their child. I also don’t believe because as someone stated that getting hit leads to incarceration. Poverty plays a big part. Many people have been hit and went on to be successful. What I am tired of hearing which is a stereotype is that all black people hit their children. Has the author spoken with every black person. We also have to stop generalizing, that is a white persons attitude they all do this or that. Use your experiences put don’t put everyone in the same boat pardon the pun.

  2. I politely disagree with this author. There is a difference between a corrective spanking and a beating/whooping. As a society, we are beginning to blur the lines between a spanking and physical abuse. A corrective spanking will yield discipline and self control. I absolutely hate the way some are beginning to tie spankings with what slaves endured for hundreds of years. There is absolutely NO comparison.

    Spankings, or lack of, do not correlate with the mass incarceration of black men. That’s the doing of our unfair judicial system.

  3. I agree with the author and believe that this bible verse has been incorrectly taught. The Bible defines the rod as correction, not an actual stick to beat your child with. We should always correct our children to keep them from being spoiled. The black family disciplines by mostly “whuping” but we have the highest rate of incarceration. All of this is not systematic. Our children have not been taught how to self discipline because they have only been beaten into correction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>