Help! Should I spank 11 year old?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2004
Help! Should I spank 11 year old?
Thu, 06-17-2004 - 2:01am
Hi, my youngest daughter is 11 years old, my husband and her made an agreement that if she got anymore flunking grades that she would get a spanking. Now her report card is in and she got two D's and an F. Now her father is out of town working and wont be back till August. I asked her if she would rather be grounded and she said no! I was suprised, I thought she would have jumped at the offer. I have never spanked before and it will break my heart, but I will do it if it is the right thing to do. Hanging up in our den is a little wooden paint mixer with "ouch" writen on it that my husband uses to spank with, and everytime I look at it I get nervouse. SHe is a smart girl and makes good grades when she tries. What is your opinion? Thanks Kyla
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-05-1998
Thu, 06-17-2004 - 9:05am
Spanking, especially with a wooden paddle, is child abuse, IMHO. And an 11 year old is way to old to be spanked at all, even in a "spanking" household. How is a spanking a logical consequence for poor grades? Discipline (as opposed to punishment) is supposed to teach a child something. Spanking just teaches that the big people get to hurt you if you don't do what they want.

A better consequence for poor grades is a loss of whatever activities seem to be distracting her from getting good grades--whether that is talking on the phone, emailing her friends, playing video games, watching TV, or going to the mall. (do 11 year olds go to the mall? I know mine doesn't, but he's a boy, so maybe it's different.)

Do you know for a fact that the poor grades are a result of laziness and lack of trying on her part? Did she understand the material? Could she see/hear the teacher properly? Is she able to explain to you why the grades are so low? Maybe a tutor or summer educational program is a better follow-up than spanking.


mom to the 3 big boys--13, 11, and 8; and 1 lil gal, 19 months

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
Thu, 06-17-2004 - 9:13am
She's too old to be spanked. You can't spank them when they are teenagers! At that point, the control is mental. Since they are now preteens, this is where it begins!

You control with loss of privileges. She doesn't want to be grounded!! Great!! There's your discipline. Ground her. But more concerning to me than how to discipline or spank is the reason for her bad grades. I would be really concerned. Have you spoken with her teachers? Do you have a clue to why the bad grades? I would find out about summer school. Let's face it, most kids don't want to do summer school. That may be an incentive to her to keep her grades up throughout the school year.

I have spanked before so I can't throw stones. However, I never "planned" my spanking. It was more of an immediate response to really bad behavior. I don't condone spanking and wished many times I had kept more calm and handled things differently. But I've learned. One of my favorite quotes is "Motherhood did not come naturely to me; I learned it humbled on my knees".


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2004
Thu, 06-17-2004 - 11:19am

Hello Kyla and welcome to the board.

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 06-17-2004 - 9:13pm


I have to agree with the others, and won't restate the reasons they've already expressed so well.

What will spanking do to help her grades next term? I think there should be a consequence for poor grades when the child could have done better. Why didn't your dd do better? What can be done to help her improve? Seems to me a summer tutoring program and joining the public library summer reading program makes more sense than a spanking. In the fall, change the lifestyle that's distracting her from her studies. Limit TV, phone time, computer time, whatever is causing the problem. If she needs additional help to make good grades, persue that with the school, or set aside time every day to review her daily assignments.

Good luck! Please let us know what you do and how it works for you.


Jewish Family Life

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Fri, 06-18-2004 - 7:39am
I think she is too old for spankings. I have spanked my kids in the past, when they were littler. When dh was young, he told his mom, "Why can't you spank me like everyone else and get it over with!", lol. My il's would ground him to his room, no friends, TV or radio. He hated it. I used to get grounded too, it was bad. My parents did spank, I always figured I would do what ever and just take the whack. Grounding was by far worse. If she has bad grades, I would think that summer school or a tutering center may help. Most kids don't choose to flunk, but feel overwelmed in one way or another, be at home or the subject matter.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for hathangel
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-23-2003
Sat, 06-19-2004 - 8:50am
I just read this post. I am shocked! I can't imagine spanking my 11 year old daughter.Never mind that she is 5'5".

The previous replies echo mine. I do have something else to add. Your daughter is 4-6 years away from dating. If she is being spanked at 11 for bad grades. What other bad behavior will she deserve to be hit for? Fear is not a motivating factor. Rewards and praise are.

Fifth grade is a difficult year. There are new federal testing. More reading and math. I know my daughter had a load of homework and some of it was quite difficult. I would be more worried that my daughter couldn't come to me for help. It is our job as parents to talk to the teachers on a weekly basis. To make sure that their work is getting done.

If it isn't, my daughter's phone privilages or cd player gets taken away. Every child has a privlge they don't want lost.At the same time we work together to get her caught up.

Please don't allow yourself or your husband to spank your daughter. It is a difficult time in their lives right now. They have to grow up so fast. The pressures they face are nothing like the ones we did. Embrace your kid's spirit don't break it. Communicate with her, encourage her and I am sure you both will receive the result you both desire.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2004
Mon, 06-21-2004 - 4:26pm

Hi Mitzi,

Glad to "see" you and welcome to the board.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2003
Mon, 06-21-2004 - 5:06pm

I will have to side with everyone else.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2003
Mon, 06-21-2004 - 6:54pm