catapult magazine

catapult magazine




Mar 07 2005
10:19 pm

What do people this of this? I have a child who is now entering the phase where this could become a possiblity. What do peole think of this? Is it creational? Is there redemption in spanking your kids? Should I do it? On what grounds? Culture has changed so much since i was a kid 20 years ago and now i wonder what is prudent . . .

Thoughts, questions, concerns?


Mar 07 2005
10:55 pm

We used to spank our almost three year old. I never had a problem with it. I was spanked when I was younger, and I didn’t grow up to be a serial killer. We don’t do it much anymore because we found a physical punishment that I think works better. We spray him with a bit of cold water. Sounds a bit odd but it works well. A quarter cup of water in the face when they’re throwing an emotionally violent tantrum works much better to wake them up and make them pay attention than more violence (however mild a spanking may be it’s still a violent act).
I can’t remember who mentioned that to us, but it works like a charm.


Aug 07 2006
09:21 pm


you say you cant even remember who mentioned to you the art of spraying water in your childs face. thats absurd! do you always listen to anonymous people when it comes to punishing your child. well you don’t know me, so here’s a tip for ya!
your child very well could end up being a homesexual or some other kind of transient low level individual. Spraying water is the dumbest thing i have ever heard….surely your child will mock you when it gets older..maybe you should throw sand in its face or maye step on his toes.
try spanking him with the authority of a man….you are a man right?
every tom dick and harry wants to try something new when it comes to disipline.
stick with what the holy Lord says
have a good day


Aug 08 2006
12:13 am

I have to agree with Bobby in a weird, indirect sort of way. I think spraying water in a childs face, (or some people i know dunk them under a cold shower or bath) is more abusive than the act of spanking.

Does your child hate water now? Like they associate things. . . LIke my kid shit on the floor the other day and her mom gave her royal, well, crap, and she didnt want to poo for three days because she though pooing in general was wrong. Thats messed up. A minor spanking is pretty crystal clear tho. Boom, done. Over. But water? I think not. Why dont we start tying our kids up under a dripping faucet while we are at it. Sheesh.


Aug 08 2006
07:55 am

pooping is not wrong lets make that really clear.


Aug 08 2006
02:45 pm

okay, i have a confession to make.

i’m a reader; not a writer. what i mean is, i actually keep up with threads on this site a good bit (depending on how busy the month is, i suppose), but i almost never write.

but i must write now. because i have never laughed as much after reading this site as i have in the last 30 minutes. almost constant.

ricky bobby – who are you? hilarious. a strange blend of sarcasm, blunt truth, rhetorical carwheels, and (sometimes) insight.

but so funny.

i hope that’s alright with the rest of ya’ll. i know this is most often a site that attracts seriously thoughtful and thoughtfully serious intellectual types – but we’ve got to be able to have a laugh every once i a while.

and seriously, i haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.

okay – i suppose i should say something to topic.

spanking. hmmm…

we have two kids. i’ve not spanked yet. not really found the need to. our two year old has been pretty great. and our 10 week old…well, seriously, can you even think of spanking a 10 week old?

i’m not against spanking. but i’m pro- ‘punishment fits the crime.’ the best punishment, in my opinion, is one that ‘redeems’ or ‘reconciles’ (or another big reformed ‘re-’ word) the situation. perhaps one could get all hoity-toity and say that the punishment should restore shalom to the fullest potential possible.

i suppose you also have to take erikson’s developmental categories into consideration. and at a certain age, kids just don’t have the intellectual capacity to connect punishment and crime. but at an extremely young age, kids can pick up on emotional response. so i think spanking while angry or mad will be understood by young kids as abusive physical contact – because i think kids are extremely in tune with our emotional state. so if you spank, spank happily :-)

that…and i find duct-taping my son’s mouth quiets him down real quickly. ;-)


Aug 12 2006
11:52 am

Thanks for the insights Albertabeef.

I agree in the sense that punishment should fit the crime.

With regards to splashing water, I do find that unusual, so i am a little shocked by it, however, i have no real insight as to the validity or that method or whether it is creational or redemptive.

My take on discipline is that its a loving correction that must flow out of a clearly loving place in the parent’s heart. That it is to say that it doesn’t neccessarily have to be happy or angry, it could be either one, as long as it is loving. Because I don’t doubt that kids are very intune with the parent’s state of heart, and altough they won’t like the discipline, if they can look back on it and know that it came out of the loving heart-response of the parent, it will have the effect of keeping the child on the right path of Godly development, as well as many other shalom-based results, including the reconcilliation of relationships that may have been damamged by the crime, and a strengthening of the parent child bond of trust and love.

With regards to age appropriate technique, or just appropriate techniques in general, I don’t have much to say, clearly I hope for all parents that they are Spirit filled and seek moment by moment wisdom from the Spirit (counselor and guide)

I wonder though what the water splashing technique will do to the child’s dignity? Does it get their attention at a more detrimental cost?

Richard out.


Aug 13 2006
02:44 pm

richard is far and a way the smartest guy on this website….
eddie your rounding third for a close 2nd


Aug 16 2006
09:53 am

Everything you’ve said is dead on Ricky Bobby. I’ll take your advice right now…wait, who are you again?
For those of you with children, you should know what I mean by an emotionally violent outburst. When they are screaming and kicking and foaming at the mouth, a spritz of water in the face wakes them up. Then conversation about what went wrong and how can we fix it can begin.


Aug 17 2006
10:17 pm

not so sure about the spanking. my parents spanked me and my sibs and it was generally ineffective. i always interpreted it as more indicative of their anger then the wrongness of the particular action i was punished for, i.e. they were irrationally lashing out at me b/c they didn’t know how to control my behaviour, which to begin with was not hellchildish just willful. i am not a serial killer, i doubt very much that i would have become one if they had not spanked me. i feel that the use of violence to teach tends to instill in children that violence is an acceptable response to situations where they feel threatened or uncomfortable, therefore generally unbeneficial.

i have nephews and nieces that are getting to the age where they need disipline and my sibs prefer (i think will never spank) to instruct with words, positive reinforcement, and the removal of priviledges. that is, you should do this but not this and you did x so you have to sit in the corner for x minutes, which for a 3 year old is tough. any experience or perspective you parents have, i’d be interested in hearing.

and norbert, the spraying children with water is a bit bizzare. i know that it widely practiced in disciplining animals, particularly cats who dislike the shock of a spritz of water in the face. the point being to have the animal associate the negative consequence, water in the face, with the particular action and than doesn’t do the unwanted behaviour again.

there is an interesting article at the nytimes on using animal training methods in human relationships, it is also a podcast you can download, but here is the link.



Aug 18 2006
11:17 am

That was an interesting article (NYtimes).

I felt I had to sidestep my objections to the way that behaviouristic psychology reduces humans to "stimulus-response-consequence" robots in order to see that there is probably a lot of wisdom in that article that can be applied to the topic of spanking vs splashing vs time outs.

I think the article helps to see that humans are deeply connected in certain relationships and that one can have a huge influence on another’s behaviour. I hope that in my marriage a less "scientist controls the subject" approach and a more "engage my spouse in a conversation about what bothers me" approach will prevail.

With regards to kids (I don’ t have any) I hope to do the same. Norbert, you should check out the article and let me know what you think about the "no response" (LRS) method.

Taking the liberty of a non-parent opinion I still think that splashing in the face gets their attention at the cost of degrading them or leaving them feeling shamed. It just seems like a red flag.

I think that with a child too young to talk I might be more likely to resort to a physical message, spanking when it is necessary and deemed the best way of communicating. And would try a more verbal with kids that can talk. So yes, I think spanking does not degrade or shame in the way that splashing might.

I like the idea of a parent that remains calm even though the child is losing it. Not reacting in the same manner as the child – violence for violence, but just calm, and patient, and inviting the child to use words to explain what they are upset about instead of tantrums or physical acting out. Letting the child to know that they are allowed to be upset, allowed to be angry, and invited to talk about it. I hope that as a parent I will look past the innappropriate yelling to see what they are yelling about. Or look past the tantrum to find their heart. Afterall, how often do kids kick and scream for no reason?
Aren’t they usually trying to say something? I think that a kid that knows that his heart matters and that his feelings/fears will be heard and seen, and that his needs will be met by his folks will be quicker to bring his feelings/fears or hurts to them and communicate them as best they can, and less quick to explode in non-verbal outbursts or yelling.

Idealism as a non-parent is a luxury I will enjoy while it lasts.