Like Mother, Like Daughter: Writer Aliya S. King is found in a debate with her mom, Rita Moore King, over whether spanking is an acceptable form of punishment.

aliya’s turn:

Like many with mothers in my mom’s generation, my older brother, younger sister and I were spanked more than once. The offenses were usually one or more of the big three: lying, cheating and stealing. My parents just did not stand for any of it, and there would be corporal punishment, by hand or by belt, if you disobeyed.

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Once, my younger sister, about 8 at the time, got $5 as a gift. She wanted desperately to take it outside with her to play. My mother said no because she knew she could end up losing it. My sister took it out anyway—and, of course, she lost it. She came home without it and ended up getting a spanking for disobeying.

Now that my daughter, Emmy, is the same age my sister was at the time, I just can’t conceive of spanking her for losing $5. (Granted, that would be more like $11 today. But still … )

Emmy has never been spanked. I think I may have swatted her on the bottom for a serious electric-outlet or hot-radiator situation. But she’s never been spanked in the traditional sense of the word.

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DISCUSSION: Do You Think Spanking Is An Acceptable Part Of Our Culture, Or Is It A Form Of Child Abuse?  was originally published on

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