How do Amish discipline children?

Amish children learn obedience from a young age

amish children disciplineAmish culture stresses obedience and submission. These characteristics are instilled in Amish children by their parents from a young age.

In order to achieve this, Amish adhere to the “spare the rod, and spoil the child” admonition of Solomon. Spanking and corporal punishment are used to maintain order in schools and teach good behavior in the home.

When do Amish begin disciplining their children?

Amish feel that children should be disciplined as soon as they exhibit a strong will. In The Riddle of Amish Culture, sociologist Donald Kraybill cites an Amish leader who explains that “By the time the child reaches the age of three the mold has started to form and it is the parent’s duty to form it in the way that it should go. When the child is old enough to stiffen its back and throw back its head in temper it is old enough to start gently breaking that temper” (Riddle, Kraybill p. 33-34).

Amish recognize the importance of proper discipline to their children’s future development. Yet it is generally recognized that spanking should not be done in anger, but out of love with the goal of teaching the child.

Discipline in Amish schools

In some cases, teachers in Amish schools will be expected to make use of corporal punishment to discipline children as well. Karen Johnson-Weiner notes that use of spanking varies among Amish schools. Johnson-Weiner finds evidence that corporal punishment is applied in conservative Swartzentruber Amish schools, though this does not necessarily mean that teachers enjoy it.

amish school discipline
Amish teachers are expected to discipline children in school

Johnson-Weiner cites one Swartzentruber teacher: “If you don’t spank the children that need it, you could lose your job.  The school board wants discipline.” (Train Up a Child, Johnson-Weiner, pp 46-47). Even teachers in progressive Amish schools use physical discipline on occasion.  A teacher in a progressive Amish school admitted that “We do resort to the paddle if need be and depending on the offense. Not the most exciting job, but it brings amazing results. In my six years I’ve spanked only once…and I hope I won’t have to again” (Johnson-Weiner, p148).

A paddle may be used to administer discipline in Amish schools. Other  forms of discipline may be less harsh. Teachers may talk with students to explain the reasons and need for punishment (Johnson-Weiner, p 119). Students may be required to sit inside during recess, or to write lines of handwriting (Johnson-Weiner, p 91). Amish teachers may enlist the help of parents to maintain order with children.

The Amish approach to school discipline, including physical punishment now extinct in modern public schools, reflects the role of the Amish community in raising children to exhibit Christian values. Amish stress disciplining in a spirit of love rather than anger. Though Amish parents and teachers typically consider it unpleasant and difficult to discipline children, they know that neglecting to do so would mean neglecting the child’s well-being.

Behavior of Amish children

amish children behavior
Amish children are typically well-behaved

Amish children are generally well-behaved. Though there are always exceptions, generally they know to speak when spoken too, and typically remain quiet in the presence of outsiders. Amish children quickly learn that disobedience is dealt with, and Amish use of corporal punishment helps to shape the character and behavior of their children. Children being children, Amish parents may need to resort to punishment more than once to instill the proper message.

In some instances, Rumspringa-age Amish youth may exhibit wild behavior when out from under the direct influence of their parents. But generally, the lessons of obedience and submission learned in youth stick with Amish as youth and adults. These values help them to be better church members and, the Amish believe, better Christians by following Christ’s dictates to obedience and submission.

For further information, see:

  • The Riddle of Amish Culture, Donald B. Kraybill
  • Train Up a Child: Old Order Amish and Mennonite Schools, Karen Johnson-Weiner
  • Amish Society, John A. Hostetler

Get the Amish in your inbox

Join 15,000 email subscribers. No spam. 100% free

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. kenhp1

      Maybe this is where we need to send our juvenile delinquents. Nothing were do seems to help.
      If they spent six months at an Amish school for delinquents, that may do the trick.
      I have met Amish children. They are polite, say yes sir, no sir. They wear their pants up, go to school, do not run the streets at night. They especially do not have that “you owe me attitude”.
      I hear when an Amish Father gets his strap you are in for it. I hear they don’t whoop chothes, they whoop butts. When they are finished the boy has a well tanned behind. They usually never do their misdeed again.
      Our “no spank” attitude has spawned a generation with no morale compass, run the street all night, rob, steel, burglarize, and totally run wild.

      1. Briany

        Physical Discipline is not necessary

        I am old enough to have experienced the physical discipline of 50s parents and also to have known several contemporaries bring up their children by teaching, close contact and lots of communication. They would not dream of hitting anyone, including their children and feel it to be an uncivilised way to behave. This takes a lot of attention of the right sort and making sure the children are occupied. My neighbours moved in when their child was a toddler and all her screaming tantrums were dealt with calmly – this is often frustration at not having enough vocabulary – her parents quietly insisted and explained when she could understand. I noticed this lasting through her childhood and the encouragement of her decisions. She is mature, there was no teen rebellion, neither was she ever a naughty child, just a lively, ordinary, self assured child who respects but is not afraid of her parents. Beating, slapping, and all the other physical methods are repressive.
        I know many such young adults like this, having been held accountable for their actions which is what we as adults should ideally do. Neither do they run wild or rebel as teens because they are nurtured gently into adulthood. One of my nieces is just such a parent. Her children are responsible and think about their actions. I am afraid of people, being small, and sometimes other adults have slapped me, reacting to me as they would a child, because this is the only reason to hit a child – they are smaller and you get a quick fix of “good” behaviour through fear and the anger is repressed. My brother was beaten most days of his life, in school and at home. He just went wild once he had committed a “spanking offence” – might as well go the whole hog, so to speak. As an adult, he has had some very severe emotional difficulties but never laid a finger on his children. I was a minder and sitter for some years. I always found a way to deal with children much more effective than hitting, surprising how much just talking about behaviour, all our behaviour whatever age brings great results. Children need boundaries, guidance, attention and good examples but they dont need hitting – by the way, paddling or hitting on the buttocks can result in spinal damage – it sends shock waves through the spinal cord, a trivial bit of human anatomy?

        1. Sarah

          i understand your frustrations with being hit and punished out of anger, i was too as a child. when my parents split up my mother was so mean and terrible and took it out on kids who were also going through a crazy life change. loosing dad at age 5 was devistating to me. i moved in with my dad at age 17, i hated my mom at that point. besides all that happend to me as a child, i am glad some kind of discipline was given or i would have been knocked up at 13 and drugged up and who knows what else. i’m thankful for parents who disciplined. on the other hand, i wish my mom spanked me out of love and for my well being like my father did. when i was a little older, i didn’t need a spanking anymore, just knowing i was disappointing my father was enough to make me break down in tears with so much regret with what i did. my father punished me lovingly, knowing that if he wasn’t mad when he spanked me and explained why i was being punished it would greatly benefit from it. i love the Amish people, they are the most pure form of Christians i know of in existence. god made us and knows all the hardships that come along with parenting, that is why the bible teaches how to discipline a child, and what you use discipline for. im sorry your parents didnt know how to use gods way and gods will in raising you and your brother, dont write off gods teachings because your parents never learned his lessons. i have 2 daughters and would never hit them or strike them out of anger.
          first, if she doesnt know what she is doing is wrong or just not rite, i let her know. if she does it again i will give her a stern reminder, if the behavior continues i ask her to go to her room while i pray for a few minutes about god guiding me through the discipline. sometimes a spanking comes of it and sometimes not. god always guides me where i need to go with it and im thankful for my beautiful daughters. My 5 year old pushes every boundry she can at all times. being a parent is not easy but it doesnt have to be a nightmare where people are hurting their kids emotionally because they are abusing them.

          1. Beverly


            You are very right. Every child needs discipline. No child needs to be hit. When will parents understand that discipline is best done without hitting children. Please let us get rid of the cute little word “spank” and realize it just makes what you are doing (hitting your child) sound like something different. My parents never never hit us but believe me we were brought up with discipline. We were guided with love from parents who took the time to be there with us and for us. To talk with us and show us the right way to live by living the right way themselves! They always made it clear they were interested in what we did and what we would become. We were very blessed.

            1. frody

              I was spanked out of love, and I don’t have any negative memories of my childhood from it. Infact, I had a great childhood! My siblings and I actually laugh about it and say “remember when blah, blah blah and mom spanked you? Haha!” It’s funny because we know we deserved it. I do however, remember to this day when a parent said something that hurt me emotionally. People who were never spanked should ask their parents what they actually had to go through to raise them. They may be surprised by the truth. I have seen siblings in the same household who were raised with a different set of discipline methods. The older two children were raised with traditional spanking methods, but by the time the younger child arrived, the parents wanted to try the new age no-spanking method. The older children were very well behaved, while the younger one behaved TERRIBLY! She was rude, complacent, and at age 8yrs, didn’t even hesitate to scream “will you get off my back?!” at her mother infront of guests, when her mother simply asked if she would say “hello.” while she was watching TV. I would never have dreamed to talk my parents like that. I also remember some of my friends who were raised with no-spanking discipline cursing at their parents infront of company. Not saying that some children can’t be raised with no-spanking methods, but they are probably mild mannered anyway. It is natural for children to try to test their limits of freedom. In some cases, like with a very headstrong child, appropriate physical guidance, (not excessive, abusive beating of course)gets faster results rather than allowing the child to go through years of deliquncy, before they learn the hard way.

        2. chuck

          Nonsense isn't justified

          In relation to Briany’s post where she cites spinal cord damage from spanking, I must specifically call her out on that. There isn’t a medical doctor in the world who will back that statement up, since forcible spanks applied to the buttocks will cause pain, maybe some bruising, but no other injury of any type, if we are discussing a typical parental spanking.\

          To concoct such scare-tactic fiction is to totally undermine and devalue any good that might be in her post. Let’s move away from fiction and focus on what spanking is meant to do, and the millions of kids who have been parentally spanked with successful outcomes.

          1. Beverly

            Replying to Chuck’s comment. You are misguided/ Hitting a child on the bottom can indeed cause spinal injury.I suggest you ask your doctor. And please get rid of that sweet little word “spank” and just say what you mean that you think it is fine to HIT your child. That is what you are doing. So if you feel it is the right thing to do shouldn’t you be man enough to say so. It is HITTING the child. And all it will teach your child is fear and anger and knowing that a larger person can HIT a smaller person and not fear getting HIT back.
            It makes abusive parents and wife beaters.

            1. Margaret


              Beverly grow up.
              Most of the deliquents in school,roaming the streets and into juvenile homes,were reared in homes where the parents didn’t believe in hitting a child,just took privileges away or threw their hands up.
              My daughter teaches school and can tell which kids get away with junk at home,because they treat the teachers the same way they treat their parents at home.Teachers aren’t allowed to hit sudents any more,so they send them to the office.Those kids sit in office,get detention or
              they are suspended for a few days. They brag about getting suspended .That is what they want because they know there will be no punishment at home. A few days later and it is the same thing all over again.I can remember when a child mis-behaved in school the teacher paddled right then and there or took them outside to the hallway. We had much better schools then andcwe sure learned a lot,because other students seren’t distracting us or the lteachers.Sometimes talking just doesn’t work,nor sitting in the corner,nor taking their privileges away.Some parents rear hoodlums at home and teachers and society have to deal with them later.Some children can be talked to and corrected and others can’t.
              We did not ” BEAT ” our children,but when enough was enough,they got a paddling.Nor do they “BEAT ” my grandchildren.But when they oversteped boundries they knew they would get a paddling.My grands,all eight,are well behaved self respecting young adults now and have no mental problems nor any spinal problems or other health issues.Even the three grands still in school are without issues.Their teachers often comment on their polite behavior.They say ,yes mam and no mam rather than yeah or naw. The five that are grown are still very polite and didn’t go wild when out from their parents authority. Nor do they have mental or health issues.
              You certainly don’t have to beat a child ,but sometimes a good paddling on thaat butt gets their attention,when talking to them doesn’t.

              1. See Both Sides

                Time for an honest debate

                America has never had an honest debate about spanking. Now, perhaps, the time has come.

                The simple fact is spanking got a bum rap because it conflicted with equality between the sexes.

                Prior to the Sexual Revolution, it was not uncommon for girls in the late teens or even early 20s to get at least one spanking from their parents. My wife frankly admits she wound up over her father’s knee as a smart mouthed college coed.

                It should be worth pointing out that, at the time, unmarried daughters were often considered to be legal children until their 21st birthday. Meanwhile, tradition held that daughters were under parental supervision so long as they lived under their parents’ roof or were dependent on their parents for support.

                On the other hand, while there were exceptions, boys typically got their last spankings in their late preteens or early teenage years. After that, spanking boys either became inefficient or counterproductive.

                Because this disparity in disciplining undermined notions of newly mandated notions of absolute equality between females and males, spanking became labeled as abuse.

                Thus, began the great war on spanking. Hidden in the background was the fact that most of the objections to spanking came from one group. They were white, female, and college educated!

                Nevertheless, expanded by federal legislation such as CAPTA, child protection agencies began using spanking as an excuse to take children from their parents. Teachers were required to report even suspected child abuse. Paddles disappeared from schoolhouses.

                News media began parroting anti-spanking propaganda churned out by so-called experts instead of bothering to asking local parents what they found to be effective.

                In time, child discipline was reduced to parents either yelling or imposing hit and miss grounding. Finding being “sent to the office” solved nothing, educators began calling in police to handle even routine discipline problems.

                Now, while the time has come for an open in honest debate about spanking, the question will the United States ever have it.

          2. Scarlett

            Spanked as a kid

            I’m 15 now, and when i was little, spanking was the absolute last resort. And even then, it was only used to punish me for things that could end in injury to myself and/or others. For example: running out infront of cars or throwing things. And i’m glad my mom and dad did that! I’ve seen my classmates who weren’t spanked, and let’s just say: rude, back talk to teachers, disrespectful, etc. Spanking, when done out of LOVE (like with my parents) and not ANGER, is NOT harmful in any way. My parents love me, and when i got a spanking, it got the point across the first few times, if not the first time. I don’t agree with using a spanking for every little thing. If/when i become a parent, i will most definately use spanking as a form of discipline but ONLY when my child(ren) do something that could end with them or someone else hurt or DEAD (as stated before, for example: running out infront of cars, throwing things)

            1. Margaret


              Well said Scarlett.Not to many people think like you.Discipline seems to be an antique way of life now.So many parents think pain on that butt is archaic.
              Sometimes talking to a child works and somdtimes not.
              I remember onevtime my oldest daughter was having a screaming ,dancing temper tantrum.I was washing dishes and she bit me behind my knee. I tanned that little butt ,soapy hands and all.First and last time for that action.My brother and his little girl had been there the day before and my niece had acted up the same way, which was normal for her.I think my little daughter decided to try that stunt. Yes, it was swift action on my part,but we never had that problem again.

        3. Becky Albritton

          Discipline in the Home/School

          Spanking is not hitting. It is discipline out of love when done correctly. Parents like me use it as a last resort in cases of talking back, defiance, and disobedience. Abuse is when children are brought up in an un nurturing environment and they are starved of affection and love.
          I am a teacher in the public schools and see what the lack of “spanking” out of love is having on our society’s youth. It is making me question whether I should even send my own children to public school. They won’t allow us to spank anymore in schools.
          Nor do they allow students to clean up gum under the tables, write their offense a 100 times, or sit n a corner. For fear of embarrassing them. Students should be ashamed of their behavior.

          Thank you for your comments as I research discipline as a teacher.

          1. Beverly

            Reply to Becky. Of course “spanking” is HITTING. If you applied the same force to another adult, that adult would say you HIT them. So you can not call it something else just because the person is small and unable to fight back. You are HITTING your Child.

            You were create repressed anger, and the child will feel HITTING someone smaller is ok. IT always is and creates domestic violence.

            1. Joel

              Reply to Beverly!

              “Of course spanking is hitting”! The difference is that loving parents do it out of love and are able to get the message across; and when the child grows up, they don’t normally say “my parents abused me”. Some children are never spanked and grow up saying the exact same thing.

              But then there are some children that are hit for no reason. Those are the children that go out there and think that they can just hit anyone.

              We use the word “Spanking” to separate it from the meaning of “Hit”.

              Hit means to hurt, cause pain, bully or reduce a child or adult into submission! (This is abuse or hitting out of anger)

              Spank means to correct, punish or discipline.

              In the first description, if an adult hits another adult; he will likely be charged with a crime and thrown in jail. Why, because as a child he/she was not taught that hitting was wrong.

              In a spanking household; a loving parent might use spanking to discipline a child who has hit another; but at the same time, they will likely explain the difference between a punishment and a hit.

              In another example, we could say that a child who is grounded for breaking a household rule; has being forcibly confined! Do we then not throw the non-spanking parent in jail for confining a child. No. Because there are loving parents and their are non-loving parents.

              There is a difference between spanking and hitting.

              There is a difference between grounding and chaining your child to a bed.

              1. Judith


                I got spanked exactly four times in my childhood. I remember each time. Probably two of those were done in anger – though they didn’t hurt much. All four times, I kept my dignity. No slapping of the face. Just a smack on the bottom.

                The first spanking I remember was when I was 4 years old. I ran out into the street to chase a ball and I didn’t look either way before I ran out. My Dad saw me, came over and swat! on the bottom. He looked deep into my eyes, and he was angry – and he said “Never, ever, run into the street without looking both ways again. Don’t ever forget that. You could be killed!”. I remembered that. I never ran in the street without looking again.

                That’s why you spank (or hit, whatever you want to call it) you’re child. Sometimes small children take spoken correction as adorable suggestions. But when you spank them – it’s serious. Deadly serious. It sadly takes a spanking to make children remember that vital life and death information.

                It’s brutal, even primitive, in a way, to spank/hit a child. But it’s countless times more brutal to watch your child go under a speeding car and get dragged or thrown 10 meters and land with a sickening thud. And unfortunately no amount of “time outs” has the same efficiency as a spanking in getting the message through.

                Spanking is old fashioned, primal even, and it results in a primal fear that’s hard to get rid of – that fear actually could save a life. I think that’s the only time a child should be spanked. Life and Death situations. For me they were:

                1. Running into the street
                2. Throwing a firecracker at my little brother
                3. Trying to jump off the roof of the garage
                4. Opening the door of a moving car

                Won’t be doing any of those things anymore, even though no one’s around to spank me anymore.

          2. ash

            you are wrong

            SPANKING IS HITTING PERIOD. You cant say its not. It is just just not hitting out of anger.

            1. Natalie AlMassou

              Definition from the online free dictionary

              spank   (spngk)v. spanked, spank·ing, slap on the buttocks with a flat object or with the open hand, as for punishment.

              A couple things about spanking, some things that must be taken into consideration. Not all children are the same. Some are more sensitive then others and some are more strong willed than others. for example, I personally did not get spanked very much because I was an obedient willing child that wanted to please my parents and I wasn’t getting into mischief. My brothers on the other hand were constantly getting spanked not because I love was favored but simply because they were rambunctious strong willed and wanted to do their own thing even if it meant causing others harm.

              Also I would say one of the main problems with discipline gone wrong i.e. excessive or abusive spanking would be the anger issue in the parents. Many parents don’t know how to control their anger or have control issues and demand the children coming to their authority rather than lovingly guiding children to do what is right. Parents that try to make their children “perfect” by spanking for every little thing is outrageous. We were spanked on the bottom with a switch from a tree for only three things. Having a ongoing bad attitude being blatantly disobedient and Iying. If we broke a cup we were not disciplined. I am one of 8 children. I was raised by single mother and I have fantastic memories of my childhood I was never felt like I was abused and to this day I love my mom and she’s loving patient woman and she never once I hit us in anger. Again I would go back to the core issue, the
              parents need to deal with their anger and their control issues and have the wisdom to discern which children need stronger discipline and at what time it is appropriate. I was never the object of my parents anger but rather they took the time to lovingly train me what was right and what was wrong. Many people throughout my lifetime have told me that my parents did a good job training me. So the proof is in the pudding.

              1. ash

                my son again

                My son isnt spanked. My mother used to but now that I am living with him he is good for me and she doesnt spank anymore. I usally just explain why he needs to stop. THe other day he was flipping out(he has anger control issues from being born autistic). I told him go to him room and calm down. He told me no 3 times. I repeated the order and refused to say anything else but “go t oyour room now and calm down. After the fourth time he went ot his room. He came back later and apologized. My mom couldn’t believe I didnt spank him the first time he said no but it worked and we both felt good.

                1. Guest32

                  To Ash:
                  “The other day he was flipping out(he has anger control issues from being born autistic). I told him go to him room and calm down. He told me no 3 times. I repeated the order and refused to say anything else but “go to your room now and calm down. After the fourth time he went ot his room. He came back later and apologized.”
                  Not every child in question here is autistic. If your son is, that explains the anger control issues, as autistic children tend to have that. Yours is a special case, and I am sure you intend to guide him completely and patiently, even long into his adult years. He may not ever be employable.

                  For most of us, we are talking typical children with no disorders at all to steer their behavior in such a way; and we are hoping one day they will be A) ready for school (not so if the teacher has to repeat an order 3 times and still hope for results) and B) can hold down a job (not so if the boss has to repeat an order 3 times and still only hope for results).
                  Obedience and respect, for many of us, means: when the authority figure tells you to do something, you obey without numerous repeats needed.
                  If numerous repeats ARE needed, that’s hardly successful.

          3. Margaret

            Becky and schools

            My daughter talks to me a lot about the school problems Becky and has said the same things you just said.
            She has threatened to quit more times than I can count.She keeps teaching hoping and praying for the children she can reach.I believe a teacher has to be a very special person and God on their side every minute of the day to stay there.
            I guess I’m her sounding board and listen when she gets really frustrated.She will tell me she is going to resign before losing her mind,then goes back the next day.
            Yes teachers are very “Special People.”

        4. Amanda


          Agreeing with Briany and others. Hitting is NOT God’s way. Spare the rod, spoil the child is not from Solomon. It’s from a 17th century erotica poem. Not the bible. The bible refers to disciplining your child be leading and guiding, not hitting. It specifically says that perfect love casts out fear and there is no fear in love. Hitting others certainly instilled fear therefore spanning is not and can not be a loving discipline.

        5. Bert Clayton

          Wav people vs. Stable adults with common sense

          I really agree. I’m seen it many times, where there’s there’s stable home, expectations laid out, consistency,appropriate sterness seems to have better effects.
          In contrast to wacky parents that are full of rage or ignorant enough to ignore whats known. Where children when included in adult interactions seem to mature better and express themselves better.
          But there’s the problem of you get a job, get married, have children, then kids should be seen and not heard, which kids not raised right, one would agree. But those adapted to proper manners and such, they’re different. Too many want pets and not children.
          Then in today’s society, it seems the Amish and Mennonite are smart keeping their children separate from children of the world as it deters adapting to those behaviors.
          Who it also applies to adults living their lives away from others that live worldly lives.
          There’s still a lot of good people in society,but, I wouldn’t want my kids in public education. I’d prefer them n homesschooled or a private school with Christ is values.

        6. Christopher Drew Zinn


          The “need” for beating kids might make “you” feel better, but in reality it creates more problems later on in life for the kids. The kids that are disrespectful, and running the streets as you say, more than likely don’t have both parent, don’t have caring parents, or they have parents that are criminals themselves. There isn’t a thi g that a school can do to straighten out kids that have terrible role models at home.They will have to decide for themselves to live the right way. Beating creates a ton of resentment and can create insecurity in a child. It makes me sick that people like you want kids to have their bare bottoms beaten with a leather strap which can cause permanent nerve damage and sexual impairment, especially in boys, and you would have this done just to satisfy your lust for violence on the powerless. You really need to take an inward look at yourself and your motivations. I don’t get the impression that you are a deep thinker at all though, and you may be incapable of working on yourself. In the meantime just keep your thoughts of violence against children to yourself.

      2. stephany

        There’s a reason corporal punishment is illegal, because it encourages fear and weakness. If i were an amish kid, i’d run away and never look back. And whoever said they should send JD to amish schools, you are a disturbed person because corporal punishment is still corporal punishment on someone who has been lent a bad hand in life.

        1. Sarah

          i dont see how so many people can take gods teachings and not follow them and criticize other people for following gods instruction. Here is an idea for everyone to ponder… look at how much horror is in the world today, spanking a child for obedience is wrong? Amish are people who completely support themselves without any type of government aid or funding, they raise strong devoted children, have everything they need in life, serve god to a certain extent (the bible says to spread the word and Amish only share among themselves)they live happy lives, work hard, have well behaved children and everything they could ever want. i think the everyone is just jealous because they have been fed a so much crap over the last couple thousand years that they lost the true christian way of life. a joyous marvelous life that pleases god and makes their home in heaven an amazing one. all Christians will go to heaven, what will you bring with you when you go? not a house, not your money, not a single material thing. if you bring glory to god you bring so much more with you than… Eh, felt like not going to hell so i trust Jesus to get me to heaven. and to whoever says one swat on the but gets the point across.. what biblical backing do you have that says gettng the point across is all a child needs.. it says in solomon to punish until the will is broken.. so 2 to 4 usually does it for my 5 year old. if you have children maby you have soft willed children but i have a strong willed girl and it takes a couple swats.

        2. Phillip Atwood

          Illegal? What are you talking about?

          You say corporal punishment is “illegal”. Where are you? Most all states in the USA not only allows physical discipline at home, but many still allow it in schools. It is the local school board that usually rules it may not be used.

          Watching the TV series about the Amish and the young men who decide to leave that life, it is clear their are the most highly focused, kind, generous and helping young men anyone could hope for. It they came to learn these values at the business-end of a leather strap, then it sure seems like a success to me!

          I was a product of the 50’s and 60’s and got the belt until age 10, then a leather strap that was made specifically for punishment of myself and my two brothers. We all got it up into high school, for me the last whipping was in my Junior year during the summer vacation.

          I hated it at the time but realize now how terribly beneficial it was. Boys in particular tend to be difficult to control and words seldom really keep them in line when temptation looms. Knowing the Strap would be their “reward” for getting too far out of step kept me and my brothers on pretty good behavior, getting good grades and staying away from other boys who were clearly headed for problems.

          1. Beverly

            Reply to Phillip. No state allows you to hit your child with belt or whips. Some still allow you to you the flat of your hand on the bottom. Texas and Mississippi allow 2 hits with the paddle.

            I live in Ohio where more Amish live then PA. Look it up. And Some Amish are nice people just like any group of people. Some are very inbred which creates a very high degree of birth defects. Much higher then the non Amish Community. They only go to school until 8th grade. Many are illiterate. There is also a very large degree of domestic violence. More so then non Amish. Again Look it up. Study. Find out the truth before you speak. All is not sunshine and light.

            1. Traci Banville

              There are plenty of illiterate high school graduates in the world. The Amish are voracious readers and there is nothing wrong with being self-educated along with formal schooling. They also speak two languages which is admirable in itself.

            2. Kathy

              Amish are NOT illiterate!

              My parents were born and raised in a very strict order of Amish. Many of my relatives and friends are Amish. Where in the world one of the people who commented above got the idea that many Amish are illiterate, I have no idea but it simply isn’t true. There are many Amish business owners from small businesses to multi-million dollar enterprises. The Amish have learned something we could all benefit from. Rather than sending kids to college when they aren’t even sure what they want to do with their lives, they have formal education through the eighth grade, learn the basics of reading, writing, math, history,etc. And then they learn through apprenticing by actually working.

              They are also not as heinously “inbred” as this same commentator would have us believe. Yes, there are some communities where cousins may be married, but this is not to say their children are “inbred.” There are a few genetic illnesses like Cystic Fibrosis that are more common among the Amish since both parents must be carriers to pass it on to their children. But this is no different than other disorders that are higher among certain people groups as in Sickle Cell Anemia being more prevalent among African Americans. By and large, most Amish communities are filled with healthy, intelligent, productive members of society. And just like the “English” population around them, there are kind, caring families and abusive families. Living in one of the largest Amish communities in the world and with my family history, I know whereof I speak.

          2. ash

            My uncle lives in Pa and he spanked his daughter till her butt was red and got arrested. My mother has foster children and the social worker told us doing anything that hurts the child physically or emotionally is abuse including spanking.

        3. Emma


          The Amish experience confirms what most parents know. A good spanking really works and is nothing like abuse. When I was young and misbehaved, my dress was turned up, my panties pulled down, and I was taken over my mother’s lap for a spanking. Not a little tap on the behind, but a true corrective hand spanking that left me with a red bottom and a repentant attitude. For really bad behavior like telling a fib, my mother employed her hairbrush to good effect. We need to return to parenting that actually teaches right from wrong. Spankings have been an integral part of childhood forever and there is no reason to change this now.

          1. Judy


            I grew up being given consequences for bad behaviour. It could be kneeling in a corner, extra chores,mouth washed out with soap for swearing but I can tell you that the popular form of discipline was extra chores. I was spanked as a young child if I hurt someone or was directly disobedient to an adult. I remember getting the strap at the age of 5 for throwing rocks at a birds nest on a dare. The only other time I was strapped was in grade 5 when I was told not to go near our friends new boat. I promised I wouldnt but my youthful curiosity got the better of me. I not only went near the boat I caused damage to it unintentionally then lied about it when asked. Spankings were swift and never hurt as much as caused embarrassment because they were done on the spot in front of people. The strap on the other hand hurt a lot but was so rarely done. I remember being sent to my room to wait and it seemed like hours before my father came in. As a child in school I was always obedient because the strap was kept in the teachers desk and would be given in front of others immediately if required.
            As a parent myself I bought into this new age way of thinking and never used corporal punishment. My son a strong willed child still does not have respect for others even now in his mid 30’s. We have to get rid of the fear that spanking is abuse. If administered sparingly in a loving home it will guide up a child to be a healthy loving respectful member of society.

      3. Sarah Tall

        I agree with you we should discipline our children without fear. Did you ever think about the constitution when it says congress shall make no law concerning the freedom of religion. That means it’s practices as well. So if disciplining your child is something you feel strongly that you are going against the your religious beliefs if you don’t and someone tells you you cant do that they are going against the constitution.

      4. Paul

        I neither agree nor disagree on corporal punishment

        I just want to say that both sides seem to be extremists on their view points. I grew up in the 1950s and 60s and we were disciplined when we misbehaved. I have felt the intense sting of the razor strap on my bare backside more times than I want to remember, and it was anything but pleasant, believe me, but I turned out just fine. My siblings and the neighborhood kids and me we got into trouble here and there, but nothing like the lawless kids of today, it seems obvious to me now thart in almost every case, the bad seed was from a broken family and the parent that raised him/her did not use that kind(if any)discipline. My feeling is then, if a parent can objectively say that they are spanking their child with absolute love and out of dire necessity, then it should be their right to do so.

    2. Lindsay

      I’m not sure if a “no spank” culture really is the root of the problem more so than just plain inattentiveness to the children period in our culture. With both parents or the single parent working much of the time kids are left to their devices more often. It doesn’t matter the background…I know it’s ancedotal but the kids whose parents were more involved in their lives tend to behave better than ones whose parents weren’t. Conversely, parents who refuse to think of their kids as anything other than their little darling who does no wrong aren’t doing their child any favors either.

      There is a much greater focus on children and family in Amish culture…and I think more of a community effort in raising kids as well. I don’t think you see that kind of support system as much in our culture anymore.

      1. Beverly

        Comment to Lindsey: I believe it is correct when you say a lack of attention to the children is far more important! This is key to good parenting. HITTING kids doesn’t help.

        Also please learn more about the Amish. I am not against them. But I live in Ohio and we have more Amish then PA. Plain City,OH, Berlin Oh, etc. The Amish are like any culture. Good and bad. They do not educate children well. They often consider them as more workers for the farm then anything else. The fathers can be quite stern and cold to both children and wife. The wives are very controlled by the husband. They have very strict rules. They are very judgmental. health often suffers for lack of seeking good care. They spend little money on anything for the kids health or well being. The marry first cousins alot. That is why the birth defect rate is so extordinarily high. All is not wonderful.

        1. Marcus Yoder

          Can you give me any names and birth dates of any Amish first cousin’s that are married,as I study Amish geneaolgy.I have run across where Amish were related more than one way, but never first cousin’s.By the way Plain City,Ohio only has about five elderly widows left in the area.
          Marcus Yoder

    3. Bob Rosier

      I have to agree with Lindsay. Many problems can be attributed to inattentiveness to ones children. We have learned how important it is for the mother to be at home to raise their children.
      My daughter is a child Psychologist and has worked with kids for years. She is always telling them “hitting is not an option”. One mother believed in spanking as a necessary part of discipline until one day she observed her three- year-old daughter hitting her one-year-old son. When confronted, her daughter said, “I’m just playing mommy.”
      Physical punishment shows that it’s all right to vent your anger or right a wrong by hitting other people. This is why we find an increase in the number of bullies. Time outs or sitting inside during recess is a much better approach.

    4. Lindsay

      Bob, the one that always worked on me when I was little was no dessert LOL! I think my mom discovered I could entertain myself in time out but heaven forbid dessert! Children are individuals, so I suppose you just have to find out what discipline methods work with them. What worked with me didn’t necessarily work with my sisters and vice versa. I really have to hand it to the involved parents…they certainly have to be creative and stay one step ahead of the game.

    5. Bob Rosier

      Lindsay..I would say that you will be, are, or were a good parent. And yes, I forgot about the times my mom used the dessert method. She always had a great dessert for supper. I’ll have to ask my Amish friends if they have used that method.

      Kids are definately different today which you would expect with their changing environment, so as you said, you have to keep trying things until you find one that works.

    6. Ashley

      I agree with everyone in differant ways

      I agree with everyone in different ways on this one. I was raised in the 90’s and early 2000’s and spanking was a natural part of our lives. We got talked to and then spanked. I personally do not believe in this for most children. I don’t use it for my son but I do swat my nephew when he needs it. He is 2 years old and when he gets violent. He does get violent. Hitting,scratching and biting. One open hand swat on the bottom gets the point across without hurting him more then is necessary. My son never had that problem and the “cool down room” works great for him. I talk to him when he is ready. I believe it depends on the child. NO CHILD SHOULD EVER BE PADDLED, STRAPPED OR SPANKED BARE. One open hand swat on the seat of their pants is enough to snap them out of the mis behavior and it gets the point across.

    7. Michael

      school spanking

      When I was a kid in school teachers had a paddle in their classrooms and would use when needed. They had to have another teacher witness and fill out a card with the offense and number of swats. The worst thing ever done was allowing it to be taken out of schools because you almost never saw the stuff going on in schools then that you do today.

    8. Tracy

      How do Amish discipline their children.

      I think children do need the spankings and discipline, that’s what’s wrong with the children today, so many disobey and don’t listen, they run the parents lives, the grandparents as well. I was disciplined and knew from right and wrong, I am fine and am proud I was raised as I was. I’m not a drunk, a dope , a murder, I am a decent person. My parents are proud parents and I’m thankful for that. I know how to have respect for my elders, as a lot of children and adults don’t now days. I don’t like hearing children talking back to their parents and their grandparents. They have anger issues and throw things. Curse, and sometimes even hit and beat their parents and grandparents this is so wrong, this is why schools have so many problems, there is no paddles, when there should be. There is a difference between spanking, paddles and beatings, and it should be legal that a parent should not have to be scared to spank a child. The Bible dies say do not spare the rod and spoil the child, and if tr child is not spanked, then most children does as they want and is a spoiled brat. Which is a bad thing for this world. Look around, these kids are in lots of trouble before teens and even worse as teens and young adults, they don’t know what to do with theirselves and are lazy, disrespectful, and have no care of others. It’s a shameful world out there.

    9. Jonathan Quimbly

      Break them early!

      English, it is important that you break the child early. Otherwise it will grow to become a monster, willful and with its own mind.

      An unpunished child will leave the flock, as sure as can be! You must respond to the childs tests of your will with strength.

      Spare the rod, spoil the child.

    10. See Both Sides

      See Both Sides

      The Amish are more likely than most to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. At the same time, the life is not for everyone. Although it rarely happens, one woman I know left her Amish roots because of a paddling she received. Others have also told me that most Amish girls have had the rebellion beaten out of them before they marry. That is one reason why the Amish experienced an exponential growth in population during the 20th century.

      One the other side of the equation, non-Amish women in the United States see the traditional role of wife and mother as beneath them. Many have never had a spanking in their lives. Even after graduating from college, they know more about how to make their bosses rich, while working for less money than men, than they do about staying married. While there are exceptions, far too many non-Amish women these days seem adrift.

    11. Julie

      OK to spank

      I was spanked naked with a whip when I was little, and I turned out fine. Maybe if more kids were disciplined like this we wouldn’t have so much crime today.

    12. Phillip Atwood


      Just read comment by “Julie” stating she was spanked with a whip when little. That sounds harsh, but people tend to have different names for things used to spank, so perhaps the “whip” was not as nasty as… for example… a horsewhip. (I hope not)

      The point Julie makes is shared by me. I only need go back to when I was in school and remember the things we just never even **thought** of doing, from mouthing-off to a teacher, to using vulgar language at home or in school. Today, kids have so many “rights” that they can light-up in the school, tell a teacher to screw-off and make their own hours at home.

      Thinking back, I KNOW the one thing that always made me err on the side of caution when not sure if what I was about to do is okay, was the though of the whipping I’d get at home if I made a wrong choice. A few days ago I was looking at my high school yearbook and laughing at the photo of a Student Patrol member measuring the distance from floor to hem of a dress to make sure the girl was “proper”. I’m not sure if a Student Patrol exists in most schools today because it would be run by “narcs”. Having a Dress Code would be unconstitutional, even though nobody even though of it as such 40 years ago… and would have not dared to argue about it. We were taught decency, not ways to worm around by manipulating laws to our personal benefit.

      A handgun in school? That’s one of the things nobody would have even thought of doing because it was just WRONG… plus if one of the guys had brought a gun to school just for a joke, he would have been so severely punished at home (after getting paddled in school) that it would have been brutal by today’s standards.

      The fact is, people LEARN from fear of punishment, until they reach an age where their brain is developed enough to make logical decisions on it’s own. (Which is well after age 25 for most of us)
      When they look back, they realize their mature decision surprisingly matches the one they made out of fear of being spanked.

      On the other side of the fence, I’m not real happy about some reading I’ve done on the Amish where it is assumed that all of the “rebellious nature” of WOMEN has been beaten out of them by the time they marry… and if not, their new husband will whip it out of them afterwards. A young friend who got both strap and switch at home as a teen in the 90’s told me: “My father whips me until the rebellious BEHAVIOR has been broken, but NEVER so much that my SPIRIT has been broken”.

      I think that must have been a good home. He’s a very successful young man today, married now, has a son of his own and yes… he will whip when he really feels it necessary. The boy idolizes him.

      1. Loreli

        Phillip Atwood Comment - Moderation

        I remember those days well, Mr. Atwood -except for the measuring of the hemline (my aunt probably would). To embarrass my parents by acting out in a school was nothing short of a sin. I could take anything except “do you want us to call your parents?” which happened only once. I don’t undertatand why people equate swats on the backside with abuse. I don’t agree with belts or paddles but getting a few swats with a wooden spoon never killed me. Coming from an Irish heritage, there was never an argument about a swat on the butt or a smack on the hand to remind one to not touch, or to not be told again (after the third time). Again, I am not talking about slaps in the face or being beaten with belts and whips, that just isn’t in my realm of discipline. Bit people really need to stop equating a normal spanking with child abuse. It’s insulting to anuone who was truly abused.

    13. Paul

      Amish and discipline

      I have absolute respect and admiration for the lives the Amish lead.

      They live productive, self-sufficient lives and they raise well mannered children who from an early age learn values, respect and the love of their family.

      I am in the UK and would have loved to have been brought up in such an institution that taught me these values at an early age. My mother never used any form of discipline and because of this my lessons were hard learned at a much later age which did me no good.

    14. Debra Bontrager

      Comment on How do Amish discipline children

      My mother was brought up in a strict Amish household, where beatings and I mean beatings were the normal. My mother’s sister was beaten so badly she had detached retinas and broken eardrums. These type of beatings are not typical in the Amish community but like in the English society it does exist to a small degree. Fianlly, the neighbors saw the bruises and boken bones from the beating and turned my Grandfather in to the law; he served 5 years in prison. The sad thing was, there is no support system for Amish women to go to..the man is the head of the household, that is the way it is. This happened in the 1950’s to 1960’s.

      1. Loreli

        Debra's Comment -Beaten aunt

        Debra, I am so sorry to hear about your aunt. That is devastating. Thank you for your honesty and candor. I have heard many things about the Amish over the past several years, but really knew nothing about them. I watched a show about the Amish recently, and it showed how the Amish women are expected and raised to be submissive. I don’t know what your childhood was like but I pray that it was better than your aunt and mother’s was. I received normal swats in the backside growing up from my father, mostly because he could no longer tolerate us kids arguing. One thing we did learn though, no meant no. So you’d better have a good reason for asking for something or arguing about it. My father was in law enforcement for over 30 years,
        and he never felt that our happiness was worth more than our personal safety. He was right.

    15. Phillip Atwood

      Debra's comment - beaten Aunt

      This is why CP has such a bad reputation. There are always crazies out there who do the bizarre, and general people who read a shocking tale such as what you posted, then believe that’s what CP is all about.

      Yesterday, I had someone here to do some clean-up work for extra money. He is an EMT and also a part-time police officer looking for a full-time position. He asked where I attended academy (I was a part-time police officer) and when I told him the location, he commented “Oh yeah, that used to be a boy’s reformatory, right?” I said it was indeed, up through the late sixties. I added “The young people who were sent there learned how to behave the hard way. I’ve see the room and the bench where a kid was stripped, secured belly-down, and took a strapping as punishment for getting out of line”.

      He is only 21 years old, but he nodded understanding and said “They learned to behave fast, too”. He went on to comment that he never was tied down but he took a fair share of the belt to his bare butt and maybe that’s why he’s trying to be a public servant, helping others as both an ambulance crew member, and when an opportunity comes along, as a law enforcement officer.

      My opinion of the guy went up about 100 points. He’s a good person, works hard, listens to what he’s told to do, and carries out the job without a single complaint.

      Yeah, he’s “damaged” from being spanked as a kid. Everyone should be that “damaged”.

    16. On the fence about

      My mother told me stories of her step dad using a board with holes drilled into it on her and her brother and sisters when they were young.She said it wasn’t abuse but,she would smack me with anything handy whether it was a hairbrush or a piece of driftwood type of small log.She was not a happy person after her mom and step dad divorced when she was in high school.She had me at age 23,then fast forward approximately 18 plus years and has my little half sister and not even a year later came my little half brother.I was sent to live with my dad’s sister in another state when I was 14 and she raised me through age 20.All she had to do was say that she was disappointed with me and it worked out alright in the end.My mother treats those kids like they are a little prince and a little princess.I stayed at her house when they were younger(about 2 and 3 years old),she had a glass curio cabinet behind a couch in the corner and the little boy had a shoe and looked like he was going to hit the cabinet with the shoe,so I popped him on his diaper to get him to not throw the shoe and she acted like I’d done something absolutely unforgivable by popping him on his diaper very lightly.Now the boy is 6 and the girl is going to be 7 on the 23rd.They cuss,spit,hit,break things out of anger and my mother still refuses to do anything about their behavior,when she threatened to beat me IN FRONT OF A SOCIAL WORKER!The doctor said it would not hurt them to give them a little swat to get the point across.It’s amazing how people can change from the first child to the third child.Discipline is good if not taken over board.Sometimes all it takes is talking or being really disappointed to get the point across.

    17. Stephanie Rollins

      Spare the rod

      FYI: “Spare the rod, spoil the child is NOT in the Bible. It is from a poem that was written in the 1800’s. I hate it when people misquote the Bible.

      1. ash

        yes it is in the bible

        it is in the bible but they are talking about a child that is not right from wrong is done a great wrong not beat your kids with a rod

    18. Debra Bontrager


      The abuse that took place in my mother’s childhood home was just not given to my Aunt it was all 9 children. All of these children whom are adults now have physical scars as well as mental. However, like I stated this is not the norm for Amish communities. This situation happen in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

    19. See Both Sides

      Sometimes, the pendulum of fashion swings from one extreme to another and never pauses in the middle. A few decades ago, it was okay to give badly behaved kids a good hard spanking. These days, some parents are often afraid to lay a hand on their kids.

      While abuse will break a child’s spirit, lack of appropriate discipline creates little monsters with an exaggerated sense of entitlement. Regardless of religious persuasion, parents need to find a middle ground.

      1. Dave Wyman

        “See Both Sides wrote:

        “These days, some parents are often afraid to lay a hand on their kids.”

        I never feared spanking my kids. Neither I nor my wife ever did so, though. And that was a few days ago, not “these days.”

        Our kids are great, so are the children of parents who were and are our friends, who didn’t resort to physically hurting their children, either.

        There may be some things about the Amish to admire. Their use of corporeal punishment isn’t one of them.

    20. Phillip Atwood

      Abuse vs. Discipline

      Thank you to “See Both Sides” for post on 23rd April. I know a person who received CP through his teens years. Harsh words or backtalk to his mother earned him the duty of cutting three switches off the stand of Birch trees in the back yard and getting one of them used on his bare bottom that evening.

      Other issues got him the leather strap on the bare butt in his bedroom, belly-down on the bed.

      I asked him “How many licks do you get?” and he smiled and politely responded: “Enough to break a bad habit, but never so much that it breaks my spirit”. He went on to say he tnanks Lord Jesus for such wonderful parents and accepts his punishment without question.

      He attended a Baptist Bible school (full time) from fifth grade through high school graduation. Parents were encouraged to use CP moderately, fairly and if unsure what to do, to speak with school staff or their Minister for guidance.

      The person is now in his 30’s, married and with a son who is also being raised with the same CP, and they live in the same house Joe was raised in so the walk to the Birch trees is an identical experience for his son as it was for Joe. The boy is now in third grade and a very bright, outgoing kid. Joe has become an aviation professional and is regarded by flight students as level-headed, a great listener, and always with an encouraging word.

      Obviously, something was done right.

      1. See Both Sides

        Among the parents most likely to mess-up in disciplining are those exclusively focused on the child rearing verses in Proverbs. For some of those parents, beating the devil out of the child is the only solution. At the other extreme, there are those parents willing to try anything except spanking.

        One of the strengths in the Amish communities is a general agreement on discipline that is absent in the broader spectrum of American society. Most of America is focused on competition rather than cooperation. Thus, in the end, secular America may divide and conquer itself in its mad scramble to be king of the hill.

        In the collective sense, America is on the path to answering the question posted by Matthew 16:26: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

        1. Phillip Atwood

          Competition vs. Cooperation

          The concept of learning to work alongside one another has been lost, unless it’s working as a team to “win” something in a sport event. Aside from competitive sport, there is very little direction given to young people on how to interact in everyday life in a desire to assist and support others.

          I think it must be comforting for Amish children to all receive similar discipline. As a child, the concept of corporal punishment was very much alive and well and most of the boys I grew up with openly discussed their latest “whipping”. Sometimes, it was out of bravado, but I think we were all pretty honest about it and there was a common bond and empathy when “one of the guys” got spanked with the belt at home. We all rallied around him, gave support, and everyone understood what it was all about.

          Today, if a kid says he got hit by a parent. his friends would either dismiss it as nonsense, or offer to find him a lawyer so he can sue his folks. It’s bizarre, and a bit sick. The message is: “If you lose the game, sue the coach so you will still win something”.

          Very bad teaching.

    21. fg789

      We spank our kids. And we are not Amish. But like them, I believe in the Bible and the same type of punishment. What amazes me is how modern day parents talk about how bad their kids are, and how they should just send them somewhere to learn obedience. As if they are just dogs.

      The reason kids are bad today is because parents are unfit. First of all. Because corporal punishment isn’t in schools is enough to tell me many parents who are sending their children there are unfit. Kids MUST have punishment. The kind that they want to avoid at all costs. Kids grow into their environment. They become spiritually rooted in it. So regardless of what they learn in their later years, they will always be deeply rooted in their childhood upbringing. So by forcing them to walk the right path, they will become of it. And when they see just how screwed up modern society is, they will be thankful they were forced.

      1. See Both Sides

        Having grown up at a time when paddling was accepted, I believe there are actually some significant difficulties with paddling in American schools. When I was in school, my parents knew most of my teachers. In fact, despite living in one of the largest cities in the state, my mother was in the same Sunday School class with my second grade teacher and elementary school principal. In other words, there were neighborhood schools. Because parents often had some social contact with teachers outside of the schoolhouse, there was a certain amount of trust between parents and educators.

        Most of the time these days, parents know little or nothing about who is teaching their kids. News stories about sexual abuse of students by teachers does little to inspire confidence.

        Although it can be time consuming, some of the better teachers are getting around the paddling restrictions in schools by getting parents involved in the disciplinary process. Correctly used, paddling by proxy can greatly improve classroom discipline because parents are limited by just giving three swats on the seat of the pants or dress. Once Little Johnny or Suzie knows that their mom will get a call from the teacher and they will get their buns busted if they become disruptive, they are more inclined to behave themselves.

    22. Brian Meyer

      Spare the rod

      Of course it’s all open to interpretation, but the meaning of Rod I think has transformed and is different in our current translation than the original intent.

      The rod spoken of in the bible was what a shepherd used to herd sheep. This was not used to beat sheep, but rather to protect them, and to lead them. The stick was used to find safe ground and spot holes in the rough ground that could hurt them. The crook ( hook ) was used to pull animals by the legs out of dangerous situations.

      This passage does not mean beat a child, it means a parent must shepherd their children, or they might be spoiled, keep the predators away and pull them to safety.

      I like the idea though, of the teacher only having paddled once, disliking having to do it, yet willing to do anything for the kids. This to me speaks of love. The issue is when parents do this not out of love and a last resort, but out of frustration. Most kids never will need a paddling, yet some kids most likely could use it.

    23. Jessica

      Spanking as a last resort

      In my opinion I think spanking should be a last resort, when nothing else has worked to help that child be respectful, and when he/she is acting like a wild animal.
      What I don’t like seeing is parents who spank/beat their children for every little thing, for poor grades, for accidently looking at them the wrong way, for practically breathing, e.c.t, that is what disgusts me. Those who do this to their children are bullying them, despite what anybody says. On one particular forum I recall reading a revolting comment by a father who wacked his daughter’s behind seven-eight times with a wooden spoon and then made her hold some books in her hands and stand there for an hour, and why? Because she got poor grades. Now that is abuse, and any parent who calls that discipline, who condones that sort of disgusting behavior, should be so ashamed of themselves. That little girl is going to be so mentally and emotionally damaged, and I just hope that she doesn’t marry someone like her pathetic father. These parents are the ones who shouldn’t have children as far as I’m concerned. These are the parents who should have DCP on their doorstep, they are the ones who should be questioned and held accountable for terrorizing their children, not those who are parenting out of fairness and love.
      I know you’ve all heard this before, but there is, I’m so sure of it, a difference between spanking a child who’s pushed and pushed and pushed, and spanking a child for not getting good grades, or not sitting up straight enough, or not eating all of their vegetables, or something small and trivial like that. We have to weigh it up and have a real good think about it.

      1. See Both Sides

        Professionalized and bureaucratized child protection can be as much of a problem for children as abusive parents. Only a few months ago, a California court found that state’s Child Protective Services had twisted the supposed victim’s words in order to fabricate a case against her parents. The court’s full decision may be found at:

        Footnotes 3, 4, 5 and 6 as found on pages 5, 6 and 7 are particularly revealing. So are the mother’s statements on Page 3 and in footnote 4 on page 6.

        More recently, a foster child in the care of a Social Service supervisor in North Carolina was found handcuffed to the the supervisor’s front porch with a DEAD CHICKEN AROUND HIS NECK! For more on that story, go to:

        All too often, those opposed to spanking are either childless or are in a position to make money from alternatives. For the most part, the Amish seem to be on the right track in their disciplinary philosophy.

      2. Emma

        Spanking as a last resort

        I have to respectfully disagree with the concept of spanking as a last resort. In many good homes spanking can be applied as the first resort when needed. I don’t spank or punish at all for innocent mistakes or clumsiness or forgetfulness, all of which are just normal parts of being human. I spank right away for offenses like telling a lie, sassiness, and deliberate disobedience. Counting to 3 or giving multiple warnings only teaches children that they can misbehave until mommy reaches “3” or until mommy is angry after giving a warning over and over. Spanking as a first resort teaches our children to obey right away and allows us to discipline before we become furious. A spanking given correctly is given by a calm parent who discusses the reason for the spanking and how to behave better in the future. And importantly, a real spanking is not a love tap through multiple layers of clothes. It is an experience that the child does not want to repeat soon, over the parent’s lap on the bare behind and with enough sting that the lesson is remembered. I personally would never use a belt or whip. In general a good hand spanking works just fine, with maybe a wooden spoon or the back of a hairbrush to reinforce the message when the child’s behavior has been especially naughty. This is how I was raised as a child, and I always felt loved and protected. Even with a stinging hiney, crying after having my panties pulled back up after a hard spanking with the hand or brush, I knew the spanking had been given for my own good.

    24. Russ Vollmer


      This is like saying maggots spontaneously hatch from rotten meat.

      The fact is maggots do not result from rotten meat. There is a whole other reason why this happens. (flies land and lay eggs).

      So saying spanking results in respect is an error in observation and logic.

      These children are taught to respect themselves, their families, their community members, God, and their environment. They learn how to be helpful, polite, kind, obedient, and good people by watching and observing the behaviors of those around them. Spanking does not instill respect. It instills the counter or opposite of respect which is fear.

      Where there is a great deal of fear there is a great deal of lying, hiding, sneaking around, and rebelling even in these communities.

      Observing surfacely without any real depth is like observing the rotten meat producing maggots. You did not see the real reason the maggots were there. You came to a conclusion based on flawed logic.

    25. Ashok from Sri Lanka

      Spanking children? Oh no not in the 21st century

      I cannot help but gasp with unbelief that there are still parents and teachers who believe in spanking their children in this century

      I have just finished teaching a batch of primary school teachers. The module is titled “discipline and guidance” the Text book used for the course was written by Majorie Fields titled “constructive guidance and discipline” I quote from p 221 of the text book
      “We hope that punishment will cease to be considered a reasonable means of discipline. We believe that when parents and teachers understand the dangers of punishment and learn more effective approaches to child guidance the world will become a better place.
      There will be fewer angry people, who need to get even with society through violence. There will be fewer people who have come to believe they are worthless. There will be less dishonesty and less energy being spent to avoid getting caught
      Personal inner control and concern for others will become the norm among morally autonomous people
      And in page 327
      When we respect children we help them to respect themselves. The resultant self esteem combines with self discipline skills to create morally autonomous people
      Something our society needs
      I highly recommend to those who still believe in spanking your children, this book and if possible take a course on discipline and guidance which will be widely available in your countries

    26. Brian

      Both of my parents were Amish as children, and my mother was an evil abuser to me, both physically and verbally!
      But whether the spanking Amish parent is abusive or not; he or she is demonstrating inconsistent beliefs! The Amish left/ran away from their country of origin due to religious persecution. They therefore did not passively submit to authority, and they rightfully displayed their strong will by leaving. They did not stay until the authority figure had beat them into submission or broken spirit. Yet some of these people who believe in being passive use violence against children.
      I have likewise watched those You-Tube Amish videos where the father was gentle and loving to his family, and I applaud them!
      Far too many Americans still believe that it is O.K. to hit children who are far smaller than themselves. Lets reverse things here for a moment. How should the adult child treat his aged and mentally weak parent who acts childish? Should he hit his parent to teach him a lesson?
      How about the grouchy person in a wheelchair? Do you get grouchy back, and escalate the encounter with hitting? Do that and he will sue you after you get out of jail. The child is thus far more defenseless than even a handicapped person, because he can’t sue you and he needs to be housed and fed.
      Treat your children as if they are future adults who need to learn the logical reasons for things, because that really is what they are.

      1. Chris

        You speak the truth.

        You will make a good parent.

    27. Sara

      The REAL meaning of "Spare the rod, spoil the child"

      The bible verse that people recite as a justification to spanking “spare the rod, spoil the child” has been misconstrued. The rod spoken of is a shepherds rod. Shepherds used their rods to GUIDE their sheep, NOT to beat them. The verse means that you should GUIDE your child and keep them safe as a shepherd would. Without guidance you risk loosing your “flock” and subjecting them to harm.

    28. See Both Sides

      "Spare the rod spoil the child" not in the Bible

      The quote “….spare the rod and spoil the child” is from Samuel Butler’s 17th century poem Hudibras.

      However, the Bible advises in:

      Proverbs 23:13 – “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

      Proverbs 13:24 – “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

      Proverbs 22:15 – “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”

      Having been a parent, I found an occasional paddling for egregious misbehavior or defiance remains effective with daughters into their late teens.

      Decades ago, my wife submitted to an old-fashioned over the lap spanking with a hairbrush when she was home from college! I’ve been told by both mothers and daughters these things still happen.

      Spanking got a bad reputation precisely because it remained effective on older daughters even after become counterproductive with boys because this ages old reality of parenting violated notions of legal equality enshrined in 1960’s equal rights legislation.

    29. trina harris

      physical punishment is not extinct in modern schools

      There is an error in this article. 19 states allow corporal punishment in schools. Violence is not effective. It only teaches more violence and begets more violence. It is a dangerous lesson to teach and is repeated either as violence against others: these kids go on to have kids of their own and if they have not healed from the trauma of the violence they suffered they will perpetrate it on their own kids, other kids – teachers, priests, coaches, doctors, others via being a boss, or a soldier or president who problem solves with violence, or they turn the violence on themselves via being in an abusive relationship, workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, depression, suicide, poor health etc. And the cycle repeats until someone breaks it by acknowledging the violence perpetrated against them by the very people who were supposed to nurture them and truly love them. No, it is not loving to hit someone. That’s hateful behavior, not loving behavior. Somatic Experiencing is a therapy that helps release the unresolved trauma from childhood violence and mistreatment from the body thereby restoring the body’s sense of safety and goodness.

      1. See Both Sides

        Rethinking School Paddling

        Given the sentiments expressed by the president elect, as well as the background of the incoming Secretary of Education, and not to mention Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, it is quite possible that discipline in schools will reflect new policies coming out of Washington.

        While the 19 states that currently allow corporeal punishment may not experience a significant change in policy, those rejecting paddling might have to play the states’ rights card if they are to retain their prohibitions.

    30. Amish people are nice and they show ethics from their young age. They know what is the worth of an obedient and intelligent kid in the world and if they will teach their kid, the value of it then they are doing a help to make this world progressing and secure which is what most of us doesn`t do.

      1. Beverly cheek

        Amish children leave school after 8th grade. So much for education. Rate of domestic violence is very high.

    31. Susan

      I find this discussion interesting, and as one wise person pointed out, it’s time we have a good talk about spanking in this country. (Beverly, in my mind, “spanking” is a very useful word that describes something different from mere “hitting”.) I was spanked as a child, and have no horrible memory at all. It was done to make a point with me. I grew up to be a well-behaved child and a considerate adult. I did, however, have one parent who was given to saying horrible things to us, and those things have haunted me for years.

      I think we have forgotten the importance of discipline in modern society, and for the Amish the idea of discipline – in all things – is very much a part of the mindset. I believe personally that such a mindset makes for a better human being.

      While we are on the subject, I would suggest that people who preach to others about how evil ‘hitting your child’ is, need to take a step back, practice some Amish-style humility, and realize there are valid ideas different from your own in this world. Preaching at other people only makes them angry at you, and shows you as someone who is closed-minded and arrogant. Also, I have some medical background, and I agree that simple spanking cannot damage the child’s spinal cord, for Heaven’s sake, or leave any permanent damage at all.

      For me, it is abusive to refuse to adequately discipline a child, through some squeamish misguided virtue signaling of one’s own. Children who are loud, pushy, rude in public, are not children that other people like, and do not form healthy social relationships. For me, allowing THAT situation to develop is abusive. I would think that a controlled use of corporal punishment combined with the ideas of humility and consideration for others, goes hand-in-hand with raising a pretty wonderful human being. In that, the Amish are very wise.

      1. Beverly

        Reply to Susan.

        I am 75. Have lived in area of Ohio Amish country all my life.There are some very nice people. There are also many backward, ignorant people. What do you e xpect When kids go only through 8th grade and at an Amish school they are learning only select things. Few even know the name of the president. There is certainly domestic violence in the Amish community.the husband has final day on everything and in most homes I pity the wife who crosses him! Spanking? A cute word for hitting a child in a way you would not date hit another adult! It’s just an excuse for being to lazy to learn how to parent in a mature educated mannor. Violence begets violence. Prisons are filled with people who were beaten in the name of disapline. Oh yes they got the belt the paddle and whatever else some degenerate could think of to hit them with. Stupid.

    32. Stephanie Berkey

      Being strong willed can be a strength as well as a weakness. As one commented before, that’s a part of being Amish, being stubborn in good ways. The Holy Bible sanctioned war at times too, but the Amish don’t do that. Firm correction is necessary, but with love. The best advice I’ve heard on this subject is to never discipline a child in anger.

      When I first had children I spanked them because that’s how I was raised. However, I prayed about it and eventually phased it out as much as possible. When we strike a child what all are we teaching him or her? Do we really want to teach them that might makes right? Isn’t it be better to use intelligence and reasoning whenever possible to walk them through proper behavior and help them associate love with it?

      1. Stephanie Berkey

        Monty Roberts trains horses and children using gentle techniques. He recognizes what a blessing a strong will can be, and that working together in these ways can unlock amazing potential. He claims horses and children really want firm but kind leadership, training, and guidance. In his experience they are very grateful and cooperative with it. I’ve found this to be true with my children.

        1. Stephanie Berkey

          Why look for reasons to fall short, when we can find ways to excel? Many things in the Old Testament were done away when Jesus was on the earth. He warned against offending children in Matthew 18, and encourages us to become as little children (Matthew 18:3 & 10). He also teaches about cutting off those who offend children and how He came to save that which is lost.

    33. Christopher Hernandez

      Spanking is not abuse

      Certain traditions are traditions because they work, and have worked for thousands of years. The problem is that certain parents beat their children in anger, instead of just enough loving discipline to make them behave. There is an enormous difference between a pat on the butt and leaving scars on children.

      And I do believe it is a husband’s responsibility to discipline his wife. Including spankings if needed. Loving discipline is not abuse. The 1950’s were the “Golden Age” in USA. Yes children were spanked. Yes, wives were spanked. Yes there was some cases of abuse, just like today. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. The “No Spank” policy turned children from Laura of “Little House on the Prairie” into Stewie of “Family Guy”.

      Even the Lord Himself made a whip of cords and used it on the thieving merchants in the Temple.

    34. Sara B


      I have been around Amish kids . They are Happy, they love their parents they help with out being asked and smile while they are doing chores. They ask for nothing and are grateful and appreciate. I have been around English children , they will do anything to get out of helping their parents, when they are asked to help they have a face of disgust and drag their feet. They want expensive things and sometimes when they get what they want it’s still not good enough. All of America has ruined children by catering and bending over trying to make them happy by giving them material things, not disciplining them and not asking them to help even pick up their own messes. Most 40 year old adults live off their parents and don’t work. Stay out of the Amish lifestyle and stop sticking your nose in and ruining their kids like everyone has ruined so many here

      1. Beverly cheek

        Amish spanking

        I have two adult children. They were always good people. They did very well in school, have multiple college degees. Great carears. They have great families of their own now. Both are responsible kind good hearted people. By the way they would never make rude comments and such ignorant unfounded comments. They were never hit. Imagine, they grew up well. I couldn’t be prouder. They were not deprived of an education at grade 8 and never made to marry at sixteen and have 12 kids. I couldn’t be happier. There Dad and I did a good job.

        1. Sara B

          @ Beverly Cheek

          Every Mama Crow thinks her baby is the blackest .. and yet here you are judging others while you put you and your family on pedestal. Those that claim to be perfect are usually the families that have the secrets . Stop judging and move on.

          1. Dolores


            Very well put Sara. I’ve learned that many people who criticize the loudest often have the least experience/knowledge.
            My Amish friends are wonderful parents and their children are very loving, happy and well adjusted.

        2. Dolores


          Dear Beverly, and anyone else that wished to criticize the Amish for their parenting skills. First: NONE of us are worthy of “Parent of the year” award…don’t judge!
          Second: I know numerous English (that refers to anyone non-amish) folks with extended educations that are selfish, inconsiderate and just plain spoiled (yes, these are adults). Third: I was spanked from time to time as a child, I do not suffer from low self confidence, violent outbursts, unlawful deviance or any other trauma due to my “spankings”. I know those spankings were likely well deserved.
          Furthermore, my Amish friends are not quick to spank their children as some of you imply. It is typically a last resort punishment as it was for me. Also, Amish do NOT require their children to marry at 16, or 18 or any specific date. They are allowed to date (tho that is monitored…unlike English who are most often screwing around by the age of 16!!) As far as leaving school at 8th/9th grade level…their schools actually TEACH useful life skills (unlike our school system which brainwashed our children). Many Amish are MUCH wealthier than most of you, they just don’t waste $$$ on useless trinkets.
          I may add that after having the wonderful opportunity to get to know an Amosh family and become good friends with them…I have TONS more respect for them and their way of life than I do the self-centered, pretentious lifestyles we English insist on.
          It is God’s job to judge, not yours! How will he judge you?

        3. Dolores


          Dear Beverly Cheek, and anyone else that wished to criticize the Amish for their parenting skills. First: NONE of us are worthy of “Parent of the year” award…don’t judge!
          Second: I know numerous English (that refers to anyone non-amish) folks with extended educations that are selfish, inconsiderate and just plain spoiled (yes, these are adults). Third: I was spanked from time to time as a child, I do not suffer from low self confidence, violent outbursts, unlawful deviance or any other trauma due to my “spankings”. I know those spankings were likely well deserved.
          Furthermore, my Amish friends are not quick to spank their children as some of you imply. It is typically a last resort punishment as it was for me. Also, Amish do NOT require their children to marry at 16, or 18 or any specific date. They are allowed to date (tho that is monitored…unlike English who are most often screwing around by the age of 16!!) As far as leaving school at 8th/9th grade level…their schools actually TEACH useful life skills (unlike our school system which brainwashed our children). Many Amish are MUCH wealthier than most of you, they just don’t waste $$$ on useless trinkets.
          I may add that after having the wonderful opportunity to get to know an Amosh family and become good friends with them…I have TONS more respect for them and their way of life than I do the self-centered, pretentious lifestyles we English insist on.
          It is God’s job to judge, not yours! How will he judge you?

      2. Beverly cheek

        Btw the spanking issue is what caught my eye. I am against domestic violence of any kind. I am leaving the site. I just want to say you seem very uninformed and full of anger. I would suggest a visit to a good mental health clinic where they can help you with your issues. Good luck.

    35. Barbara

      Discipline or Abuse?
      This channel courageously gives a voice to those who were abused (physically, verbally, emotionally, sexually) by high control / high demand cults including (but not limited to) amish.

      There IS a big difference between appropriate discipline and the kind of abuse described in @CultstoConsciousness.

    36. Gavin

      Can a British UK adult join a Amish community

      Hi I’m 68 and would like to join an Amish community. So I can learn how to be respectful and kind to others , however I know that this may include discipline by the head of the community. And I truly believe it would be helpful to me to become a better person