RHNY Jill Zarin Speaks Out Against Spanking! Here's Why You Mustn't Do It! Exclusive!

Mon, January 3, 2011 2:30pm EST by 14 Comments

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If you ever feel like your child is driving you sooo crazy, you’re going to snap and smack them, then read Jill’s wise advice here!

I never spanked my daughter Allyson, now 18, it’s against the law AND it’s NOT acceptable. Physically harming someone is NOT acceptable at any age or for any reason.

But I understand  how tough it can be for parents to cope in certain situations. Children aren’t born with a manual. And especially if you yourself don’t have a support system or if you had a traumatic childhood, you may not know how to punish your child in a more appropriate way than spanking them.

Here’s my suggestions on how to punish without pulling out your spanking hand: “A timeout can be very powerful as a punishment. Removing your child from what they like most whether it’s video games, TVs or from having a play-date, can really get your message across.

Never threaten something that you can’t fulfill. For example, if you say you are going to take the TV out of your child’s room, you have to do it, or they will never believe you again. But also, don’t overreact. The punishment needs to fit the crime. So if they’ve made a mess of their room, DON’T threaten to leave them behind when you take a family vacation. That’s HUGE and it will hurt all of you, to enforce it.

Exacting a punishment that is too harsh for misbehavior also borders on emotional abuse. And just as you shouldn’t hurt your child physically, you don’t want to emotionally abuse your child either.

But if you don’t punish your children when they need to be punished, that’s actually a form of neglect. Children feel safe and secure when their parents set boundaries. And when they are consistent. They want their parents to set limits and to say, “No” they interpret “no” as love and caring.

Just remember, your job as a parent is to set boundaries and their job is to push them. Now here’s my thoughts on how to deal with certain situations without spanking.

  • They Won’t Eat Their Food! I don’t believe “food” issues should be punishable. If they won’t eat, I don’t think should feel forced. Try instead to make vegetables fun instead of refusing to let them get up from the table for hours.
  • They Meltdown In The Supermarket: Let them have their fit and then leave. If the fit is because they want you to buy some inappropriate food- don’t give in and buy it! Ignore the stares you’ll get, the best you can.
  • They Meltdown In A Movie Theater: Sorry but you have to leave. You can’t negotiate with them and you can’t ruin everyone else’s good time.
  • The Meltdown Because They Want You To Buy A Certain Toy: Tell them they can “earn” the toy by doing chores or being on good behavior.

Listen, punishing kids is tough. Talk to other parents about what works for them too. There are anonymous parent support groups on the line where you can share your thoughts.

And remember, we all misbehaved as kids and our parents punished us! I stole my dad’s car when I was a teen and I remember pulling up in the front of the house and I ran inside and hid in my room. I didn’t get to use the car again for six months!

–Jill Zarin author of ‘Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love’

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lindy loo

Posted at 1:32 AM on January 8, 2011  

Yeah, Jill is the same “talented” writer who went on Amazon and gave several great reviews of her book (by made up names of course.)
It’s amazing that once she became known on a reality tv show, she’s now an expert on every subject.
The way she treated Betheny last season was shameful. Look up “snarky” in the dictionary and your find her picture.

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Posted at 3:05 PM on January 4, 2011  

I need help here. Iam against spanking. I only have one son. i have been accused so many times when he was growing up that I am over protective of him.
Now that he is a father of twins age four(boy & girl) I always notice that he is kind of harsh on them. When they were three if they cry he carry them upside down swing them violently, now they are four he gets harsher he squeesh there month if they don’t listen, he spank with an open hand and yell as loud as he could. I got so mad that I ask the kids to be with me. His father warned him that if he don’t stop hurting the kids we will not go to there house anymore and he will not see us again. they live in San Francisco and we are in San Diego. I cry and cannot sleep at night thinking of the children. The children are well behave if we visit and they don’t want us to go home. They even ask they want to come to San Diego with us.
We never hurt or spank my son when he was growing up why did he turn out so violent to his kids.
There are times I want to report him to Social services my husband was very against it. I don’t know what he is doing to them if we are not there. I talked to the kids everynight on the phone but they cannot tell us anything because they are restricted to talk. The girl used to talk to much and tell stories now he won’t even say a thing.

Please help… I don’t want the children to grow up violent or insecure.

Response is badly needed.


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Posted at 5:08 PM on January 4, 2011  

It sounds like you are too involved in things that are not your business. If you really thought that what your son was doing was harmful you would call social service despite your husband’s protests. What it sounds like is that you don’t like when people do not do things the way YOU think they should be done. How about you get a life like your husband seems to be able to do? How about your mind your own damn business!

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Posted at 10:56 PM on January 7, 2011  

Liz, don’t worry about WHY your son is violent. You can ponder that later. Report him to Child Protective Services. These are your grandkids – protect them! They sound like they are in danger.

Lilgotogirl: what an awful reply. I think you beat your kids, or you have no heart, or friends, or you are crazy. Of course its her business. You are certainly cold hearted and obviously stupid too.

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Posted at 4:32 PM on September 21, 2011  

Gosh you’re in a tough spot Liz.. Have you ever tried to talk to your son about why he is so violent with his kids? I wouldn’t call social services, they’d either send the kids to foster care, or just make your son more mad. What about finding a way to get custody of the children? Good luck, I’ll be praying for you!

PS to Lilgtogirl – if more people “minded their own damn business” there’d be a lot more murdered children in the world. You have lost it. I agree with jkh im sure you beat your kids. SICK.

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Posted at 2:47 PM on January 4, 2011  

Sounds like a SuperNanny rip off.

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Posted at 2:57 AM on January 4, 2011  

It is not against the law to spank…if so, my mom would be in prison! Haha. I was spanked often as a child and I sure as hell deserved it. Spanks are very different from beatings. Sheesh. I turned out pretty awesome and have a great relationship with my parents. Also, timeout was worthless and did not work on me. Although, I did hate standing in the corner:)

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just my opinion

Posted at 6:14 PM on January 3, 2011  

Spankings are Not against the law, BEATINGS are against the law.There is a huge difference, one is the parent in control of themselves, teaching their child a valuable lesson, The other is a parent letting themselves lose it out of annoyance, embarrassment, anger etc.

To me spankings are pulled out in the most last resort cases, my child is doing something that is potentially harmful to themselves or those around them. Example: My oldest daughter used to think my reaction to her running into the road was hilarious, it was all great fun to see me running after her yelling franticly, and her little brother started to think maybe it would be fun for him too. Time outs didn’t work, raising my voice, taking away toys, none of it worked. So one day after she did it, I took her back into the house, to a separate room from her siblings so her punishment wasn’t on display, and told her what I was about to do, and why I was doing it. I spanked her. Never had another race against traffic again.

It depends on the kids age as well, to me any younger than three, when they cannot comprehend the WHY, then you are doing nothing but hurting them physically and emotionally. But spankings do work IF they are used sparingly, they fit the “crime”, and calmly, if your kid can see you are out of control, you just end up raising a brat that smacks everyone cause they are mad.

AND after working in daycares for 5 years before having my own children, I can honestly say there are a hell of alot of kids out there who might benefit from some REAL consequences (a spanking) once in a while.

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Posted at 6:45 PM on January 3, 2011  

AMEN!! Could not agree with you more “Just My Opinion”

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Posted at 9:02 PM on January 3, 2011  

I second that; I was spanked as a child, and I turned out just fine. And as was mentioned, it was an absolute last-resort discipline method. And before we called punishments “time-outs”, it was just, “You won’t go outside and play with your friends if your room is still junky when they come around.”

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Posted at 2:00 AM on January 4, 2011  

THANK YOU! Great post. A celebrity offering parenting advice…thanks, but no thanks. Sheesh. While I’ve never been a spanking advocate…I am smart enough to recognize that it can be appropriate when used wisely. (i.e….a child running into traffic…or sticking something into a light socket). Sorry, Jill…but sometimes, “no-no” just doesn’t cut it when a child is in immediate danger (which is the *only* time I advocate spanking…along with Dr. Phil – speaking of celebrities. ;)

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Posted at 2:18 PM on January 4, 2011  

You should be giving the advice “Just My Opinion” because I couldn’t agree with you more. Spanking is completely appropriate discipline for dangerous childhood behavior. It’s Jill’s horribly misguided notion that is potentially leading to a world of horribly behaved and delinquent juveniles.

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Posted at 6:40 PM on April 4, 2011  

I know not WHO this lady is .. but I do know she is talking sense. Hitting children is a terrible thing to do, and it should be banned.

I am 56 and my parents lost me when they spanked me. I lost my love, respect and trust for them. I never have respected or trusted anyone that hits another person. I learned fear, pain, anger, hate and resentment. I learned they didn’t love me – and no that post spanking pep talk of ‘oh we love you’ meant nothing to me – ever.

Children should be as safe as you or I, the lady in the check out and your dog! If not safer! No one learns in an atmosphere of fear.

I never hit my children and they are now kind, great adults. So are my two young grandchildren that are being raised without being hit.

I live in Europe, where hitting a child has been banned for decades and we do NOT see levels of violence like the USA and the children are not running riotous. Quite the opposite

Discipline is what is needed – and THAT means to teach not to hit.

The ‘ I was spanked and turned out fine’ brigade don’t have a leg to stand on. Many of us were fell of our bikes in the road and are ‘just fine’ … and some of us are dead. Some of us ate poisonous berries and are just fine … and again .. some of us are dead or very sick.

Learn to be gentle, pass it on … and one day this cruel world might just become a wonderful place to live in.

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Posted at 3:52 PM on January 3, 2011  

Why would anyone listen to anything Jill recommends, isn’t she the one who writes bogus book commentaries on her own book. Yeah, I’m going to listen to her advice. Get real! Jill, go back under your rock.

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