Parents And Politics: Delaware’s New “Spanking Ban”

22 months.

Is the state of Delaware really banning spanking? Not exactly, but in theory, sort of.

Governor Jack Markell, a Democrat, passed Bill 234 last month, which contains an ambiguous phrase that I have conveniently copied and pasted for your convenience:

(j) “Physical injury” to a child shall mean any impairment of physical condition or


That’s why Bill 234 is controversial.

Because let’s face it: Spanking causes pain. That’s basically the whole point.

So it’s possible this bill could be interpreted that a parent could be breaking the law by causing pain to their child, via spanking.


How should we feel about that?

Immediately thoughts of “Oh no, now Big Brother is going to try to keep me from disciplining my own child!” come to mind.

The lines begin to blur regarding discipline and child abuse. What if other states adopt a similar bill?

When I hear a story like this, I remind myself what the root of it is. It’s not about whether or not spanking is wrong or right.

It’s about giving the government control over personal issues like this.

The question isn’t about spanking. The question is whether or not you support a “hands off” approach to government or a “decide what it is right for us, government” approach, instead.

Personally, I don’t believe in spanking. I raise my son with a strict, consistent method based on time-outs and taking away privileges, followed by clear communication with him explaining A) why his behavior merited the discipline and B) that I love him, then I hug him.

However, I support a parent’s right to spank their child. Because after all, who am I to stay that my method is better than spanking?

That’s not my call. Nor is it the government’s.

(Can you tell I’m a Libertarian?)

So as we approach this important Presidential election next month on November 6th, keep this mind:

You are voting for a political party and their ideologies, more so than a particular man.

Will you vote for a political party that lets the government decide how you discipline your own child, as well as, how many ounces of soda you can buy for your child when in New York City?

Or are you okay with making those decisions yourself?


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  1. by Joe

    On October 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    On the other hand…limiting what one person can do to another legally has always existed. Libertarian viewpoints aside, a slippery slope exists, where if you don’t limit what a parent can legally do to their child, you end up with people who take it to the extreme. Not only that, but parents make decisions that aren’t wise and their kids get hurt…”But it’s OK, because they’re OURS, right? You can’t tell me what to do with MY kid…”

    Where do we draw the line in the sand?

    Does it take kids dying?

  2. by Joe

    On October 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Dude, there’s something in the layout that stops some people’s comments from displaying. It’s incredibly annoying… ;-)

  3. by Angela

    On April 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Spanking should not be legal. It is legalized sexual assault against our children for obedience.

    They can easily be unintentionally sexually aroused, the implications of which are traumatizing. Their behavior worsens, they live and comply in an environment of pain and fear of pain which was banned against grown men.

    Children are citizens whom deserve equal protections of the law, and human beings, who deserve the same protection from human rights violations that we do.

    It was once legal for employers to physically punish their employees for transgressions at work. Are you going to say that big brother stepped in and interfered with businesses? Perhaps they should reverse that. Tell me how fast you change your mind.

    We do not define laws because of the misguided beliefs of others. We do so because something is morally and ethically wrong and infringes on the rights and well-being of an individual, which children are. Does it take rights away from parents? The same way we took rights away from employers.

    If you have to sugar coat something, change the name, and relay inaccurate anecdotes to justify your parenting, there is something wrong with your parenting. Especially when it violates your primal instinct making you feel terrible for doing so. There is a reason.