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Spank Out Day – April 30, 2023

National Spank Out Day is observed on April 30 every year. Its objective is to promote non-violent disciplining of children across the world. Communities that observe this holiday raise awareness about the drawbacks of corporal punishment and the drastic effects it can have on children, who are often on the receiving end. They also train parents in alternative-discipline practices that don’t involve hitting or spanking.

History of Spank Out Day

Corporal punishment is a punishment intended to cause the receiver physical pain. In schools and at home, especially when dealing with a minor, corporal punishment often involves spanking, slapping, or paddling as a penalty for wrongdoing. Corporal punishment has been an accepted practice for millennia now. The Christian book of Proverbs has a verse promoting corporal punishment of children upon misbehavior. Many historians have offered explanations for this belief, often quoting the desire to maintain power within a patriarchal society. Corporal punishment was also practiced in civilizations such as Egypt, China, Rome, and Greece to maintain discipline in education.

Studies show that children who experience corporal punishment are more likely to have higher levels of aggression or mental illness — or have issues with cognitive development and substance abuse. Furthermore, no peer-reviewed research has found any positive effect of corporal punishment in children. Recognizing this, Sweden became one of the first countries to ban the corporal punishment of children in 1979. Since then, over 70 countries have either completely prohibited corporal punishment against children or pledged to do so.

As public awareness continued to grow, the Center for Effective Discipline in the U.S. established Spank Out Day in 1998.

Spank Out Day timeline

10th — 6th Centuries B.C.
The ‘Book of Proverbs’

The ‘Book of Proverbs,’ which contains a verse that encourages spanking, is written and compiled.

1979
Sweden Bans Corporal Punishment

Sweden becomes the first country to ban the corporal punishment of children.

1998
The First Spank Out Day

The first Spank Out Day is observed in the U.S.

2006
The U.N.’s Statement

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child declares that all corporal punishment of children, along with other forms of punishment that "belittles, humiliates, denigrates, scapegoats, threatens, scares, or ridicules," should be prohibited.

Spank Out Day FAQs

Do American parents still spank children?

Even though it is falling out of favor, many American parents still believe in hitting their children.

At what age can a child be spanked?

At no age. Regardless of the child’s age, spanking is unnecessary.

What is the percentage of parents who still spank their kids?

About 35% of parents still hit their children, a decline from 50% in 1993.

How to Observe Spank Out Day

  1. Express your disapproval

    Corporal punishment is still socially acceptable in many countries. Express your disapproval of the corporal punishment of children, and discourage people from the practice.

  2. Learn the alternative means of punishing misbehavior

    Take this day to read about alternative means through which a child’s misbehavior can be punished or addressed. There are many valuable sources available online.

  3. Share resources with parents you know

    If you know any parents with children under their care, send resources that address corporal punishment to them. Help them understand the need to stop all forms of physical punishment against children.

5 Important Facts About Child Development

  1. Brain structure

    Child and adult brains have the same structure.

  2. Learning begins immediately

    Children begin learning as soon as they’re born; in fact, babies and toddlers are either learning or sleeping.

  3. Intellectual development

    Corporal punishment can hinder intellectual development in children.

  4. Privacy

    A child begins to develop an idea of privacy at four years of age.

  5. Information organization

    Children begin organizing information from memory by the age of seven.

Why Spank Out Day is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    The corporal punishment of children can have damaging effects on their psychology. Spank Out Day draws people’s attention to this fact.

  2. It highlights the harmful effects

    Spank Out Day highlights how harmful corporal punishment is to children. This goes a long way to steer society away from the practice.

  3. It’s a reminder to keep the conversation going

    Spank Out Day is a reminder to keep the conversation about corporal punishment going. It reminds us that spanking doesn’t work and that there are better, more effective ways to teach children discipline.

Spank Out Day dates

YearDateDay
2023April 30Sunday
2024April 30Tuesday
2025April 30Wednesday
2026April 30Thursday
2027April 30Friday

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