Why You Can’t Use an Object to Spank a Child During Discipline

There are many parents in Michigan who discipline their children using some form of corporal punishment. Spanking, in most cases, takes the form of a smack administered by hand to a child’s bottom, and this is a form of discipline that Michigan law allows. Although, as you’ll remember from our previous article on corporal punishment, this is a tricky subject, as the law isn’t very clear on what is acceptable and what falls into the category of child abuse. So if you choose to spank your kids when you discipline them, then this article is for you.

A close up of a brown leather belt, rolled up and set with the buckle facing the camera. This is to show a common object used during discipline.

Using your hand is different from using an object to hit a child

Chances are, when you were a kid your parents spanked you when you were naughty. And if they did, there’s a good chance they used something other than their hands, even if it was only once in a while to make a point. Carpet beaters, shoes, cooking spoons, paddles, belts, the list of items used by parents to spank their kids is practically endless. (In some cases kids were sent outside to fetch a switch off a tree to use in their own discipline!). But whatever the case, that’s pretty much no longer an acceptable option.

Hitting with objects greatly increases the chance of injury!

Hitting a child with your open hand on the bottom is going to hurt them. However, for many parents, that’s the point. Causing pain to teach a lesson without causing injury. However, as soon as you involve an object, the chances that you may actually cause significant harm to that child increases exponentially. Hitting a child with a belt or an extension cord can cause severe bruising, painful welts, and even lacerations. Hitting a child with a switch can open wounds in their skin that will bleed, and may lead to infection. Either way, as soon as an object is involved, the chance of lasting injuries becomes significant. And that’s where choosing to spank a child to discipline them steps over the line into child abuse.

CPS doesn’t believe any kind of spanking is acceptable in Michigan!

Children’s Protective Services (CPS) takes a dim view of spanking since they feel that the line between physical discipline and physical abuse is too fine for most parents to see. And unfortunately, in some cases they’re right. But there are just as many instances where they’re wrong, which means that parents who are just trying to do what they believe is right end up being punished for their efforts. So when you spank a child, and they end up bleeding, or with bruising that can last weeks, CPS is going to step in, and the results are usually awful for everyone!

Parents who are accused of physical abuse can lose their kids to the system!

If you spank your child and the spanking leaves marks on your child’s body, you could be reported to CPS for child abuse. Teachers, coaches, your ex, even a stranger in a store or restaurant may report you for suspected child abuse. And once CPS shows up and sees that your child has welts or bruises or even open wounds, and finds out that you were the one who made that happen, it’s going to get really ugly, really fast. There’s a good chance your child will be removed from your care by the state, and placed into foster care. You may even have your parental rights terminated. So it’s critical you act fast to defend yourself and your family.

Make sure you’ve got the best CPS defense attorney if you’re accused of abuse!

Corporal punishment of children is a very controversial subject here in Michigan and it likely always will be. But whether you advocate for spanking or prefer other methods of discipline, remember that the choice is yours to make as a parent so long as those choices do not result in damage or injury to a child. And in the event that you become involved in a police or CPS investigation where your parenting choices are questioned, contact us immediately at 866 766 5245. Our skilled and experienced CPS defense attorneys are standing by to help.