Why I Still 'Smack' My 12-Year-Old Daughter

Mom Janelle Harris says she'll only stop when it's not effective

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 3, 2011 1:26 PM CDT

(Newser) – Janelle Harris's daughter is 12 years old, as tall as her mom, and old enough to borrow her clothes, shoes, and make-up. "But she’ll never be too big and bad to get smacked," Harris writes on The Stir. "I have to remind Miss Preteen Thang every so often: You could wind up being in the friggin’ Guinness Book of World Records for rapidest growth spurt or tallest tween-ager. Doesn’t matter to me. If you get out of line, I will mount a chair, climb a step stool, or scale a ladder just to knock some sense into you."

Sure, Harris has tried other forms of discipline, but sometimes restricting friends, Internet, and TV just isn't as effective as corporal punishment, she writes. When her daughter has "clearly lost her doggone mind, she needs a swift pop to bring her back to her senses." Of course, there's always a discussion that goes along with the "wrong side of my open palm," Harris writes; her daughter is never the recipient of "excessive, haphazard slaps." As far as Harris is concerned, she'll only stop spanking her daughter when the punishment stops being effective. Click to read Harris's full piece, which includes the tale of a spanking she received in high school.

How old is too old to get spanked?
How old is too old to get spanked?   (Shutterstock)
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There’s no real reflection time while you’re bent over your parent’s knee. That, dear friends, doesn’t happen until you’re back in your room with red flames of pain waving over your butt like dude in the Icy Hot commercial. - Janelle Harris

It takes quite a bit to get me to the point of getting physical, but I think it’s safe to say that every time it’s happened, homegirl earned it fair and square. - Janelle Harris

My mama is always threatening to beat somebody’s tail. And since I’m an only child, that somebody is usually me. ... She did dole out a couple of streetfighter-style butt whoopings when I was in high school. - Janelle Harris

My mother was, is, and will always be the heaviest hitter I know. Some people joke about ruling with an iron fist. My mom really does. - Janelle Harris

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