A man who is offering to spank misbehaving kids has stirred up charged feelings on social media.
On Tuesday, Dwayne A. Stamper Sr., a father-of-five in Muncie, Indiana posted a Facebook photo of himself sitting in his driveway with a cardboard sign that read, “Free αss whoopins,” while holding a paddle.
The caption read, “Parents, your kids need a whoopin? Summer can’t end fast enough? Stop by, I’m set up! No kids over 13….They may whoop me.”
The photo landed with 33K reactions, 176K shares, and 9.5K comments. Many people agreed with Stamper’s approach to discipline, citing a universal lack of respect among children. A large number found the photo hilarious: “How much for a house call?”
However, a few disagreed with the idea of physical punishment, pointing out, “No it’s not that some kids are good and some are bad, others have better comprehensive capabilities than others. Meaning others will learn slower than others, therefore, will take much more effort to discipline and raise than said others. Like me. I was a handful due to my learning disabilities….”
Someone else wrote that no one should be spanking children under any circumstances.
The 46-year-old operator for General Motors says he posted the photo after witnessing an exchange between a mother and her child earlier that day. “I was at a restaurant and a boy about five or six-years-old and carrying a blanket, wouldn’t stop crying because he couldn’t have a piece of gum,” Stamper tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Finally, I said to the mother, ‘Would you like me to take care of that for you?’ but she told me it wouldn’t work. The grandmother also said the kid was spoiled.'”
He adds, “A few minutes later, the boy was still crying and I told his mother, ‘Lady if you bust that a**, he will be quiet. I got whoopings when I was growing up and I learned how to be quiet.'”
Stamper posted about the incident on Facebook and it’s gotten 2.5K reactions and more than 500 comments.
Stamper says his discipline philosophy, used on his own children who range in ages 14 to 26, is due to his belief that “kids should fear their parents a little” and that behavior problems arise when parents allow children too much freedom, including excessive video game use, and view them as “friends.”
His method — which is to whack the child on his or her bottom — is used only on children below the age of 13. “Kids who haven’t had a whooping by the age of 13 can’t be changed by a paddle — they have no fear,” he says, stressing that using a paddle is a last resort and a signal that the parent has lost patience.
“Some have called me a child abuser….to me, child abuse is smacking a child with your hand or fist anywhere other than the butt,” he says. Other parents have messaged Stamper, seeking parenting advice.
However, Stamper says his wife doesn’t agree with his discipline method and takes a gentler approach to conflict resolution.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while discipline is a “vital part of good parenting,” physical punishment should be avoided. Per the website, “That only teaches aggressive behavior and becomes ineffective if used often. Instead, use appropriate timeouts for young children. Discipline older children by temporarily removing favorite privileges, such as sports activities or playing with friends.”
The organization states that while two-thirds of parents approve of spanking, hitting, or other methods of inflicting pain, the practice “can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children.”
And according to Sandra Graham-Bermann, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, while such punishment may have instant effects on stopping bad behavior, physical punishment “doesn’t work in the long term.”
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