Professional Nannies Don’t Hit (Spank) Children

Respecting Professional Boundaries for NanniesCorporal Punishment and Respecting Professional Boundaries for Nannies

Despite the fact that nannies may have been spanked as kids and turned out fine, whether they would spank their own children, and even if the parents that employ them tell them spanking their kids is okay, nannies must never ever spank a child left in their care. In fact, although spanking isn’t outlawed in most states in America, there is a risk of being arrested for spanking kids.

If a child hits someone else, nannies and parents punish the child. Yet, according to an article by Steve Hendrix of The Washington Post “Depending on how you ask the question, most surveys show that between 70 percent and 90 percent of parents in this country spank their kids at least once during childhood. In 2013 America, spanking a child is about as common as vaccinating one.”

In the article, Does spanking control a child’s bad behavior?, Christopher Johnson, MD, explains, that pediatricians have been telling parents for many years that spanking, is not a good way to discipline children. The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines on disciplining children, says this:

“Spanking may relieve a parent’s frustration for the moment and extinguish the undesirable behavior for a brief time. But it is the least effective way to discipline. It is harmful emotionally to both parent and child. Not only can it re­sult in physical harm, but it teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to discipline or express anger. While stopping the behavior temporarily, it does not teach alternative behavior. It also interferes with the development of trust, a sense of security, and effective communication. (Spanking often be­comes the method of communication.) It also may cause emotional pain and resentment.”

In A Parent’s Guide to Understanding and Motivating Children,Amy Lew, Ph.D. and Betty Lou Bettner, Ph.D. explain that hitting doesn’t instill confidence or courage. It is humiliating and teaches fear. They say that spanking provokes a poor self-concept, desire for revenge, and the idea that it is okay to hit the ones you love.

They write, “When we hit we are modeling negative behavior. We succeed only in teach that violent acts are a way to let off anger or it is acceptable to hit people.”

Despite personal beliefs about spanking their own children, nannies must never use any form of corporal punishment when caring for other people’s children, including spanking.


  1. amen! I actually ask in interviews for new jobs if the parents believe in spanking. I can’t work for people that yell or spank.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: