A long time ago, spanking may have been considered an acceptable form of discipline from a parent to a child. However, in today's parenting world, it's extremely rare to find a parent who thinks it the right method to use.

What I discovered might raise eyebrows because, surprisingly, it's not explicitly illegal here in Maine.

Let's get into it.

According to Maine Criminal Code, a parent “is justified in using a reasonable degree of force against that child when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or punish the child’s misconduct.”

What does reasonable force mean as it constitutes to a child?

It is "the physical force applied to the child that may result in no more than transient discomfort or minor temporary marks on that child," according to Maine.gov. 

So, if you are within the realm of reasonable force, it seems legal to spank your child in Maine. All of this makes me so uncomfortable and I am sure you as a reader feel the same.

Many of us will be very surprised at this fact however I wanted to look further and see where putting your child in mild discomfort was even necessary.

The only circumstance I can think of where I might be okay with the use of "reasonable or necessary force" on my child is when their own safety is at immediate risk, and the situation could result in serious harm or even loss of life. If a car is coming and you need to hurl your child out of the way for example.

In any case, no matter what you believe on corporal punishment, spanking is not illegal or legal it all depends on if you are meeting the standards within "reasonable force."

Please visit our government website to learn more.

If you or anyone you know is being abused please visit NAMI MAINE for help.

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