Kelly Clarkson Says She Spanks Her Kids, Then Gets Backlash

January 11, 2018 Updated: January 11, 2018

After singer Kelly Clarkson, the “American Idol” winner, stated that she spanks her children, and some accused her of abuse.

“I’m not above a spanking, which people aren’t necessarily into,” the 35-year-old said in a radio interview this week, ABC News reported. She is the parent of two children, ages 3 and 1.

“I don’t mean hitting her hard,” Clarkson added. “I just mean a spanking.”

The singer said that her parents spanked her when she was a child.

“My parents spanked me, and I did fine in life, and I feel fine about it, and I do that as well,” Clarkson said. “That’s a tricky thing, when you’re out in public, because then people are like, they think that’s wrong or something, but I find nothing wrong with a spanking.”

“I warn her,” Clarkson said of disciplining her daughter, River Rose. “I’m like, ‘Hi, I’m going to spank you on your bottom if you don’t stop right now, this is ridiculous,’ and honestly it’s really helped. She doesn’t do that kind of stuff as often,” she said.

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“I’m from the South, ya’ll, so we get spankings,” Clarkson added, according to This Is Insider.

“My mom would call the principal if I ever ended up in the principal’s office and give permission for her to spank me. And then I’d get spanked at home as well. I’m a well-rounded individual with a lot of character, so I think it’s fine.”


After her comments, she drew criticism and praise.

“If parents spanked their kids more they wouldn’t grow up acting like monsters,” wrote one Facebook commenter. Others praised her honesty.

But some weren’t so impressed. “If hitting your kids is the only or best way you can come up with to teach them, I question your intelligence,” said another.

“That only teaches aggressive behavior, and becomes ineffective if used often,” according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says parents should “not spank or use other physical punishments” while punishing their kids.

“Instead, use appropriate time outs for young children,” the group says. “Discipline older children by temporarily removing favorite privileges, such as sports activities or playing with friends. If you have questions about disciplining your children, talk with your pediatrician.”

But in a study from 2010, psychology professor Marjorie Gunnoe at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, found that spanking might be good for children.

“According to the research, children spanked up to the age of 6 were likely as teenagers to perform better at school and were more likely to carry out volunteer work and to want to go to college than their peers who had never been physically disciplined,” it says.


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