Lori Alexander Says 15 Months is Old Enough to Spank

Lori Alexander Says 15 Months is Old Enough to Spank December 8, 2018
Apparently enough people still hit their children with wooden spoons that you can buy personalized spanking wood spoons on Ebay and Etsy!

Lately The Transformed Wife Lori Alexander has been making more videos on YouTube along with making her little handwritten memes and churning out blog posts plus instagram posts. She’s a regular career gal, but her career is apparently winning over the interwebs to her brand of legalistic fundamentalist not-Christ-like version of Christianity.

I’ve watched a few now and the most surprising thing about them is actually seeing the author, and seeing what she is like. Sounds like. I’ll not spoil it and let you draw your own conclusions.

Today’s Lori speaks on discipline, how she never allowed her kids to have tantrums, or misbehave in any way. I am guessing she never allowed them to behave like normal children, imperfect with needs. No human reactions or normal childhood behaviors allowed to intrude on her own personal Lori-stan.

So what is Lori’s solution? Exactly the same as the Pearls. Beat the child, but with a wooden spoon on the upper thigh instead of a plumbing line anywhere you can reach. Here’s Lori’s direct answer in the comments of the Youtube video to someone inquiring how young you can start the physical discipline. She calls it ‘Training’ just like Michael Pearl.

Actually, no, please do not hit your 15 month old baby! First, they are too little to reason with, so they are clearly not going to understand why you are hurting them. You’ve just going to confuse a child that young, along with start to alienate them from you, their parents.

You’re teaching your child that the bigger person who can inflict physical pain will always win. You teach them that violence solves problems instead of reason, that their needs to not matter, only their immediate compliance.

Recently we touched upon the many other reasons not to hit, because it sets a child up for a host of things. From a recent post on Michael Pearl’s post on spankings (that are really brutal beatings)

There’s been a great deal of legitimate research lately on what happens when physical punishment is meted out in homes. None of it good. Homes with brutal punishment are more likely to produce teenage criminals. It causes anxiety in children, increased aggression, malignant self concept – believing you are bad, increased risk of depression and mental illness. People that were beaten and abused as children are more likely to be spousal abusers. So many negative things have now been linked to harsh physical punishment.

You cannot beat kindness into a child. There are much better ways to discipline and assure good behavior than spanking. We favored the ‘Love and Logic’ books in our house. What have you learned works better than being cruel to a child?

Thankfully more states and countries are starting to ban corporal punishment because of the risks of a life time of problems.


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Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 32 years You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Iain Lovejoy

    Tense voice, blink, blink, blink, swallow, shake head, blink,blink, swallow, look away…
    Lori couldn’t look more like she was lying if she tried.
    Her biggest lie, which she sort of mutters out then moves on with, is trying to assert that their kid(s) only ever had one temper tantrum and that it was never repeated. This is BS because she also talks about repeated beatings, and because, well, obviously this is nonsense.
    I suspect the majority of kids repeatedly abused in this way will learn by about three or so to avoid their parents as much as possible and keep as quiet and passive as they can when in sight. They will also no doubt learn to lie at a very early age. This is presumably what Lori and co mean by “trained”.

  • brenda_archer

    It sounds like a recipe for creating personality disorder. Children who break will instead get CPTSD.

  • Martin Penwald

    Thankfully more states and countries are starting to ban corporal punishment because of the risks of a life time of problems.

    At last France did it last week.

  • frostysnowman

    I’m surprised she doesn’t think 15 months is too late to start the process.

  • Jennny

    ‘..will keep as quiet and passive as they can..’ Exactly, I’ve heard folk who’ve visited orphanages in poor countries say the silence is eerie and scary. Babies confined to cots soon learn no one is going to come to comfort them, or supply their needs. Every child requires its basic needs met, psychological, physical, emotional and mental…and those to whom that hasn’t happened, have a lifetime of PTSD and other serious consequences ahead of them.

  • Martin Penwald

    By the way, Lori, do you think it would be appropriate for your children to spank you once you’re impotent and throw tamper tantrum?

  • Friend

    The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes spanking:

    Where We Stand: Spanking

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends healthy forms of discipline, such as positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, limit setting, redirecting, and setting future expectations. The AAP recommends that parents do not use spanking, hitting, slapping, threatening, insulting, humiliating, or shaming.

    Here’s Why:

    – Corporal punishment of children younger than 18 months of age increases the likelihood of physical injury.

    – Repeated use of corporal punishment may lead to aggressive behavior and altercations between parent and child and may negatively affect the parent-child relationship.

    – Corporal punishment is associated with increased aggression in preschool and school-aged children.

    – Experiencing corporal punishment makes it more, not less, likely that children will be defiant and aggressive in the future.

    – Corporal punishment is associated with an increased risk of mental health disorders and cognition problems.

    – The risk of harsh punishment is increased when the family is experiencing stressors, such as family economic challenges, mental health problems, intimate partner violence, or substance abuse.

    – Spanking alone is associated with adverse outcomes, and these outcomes are similar to those in children who experience physical abuse.

    The link below has this policy, as well as links to other AAP documents about discipline:

    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/family-dynamics/communication-discipline/Pages/Where-We-Stand-Spanking.aspx

  • Friend

    She says parents should model the behavior they want the children to exhibit. Then she recommends striking them with wooden kitchen implements.

  • Friend

    I’ve had no luck talking people out of spanking. However, if you want to get them to think a bit, you can calmly ask, “When and why would you start? What’s a good age for stopping?” Then just let them listen to themselves answer you, as they think about spending ten or fifteen years hitting children who get bigger all the time.

  • Friend

    It’s illegal in many states for adoptive parents to spank their adopted children. Yeah, government interference and all that… but parents need to ponder this, whether they plan to raise both adopted and biological children, or only adopted children.

  • Friend

    She thinks they’ll be perfectly docile before they reach adult height. This is not something any parent should count on. I know a teenage girl who grabbed her mother’s wrist in mid-air to protect herself from being struck. The mother was lucky to have a child with that kind of self-restraint, and it’s just a good thing that a fight did not break out. Spanking ended that day in that family.

  • AFo

    I think the only time my mom “spanked” me was when I was little and I was reaching into a hot dish, and she swatted my hand away, more out of instinct than anything. If we were acting up, we usually got our favorite toy taken away for awhile. Wooden spoons and plumbing line never entered into the equation. I think I can say pretty confidently that we all turned out much better than the Pearl or Alexander kids.

  • Friend

    If there’s a risk of injury, parents don’t have time to decide whether to let natural consequences to do the teaching. The parent’s unusual action (a shriek, swat, or grab) makes the scary thing even more memorable. When a child is shrieked at, swatted, and grabbed every day, how can that child distinguish the danger of a hot stove from the danger of not matching the socks correctly?

  • Saraquill

    I read garbage like Lori’s, and I think of little Dennis Jurgens. He was adopted into a family where the wife was livid how he acted like the toddler he was. This woman used brutal methods to mold him into her personal ideal. He didn’t live to attend school.

    I don’t have anything foul enough to say to Lori.

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    From stories I’ve heard, acting to defend yourself just leads to more beatings

  • The Jack of Sandwich

    When is it appropriate for your child to start hitting you if you don’t act how they want?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I remember that story and the crazy Lifetime movie they made about it! Despicable!

  • Friend

    Great question! I’ll practice that one and wait for a chance to ask in sweet wide-eyed innocence.

  • Friend

    It certainly can. But kids have all the time in the world to figure things out, and many do find ways to subvert their parents’ rigid, violent methods.

  • Mimc

    I’ve heard dozens of stories like that. They stopped getting hot the day they fought back. I feel like that says all one needs to know about the effectiveness of spanking.

  • Friend

    Wow! I’ve only heard that one story. What usually happens? Did the kids stop at preventing themselves from being hit, or did they actually fight the parents? How did the parents handle discipline after they had to give up on physical force? Boys? Girls? Ages? I’d really love to know.

  • bekabot

    Parents (especially mothers) were tremendously anxious about toilet-training when my Mom was a tyke, and they used to one-up one another (or try to) by teaching their kids to poop the adult way earlier and earlier. None of which achieved anything from the child’s point of view, but it was supposed (who knows why) to be a testament to what great parents the child’s parents were. At any rate, by dint of sheer application my Mom’s Mom’s cohort of parents sometimes arrived at remarkable results in the diaper department, although there was no reason or purpose to any of it — and, as is usual in these cases, the results they did get were probably as much due to the kids training their parents as the other way ’round.

    This reminds me of that.

  • Mimc

    Usually it’s in their teens or sometimes early twenties. Not sure about gender since many of these conversations were online. I imagine it’s more common and earlier for boys on average. Of course some of them just run away and never speak to their parents again. I’m most of they stories I’ve read/heard the parents just give up. They never learned any other methods so they just stop trying to enforce any rules. Sometimes they kick the kid out. It’s telling that they stop because the kid is too big and strong not because the kids behavior improved.

  • Friend

    Gotta wonder what the parents think. I imagine (hope) it’s like, “Holy crap, that kid’s a brute! Guess I’ll hide in my room.”

  • Friend

    Kids can learn early. But if the potty training is forced on them, my understanding is that they are more vulnerable to regressing and wetting the bed if there’s a trauma (death in the family, difficult move to a new home, etc.). It just seems kinder to have some patience.

  • persephone

    Also, children aren’t physically able to control their sphincters until approximately age 2. The muscles have to develop and the child has to learn to control them. Children may learn to control their urination earlier than that.

  • otrame

    Teach a child kindness by hurting them. Right.

  • persephone

    Considering the facts that Lori’s kids have engaged in behavior, school and jobs that Lori is now condemning, which she lies about and hides, I don’t believe anything she says. Anything. I wouldn’t believe her if we were standing outside, under a beaming sun, 75 degrees, and the bluest sky ever, and she said, “It’s not raining.”

  • persephone

    I’m pretty sure they’re planning to dump her in a facility as soon as they can. I’m sure Ken will help. I bet Ken would love to peep the bikini-wearing girls on the beach as often as possible, as well as no longer having to help Lori with her blog and sock puppets. Maybe he’ll sell their house (bet it’s worth at least ten times what they paid for it), and go full Margaritaville.

  • persephone

    Well, first, it’s not really discipline. It’s an excuse to abuse. If the abuser suddenly finds the tables turned, the shock of it forces a reevaluation, for good or ill.

  • Saraquill

    I read a lot of memoirs. In one book, the writer’s mother beat her a lot. Including to get her screaming child to stop crying. This is among the reasons they don’t talk much.*

    On another one, the stepmother beat him for anything and everything, including eating. Then got the father to administer a second beating. When the writer grew larger than the stepmother, she lied about his behavior to get him lobotomized. This did not remedy her hatred of him, so she talked the father into placing him in foster care. The foster parents were much kinder to the writer.

    *There’s a Goodreads review in which the commentor wanted the book to end with reconciliation and the writer realizing her mother was supporting her the entire time. I think this person wanted a different book.

  • otrame

    I didn’t rush my kids. I started sitting them on the potty for a few minutes several times a day, but never forced them. I would mention, while changing diapers, how cool it will be when they can always poo in the potty.

    In both cases, they told me one day “I need to go potty.” And they did. And they only VERY rarely had an accident after that, usually because they were busy playing. When it happened, I commiserated, “Oh, too bad. Don’t worry, we’ll get this cleaned up and you’ll do it in the potty next time.”

    Of course, my youngest chose to tell me “I need to go potty, momma” while we were in a restaurant in a giant Holiday Inn in South Dakota (we were on a trip). I took him to our room and he promptly pooed in the toilet. When we came back to the table, he yelled, “Daddy, I went poo in the potty!” In a room full of people having Sunday dinner.

    He got a round of applause. And even in the middle of our trip to Anchorage, which took about another 10 days, he had no trouble keeping his diapers dry.

  • Saraquill

    There’s a child rearing manual circa the 1910s which call for potty training at 3 months. After feedings, the parents is supposed to hold the child over a bowl. If nothing happens, the parent was to introduce a local irritant.

    The best part about this was a comedy writer I enjoy ripping this advice to shreds.

  • B.E. Miller

    So when the parent gets old and demented, it would be okay for the child to discipline the parent by hitting them? (Just a suggestions for you to ask those folks.)

    Editing to add; because sometimes when old people get demented or Alzheimer’s, they can get very “toddler-like”. They don’t what to hear “no.” They don’t want to obey their kids, and not drive. I’ve even heard of such patients throwing food on the wall.

    I guess I’m trying to give you some ammunition here.

  • B.E. Miller

    Heather at “Becoming Worldly” talks about ‘the red stick’ which her parents used to hit the kids with. There’s a bit where she got big enough to grab at the stick.
    https://becomingworldly.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/the-end-of-the-red-stick/

    Also, get this… her parents genuinely believed that line about “if you beat him, he will not die”.

    “The idea was you could beat a child until their will was broken, until
    they submitted, until they were bruised, bloody, and mentally and
    physically injured, and could do so feeling confident that the child
    would not be at risk of dying from this because they were being beaten
    in a Christian way. ”
    https://becomingworldly.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/the-child-will-not-die/

    So I guess Real True Christians(tm) can beat their kids, but not atheists….

  • SAO

    I worry about the crap the CPM spews on the subject: 1) that spanking works miracles, 2) if you don’t see results, try harder and 3) no awareness of what tots are or are not capable of. In shory, fillowers have to figure out its crap on their own.

  • persephone

    Every time I hear or read something like this, I think of this interview with the creator of For Better Or Worse: http://cartoonician.com/the-lynn-johnston-interview/

  • persephone

    On the internet, the Nice Guys are in a dead heat with the I Was Spanked and I Grew up Fine people for most angry and delusional.

  • persephone

    One thing I only had to do once with each kid was when I told them in a store that if they didn’t behave we were leaving and no toy. (I would let them pick a small toy starting when they were quite small and I would take them out shopping with me. A ball. Hot Wheels. Usually around $1. If they behaved, they earned the toy.) I literally had to leave everything–with major apologies to the employees as we left–and go home once for each child. They never did it again.

    No beatings, no screaming, no slaps, nothing. They never did it again. Children don’t need to be beaten to learn. Animals don’t need to be beaten to learn. Empathy is a great teacher.

  • Samantha Vimes

    I think the reviewer may have been the evil mother.

  • mashava

    I think that still goes around crunchy mom circles? I seem to remember it being on LJF. You “train” your practically newborn to go on the toilet… by memorizing their eat-expel cycles and any tells that they need to go, and never taking your eyes off them apparently.

    Oh and you make a dumb noise every time they pee, so you Pavlov them into peeing when you make said noise.

  • Zeldacat

    Talk about some positive reinforcement! Well done, other restaurant-goers. And well done to your youngest at the time for the accomplishment. 🙂

  • heleninedinburgh

    Oh god, please tell me those cutesy spoons in the picture are intended for BDSM stuff rather than hitting children.

  • Nea

    Shouldn’t that be a HUGE hint that spanking doesn’t work in the first place, having to keep doing it until they fight back?

  • Friend

    You generated positive peer pressure. Nobody really wants to ruin things for everybody else.

  • Friend

    You emboldened me to take a quick peek. Found other spoons, not the ones in the pic at top. They’re making them in eco-friendly bamboo! Here’s a product description (seller gets bonus points for, uh, time travel description in first sentence):

    Who remembers Mama grabbing the spoon when misbehaving as a child? This “spanking spoon” can hang on your wall as a reminder for your children or grandchildren to behave. This is a 12″ bamboo salad spoon and can be personalized however you like with the font of your choice! Just include your personalization instructions in the notes to seller box when checking out.

    And a review (note ages of children):

    I became a single mom on no notice. I decided to go back to how I was raised, & ordered this spoon. They personalized it with “Mom’s Spanking Spoon” so that it would seem less of a joke. The engraving is wonderful, smooth, & professional. Way better than my expectations. The spoon is plenty sturdy without being TOO forceful (& risking lasting marks). I’ve had to use it twice on my 14 y.o. daughter & once on my 11 y.o. daughter. It certainly did as it was supposed to, clearly hurt, & got a reaction/their attention….but it also did so without risking any lasting marks. So, a perfect choice. It also has a hole in the handle which makes it easy to hang in my kitchen as a visual reminder. But the #1 thing is the customer service. The best I’ve EVER seen on Etsy. So helpful, so nice, so willing to help make sure they get it right

  • Friend

    Thanks for the ammo. If the Only Saved Family In The Neighborhood ever again comes within 50 feet of me, I’ll give it a try. Sadly, in recent times they all just stand in their yard looking at us, the children showing nearly imperceptible interest in our dog.

  • heleninedinburgh

    So that they associated love with abuse and pain. No, I can’t imagine that that could cause any psychological problems in later life, could it.

  • heleninedinburgh

    I don’t think I’ve heard of this story?

  • SAO

    Your grandmother’s cohort probably had cloth diapers, which they had to wash often, probably daily. That’s quite a strong motivator for toilet training early. Kids who are toilet trained earlier have more accidents, but a certain amount of those will happen in the bathroom, as the kid fails to get his clothes off in time and there isn’t much difference between washing peed-in undies and pants and peed-in cloth diapers. It’s worth noting that a disposable diaper with a large quantity of diarrhea or poop can just be tossed in the trash. A cloth diaper has to have the poop removed before it can be washed, even if you have a diaper service. Since most kids are pretty regular by age one, if you plop them on a potty about the time they usually poop (say, 1/2 hour after breakfast) they will usually poop in the potty, saving the parent work and the tot will be conditioned to poop in the potty.

    And, so, yeah, there was a purpose — cutting down on the quantity of loaded and smelly diapers to deal with.

  • bekabot

    I get that, so to me it’s a question of what’s worse (in the sense that it takes up more time and effort) — washing diapers as they get dirty (and I appreciate that it’s a yucky job) or monitoring a little kid ceaselessly in order to determine when he or she needs to take a poop. You need a certain number of things if you’re going to accomplish that: for one thing, you need a woman in the house; for another, she can’t be too busy doing anything else: she can’t do heavy cleaning, she can’t do heavy cooking (like preserving), she can’t be out working in the garden, she can’t be doing any type of sewing which is too demanding and which takes up too much of her attention; she needs enough free time that she can concentrate just about exclusively on her kid or kids. What’s more, she needs enough free time that she’s able to read books (written by other people) describing how her kids ought to be brought up and what does or does not make her a good mother. She needs enough free time and energy that it’s a legitimate aspiration of hers to maintain her kids in a certain state of physical neatness. (For example: her kids have to be in a sufficient state of couth that if the neighbors drop in they won’t leave full of tales about what a bad housekeeper our hypothetical mother is.) My Mom and her family derive out of a farming background and, in the years before my grandmother’s day, some of these things were frankly not achievable — so my Mom suspects (and so do I) that small kids ran around in shirts for the first few years of their lives…and, in fact, if you go back and look at 19th-century images, you’ll find that young boys wore skirts until they got old enough to start looking specifically like boys instead of generically like kids.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/603186ba593d1042876363adc42262fd76a4cd6996ef21c39af9acefb08566f5.jpg

    …which isn’t to say that I’m dismissing your account of things, which is commonsensical; though I still think that the early-20th-century determination (on the part of parents) to bring up their kids according to a certain pre-set standard was the result of a number of factors and not just one or two. (If nothing else, it was exactly coincidental with an increase in the standardization of every other division of life. But, I don’t want to get too much further into that because this is already TL;DR.)

    Sorry for length.

  • Saraquill
  • heleninedinburgh

    Ok, now I’m crying.

    But thanks for providing the link.

  • SAO

    Well, if your kid poops once a day at a predictable times, which they may do before age 1, you can manage the worst of it without constant surveillance.

    Plus, in the summer, if the kid is in a skirt (or naked), you have a potty in the yard and you praise every success. This is how I got my son trained earlier than I expected. I figured summer was the time and had low expectations, as I thought he was too young, but wanted practice while he could do it outdoors, where I didn’t care if he only got a few drops in his potty, I could enthusiastically praise success, without suppressing a groan at the mess I had to clean up.

    Cloth diapers or undies stay wet, so the kid is in cold, damp clothes pretty quickly without modern disposables. That’s quite a natural conditioner for better control.

  • Mimc

    I thought it was illegal to advise something as a spanking paddle?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    It is in most places.

  • HematitePersuasion

    Horrible woman; I have nothing but pity for her children.