You are allowed to spank your child in Florida, but you are not allowed to use excessive corporal punishment. Causing bruises or leaving marks may be considered child abuse. While many parents do believe that occasional spanking can be appropriate, the generally accepted practice is that time out is the best way to discipline young children, and with older children taking away privileges can be effective. If you are having trouble with discipline, there are many low cost or free parenting classes that can give you tips, and also a lot of communities have some assistance available, again at low or no cost, or covered by insurance, depending on your situation, for behavioral specialists to help you with your child's behavior. Usually your school can give you a list of resources. It is not easy being a parent, and it does not come naturally to most of us. But hitting as a regular form of punishment runs the risk of increasing bad behavior, because then children start hitting too, and the situation can escalate out of control.
As my colleague suggested - spanking is not necessarily child abuse, but it CAN be depending on the severity or impact. I am not going to advise you how to raise your child but would recommend you exercise caution when doing so, especially in today's society where everything is call DCF first, ask questions later.
You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation since every case is different and not all information is relayed in an online question. The Law Office of Ophelia Bernal-Mora, P.A. is a family & criminal law firm located in Orlando, Florida, we invite you to contact us and welcome your calls at 407-377-6828. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
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I agree with Attorneys Morcroft and Bernal-Mora and want to add, and caution you, that I have seen this sisue used in divorces, and post divorces, going to the issue of time sharing and parental responsibility. I had a judge once tell my client he was deeply troubled by her use of corporal punishment.
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I assume there is more to your question than what you are saying. Most people are aware that no Florida law forbids reasonable corporal punishment (spanking). Who has accused you of child abuse?
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