Alpha Male Ryan: Smacked Red

Physical discipline on kids -- including spankings with a belt, as Alpha Male Ryan endured as a child -- doesn't work, the columnist says. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

Editor’s Note: Circuit Court Judge Hubert L. Grimes has seen a lot of teenagers brought into his courtroom, facing criminal charges, and he believes a lot of their problems start when they’re very young, and get upset and act out when they want something … and discover their parents quickly give in to their demands. As they grow up, the judge has cautioned, these teens develop the view that aggressive behavior gets them what they want, and they end up not respecting authority figures like teachers or law enforcement officials. He’s written a book, “How To Keep Your Child From Going to Jail,” that urges parents not to be too permissive and to let their children know from a very young age that it’s the adults who are in charge, not the children, and he urges them to discipline their children if needed, and see what works — including corporal punishment.
Alpha Male Ryan got his share of spankings as a child, and as a young adult, found himself in prison, surrounded by other men in their twenties filled with aggression and a belief that fighting solves all problems. Ryan takes issue with the judge’s theory, and says his own example proves that physical discipline on children doesn’t eliminate aggression, but sadly intensifies it.

No, you don’t need to put your hands on a kid to get them to understand right from wrong.
Think about it — how is being aggressive with your child and using discipline going to change their attitude that what they’re doing is wrong? It’s not. What you’re saying is, “I’ll spank you, then you’ll fear me.”
You’re sending the wrong message. There’s compliance out of fear — and compliance out of respect. You don’t want them to fear law enforcement; you want them to respect law enforcement.
If your kid is acting up, yes, you teach them there will be consequences — but it doesn’t have to be physical. You can teach them with words, too. If your child respects you, they’ll feel that way, too.
I’m not going that far as to say that spanking is always abuse, but I just don’t think it’s acceptable for me to use it on my child. Let’s say if your son or child tends to go to school, and slaps another kid. What do you tell your kid?  That “You’re not supposed to hit?”  How do you tell your kid that if you hit him, too?
I think that if you raise your kids properly, they will have respect for you — and respect for authority figures.
That’s what the military does. When you go to military boot camp, the instructors don’t have to beat the crap out of you to make you respect them. The people who came up with these programs that the military instills in their recruits know what they’re doing. Are you telling me they’re wrong?
Me, I got spanked as a kid. I got hit with a belt. It wasn’t fun, I’ll tell you that. Spanking and hitting kids, it only makes them resentful, and if your kids resent you, they don’t have room for respect. You don’t get respect by beating your kid.

Is the book by Circuit Judge Hubert Grimes offering the right advice to parents .... or, as Alpha Male Ryan suggests, is there a much simpler answer?

I saw this in prison with the other inmates. They were never taught right from wrong. They were never taught proper respect by their parents.
They learned in other ways. They were learning from certain books they’d read in prison, and I read those books, too. We’d all read these urban novels they have in the prison library, about killing and fighting. It’s fictional gangster books they read. It gives the inmates a false impression of what’s cool and what’s important in life.
They got the wrong message growing up, from parents who beat them. If the parents had been teaching them right from wrong and respect, and disciplined them that way — rather than putting their hands on them — they might not have gone to prison.
What does hitting them do? It just makes these inmates mad, knowing if you get in trouble, you’re just going to get your a** whooped.
Physical disciple isn’t going to get any accomplished goal of compliance with respect. That’s compliance with fear.
That’s what the corrections officers use in prison, too — fear.  Intimidation, The corrections officers don’t have respect for the inmates.  It was just ‘Do this or you go to jail, do that or go to jail.’  Jail in prison is the hole — solitary confinement.
Some of the corrections officers do show respect for the inmates, but the vast majority of them don’t. So the inmates responded with resentment.  It caused a lot of the inmates to get ticked off and take it out on the other inmates, because you can’t exactly take it out on the guards, can you?
Does fear make them less violent? A lot of the inmates, if they get mad at you because your raised your voice too loud or you bumped into them in the hall, the first thing they want to do is fight.
It’s a never-ending cycle. It just keeps going and going and going.
Do you want to keep your kids out of prison? I say it again: you don’t get respect by beating your kids.
Teach them to respect you.
Teach them to respect authority figures.
If you teach them those things, well …. they probably won’t end up in prison in the first place, like I did.

Contact Alpha Male Ryan at

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5 Responses to “Alpha Male Ryan: Smacked Red”

  1. Lisa says:

    I like many other children, got licks/beatings as a child. I did resent my parents for a while, but it kept my behind in line. Before I did certain things I thought to myself of the licks I’d get, and so I just didn’t do it. Was I perfect, no, but I did stay out of trouble. Most of my licks came from things that my little brother did, and I got punished for it, because I should have been able to stop him. But that’s another story.
    Any way I am a firm believer that different children need different levels of discipline. You should always start with talking, having a conversation with your child. The next steps could involve things like, no tv, games, phone, favorite thing etc. Any other thing to get your point across. Then as a last resort corporal punishment. This can be a slap on the mouth, or behind with your hand, not to inflict pain, but to get their attention that you are serious and whatever it is they were doing was wrong. Then there is the belt. I got the belt, and it was pretty bad. Each round would be at least 20 hits, and seemed to go on forever. I say instead of a marathon, 1-5 hits with a belt should be enough. The point is not to leave marks, scar your child emotionally, get out your stress because of other things, prove that your bigger and stronger etc. The point is that the child must stop a particular behavior. And you should express to them that, you don’t want to hit them, it makes you sick because you love them, but you are at this point because the talking and other punishment didn’t work. I am 40 now, I got licks and stayed out of trouble, respect and love my parents. My brother is 33 now, he got minimum licks, and went to jail on more than 1 occasion, is aggressive like hell, and has little to no respect for my parents or anyone else for that matter.
    A note on the military, their form of discipline is to break you and and have you follow orders. I don’t think you should be trying to break your child and follow orders. They may follow your orders for a while but they have to grow up, when they hit teens, they may just start following the wrong crowds’ orders and get into bigger trouble because they don’t think for themselves. They just follow the crowd.

  2. Alan Berg says:

    As a kid, I can remember my dad storming into my room, on the nights when I had gotten into big trouble, and swinging a belt as he walked in. The very sight of that belt — combined with the furious look in his face — always terrified me and I can remember bursting into tears, sobbing for him not to hit me. Sometimes I think I cried so hard seconds after he walked in the door that he never had to use the belt to make his point; other times, he did use it. It was a traumatic thing to go through.
    I’ve never been in prison, doubt I could survive five minutes in a cell, and don’t think I have much at all in common with Alpha Male Ryan. But I agree with him on this issue. I could never raise my hand to a child. I say kudos to Ryan for taking on this stance, rather than repeating the abuse that he endured when he was small.

  3. Bernadete says:

    thanks for taking your time to explain that, i bet everyone likes your articles.

  4. I just could not leave your site before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information a person provide on your guests? Is going to be again frequently in order to check up on new posts

  5. Dave says:

    Ive been reading your posts on here for a while and let me say I like them! Ou are clear to the point and give no bs. I bet you are a hoot to hang with and that you have some great stories to tell.

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