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Spanking Is Wrong Essay

spanking is wrong essay

Example #1

The main reason why parents spank is that they think spanking will teach children not to do forbidden things and stop them quickly from doing whatever action is irritating their parents.  Some parents do not believe that some methods of discipline such as time outs do not work.  Also to my surprise, spanking is more prone to certain cultures and to certain areas.

Research has shown that spanking may be the least effective method of discipline. Researchers surveyed parents with the assumption that if spanking worked, children who were spanked would learn to behave better over time so that they needed punishing less frequently. The results showed that families who start spanking before their children are a year old are just as likely to spank their four-year-old children as often as families who do not star spanking until later.

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Poor results may result because spanking by itself does not teach alternative behavior. Actually children usually feel resentful, humiliated, and helpless after being spanked. The primary lesson they learn appears to be that they should try harder not to get caught. Spanking also sends the wrong message to children.  Spanking says that hitting is an acceptable way to solve problems and that it is all right for a big person to hit a small person.

Finally, spanking may have some potentially harmful long-term effects such as increasing misbehavior, aggression, violent or criminal behavior, impaired learning, depression, and suicide.

This can all be avoided though. There are alternatives to spanking. The suggestions for infants are instead of spanking, just grasp the child’s hand firmly. If an infant has something they shouldn’t, trade it with a toy. Baby-proof your living room so danger can be avoided. Leave the room if you feel out of control.

Suggestions for toddlers is to make sure the environment is safe, avoid direct clashes with toddlers, and try to ease the tension by tickling or any mean of humor. Use your size and strength to eliminate situations.

For example, carry a child who refuses to walk. Suggestions for older children include clapping your hands loudly to interrupt their behavior, if your child refuses to listen to you, get down to his level, grasp his arms tightly so he can’t avoid looking at you and talk calmly. Since spanking usually only occurs when one is feeling angry, take your anger out in other ways such as leaving the room and hitting a pillow or call a friend.  Once you are calm, you won’t feel the need to spank.

If you feel that you must punish your children, you have to be sure that the punishment comes right after the misbehaving so the children can relate the punishment to what they did wrong.  Using related punishment for misbehaving is easier for children to understand. For example, if a child is told to do their homework and you catch them playing video games, taking away the games for a certain time period will show the children what they did wrong.

The suggestions for all ages of children include all of the following. Reward good behavior, but not bribery.  State clear and firm family rules when the child is in the right state to listen. Try to understand the child’s perspective. Ask why they are mad or why they are crying. If you have spanked your children in the past and have a change of heart about it, let your children know and talk to them about it.

In conclusion, this article is a very helpful tool for parents feeling out of control or helpless to their child’s behavior. It gives alternatives to spanking and shows the positive effects that can come when spanking is not used. I believe that the article was very informative and helpful. I would suggest it to any parent in need of direction on how to discipline their child without the use of spanking.


Example #2

Parents have been spanking their children for hundreds of years, but recently this practice has come into question. The concern is not regarding the effectiveness of spanking but the correctness of spanking. Parents should not be allowed to strike their children. Child abuse is defined as any unnecessary or intentional physical or emotional or sexual mistreatment of children. Spanking is not the only method of child discipline. Spanking is not even the most effective method of child discipline. Numerous studies have made it evident that spanking does have a negative effect on children.

Spanking children should be considered child abuse because it teaches children the wrong message about hitting, it does not teach a child to act out of conscience, but out of fear, it hurts the parent-child relationship, and there are other more effective forms of child discipline. The combination of these factors plays a large role in the inappropriateness of spanking as a form of discipline. If spanking is not the best form of discipline then it is unnecessarily causing physical and mental harm to a child, thus constituting child abuse.

Spanking teaches children the wrong message because they think that it is acceptable for one person to hit another person in order to gain compliance. They learn that by hitting another person and causing pain, one can get what he wants. Often the child is not old enough to understand that hitting is used only in certain situations, such as when a parent is disciplining his child. Even when children are old enough to understand that hitting is wrong, they have seen their parents doing it for several years and have come to accept the fact that hitting is a part of life.

Children also learn that it is all right for a big person to hit a little person. When a child is spanked he has no choice but to accept the punishment. Children are much smaller than their parents are and they know that they cannot retaliate. This teaches children that a big person can hit a little person without fear of the littler person fighting back.

This is a problem because spanking a child not only teaches him that hitting is acceptable, but that it is okay to be dominating. Children learn that they are able to get what they want through the use of fear A child who is spanked behaves out of fear rather than as a result of his conscience. These children conduct themselves properly simply because they are afraid of being spanked. Although spanking may seem to serve its initial function it fails to instill a sense of acting properly because something is right or wrong. When the parents are not present, the child has no reason to behave.

Spanking does not help the child develop a self-conscience. When the child’s behavior is based on fear of being spanked, the child is not being allowed to make his or her own decisions. Spanking teaches children to operate from fear rather than reason. The child is refraining from certain behaviors because he or she does not want to be spanked, not because it is wrong.

Spanking as a method of discipline negatively affects the parent-child relationship. This relationship is important because almost everything that the parent does is reflected in his child. In the first few years of a child’s life, the parents are the primary factors in the development of the child’s personality and values. The child must rely solely on his parents for everything. The parents should make every effort to show their child love, care, and respect. This will make the child more kind, compassionate, and ultimately a better person.

Spanking a child puts both kids and parents into an adversarial relationship and risk damaging the important sense of trust necessary for raising emotionally healthy children. Parents are not showing the child love by hitting him and are certainly not building trust and respect. Spanking creates a feeling of resentment in young children, older children feel physically violated, angry, and helpless. Children do not need to be hit to know when they have done something wrong and to reason with the parent. When spanked feel bitterness, anger, and even hate towards the parent.

In addition to these three principal reasons which show the inappropriateness of spanking, there are also other concerns. One main worry about spanking is that it is a lower-level form of child abuse. It is against the law for a person to hit another person. Children are also people and should not be discriminated against simply because they are smaller.

The main reason that parents use spanking as a discipline technique is because it is what they received when they were children. However, in many cases spanking has nothing to do with helping the child. It is used as a quick solution to stop negative behavior with no real regard for the long-term outcome. Parents often spank their children because they themselves are angry. These parents simply cannot handle a situation and take it out on their child. Spanking might be more accepted if it was the only or the most successful, form of discipline, but it is not.

Spanking is simply a short-term fix of a child’s discipline problems. Two of the widely used alternatives to spanking are the time-out and restriction punishments. Time-out is most effective when administered to children under ten years of age, and a restriction mostly benefits children over ten years old. Both of these methods, while effective, also have a positive influence on the child, they teach the child discipline without the use of force, help the child form a genuine conscience, and strengthen the parent-child relationship.

The time-out removes the child from a certain situation to allow him or her time to settle down and to understand why a behavior is inappropriate. Whenever the child misbehaves, the parent takes him or her to a designated spot for a minute or so, depending on the age of the child; the time is longer for older children. During the time-out, the child thinks about what he did wrong and should always be combined with an explanation of why the behavior is bad. Time-out is a way to teach children self-control by giving them an opportunity to change their behavioral course.

The time-out helps the child learn better ways of handling the situation that originally got him into trouble. Eventually, the child will begin to understand why certain behaviors are wrong. While both the time-out and spanking appear to be effective, the former is much more suitable. Unlike spanking, it does not require the threat of force or create hostility between the parent and child. By allowing the child to calm down, he is able to think about the specific situation and how he could have handled it differently.

When children are spanked, feelings of anger and resentment towards their parents prevent them from learning why their actions were wrong. While the time-out is effective for developing a conscience in younger children, older children require a different type of discipline. A restriction is the taking away of special privileges from a child. Some examples of special privileges include watching television, playing video games, going out with friends, or talking on the telephone. The restriction is based upon the premise that children must earn special privileges. These privileges are earned by appropriate behavior and respecting important family rules.

For example, when a child breaks a rule such as staying up too late watching television the parent can use a restriction by forbidding him or her to watch television for the next couple of days. This method of discipline shows children respect by giving them the opportunity to control when and how often they are disciplined as a result of their own actions. They have no reason to get mad at the parent because they are the ones who misbehaved. A restriction also teaches the child the importance of responsibility and strengthens the parent-child relationship by making the child feel important.

In an effort to create well-behaved children, many parents are spanking their children. This is not an appropriate form of discipline. When parents spank their children, they are instilling fear, not teaching a lesson. Spanking creates anger and resentment within the child, weakening the parent-child relationship. More positive tools of discipline have been developed that will not only achieve compliant behavior but also aid in the development of a conscience. Spanking is unnecessary and harmful to children regardless of the reasons for its use. While spanking children may be effective in stopping immediate bad behavior, it is a form of child abuse.

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Example #3

The essay sample on Spanking Gone Wrong dwells on its problems, providing a shortened but comprehensive overview of basic facts and arguments related to it. To read the essay, scroll down.

Apparently Dora the Explorer couldn’t provide that because in the middle of spreading the peanut butter, hollers of “give it back” come yelling from the living room. Putting down the plastic knife, she makes her way to the other room to end what she finds out is way worse than she expected. The two daughters are fighting over who gets to hold the remote which leads to pulling hair, (nothing new), but her son Is rolling is a cloud of fuzzy stuffing from rolling open the couch cushions. It Looked Like the roof had caved In leaving a blanket of snow across the living room.

Don’t make me count to three! ” Yelling the threat of the count would at least halt the chaos, but discipline was needed. This count can be heard quite often in many homes, especially with young children. Whether it’s from coloring on the wall, fighting with a sibling, or even in the case of your couch being the new carpet, parents have to have their own code of morals and ethics when it comes to discipline. More times than not, after the count of 3, comes a nice spank also known as corporal punishment. In a recent study by U. S.

Catholic as many as 42% of parents said it was k to spank their kids, not counting for he 13% that were undecided (Clarke 23). On the other hand, there are parents that believe time out or a stern talk at the dinner table will do justice. Researchers have recently brought to attention that spanking Is causing harm to children. In accordance, spanking Is detrimental to children because parents can go too far, It leaves’ long-lasting effects and it doesn’t work any better than saying no. However, some people believe spanking is k because its part of life and punishment used to be way worse.

Many parents remember getting the wooden spoon, paddle, or even the belt. They argue physical punishment that is rare, dispassionate, and well reasoned, aiming to respond to severe cases of disobedience or to dangerous situations, is an essential part of a proper childhood formation” (Clarke 23). Although, spanking and physical punishment can go to a whole new level especially when it’s out of frustration and anger. The definition off “spank’ and what corporal punishment really Is has been under debate for years. This is where society falls, thinking what’s okay and what isn’t.

To one parent a slap on the hand is a spank while others think many slaps across the butt Is a good one. Callaghan mentioned, “In Webster, “spank” means to strike on the buttocks with an open hand” (142). While according to Parenting Magazine “corporal punishment is an act carried out by the purposes of correction or control” (Mitchell 19). Furthermore, according to Dry. Greensand, spanking or physical punishment “includes a wide variety of methods such as hitting, slapping, spanking, punching, kicking, pinching, shaking, shoving, choking, use of various objects (I. . , wooden paddles, belts, sticks, pins, or others), painful body postures (such as placing in closed spaces), use of electric shock, use of excessive exercise drills, or prevention of urine or stool elimination” (Par. 2). It’s obvious that there is a variance between what people think is correct terminology when it comes to spanking. “It’s vital to step back when a situation is escalating to a point of no return in order to give the thinking part of your brain time to catch up with your emotions” (Callaghan 142).

It’s easy to let patience run thin and get frustrated, but this leads to thoughts without actions and that’s not okay. Also for some parents, a spank isn’t enough. “Teaching them a lesson” shouldn’t be hitting a hill so hard it leaves bruises or marks. It may be disturbing but some parents go as far as holding a kid up by their shirt against a door, pulling them up by their hair, and even do exercises such as lifting heavy weights till their almost crushed. It doesn’t stop at go to bed without dinner, wash your mouth out, taking away a toy, or locking a child in their room, it can go to the point of abuse.

Some moms who’ve spanked their children agree–not necessarily that spanking was bad for their kids, but that it was bad for them and how they wanted to relate to their kids” (Callaghan 132). Being left with regret, in fact, is going too far. Thoughts of “l didn’t mean it” or “l should of” shouldn’t cross your mind when disciplining a child. It’s important to treat a child how you want to be treated and teach them lessons for the life ahead of them. When a child is left with a memory of “l remember how I was disciplined” it should be a lesson learned, not one of hurt.

That means it went too far. Spanking also can leave long-lasting effects on a child, whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental. “Corporal punishment may succeed in temporarily controlling a child’s behaviors. The trouble is the children may suffer from low self-esteem and depression, become overly aggressive and exhibit antisocial behavior later as a result” (Mitchell 25).

Parents may think their child won’t remember because they are “little” but that’s not always the case. “In teaching children to love and in truly loving them, we are called to demand more of ourselves and them” (Clarke 23).

Think about it, the early childhood years are when kids learn the most. Every parent wants their child to love and be loved. Children shouldn’t be scared of making mistakes; they should strive and be exactly who they are. The fear of a spank and corporal punishment can scare a child into a shell they never come out of.

Additionally, the spank does travel, and chances are kids will discipline their kids the way they were disciplined. A study by Children’s Voice Magazine says “the more corporal punishment, the greater the chance the child is going to be higher than normal in physical aggressiveness,” (Mitchell 25).

This Just doesn’t mean their attitude but further actions such as getting into trouble at school, theft, vandalism, and even delinquency. So what’s going to keep them from not hitting their children later in life? Corporal punishment weakens the bond between child and parent it chips away at the bond, particularly if it’s repeated a number of times. This is a problem for parents who want to be close to their kids and who want their kids to be close to when someone is blessed with a child is that they have received them, they don’t have them.

No human was born with their children already handed to them at birth. It took time to understand life finding out whom to become, being raised. The way someone raised them was the key, a bond that no one could take away. It shouldn’t tater they way someone was conceived, if they were an accident, or planned years in advance, whether they were born into poverty, or a rich lifestyle, to a single mom, a broken home, or even not with their original parents, all these scenarios are still a family. It all depends on how you look at it and it’s why being raised the right way is a big deal.

Spanking takes away the moments of learning and dedication to a family bond. It goes too far sometimes leaving a scar on a relationship with someone that can never be repaired. Hitting a boss, spouse, or parent isn’t okay so why hit a child? Devastatingly, sometimes spanking doesn’t even stop in the household. “The prevalence of corporal punishment of children in schools remains high in the United States and remains one of the few industrialized countries allowing corporal punishment in 30 states” (Greensand par. 3).

With that statistic, more than half of United States schools are still allowing children to be punished physically. Greensand says the top states for children being hit were Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama (par. 3). It’s prevalent that the southern United States is allowing the smacks. According to the Office of Civil Rights (2007), school officials, including searchers, administered corporal punishment to 223,190 school children across the nation during the 2006-2007 school year (Greensand par. 3). Shouldn’t it be up to the parents how they discipline?

If a child lives in the south and goes to a school where corporal punishment is k and then goes home to a house where it’s okay as well, where does the hitting for making a mistake stop? “Medical complications may prevent students from returning to school for days, weeks, or even longer. Reported medical findings include abrasions, severe muscle injury, extensive hemostat, whiplash damage, life-threatening fat hemorrhage, and others (including death! )” (Greensand par. 6). Children are supposed to go to school to learn, giving them injury for their action is not learning.

That’s why spanking has to stop. Whether it’s at home or even worse to think, at school, it’s leaving long-lasting life effects. It’s like theirs no escape for a mistake Spanking has also been proven not to work any better than saying no to a child and their research to back it up. “The recidivism rate for misbehaver by a 2-year-old is about 50% within two hours. It’s 80% within the name day. And that applies to whether it’s just saying no, removing the child, or spanking a child” Mitchell said (25). Children are going to cry, pout, scream, etc. O matter what form of punishment you ensue and chances are they will be back doing it eventually.

They might do it again the same day, week, or even month but learning their lesson doesn’t always happen the first time. Spanking is like giving punishment without a reason why. If emotions get a chance to calm themselves, with time, parents can talk things out and a lesson has a chance of being learned better then in a whapping screaming match. Mitchell added, “It doesn’t take a whole new parent to avoid corporal punishment.

Parents are doing dozens and dozens of things besides spanking, even parents who are doing some spanking. If they just left out the spanking, they’d be doing the alternatives, and their child would be better off’ (25). Ideas. It may sound cheesy but “putting yourself in the child’s shoes” can be the best thing when it comes between what’s right and wrong. It’s always best to start from the beginning when having a child, but it’s never too late to start changing ways. Dry. Esther K.

Chunk, a primary investigator, said the findings on the spanking studies suggest that physicians should want to consider addressing the issues of spanking and corporal punishment during routine infant visits, rather than waiting until the toddler years (Bates 25). Basically, what this means is doctors and physicians are questioning whether it’s right or wrong to question a parent on their discipline and when. If more parents knew the fact of what spanking and corporal punishment could bring so much could change. A lot of parents don’t know “another way out” and that’s what the problem boils down to. There’s always another option.

Surprisingly, it’s also been on the debate whether corporal punishment is legal or not. Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires states to take “all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child… ” Said the Committee of European Ministers (peg. 29 par. 2). What this is saying is that spanking may be the next big no-no soon enough.

If spanking is violating someone, a child at that, saying no to a child is the best thing to do over a spank. Just saying the word “no” may take a while but a spanking won’t always lead to a solution, it more like the easy way out. Overall, Just once sparing the hand can make a difference. It’s important to take some time out to be the best parent possible and remember it’s never too late to change.

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Spanking can lead to going too far, long-lasting effects, and doesn’t work any better than a typical no. A study by U. S. Catholic seed “Creating a home environment free from violence will help create a world free from violence” (Mitchell 23).


Example #4

Can parenting or child-rearing be non-punitive?  Is one of the most common questions that parents
ask.  If spanking is so effective, why do most people have such an uneasy feeling about it?  Somehow we
cannot silence our inner doubts about the long term effects of physical punishment.  We are a little
embarrassed by the use of force and we keep saying to ourselves, there ought to be a better way of rearing
children.  Another reason is, within ourselves, no one wants to be hit.

While hitting releases anger and frustration, and might work in the short-term, what parents really
want is for children to be self-controlled and disciplined.  If long term goals are not addressed, bad behavior
will return as soon as the person doing the punishing leaves.  Non-punitive actions can create well behaved,
independent, socially developed children.

Physical punishment is not a constructive method of discipline.  It tells the child that you are displeased with what they have done, but it doesn’t tell them how to behave in a way that will be more

According to Professor Murray A. Straus, Physical punishment, unfortunately, is the foundation on
which the edifice of family violence rests.  He also states that Physical punishment is the way most people
first experience violence and it establishes the emotional context of association love with violence.  The
child learns early that those who love him or her are also those who hit.

Since physical punishment has been used as a method to train children or to teach them about
dangerous things to be avoided, it also establishes the moral rightness of hitting other family members.  A
further unintended consequence of spanking is the lesson that, when something is really important it justifies the use of physical force.

Let’s think for a minute.  Haven’t you heard this statement many times, and it has been proven.
Adults who were abused as children become abusive parents.  If that is so, then adults who were reared
with physical force will rear their children with physical force.

The question now at hand is, what is discipline?  The word discipline has fallen into ill repute through
the years. It had respectable origins in a Latin root that established its connections with education in the
dictionary: Training that develops self-control, character, or orderliness, and efficiency.  Common usage
has corrupted the word so that discipline today is used synonymously with punishment, particularly corporal

Now that we have taken a brief look at a few side effects of physical force, the next question is, if
physical punishment creates unwanted behavior, how do you rear children without physical force?  There
are many answers and solutions to this age-old problem.  In a few minutes, we shall look at a few ways of
shaping a child’s behavior without physical force.  However, before we do, let me remind you that, no one
person has all the answers. In order to become a successful parent, you must constantly search for ideas
and put them into action.

Also remember, noting changes or can be accomplished successfully overnight,
but with diligence and patience, it can be done.  If you need help in these areas, by all means, take care of
them first.  Diligence and patience are a must in rearing children.

Ways of shaping a child’s behavior can be accomplished through praise, stern words, love and
affection, consistency, understanding child development and using developmental techniques, building
strong family ties, good nutrition, physical education, sex education, and your child’s academics.

That’s the word from educations and experts who say praise is the most powerful weapon a parent
can wield in shaping a child’s behavior. As behavior expert Olga Davis of Miami, Florida points out,
Children crave attention and plenty of it. By praising all the nice things they do, they’ll act like little ladies
and gentlemen just to hear you tell them how wonderful they are. Here are some expert tips she offers to
help you along the way: Be specific in your praise, also be creative.

Your child will become tired of hearing you tell them that their smart or good all the time. Use the adjective at your command. Remember, sometimes a simple pat on the back will do. When you praise a child you create self-confidence in him. A child who believes in their own worth is able to face the challenges of the world. They are not afraid to make an occasional mistake. Letting your child know that you have confidence in him, you’re giving him the confidence that will help him have a successful outcome while he is undergoing the different stages of development.

Stern Words

According to Nancy Samalin, Director of Parent Guidance Workshops, Children need to know that you are the adult, that you are taking responsibility for some things.

Here are some tips which allow parents to spare the rod without spoiling the child:

  1. Provide choices, instead of telling Johnny not to play with his water gun in the living room, give him the authorization to play with t in a designated place. For instance say, play with the water gun in the bathroom or the backyard. This is a great behavioral tool. Ms. Samalin also points out that providing choices you eliminate the need for a power struggle.
  2. Let children help seek solutions.
  3. Follow the one-word rule.  Instead of preaching, lecturing, or threatening boil commands down to a few keywords. One example: you’ve told your child a dozen times to put their toys away and she hasn’t done it. Instead of going on and on about how tired you are of picking up after them simply say, Toys.


Example #5

Spanking a child is a controversial issue. On one side of the debate are people who believe spanking is a necessary component of parenting. On the contrary are people who think spanking a child is destructive. Somewhere in the middle are people who believe spanking is legitimate only when used correctly.  Part of the reason for the debate is that some parents and experts define spanking differently.

To some, spanking means slapping a child on the rear-end, while others believe it is a form of corporal punishment that does not cause injury. By showing how each perspective of spanking supports their claim and defining spanking, one will be able to form an opinion.

In order to conclude an argument, it is first necessary to define any vague or ambiguous terms.  Spanking is an unclear term in need of explanation. To some spanking means to slap a child on the buttocks, while others believe it is a mild form of corporal punishment that does not cause harm to the child.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) defines spanking as one or two flat-handed swats on a child’s wrist or rear end  (Rosellini 52).

The New American Webster Handy College Dictionary also agrees with the AAP when defining spanking as [to] strike with an open hand.  Spanking does not infer a sustained whipping from Dad’s belt, but a mild form of corporal punishment that does not cause injury.

Spanking is alive and well today despite the antispanking prohibition.  In a poll sponsored by Working Mother and the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in Florida, 7,225 adults and 2,599 kids were surveyed (Hickey 48).  When asked When should parents spank their children, 51 percent replied When they think its necessary, 30 percent said Only in extreme circumstances, and only ten percent answered Never(Hickey 48).

Twelve percent of young adults, ages 18 to 34, which responded to the poll, said spanking should not occur; in comparison with the seven percent of both the 35-49 and 50-64 age groups which responded Never (Hickey 48).  The poll asked Which of these is (or was) most often used in your family to control children’s behavior? As the prevalent choice, 37 percent responded Taking away privileges, 23 percent said spanking, 18 percent replied reasoning with the child, four percent said bribes, and three percent answered assigning extra work (Hickey 48).

A different study headed by Rebecca R. S. Socolar, a clinical assistant professor at the University of  North Carolina at Chapel Hill, took a poll of  204 New York, NY mothers (Jet 15). The poll asked if a child less than one-year-old should be spanked.  As a result, 81 percent of the mothers disagreed with spanking a child less than a year of age, and 19 percent believe a child under a year of age should be spanked (Jet 16).

Then when asked if a child of 1-3 years old should be spanked, 26 percent disagreed with spanking at that age and an astounding 74 percent agreed with spanking a child of this age(Jet 16).   When asked about the harshness of the spanking, 92 percent said they do not leave visible marks of damage while only eight percent say they do leave a mark upon the child (Jet 16).

The results of both polls show consistent findings with the research of sociologist Richard J. Gelles, Ph.D., and director of the Family Violence Research Program at the University of Rhode Island.  He Believes Hitting children is so taken for granted in our society that almost all parents view spanking as an inevitable part of raising children(Working Mother 48).  He believes this ideology will remain apart of our culture because it is infused within each of us since birth (Working Mother 48).

The American Academy of Pediatrics determined in a 1996 conference on corporal punishment that spanking could prove useful if used as reinforcement of other disciplines (Rosellini 52).  S. Kenneth Schonberg, a pediatrics professor who co-chaired the AAP conference said There’s no evidence that a child who is spanked moderately is going to grow up to be a criminal or antisocial or violent (Rosellini 52).

Spanking continues to be a prevalent form of child-rearing because parents believe it will teach children not to do things that are forbidden, stop them quickly when they are being irritated, and encourage them to do what they should (Ramsburg 1). Some parents feel mental disciplines (i.e. time-outs) are not effective enough, while other parents spank because it is a culturally ingrained practice (Ramsburg 1).

The beginning of the antispanking movement had much to do with a new understanding of the science of behavior and the rise of smaller families (Rosellini 52).  In the years before, families passed down the idea of spare the rod, spoil the child which warranted the act of spanking as a form of discipline (Rosellini 52).  Then in the 1970s and 1980s, psychologists and child-development authorities promoted the radical notion that kids are equal members of the household (Rosellini 53).

This development, along with numerous publications, such as Thomas Gordons Parent Effectiveness Training, helped legitimize such ideas.

The book Beating the Devil Out of Them, by Irwin A. Hyman and Murray A. Straus, crystallized the antispanking general agreement. Straus, a sociologist at the University of New Hampshire, gathered that spanking is a social problem that can doom a child to a lifetime of difficulties ranging from juvenile delinquency to depression, sexual hangups, limited job prospects and lowered earnings (Rosellini 55).  Straus goes as far as to say that we should pass a law forbidding spanking (Rosellini 58).

He goes even further toward the extreme to assert that spanking helps foster punitive social attitudes, such as support for bombing raids to punish countries that support terrorists (Rosellini 58). T. Berry Brazelton, MD, emeritus professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, believes [spanking] says that you believe in using force as a way to settle disputes[and that] children should listen to you because you’re bigger and stronger than they are(Hickey 48). Brazelton says spanking is a punishment that only teaches children only suffering and to be afraid (Hickey 48).

Spanking generates more hatred in the child for being humiliated, and for suffering, than a clear understanding and recollection of why he/she is being punished (Nelson 58).  Drs. James P. Comer and Alvin F. Poussaint said, By being hit by you when you are angry, children learn to hit others when in turn they are angry (Jet 17).

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The AAP suggested that according to researchers, spanking may be the least effective discipline (Ramsberg 1).  When tested with the assumption children would learn a lesson after being spanked, and need to be spanked less.  Nonetheless, the research results indicated that families who began spanking before one year old are as likely to spank when the child is four years old (Ramsberg 1).  These results affirm that spanked children are not learning their lesson.  Spanking may not be effective because it exemplifies no other optional behaviors (Ramsberg 1).

Between the black and white of this issue is a gray area that has found errors in research and believes spanking should be used only selectively. John Rosemond, family psychologist, author, speaker, and director for the Center of Affirmative Parenting (CAP) in North Carolina, caters neither extreme of creating laws against spanking or spare the rod, spoil the child. Rosemond attacks the claims of sociologist Murry Straus because he is an often-quoted representative of the antispanking movement. Rosemond believes that Straus’s research does not prove spanking is problematic (Rosemond 21).

Straus research conclusions are based mostly upon adults who, as teenagers, were spanked (Rosemond 21).  Straus also fails to distinguish between beating and spanking (Rosemond 22), which does not allow a distinction between child abuse and child discipline.  Rosemond believes Straus is looking for certain results with his research to further support his position, therefore obscuring results.

Rosemond feels spanking is appropriate when used appropriately. He believes not to give numerous threats or warnings or to build up to spanking to a child (Rosemond 50). He thinks it is important to not allow your child’s unwanted behavior to grow to the point of spanking (Rosemond 50). Do not hesitate or warn before spanking, he recommends (Rosemond50). Rosemond believes one should spank in anger (the very reason you are spanking), but not in a rage (Rosemond 51-2).

He believes it is important to use your hand, and your hand only because the idea is to communicate, not to cause the child pain (Rosemond 55).  Follow through with a clear, stern message and, if need be, a restrictive consequence of one sort or another (Rosemond 57).  Rosemond brings a rational appeal to spanking.  His approach views spanking as an intimate act of communication, not a savage form of child abuse

The question of whether to spank or not has been the most controversial child-rearing issue of the past three decades.  Though no end in sight, after analyzing my research of the extremes of spanking, I conclude in the gray area.  John Rosemond proved the most logical approach to spanking.  He has studied both sides of the issues and points out the inconsistencies of each side.  Rosemond supports his point of view with grounds of disagreement and agreement and fills gaps in the gap of the gray area connecting the opposing sides.


Example #6

Were you spanked as a child? Do you think spanking affected you? Every parent has been in a situation where a good spanking seems like the only way to put an end to a little Juniors temper tantrum. Parents use a number to reasons, some you may have heard, to use spanking as a form of discipline. They may say Spare the rod and spoil the child.  Or I was spanked and I turned out okay.  Even Kids need a spanking to show them whose boss.

The issue I wish to present is whether or not spanking leads to a rise in child abuse and later violence.  Do children who are spanked or physically punished see spanking as a violent act?  Do they learn to see violence as an acceptable way to solve a problem?  When parents spank their children are they guiding them or controlling them?

Nancy Samalin, an author of Love and Anger, believes that spanking is nothing more than a big person hitting a smaller person and it can do damage to your child’s consciousness. A child who obeys because of the fear of being spanked, she explains is most likely not to develop a sense of right or wrong without being policed by a more powerful authority figure.  (Samalin, p. 154). She believes that spanking the child you have not set an example that you want your child to follow in the future.

New studies have shown that children who are abused by their parents physically, emotionally, or sexually grow up and become abusive parents themselves.  Further studies have shown that children who are physically punished lack empathy and concern that helps them care for others.

A public opinion poll conducted by the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse in 1994 asked parents how they disciplined their children in the previous year. Denying privileges were used by 79 percent of the parents; confinement to a room was used by 59 percent; 49 percent spanked or hit their children, and 45 percent insulted or swore at their children. What was amazing about these statistics was that 51 percent did not spank their children. Now consider the rise in child abuse cases that has caused public-health officials scrambling for an explanation blaming spanking made sense.

Trouble is, while spanking is down, child abuse is still up.  Joan McCord, an author of Questioning the Value of Punishment, believes that punishment, in general, is the reason for the increase in child abuse and violence.  She found that neglected, abused, rejected, as well as physically punished tend to become antisocial. Many childhood development experts suggest that reasoning, talking, and listening to children work well in teaching what is right and wrong.

According to the University of New Hampshire sociologist Murray Straus when parents use corporal punishment to reduce [antisocial behavior], the long-term effect tends to be the opposite. (Time, p 65).  He also suggests that sparing the rod will help reduce overall levels of violence in America.  Stratus found that children whose parents spanked them, when compared to those not spanked, were more aggressive, had higher rates of juvenile delinquency, had higher rates of spousal abuse, had lower economic achievement, and showed higher drug and alcohol abuse rates.

By spanking, he claims, parents model the norm of violence and legitimizes it as a way to solve problems. (Straus, p127). In proving his claim Straus collected information from phone interviews conducted by the United States Bureau of Labor.  Statistics started in 1979 with 807 mothers with children ages six to nine.  They were asked how many times they had spanked their children in the past week and what the child’s behavior was like- did they lie, cheat, steal, act up in school? Two years later the same group was polled again and sure enough, the children who had been spanked had become antisocial.

However, in looking at the statistics more closely, Dr. Den Trumbull, a pro-spanking devotee, found that the mothers ranged in the age from 14 to 24. Those who spanked did so on an average of twice a week.  He also observed that limiting the age to six to nine years old misrepresented the results.  By the age of six to nine, the children can understand the consequences of their actions. For them, physical punishment, such as spanking, is more likely to be more humiliating and traumatizing. These factors say Trumbull, plus the fact that some of the kids were as old as nine are markers of a dysfunctional family in the mind and in the minds of most psychologists and pediatricians. (Time, p. 67).

According to Trumbull, many other studies have shown that physical punishment is effective and not harmful to childhood development if it is restricted to children between 18 months to 6 years of age. Children between these ages have a poor understanding of the consequences of their behavior. He also suggests that spanking should be only a last resort. After putting the child on a time-out then warn him or her that the next act up will bring on a whack on the bottom.


Example #7 – Interesting ideas

Hitting and spanking is different: Spanking is a form of discipline that you use when your child doesn’t mind you or is smart mouthing you. If you don’t punish your kids then they will turn out spoiled most of the time. Spanking is usually done on the butt, should be done in private, and the child should know why they’re being spanked, and after you spank them you should tell them that you love them. Grounding, time outs don’t really work for most kids. Do not ever spank your child on the face….that’s got to be the lowest, cruelest, disgusting thing ever.

HITTING: Is child abuse, when you hit your child with object, hands, so hard it causes bruises!

I was spanked as a child, yes it does hurt but I’d rather be punished then not learn and be living out on the streets of a bad life. I’m not saying that not spanking your child will cause them to be bad, but spanking your child can help.

Spanking is seemed down upon and unlawful if the little one is rather a harm. However, I’d say that 90% of father and mother still do it. I suppose it is a good thing. Youngsters who had been spanked as a rule end up being excellent, intelligent persons. I was once spanked as a child every time I did something unhealthy. I realized from my mistake and on no account did something bad again. If I wasn’t spanked, I might frequently be a spoiled brat who could be cursing and consuming and doing medications.

It depends on the age of the child and whether or not your other forms of discipline actually work. If they don’t maybe it’s time for you to consider spanking. Keep in mind that any counselor would tell you to NEVER spank your kid when you’re angry. If you’re angry over something they did don’t touch them, wait until you’re calm. Talk to them about what they did or let them know what they did was wrong and spank them. There’s a big difference between simple spanking and abuse, spanking is going to hurt their feelings more than them, abuse is generally going to hurt them more than their feelings. Keep that in mind before and if you start spanking them.

One of the biggest things that I can never stress enough to parents these days is MAKE SURE THE PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME!!! If he stole you don’t really have to spank him, sometimes his own guilt is better than laying a finger on him or yelling at him. Make him go in and apologize and give back what he stole and let him wallow in guilt for a while. Usually, that’s punishment enough. There are times when spanking is warranted, but I would encourage you to only spank when they absolutely need it.

Don’t spank the first time they disobey you, give him a few chances to listen to you and tell him what you’re going to do if he doesn’t listen. If he continues not to listen FOLLOW THROUGH with what you say you’re going to do. Eventually, I think you’ll find that there will be less and less of a need to even lay a finger on him. 🙂

I was spanked as a kid. I think it teaches discipline. Only if it’s for good cause. Spilling juice on the carpet is not a good cause. But if they do something wrong, I think they could be spanked. (To a certain age of course)

As for the race, no. I don’t think that has anything to do with it. I think it’s the type of upbringing and household you’re raised in. Whether you’re Caucasian, Asian, African, etc.

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