The Argument For Spanking Vs. Not Spanking Your Child

The idea of corporal punishment for children can cause heated debates between its advocates and opponents. Here are some arguements that are used by both sides.

One of the biggest controversies when it comes to raising a child is whether or not to use corporal punishment, or spanking, when disciplining a child. Growing up, many people received spankings from their own parents when they misbehaved and, thus, feel that this is a proper form of discipline for their own children. Others feel that this is an outdated form of punishment that is actually quite cruel to children. What are some of the different arguments that advocates and opponents of corporal punishment use to state their case?

Advocates of Corporal Punishment

*Some of those who believe spanking a child is a necessary form of punishment may refer to the Bible for justification. There are several passages in the Bible, specifically in Hebrews and Proverbs, which refer to a rod being used to discipline a child.

*There is a whole other group of parents who rationalize spanking by referring to the spankings they received as children from their own parents. If they turned out just fine, even with the spanking, then why wouldn't their children?

*Some parents feel that at a certain age, usually when a child is a toddler and cannot understand logic and reasoning, the only way to prevent a child from performing a negative behavior is to spank them, so the child realizes beyond the shadow of a doubt that what they did was wrong or unacceptable.

*Advocates of corporal punishment may argue that their children are more behaved than those children whose parents do not believe in spanking. These people feel that "talking" through a child's discipline issues can only go so far and that spanking (used as a last resort) drives a point home for the child, for it is something they will never forget.

*Nowadays, a teacher cannot even hug or touch her students without the possibility of a lawsuit. In recent years, corporal punishment has been outlawed from schools; many spanking advocates feel that this is directly related to the increase in discipline problems and violence on school campuses.

Opponents of Corporal Punishment

*Many opponents feel that spanking indicates a loss of control on the parent's part. Spanking is often looked at as a violent form of discipline that is never necessary to control a child.

*Some feel that spanking or corporal punishment can often lead to child abuse. It is felt that if a parent spanks their child once, it will be easier to do it again and again for any discipline problem, no matter how mild or severe.

*Opponents believe that children can lose self-esteem by being spanked as a form of punishment. Parents who refuse to spank feel that doing so is a humiliating way (for the child) to teach the difference between right and wrong.

*There is a feeling that children who are spanked in order to be disciplined never learn the true difference between right and wrong. It is speculated that instead of learning that it is "good" to act a certain way, a child will merely avoid those situations or behaviors that have led to punishment. In essence, the child grasps only what is "wrong" and avoids it, as opposed to simply doing what is "right."

*Some parents who avoid corporal punishment do so because they feel that it leads to an increase in violence. They feel that it is hypocritical to teach their children that violence is never the answer and yet resort to spanking to teach their child a lesson. Children are smarter than adults give them credit for, so many feel that children will lose respect for their parents and others in authority who resort to spanking.

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