Disciplinary Spanking

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Jordyn Marquardt

Jill Stukenburg

4-12-13

Is Disciplinary Spanking Harmful Or Effective?

There are many different beliefs on the right way to rear your children.   Some people are very opinionated on the subject and feel it is their duty to instill upon others the correct way to go about the 18 or longer year process.   Others tend to keep to themselves and feel everyone else is entitled to raise their children as they wish.   “Within the wide range of way to raise your child lie many subjects of continued debate, such as, whether or not to breastfeed, when to introduce solid foods, whether or not to spank, how to potty train, public vs. private vs. home-schooling, etc.”(King)   When it comes to raising a child, one hot debate that rages all across the globe and to this day centers on whether or not spanking your child is effective or harmful as a disciplinary tactic.   You’ll find that this subject has been argued fiercely from both sides, with no real give or take from either. Experts have been found to take on both points of view and countless studies have been conducted to try and come to a definitive answer.  

"The American Academy of Pediatricians say that spanking might actually do more harm than good"(King), meaning that the spanking will not correct the problems that the child has, but only make them worse. In some countries around the globe, such as Norway and Sweden, elected officials have made it totally illegal for parents to spank their child. Since this happened Oakland, California has established an official "No Spanking Zone." This proposes a question, is spanking a good form of discipline?

With the information that I gathered it seems like from what the doctors say it certainly appears not to be, and I think most parents tend to agree with them that spanking is not an acceptable form of discipline anymore. But according to the Critique of Anti-Spanking Study, found in Assertive Discipline, "experts do not all agree that spanking is harmful and some believe that mild spanking is a useful form of discipline" (Canter). Also, the same study said "72% of people surveyed still find it acceptable to punish a child by spanking them" (Canter). “The idea behind parental discipline is to create self discipline within your child. That means the kid has to learn something- the difference from right to wrong – that will guide him or her throughout life. So what do kids learn from being spanked? The hitting itself doesn’t teach them anything” (McGraw). McGraw goes on to talk about how hitting for the most part stops misbehavior at that point in time. It gets the child’s attention because of the fear and the shock. Usually the child turns around and repeats the same behavior. While reading this, a question that came to my mind was if spanking only works for the time being is it really worth doing? There are very different conclusions that have been formulated so I really do think that it all just comes down to form of opinion.

Most opinions still lean toward spanking being a form of abuse and that spanking a child is totally unacceptable because striking a young child will not actually teach them to be good. Spanking also hurts children mentally and spanking a child is no different from hitting some one else. The majority of parents that hit their kids are at the point of frustration and anger where they feel that spanking is the last thing left for them to do. First, I found out that many think that striking a child will not teach them to be good; it actually makes them change the way that they look at things. In fact, "The American Academy of Pediatricians says "spanking [children] may have some potentially long term effects such as increasing the misbehavior, aggression, violent or criminal behavior, impaired learning, depression, and in worst case suicide". When reading this I found that the items cited here were very alarming and they express the concern that spanking is more than just a...
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