Hook states “no one can rightfully claim to be considered loving when behaving abusively.” Before taking this statement any further a fair definition of what “abuse” and “love” are must be recognized. Each state has its own definition of abuse that can range anywhere from causing harm to another, spanking your child, or beating. The federal legislation states that abuse is “any recent act or failure to act on a part of a parent or guardian with results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, and/or exploitation” (Child welfare, 2010). For example, if you are intentionally aiming to harm your child for no clear reason it is considered abuse. Love on the other end of the spectrum is strong positive emotion of regard and affection from one individual to another. Now the question emerges; can a parent be considered loving when behaving in what is defined as abusive behavior? There are six main types of abuse that can affect a child, physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, abandonment, and substance abuse (Child welfare, 2010). Physical discipline of a child by a parent or caretaker is necessary in punishing children in order to teach them how to behave in public, rather than being erratic. Out of a survey of 1,939 adults both with and without children, majority said that they believe that smacking children is an acceptable means of discipline. Eighty percent of the people without children said they would support smacking a child if necessary, while only sixty-seven percent of adults with children agreed with smacking as a means of punishment (Telegraph-news, 2006).
Although there are people who may object to the idea of hitting a child as a means of punishments, others may say that physical punishment may cause a rise in future abuse to a children; either emotionally, mentally, or both. James Kimmel a psychological states “punishing children is a malevolent act that is harmful to children and ultimately to the community and society in which it takes place.” (Hellwege,1999). James Kimmel is basically saying that in the long run the child can grow up to be disturbed, and therefore is causing him or her to act out violently towards one’s self later on in life or causing harm to a community as a whole. Corporal punishment in the form of spanking is the most common way children are punished in America. NBC news reported that about ninety percent of the United States parents spank their children. In addition, a 1992 survey reported that fifty-nine percent of pediatricians support the practice of spanking a child. This is an interesting estimate, because it shows that even a child’s doctor agrees that sometimes children need to be spanked; although they recognize the fine line between discipline and abuse.
In today’s world there are many societies in which both parents and physicians support and agree upon the statement that physical abuse on a child is necessary for proper discipline. There are however, several countries on the opposing end of this statement and in turn outlaw physical punishment of children; Austria and Scandinavian countries completely ban the hitting of a child all together and have a zero tolerance policy for those kinds of actions. Here in the United States, corporal punishment of a child by their parents is legal and widely practiced (Kimmel, 2010). With that said, corporal punishment is indeed legal in the United States and is practiced by many. It is in fact a learning tool parents claim to use. This learning tool seem to have the influence to pass the behavior down to their children and so forth, in order to teach and prepare their children how to behave appropriately in society as they get older
In the “Power of Love” by Bhikkhu Pesala, he states that “he who is skilled in welfare, who wishes to attain a calm state, should act thus; he should be able, upright, perfectly upright, obedient, gentle and humble,” meaning that one should not act out irrational, but rather be...