November 4, 2009
Should Kids Get Spanked?
There have been many debates on spanking and corporal punishment over recent years. There are two sides to any argument. On one side are some parents, who believe that it is acceptable to spank their children, and on the other side, there are those who believe that children should never be spanked. The main problem with spanking is that each group defines spanking differently. There are some who believe spanking is a form of abuse, while others think of it as discipline. I believe that spankings are a form of discipline, and not abuse. Spankings are not meant to leave bruises, marks, or welts. Parents have more control when the children have something to fear. There are many parents today who have no control over their kids. This is absurd and disgusting. You, as a parent, have a duty to raise your children to be responsible adults, who are contributing members of society. Ask any teacher, especially a high school teacher, and see how they feel about the learning environment in their classrooms. People need to realize that as long as the child is spanked in the proper way, it is never child abuse. I, myself was spanked as a child, and I have no ill feelings towards my parents. I am not a deranged lunatic, nor do I “beat” my children on a regular basis. I am a contributing member of society. I was taught to have the utmost respect for my elders, and to treat people with respect; values I have instilled in my children. I am 37 years old, and still to this day, I would never speak to my parents disrespectfully. You may be thinking, “Her parents must have spanked her all the time,” well, you’re wrong. I can remember maybe, 10 times in my whole life getting spanked. I didn’t need to be spanked all the time to know if I did anything wrong, there would be a price to pay. That’s the key….Fear (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 “Boy is spanked by his mother with a shoe”, circa 1891. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Web. 2 Nov. 2009. Let me be very clear here, I do not believe in spanking children with hard objects, such as shoes. I do, however, reserve the right to have control over my children. Whether I am in the grocery store, or in the privacy of my home; my kids know when I mean business. Maybe it is because I grew up in the South that I have a different view on this subject. I have met some folks from the states in the west and the north east, who have a much different philosophy on discipline. I certainly have first hand knowledge that “southern momma’s” and southern adults in general do not take kindly to disrespectful children (Fig 2). When a parent makes the decision to spank a child, it should be done out of love and not anger. The goal is not to cause pain, but to teach the child a lesson. Spanking should not be the first option; it should only be used as a last resort. Communicate with the child what the consequences will be if the behavior continues. If you make empty threats to children they will learn this. You have to say what you mean, and mean what you say. Children need to know the rules and boundaries. There can be no question as to what is expected.
Fig. 2."Teenagers' Civil Rights Timeline." Leading Issues Timelines 2009. N.p. ProQuest Staff. SIRS Researcher. Web. 02 November 2009. After warnings have been issued to the child, without success, the spanking should only be a few strikes on the buttocks, and never be on any other part of the body. There is the exception of a light tap on the hand, to teach a young child to not touch something dangerous, such as the stove. If you are yelling and screaming at a child, that is not a spanking, that is abuse. Spanking a child while angry only defeats the purpose and the child will not learn from the spanking. He or she will only resent the parent. You need to speak to the child, and let them know they are loved. Tell the child that you do not wish to spank them, but it is a consequence of...