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Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

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Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

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  • April 2011
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They are grabbed firmly by the arm, yelled at and spanked repeatedly. Strictly abiding by the old adage that goes “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, many parents believe in physically punishing their children should they stray or misbehave. Is this really necessary? Personally, I disagree that physical punishment is required to ensure that children are not spoilt. Reason being, the that physical punishment of children is ineffective and has negative side effects on children. Physical punishment in this essay would refer to the spanking of children. In short, sparing the rod does not necessarily spoil the child if the child is disciplined in the appropriate way. Parents spank their children with the intention of changing their behavior in the present and in the future. However, spanking is ineffective as it usually stops misbehavior of small children just for the moment and not over the long term. Several studies conducted by researchers from the Université de Montréal have shown that the more children are spanked, the less likely they are to be well-behaved and compliant in the long term. Spanking is inefficacious as it does not teach children why their behavior was wrong or what they should do to correct their behavior. Instead, it teaches them that the only reason to behave appropriately is to avoid being punished. On the other hand, effective disciplining involves teaching children how to behave and why, so that they can make appropriate choices in the future. Thus, I strongly believe that spanking does not promote effective discipline. Furthermore, spanking has many serious negative side effects on children that affect them in the long term. This supported by hundreds of studies in the fields of medicine, psychology, sociology and education. Research in these fields have shown that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to engage in antisocial behavior such as lying, stealing, cheating and bullying. Moreover, they also tend to act aggressively...