To Spare the Rod: Reflections of Corporal Punishment

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To Spare the Rod:
Reflections of Corporal Punishment

Benjamin Franklin was of a wise man, who expressed many unique aphorisms in Poor Richard’s Almanack. They related to his different outlook on life, and one of his aphorisms read: “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” I strongly disagree with the view expressed in this aphorism because I believe that physical punishment afflicted against children will only produce an aggressive and rebellious outcome.

The assertion that Benjamin Franklin’s aphorism lies upon is that children will evolve into spoiled adults without the use of corporal punishment. This term has the meaning of inflicting physical harm towards another being for their wrongdoing. Franklin holds a clear belief that children are bad, and commit bad things. In turn, they must be taught discipline and control in the form of corporal punishment. If not, then the children will carry down the path of doing whatever they please without any consequences to follow. They will ultimately be spoiled, and only care for their own needs.

The fault behind Franklin’s aphorism can be demonstrated in the studies found by the American Psychological Association. They stated that “the more often or harshly a child was hit, the more likely they are to be aggressive or to have mental health problems.” This fact alone illustrates that it is both not healthy or effective in harming a child to make them behave. Corporal punishment on its own does not teach children right from wrong. Although it makes children afraid to disobey their parents, when the parents are not present, they will continue on to misbehave. There is a much more productive way in teaching kids orderliness and conduct than a beat or slap. Children deserve better treatment and love than that.

Those who agree with Franklin’s belief share the same mindset that all children are fallacious and amiss. These supporters of Franklin insist on administering punishment against kids by...
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