Spanking has been the way of discipline for many years, but in reality it is child abuse. Spanking, also known as corporal punishment, to me is any kind of negative physical contact to a child with the intention to cause pain as a way of discipline. Anything from a pat on the butt, to the use of a belt or paddle on a child, or a smack on the hand or mouth can be considered spanking. Child abuse is violence, and "violence is an act carried out with the intention, or perceived intention, of causing physical pain or injury to another person" (Straus 7). The intentions of both spanking and violence are to cause pain and the only difference is that violence also covers acts of injury. So, are parents actually teaching their children violence?
When a parent spanks a child, whether they are aware of it or not, they are teaching that child violence. They are teaching them that hitting someone else is okay. In his article "The 13 Ways Spanking Harms Children," Michael J. Marshall, PhD, says that "children who are spanked engage in more hitting and fighting than those who are not physically punished by their parents." Relying on spanking when parents think its needed could cause them to take it further than they should. This could raise the chances of acting out a form of child abuse. Some people say that spanking is acceptable as long as parents set boundaries, such as only use your hand, limit the number of swats to just a few, and always leave their clothes on, but not all children are the same. Some children can be a little more strong willed than others. Parents of these children may find themselves in a position where they have to hit harder than usual to get the child's attention and have a disciplinary effect. So, clearly boundaries do not work either. No matter how hard or soft a parent spanks a child, they are still going to show some sort of violence. Even if parents don't think that they push the limits where they think that they are abusive,...
Cited: Flynn, Clifton P. "To Spank or Not to Spank." Journal of Family Violence 13.1 (1998):
Gibson, Elaine M, "To Spank or Not to Spank" 22 Jan. 2005
Marshall, Michael J, "The 13 Ways Spanking Harms Children." 22 Jan. 2005
Sonna, Linda. The Everything Toddler Book. Massachusetts: Adams, 2002.
Straus, Murray A. and Denise A. Donnelly. Beating the Devil Out of Them; Corporal
Punishment in American Families. New York: Lexington, 1994.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document