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Persuasive Essay in Favor of Spanking

0 September 28 2014, 09:17 in Spanking Essays

Persuasive Essay in Favor of Spanking

Why Spanking Is Beneficial For Children

Correcting the child’s behavior is one of the duties of the parent towards their children. Thus, parents use different methods to discipline and correct their children’s behavior. Spanking is considered as one of the oldest forms of disciplining children. It has been accepted by the society because of the belief that it is effective in correcting children’s behavior. Since parents have been spanking their children since time immemorial it is difficult to think of any other alternative and effective method to spanking. Recent studies, however, state that spanking has a long term impact on children’s development. These studies suggest it should be abolished because it may be the cause of anti-social behavior and abnormal development for children (MacMillan). This research paper seeks to establish proof that disciplinary spanking is beneficial to children in the long term and to debunk the idea that it is harmful for the children’s development.

Spanking is defined as a form of corporal punishment which involves the "use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or control of the child’s behavior.” (Straus 4) Based on this definition, spanking involves the use of physical force to cause slight discomfort or pain but not injury. Second, the purpose is to control or correct a wrong behavior.

Because of their immaturity children have the tendency to engage in wrong behavior which they will carry to their adulthood when the behavior is not corrected. The problem is that when they become adults it would not be possible for these behaviors to be corrected because by that time the wrong behavior would have become a habit. With this mind, parents have the duty to correct their children’s behavior at the time when they are still young. Parents impart to their children that that misbehavior has serious consequence. In the same manner, breaking social norms have serious repercussions as well. If they break the law there will be harsh punishments as well. Discipline and correction should therefore start at a time when they are still young.

Some say that verbal explanation, as opposed to spanking, is considered more effective. In their 1995 study, Blum et al explained that use of verbal reasoning and explanation especially for toddlers and pre-school age children in disciplining children have their limitations. Because of their age, they may not be able to completely comprehend the parent’s explanation on why they are being disciplined. According to Blum et al (1995), "Verbal explanations of cause and effect or future contingencies may represent abstractions that are difficult for toddlers and pre-school-age children to understand. (340)

On the other hand, inflicting physical pain is considered as more effective method of correcting behavior because children who are spanked can easily associate the improper behavior with the spanking. They tend to remember what follows after engaging in improper behavior which is the pain caused by spanking. As a result, children do not forget what are improper behavior and the consequences should they engage in improper behavior. Associating spanking with improper behavior is a powerful method of enforcing correct behavior.

Experts like Baumbrind states that the best parenting style is a combination of authoritative style coupled with love and support (Nevid 316). This means that parents should not spank children alone. They should also explain to their children why they are spanked and should always assure them that they love them. Thus, spanking is not necessarily harmful to the child’s development provided it does not cause injury to the child and that it is properly balanced with love and support from the parents. Spanking is not harmful because proper discipline should not end with spanking. This means that spanking is not harmful when the parents properly explain to their children before and after the spanking the reason why it was done. At the same time, the children understand the improper behavior that they did and that they will not be spanked if they will not engage in improper behavior. The use of verbal explanation therefore is still essential but the parents should reinforce this with spanking so it is more effective.

Cited Works

Blum, Nathan J., George E. Williams, Patrick C. Friman, Edward R. Christophersen. Disciplining Young Children: The Role of Verbal Instructions and Reasoning, Pediatrics, 96.2 (1995): 336-341.

Geary, Thomas and Bonnie Geary. Nurturing the Souls of Our Children: What Children Need and What Parents Can Do. Georgia: Smyth and Helwys, 2002.

Straus, Murray Arnold. Beating the Devil Out of Them: Physical Punishment in American Families. 2nd ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2001

Nevid, Jeffrey. Essentials of Psychology: Concepts and Applications. California: Wadsworth Cengage, 2012.

Trumbull, Den. Spanking is an Effective Disciplinary Method. AAP News, 12.4 (1996): 14.

MacMillan, Harriet, Michael Boyle, Maria Wong, Eric Duku, Jan Fleming and Christine Walsh. Slapping and Spanking in Childhood and its Association with Lifetime Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders in General Population Sample. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 161.7 (1999).

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