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The Use of Corporal Punishment on Children as an Inappropriate Solution to Discipline Kids

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  • Category: Kids

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The use of corporal punishment (e.g., spanking) on children (either as parental discipline or in school) continues to be debated. For example, here is a site that presents pro and con opinions that are split fairly equally www.debate.org/opinions/is-spanking-children-wrong.


I do not think that it is appropriate for parents or anyone to physically discipline children in any way under any circumstances. The idea that a parent must use harmful physical touch to discipline children is a concept formed by parents who believe their kids are unable to learn without being hurt and learning to fear their parents. In the discussion Is spanking children wrong? On Debate.org someone who says spanking is necessary claims “It’s a waste of time and energy trying to make [children] understand about what is wrong or right” which is absolutely absurd. Assuming that a child is unable to comprehend a necessary skill they will need to use throughout their life is limiting their abilities and underestimating their minds. Children are more than capable of learning what is right from what is wrong all throughout their childhood.

In an article called Babies Know What’s Fair published for the Association for Psychological Science, scientist Stephanie Sloan determines that “19- and 21-month-old infants have a general expectation of fairness” meaning that children can understand the concepts of right and wrong on their own before even reaching 2 years of age.? Spankings cause physical harm to a child, just like beatings and whippings, which means no matter how ‘rough’ they may be they are still a form of physical abuse. Because of this, spanking is in no way an appropriate physical discipline for children (because no physical discipline is appropriate). Although I am not yet a parent, I know that I will never physically discipline my child in a hurtful way. What I mean by this is that I will never inflict harm on my child.

The only time a parent should touch their child is to do so out of love, like giving them a pat on the back or a hug. Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids, an article written by Jan Hunt describes how “hitting children teaches them to become hitters themselves” because they will learn that physically punishment is what they should do when someone is not acting the way they want them to and will prohibit them from “learning how to resolve conflict in an effective and humane way.” Using corporal punishment will harm the relationship that a parent can have with their child “as it is not human nature to feel loving toward someone who hurts us.” As you can see, corporal punishment hurts a child both physically and mentally and is not the correct way to teach a child right from wrong when they are just as capable of learning that on their own, without getting harmed.


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