Spanking is hitting a child's buttock with an open hand as a common disciplinary effort adopted by the majority of parents. Spanking is a constituent of corporal punishment that generates an equal share of controversies and anticipations like any other form in correcting strategies that require inflicting pain. Pediatrician and development experts point out that physical punishment is not as effective as intended objectives, and risk children to a wide array of negative outcomes. Although parents are mandated to take care of their children's welfare, their disciplinary measures vary among individuals. It is, therefore, personalized whatever disciplinary method an individual parent decide to exert on their child as a correction strategies. Morawska and Sanders state that many parents perceive physical corporal punishment with potential merits on making children defenseless and correct deviant behavior (8). Spanking is widely used by many parents on the insinuation that it is safe, effective, necessary, and convenient form of physical disciplinary strategy, however, spanking has raised uproars that it is harmful and violates children's rights to protection. This paper will discuss the two sides of the coin arguing about whether or not parents should be allowed to spank their children.
Spanking has in recent age received much negative publicity and advocating against it heightened. It is no longer acceptable, as children's rights activities campaign that no parent should spank their child and any other related physical punishment practices. Like any other corporal punishment, spanking should not be legally or in any other circumstantial scenario justifiable due to the negative impact it impacts on the child. Persistent spanking seizes to be a disciplinary strategy and the children can turn them aggressive due to over-reliance on spanking by parents. In the efforts to dispute the administration of spanking by parents, today's children are demanding for their rights equal to the same rights as adults and fighting against the totalitarian authority of their autocratic parents. Spanking the therefore unacceptable and regarded to as a form of child maltreatment attributing to increased poor health, developmental and social welfare outcomes of the children (Durrant & Smith 2011). For instance, when a parent spanks a child over some unacceptable conduct in the presence of other people and peers, the self-esteem of the child is compromised as well as the health-related implications brought about by spanking. According to Dr. Gershoff "Spanking doesn't teach kids to behave the way parents want them to, and can have the opposite effect, ....Kids who are hit are often compliant immediately, but they haven't been taught how to be better in the long term." (138). Showing the lack of relationship between spanking and behavioral issues in children.
Although many people are ignorant of the effects of spanking, much damage is attributed to this social vice without keen noting of the persistence on the child's cognitive, mental, developmental and behavioral issues. Legalization of spanking and other forms of hitting of children whenever they are on the wrong by parents violates the children's rights and human dignity standards because although. The parent perceives spanking as a correction strategy, they humiliation and intimated accorded to the child has a long-term impact unlike the disciplinary strategy applied. Educationalists and other child-welfare stakeholders against allowing parents the rights to spank children state that application of different forms of corporal punishment especially spanking negatively impact the child's behavior that the parent was trying to correct. Some scholars state that punishment through the physical infliction of pain like the case on spanking provokes the parent's anger when a child does something unpleasant but there is no justifiable measure to quantify the level of punishment exerted to the magnitude of the wrong being corrected. According to a pediatrician point of view in the Family Issue Facts Bulleting hitting or spanking children many instill fear or resistance in young children who eventually end up being rebellious because they no longer feel or fear the one time spank. The behavioral and cognitive impact of parents repeated spanking or hitting their children end up causing children to become more rebels. Overdependence on spanking causes aggressive conflict resolution behavior among children and peers, negative relationship between parents and children, as well as antisocial behavior, when a child is exposed to repeated hitting whenever anything goes wrong they have a high tendency of hitting their peers regularly any time they have disagreements.
On the other hand, those who advocate for spanking as an effective disciplinary strategy, some parents perceived that corporal punishment like spanking is effective in children because it helps shape their character and behavior for fear of being spanked any time they are on the wrong. Strict upbringing helps children in their future because they are taught the principles of discipline and the consequences of their actions (Knox 106). This method of child-rearing produced more responsible and independent children who are reasonable on their actions and decisions. Others have advocated that spanking cause children to be attentive as they listen to the instructions given to them for fear of receiving any blow that would cause pain to them. In line with this argument the perception of the proverb "Spare the rod and spoil the child" (Gershoff, 136). forms solid bases because when children are not corrected whenever they are wrong they grow up without proper guidance failing to justify the parenting style. Children, especially in their hyperactive stage nothing else seems to work when correcting their discipline concerns. In some cases, parents need to exercise their authority on their children because by failing to do so children grow up without proper social norms on respect and live perspectives. Therefore, many people find nothing else to be working when children are repeatedly on the wrong and maximum disciplinary strategies are necessary. Again, it's naturally mandated for parents to ensure they nurture an all-around child which include disciplining ad providing for their needs, therefore, it does not warrant caution when a parent spanks his or her child because Dr. Gershoff argues" No parent can harm their own child intentionally" (133). This argument is advocating that the parent has the child's best interests at heart.In conclusion, allowing parents the legal mandate to discipline their children through corporal punishment takes two sides of the same coin. Arguments against spanking and hitting air multiple negativities attributed to these disciplinary strategies indicating that parents should not be allowed to spank their children. On the other hand, those for the practices like spanking and hitting gives parents full authority over their children's wellbeing dictating that no parent would intentionally harm the welfare of their own child. It is, therefore, necessary for child-welfare stakeholders to come together and draw clear guideline demarcating the child rights advocacy with parental rights to avoid conflict of interest because as parents strive to conduct their duties in parenting they find themselves violating their children's rights as they try to advocate for discipline and morally upright children.
Durrant, J., & Smith, A. (Eds.) (2011). Global pathways to abolishing physical punishment: realizing children's rights. Taylor and Francis e-Library
Family Issue Facts, Spanking, Bulletin 4357. (n.d.). University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Retrieved July 8, 2018, from http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/htmpubs/4357.htm
Gershoff, E.T. (2013). Spanking and child development: We know enough now to stop hitting our children. Child Development Perspectives. 7 (3): 133-137.01444401
Knox M. On Hitting Children: A Review of Corporal Punishment in the United States. Journal of Pediatric Health Care. 2010;24(2):103-107. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2009.03.001.
M. (2011). Parental use of time out revisited: A useful or harmful parenting strategy? Journal of Child and Family Studies. 20(1): 1-8. DOI 10.1007/s10826-010-9371-x.
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