The debate "Spanking is not an effective method of disciplining children." was started by
May 5, 2015, 11:45 pm.
64 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 42 people are on the disagree side.
That might be enough to see the common perception.
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Shahmir posted 2 arguments, Seraphim posted 1 argument, PsychDave posted 3 arguments, Socrates posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
libertarian_rebel posted 1 argument, toughgamerjerry posted 2 arguments to the disagreers part.
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In my opinion, "Disciplining" someone should not be a thing. The act of doing something harmful/hurtful to someone solely for the reason to "scare" them out of doing it again, is not the right way to fix someone/something. You should instead be eliminating and addressing the problem. For example, if your trying to get someone to play the piano well, and they mess up, it is a good thing to teach them what they did wrong. It is a bad thing to spank them or use any other form of punishment to scare them from messing up again. Get what I'm saying?
I am in no way saying that every child who is spanked will have problems later in life because of it, but as parents I feel it is our job to give our children every advantage possible. Not every child whose mother drank gets fetal alcohol, but that doesn't mean drinking should be encouraged. Spanking has been linked to many negative outcomes later in life ranging from depression to aggression to antisocial behavior. If by spanking my daughter, I increase the risk of these things, why would I not use other forms of discipline?
I am not criticizing your parents, or for that matter any parents who spank or have spanked in the past. When I was growing up I was spanked, and I love my parents and take my daughter to visit them as often as schedules allow. But as science progresses and we learn more, I feel I would be a poor parent if I didn't use the best tools and knowledge at my disposal to raise her. If one form of discipline has been linked to negative outcomes, even if there was not the wealth of evidence that is available, I would refrain from using it. Spanking has been thoroughly linked to problems and has been shown to not be effective as a long term way of teaching consequences, so knowing this, I will not spank. And since I would want someone to tell me, I will share that knowledge with others. I will never tell someone how to raise their children, but if the roles were reversed, I would want them to at least tell me that there were risks and that there were other, more effective options.
My parents spanked me when I was a kid. My relationship with my parents is amazing. And why is that? Because they did not spank me to hurt me, they spanked me to teach me. spanking only hurts the relationship with family if it is meant to hurt the child, and what happens outside of the disciplinary actions.
Your argument I'd flawed. You make the assumption that spanking is necessary to avoid having maladjusted children. This is not true. You say that spanking does not harm the relationship between parent and child, that there are the same benefits and risks as other forms of discipline, but research tells a different story. It doesn't mean that everyone who is spanked will be aggressive and violent, but there has been shown to be a link. Google Scholar can pull up many studies on the effects of spanking, and the long term benefits (or lack thereof). Summed up, spanking is very effective at creating a short term change in behavior, but not very effective at long term change, and comes with a wide range of potential problems associated with it. Your assertion that spanking could help keep a child from growing up to be a criminal seems misguided since research shows that children who are spanked are more likely to grow up have problems with authority and be violent.
Spanking your child is an effective way of disciplining your child if done properly. When you spank your child you are not doing that to hurt them, you are doing it to teach them, and you need to tell them that so that they understand that you spank them to teach them. My parents did spank me when I was little and every time afterwards they told me that they were sorry and that they did it because they love me and they want me to learn after I already know right from wrong. It does not damage the relationship between the child and the parents any more than grounding them from something does. It is also up to the parent to know when it is necessary and not necessary to spank the child. Would you rather spank your child and have them turn into a good person who obeys the law, teaches their kids right from wrong, and know when to spank their kids and when not to, or have them turn into a criminal who doesn't know right from wrong (worst case scenario) or who can't keep a job because they won't obey their boss?
The problem with using spanking as a punishment is what it teaches the child. First, it teaches the child to be afraid of their parent. This can damage the relationship. Second, it teaches that violence and aggression are acceptable ways to deal with problems. If you teach your child that when they do something wrong, you spank them, what they learn is that whensomeone does something wrong, hitting them is acceptable. Finally, while spanking is very effective in the short term, studies have shown that it is not very effective, or not at all, in the long term. So they are not learning why they shouldn't do something, other than because they will get spanked, so when you aren't around to spank them they don't have the same reason to not return to the behavior.
I can supply references for any of these points, so if you are curious where I got any of it, just ask.
Fear of punishment is only part of the problem. If you ever truly remember the feeling of being spanked when you were a kid, the real fear was the inevitability of the spanking. Children feel imprisoned by it. They feel helpless and cannot help but think that they are just going to have to take the pain instead of finding a way to avoid it by repairing the consequences of their actions. This is not proper conditioning of children. This is unjustified psychological abuse, if not JUST physical abuse.
Spanking is effective in breaking children, not in helping them solve the problems they create.
I would say punishment never teaches the person of the root cause of why the kid is wrong and right. It is often the case where children will get spanked and can not even voice out their opinions, because of fear.
It is the reason why kids will still do something illegal when they are not caught. That's not the best way to solve a problem.
I think it depends on a lot of factors. It should never be when angry because this teaches kids to associate anger with violence. It should only be hard enough to train them to associate disrespect with punishment and enough to make them wish they hadn't done what they did, not enough to hurt badly. Intent also matters, I think spankings for difference of opinion or anything like that keeps kids from learning to be individualists, spanking should only be punishment to teach right from wrong, "your kid hits a kid at school, so you give them a spankin". I was spanked in the ways listed above and I am not violent, I have learned respect, and I can think for myself. However, I think the best punishment is labor such as doing difficult tasks that tire them out. This gives them punishment without the fear factor, and gives reward to.
I would agree that it is an ineffective method of punishment. I would make a case on the psychological harms, the existence of better forms of punishment and the negative practical implications of spanking.