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Stop Spanking: Save The Children

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Spanking has been used for many years and it must come to an end. Also known as corporal punishment, spanking is most often used as a form of discipline. Although it is said to have some benefits, the negative consequences far outweigh the good. According to Dr. Wilson and Dr. Lyon, "physical punishment delivered in anger with the intent to cause pain is unacceptable and dangerous to the health and well being of the child."( Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) It is important for spanking to stop because it is ineffective, causes more problems and because there are other options to consider.

While many parents are still spanking their children when they are being naughty, they do not stop to consider how effective this method is. Is this method really working? A question Dr. Phil McGraw asks is: what does a child learn by being hit?(Three Questions to Ask Before Spanking, online) The answer to this question is different for every child, but in many instances you are telling your child that violence is acceptable and that it is an okay way to react when you're mad .(Three Questions to Ask Before Spanking, online) Although commonly used throughout households with children, not much can be said for spanking's long term success. To begin with, the only way to maintain the original effect of spanking, is to increase the force with which it is delivered. This can quickly escalate into abuse. (Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) Using spanking as a method can turn into a quick fix whenever the child misbehaves, rather than using other rational techniques for each scenario. Finally, positive reinforcement and other discipline techniques are more difficult to implement when spanking has been used as a primary method of discipline. (Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) As might be expected, the lack of effectiveness also leads to negative consequences and more problems.

Continued use of spanking can lead to some harmful effects and long lasting negative lessons. It is common knowledge that children learn from what they are taught. What lessons would the like our child to learn from spanking? According to L.D. Eron, "spanking models aggressive behavior as a solution to conflict and has been associated with the increased aggression in preschool and school children." (Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) The consequences of spanking do not just effect the children, but also the world around them. Expert P. Cohen says that "spanking has been associated with higher rates of physical aggression, substance abuse, increased risk of crime and violence."( Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) Therefore, the people who are not wanted on society's streets are being trained to be this way by their own parents. Taking a look at children who were spanked, as adults they report having more anger. This in turn, increases the likelihood that they will spank their own children and puts them at risk for marital conflict or abuse. (Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) Is spanking your child really worth it? Many parents will say "this is the only way to teach them", but look at all the hidden messages the parents are sending their child. Repeatedly spanking your child can cause aggression and agitation. This most certainly will lead to broken child-parent relationships. (Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) With all of these negative consequences and outcomes from spanking, it's a wonder that so many parents still do it. According to A.M. Graziano in her article Subabusive Violence in Child Rearing in Middle-class American Families, "out of the 93% of parents who justify spanking, 85% say that they would prefer not to if they had an alternative in which they believed." (Guidance for Effective Discipline, online) That being said, for that 85% of parents, there is hope. Clearly, society must find other ways to discipline today's children because spanking only causes more problems.

For all of the parents who hate spanking their child, but do it anyways, there are other options. Other options means finding age appropriate discipline techniques based on age and development. Dr. Phil McGraw gives the example of a thirteen month old. Trying to explain what they did wrong will be ineffective because she or he does not understand reasoning. However, as established in the American Academy of Family Physicians, positive reinforcement is a good tool for children of any age, including teenagers.(Age-Appropriate Discipline Techniques, online) Some of the other techniques that can be used include: redirecting, verbal instruction, time outs, grounding and withholding privileges. (Age-Appropriate Discipline Techniques, online) These techniques are all reasonable and can be adjusted to suit each child's needs. One of the benefits of these strategies is that they can all be executed in a calm fashion. As a result of this, the child will relax. This is unlike spanking, in which the child becomes more anxious. (Three Questions to Ask Before Spanking, online) It's hard to believe that anyone who has these options, would still choose to spank their children.

Finally, critics and supporters of spanking do not feel it is a bad thing. Many parents actually feel it is their right. They justify it by the fact that as

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