The Instigator
Splashstorm
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
Ore_Ele
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

As a parent you should NOT punish your kids.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Ore_Ele
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,418 times Debate No: 24449
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

Splashstorm

Pro

As a parent, I would simply state to my child the pros and cons of a situation, and let my kid decide what to do. I would never enforce anything, because think about it-- either way, you are going to do something regardless of what your parents say if you really want to do it, right? And when you make the wrong choice, you are punished by the universe (and then you come home and are unnecessarily punished yet again).

Either my child will learn from his mistakes or keep getting punished (not by me, by his own actions). I dare say, most kids would learn much quicker that way. And he would actually LEARN it instead of just think, "Ugh, I don't want to get grounded so I won't do this.. But I bet it would be sooo much fun, so I'll do it later when my parents are gone." (Something like that.)

Also, your kid's life would be stressful enough without having you breathing down his throat.

Look at these scenarios:
Scenario 1:
Your daughter loses her virginity at 11 (she never talked to you about it first, of course, because she knew you'd lecture her). Her boyfriend breaks up with her 2 weeks later. She is called a slut, whore, and knows she was being used. She is angry, confused, but most of all, incredibly hurt. She comes home, unaware that you have found some notes from her ex about how they had sex. You yell at her and tell her a bajillion reasons why what she did was horrific. Nothing you say is new to her, of course-- she KNOWS sex at such a young age (without protection too!) is bad. The girl's in middle school. You ground her and take away her iPod and phone. Now she feels even worse. Of course, within a year, or even a couple years, she goes and makes the same mistake again. Or... she learns from it and never does it again. But at present, while you are yelling at her, you don't know which it'll be. It doesn't matter anyway, because you've already made her feel worse; added to her pain. Her decisions in the future about sex will have mostly nothing to do with your punishment. It will be about how she feels about herself, the way she felt, and the way she will feel when confronted with the same situation. She wouldn't even remember to think of you in that moment. Therefore, your punishment was rendered almost completely useless.

Second Scenario:
Your daughter is 11 and thinking about losing her virginity to her boyfriend of 2 months. Of course, she casually asks you all about it, because all her life you have never freaked out on her. You gently tell her why you believe she is making the wrong decision, and give her the many cons and the few pros of her problem, but otherwise leave it at that. Her curiosity gets the best of her, however, and so she loses her virginity. Her boyfriend breaks up with her 2 weeks later. She is called a slut, whore, and knows she was being used. She is angry, confused, but most of all, incredibly hurt. She comes home, glad to have you to talk to. You reassure her everything will be alright and that there are plenty of girls who make the same mistake, and you reassure her that she is not a freak and is perfectly "normal." You tell her that she is now wiser for it, and hope to yourself that she has really learned her lesson. But really, you don't know which it'll be. It doesn't matter anyway, because either way you have not added to her stress. Her decisions in the future about sex will have mostly nothing to do with you. It would be about how she feels about her past and her present. She would be so absorbed in what she is doing RIGHT THEN that she wouldn't even think about you once. Therefore, your lack of punishment only helped.
**************************

I would just be there to guide my kids and that would be that. I would be supportive and easygoing and a friend above all else, but never a nagging, whiny and feared mother. I want to be the type of parent my child goes to for advice, no matter the situation. I also know plenty of kids who would just do the opposite of what their parents said to rebel. Would you want that kind of child?

So, in general, I believe my parenting style would work the best on any type of child. It would certainly decrease the "I hate my parents!" rant from coming out of your child's mouth. Because no matter what happens to them, they know they can never really blame you. You told them the pros/cons of their actions in a polite manner and let them make their own informed decisions. You played your part in parenthood.
Ore_Ele

Con

I will start by saying thank you to my opponent for this debate topic.

I would also like to state what our positions are, based on the resolution. My opponent is PRO for "as a parent, you should NOT punish your kids." This means, that under no circumstance should you punish them. I will be arguing that there are circumstances where you should.

Let us define "punish" as "Inflict a penalty or sanction on someone for (such an offense)." This can be summarized as any negative consequence for an action.

I would like to restate that I will be arguing that there are SOME circumstances, not that ALL circumstances should be treated that way. As such, I can say that for this particular circumstance that my opponent lays out, a positive response may be best. However, that does not affirm the resolution.

Allow me to point out another situation or two.

Situation 1 -

Your 9 year old son has just been sent home from school because he was caught in the boys bathroom seeing how high he could pee on the wall (having a competition with two other 9 year old boys... they were never heard from again, but he did win, if that is any consolation). I will not address this situation here, just present it and let my opponent start with it next round.

Situation 2 -

5 years later, your wall-peeing son, is brought home from the police department because he was caught spray painting racist and homophobic messages on another kid's home, who happens to be black and gay (and any other minority statuses I can think of later for this, oh yeah, lets add poor and an immigrant, and has only 1 parent).

I will pass onto round two and let my opponent have the first say regarding these two situations.

Thank you,

[1] https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Splashstorm

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for her response.

Con has lay out two situations here for me.

Situation 1 -

Your 9 year old son has just been sent home from school because he was caught in the boys bathroom seeing how high he could pee on the wall (having a competition with two other 9 year old boys... they were never heard from again, but he did win, if that is any consolation). I will not address this situation here, just present it and let my opponent start with it next round.

In this case, I would explain to him why what he did was wrong, and leave it at that. It's up to him to make his own educated decisions in life. Even if I did punish him, what good would that do? I would only instill anger, fear, or a combination of both, depending on what the punishment was.

Situation 2 -

5 years later, your wall-peeing son, is brought home from the police department because he was caught spray painting racist and homophobic messages on another kid's home, who happens to be black and gay (and any other minority statuses I can think of later for this, oh yeah, lets add poor and an immigrant, and has only 1 parent).

I would tell him what I honestly thought of the situation, such as being horrified he could be so cruel. Then I would explain why I don't think he is going down the right path and leave it at that. Why punish? There are many kids that act like that during high school. It's almost the norm. They act the way they do regardless of how their parents respond. Some kids are beaten or grounded, and they still get themselves in trouble at school.

Punishment, when you really look at it, does virtually nothing to alter your child's behavior, unless you are so feared to the point where they will go out of their way to avoid any trouble with you (a dark path in which I wish on no child). Either he is a trouble-maker or he isn't. As a parent, it would be up to me to guide him down the right path, not try to force him. In the end, the choice is always the child's. His punishment is already the consequences of his own actions. Surely that must be enough?

I eagerly await my opponent's reply.
Ore_Ele

Con

I thank my opponent for their previous round.

I will first present my arguments first, then relate them to these two situations.

1) Parents need to prepare their kids for the real world.

A parent's responsibility is to prepare their kids for the real world as best as possible. This covers a broad spectrum of duties, from helping their kids get an education that provides the most opportunities, to helping their child find that passion in life. But for this debate, we will focus on, preparing their child for social interactions in the real word, both with other individuals and with the law.

Believe it or not, if you do something bad in the real world, there will be negative consequences for it, from losing friends and relationships, to losing jobs, to jail time. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child is aware that negative things may happen to them if they break laws and/or social codes. The best way to do this is to instill discipline, starting at an early age. Since the later you wait to start, the harder it is. Numerous studies show an inverse link between child discipline and criminal activity [1][2].

2) Children are happier and more emotionally stable in a balanced disciplined home.

From a psychological standpoint, children subconsciously desire proper discipline. Those that don't get it are actually more depressed, have a harder time controlling their emotions, and actually do not understand the difference between right and wrong [3][4].

There are two forms of improper discipline. They are "lack of discipline," which is when parents do not discipline their children at all, so their children do not learn that what they are doing is wrong, and so never learn to not do it. And there is "inconsistent discipline" where a parent allows "bad behaviors" one time, then lash out against those same behaviors some other time. Such as letting their kid run around the yard playing one day, then another day, give them a spanking for doing the same thing. This causes children to become confused about what is right and wrong behaviors and so they also do not properly learn them. This also causes them to resent authority figures in general for uneven applications of punishments.

I will leave it at that and allow my opponent a chance to respond.

Thank you

[1] http://www.fdle.state.fl.us...
[2] http://www.indianjpsychiatry.org...
[3] http://childparenting.about.com...
[4] http://www.eduguide.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Splashstorm

Pro

I thank Con for her response.

"It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child is aware that negative things may happen to them if they break laws and/or social codes. The best way to do this is to instill discipline, starting at an early age. Since the later you wait to start, the harder it is. Numerous studies show an inverse link between child discipline and criminal activity [1][2]."

Punishing your child does nothing to instill life-long discipline. Punishment is only effective in the presence of the punisher. If it worked so well, there wouldn't be as many troublesome kids as there are today. Most people punish their children, yet most children act bad. If this concept worked so well, why do we continue to see issues? Discipline can take many other forms that does not include punishment.

"Discipline vs. Punishment
To discipline effectively, think about these ideas:

1. Effective discipline methods work better than punishment in teaching children how to behave.

2. The more parents use effective discipline methods, the less children need punishment.

3. There is no excuse for using physical or verbal punishment to discipline a child.

4. Using consequences as a discipline method helps children learn to take responsibility for their behavior.

5. Consequences must be logically related to the misbehavior.

6. The child must see the relationship between his misbehavior and the consequences or it will not work.

7. The child must know he has a choice when consequences are used.

8. Use consequences in a firm, kind, friendly manner. [1]"

As you can see, there is a difference between punishment and discipline. Look at it this way: kids and dogs are very much alike in some ways. Just like you should never hit or shout at your dog, you should not do so to a child. Animal trainers will tell you that you should never punish your animal, only give it positive reinforcement. In the same manner, you should do this with your child. Of course, kids can talk back and understand a lot more than a dog, so you should also explain matter of factly to them why what they did was wrong.

Another situation:

"Kristin left her dirty clothes on the floor and never placed them in the dirty clothes bag as mother requested. Nagging, scolding, and threatening did no good. Kristin continued to leave her dirty clothes on the floor.

Mother decided to use logical consequences. She told Kristin, in a firm and friendly voice, that in the future she would wash only clothes that were placed in the bag. After five days, Kristin had no clean clothes to wear to school and she was very unhappy to have to wear dirty, rumpled clothes. After that, Kristin remembered to place her clothes in the bag. [1]"

As you can see in the above situation, punishment doesn't really work. It is only when you leave it to the "universe" to punish your child that they will begin to really change their ways. That, I'd say, is true discipline-- the kind they will carry with them into their futures.

I agree with Con that children need discipline to be happy in their homes, but I do not agree that punishment equals discipline.

Thank you, and I await our next round. :)


[1]http://pubs.ext.vt.edu...

Ore_Ele

Con

I thank my opponent for their last round. I will keep this one short for the convenience of the voters. There are two points that I will address. My opponent's animal training parallel and their source.

1) Animal training.

My opponent claims, "Animal trainers will tell you that you should never punish your animal, only give it positive reinforcement."

Allow me to dispel that.

"In bad biting cases as soon as your puppy latches onto your hand say "No!" and quickly put your thumb inside his mouth under his tongue, and your other finger under his chin. Hold it there for about 10 seconds (not too tightly). This will feel uncomfortable to your puppy plus he won't be able to bite you." [2]

"For older puppies (around 6 months) this is a sure fire technique to stop puppy mouthing. Put a pinch or choke collar on your puppy and each time he bites you give the lead a short sharp tug. This correction will form an unpleasant association to your dog every time he bites you. It won't take him long to stop. Some trainers believe this method to be fairly extreme, and I agree that you would only need to call on it in very rare circumstances" [2]

"Every time you are with your dog have him in a pinch or prong collar with a leash attached. Whenever he displays any signs of dog food aggression you immediately administer a correction to your dog by snapping on the leash. What this does to your dog is build a negative association to the act of his food guarding antics... many experienced dog trainers swear by it." [3]

"Be consistent, make it simple for your dog:
Be clear that you are always the alpha dog or leader in your owner-dog relationship.
Make it clear to him what is unacceptable behavior - every time.
Make it clear to him what is acceptable behavior - every time." [4]

There are a number of other sources that can easily be found, but I don't want to flood this with a bunch of quotes and sources.

As my opponent said, "kids and dogs are very much alike..." and this is true. Both need discipline.

2) Source. [1]

Lets just look at a quote from the first section.

"The first two kinds of punishment, physical and verbal, are not considered to be effective discipline methods. The other two, withholding rewards and giving penalties, can be used either as effective discipline methods or as punishment - depending on how parents administer them."

This source clearly shows a support for discipline when done properly. It does not say that children should not be disciplined.

We should also note from this source, "Harsh discipline focuses anger on the parent." similar to what my opponent said, but even this source doesn't go as far as my opponent saying, "Mild or Harsh? A swat on the bottom is a mild physical punishment."

Let us look at another situation which comes directly after the "Kirsten and dirty clothes" situation.

"Parents cannot use natural consequences if the health or safety of the child is involved. If a young child runs into the street without looking, it is not possible to wait until he is hit by a car - a natural consequence - to teach him not to run into the street. Instead, he should be taken into the house and told, 'Since you ran into the street without looking, you cannot play outside now. You can come out when you decide to look before going into the street.'"

This is basically advocating a time-out, which is a form of discipline (based on the opening definition).

So my opponent's sources clearly do not support them.

Thank you,


[1] http://pubs.ext.vt.edu...
[2] http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com...
[3] http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com...
[4] http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Splashstorm

Pro

Hello again!

1) The sources you quoted are actually outdated. Choke collars and the concept of an "alpha" are no longer used.

"A dog should never be punished for deeds you do not like, but rather corrected. What's the difference between a punishment and a correction? A correction is when you give a command of disapproval at the moment the deed is about to be done or is being done. A punishment is anything thereafter." [1]

Clicker training is now dominating contemporary training, in all types of animals.

"Positive training methods are kind and gentle, and are scientifically proven to be the most effective way to train your dog... According to the study, there was a direct correlation between punishment methods and problem behaviors, which included but was not limited to barking, fearfulness, aggression, separation anxiety, and inappropriate mounting." [2]

"When you use this sequence [clicker training], correctly, you may be surprised at how rarely your dog needs corrections -- but there will always come a time when you need to tell your dog that obedience is not "optional." [3]

This proves my point again, that positive reinforcement is better than punishment.

"Traditional punishments make children feel punished even when having little or no effect on their behavior... When we free ourselves from the mistaken belief that children must be punished for their misbehavior (a belief that has strong traditions) we can usually find creative ways to insure that misbehavior is punished effectively without having to punish children." [4]

2) Con showed to me some things said on my own sources that conflicted with what I was arguing for. I admit, I don't agree with everything it says about disciplining children. If the child runs in the street, a simple, "Watch both ways or you'll get hit by a car" is sufficient. Your child will continue being around roads his entire life. You cannot keep him away forever, or even for the rest of that year, so why try? What makes you think that when you aren't looking he won't go in the street again?

Thank you.

[1] http://www.dogbreedinfo.com...
[2] http://ptfordogs.blogspot.com...
[3] http://www.clickandtreat.com...
[4] http://www.cyc-net.org...
Ore_Ele

Con

I would like to thank my opponent again for their round. Now, most of that round was been off topic about pets, with only the last two paragraphs actually about children. Even though I only provided a few sentences about the pets and just a number of quotes and sources. I would prefer not to have this debate distracted by that, so I will keep the pet's section short, and focus on the children.

1) Pet trainning.

Regarding the quote from my opponent's source 1, the choke collar would be considered a correction, rather than a punishment, since it is done at the moment of bad behavoir. However, we can disregard it's definition of "punishment" since "punish" has already been defined in R1 and has not been challenged.

If you look at their source 2, we find that it is just a blog with no formal source. It lists a study, but doesn't link, and if you google search the study, you'll only find other blogs that source it without links.

Looking at their source 3, we see that it is in favor of punishment. It is just against the use of traditional punishment as a primary punishment option. That is, of course, not what I'm arguing for. Merely that punishment (not just traditional punishment) is a viable option.

2) Children

My opponent's fourth source is again, talking about traditional punishment, not punishment as a whole. If you look further into that source, we will see, "The misbehavior [coming home late for dinner] can be prevented by not allowing the child to go out to play after school. He can't be late if he's at home when dinner is served. The consequence is not designed to impose punishment on the child but to be sure he's home when dinner is served."

This clearly falls under the definition of punishing. Since they don't come home on time, they are not allowed out of the house.

My opponent says that because children will continue being around roads their entire life, you shouldn't even try to keep them out of it. This is a lazy and apathetic view. This would be the same as "we're never going to stop all murder and rape, so why bother making it a crime?"

Clearly the purpose is to teach them that the road can be dangerous if they are not careful. Natural consequences are not an option, and as presented in my opponent's source, natural consequences for somethings take too long for the child to care (like not doing their homework, or not coming home on time). With these, just as my opponent's source stated, a logical consequence should be imposed. These logical consequences are still punishments.

Now, as we go into the final round, we can see that many of my opponent's own sources actually support my side of the argument, leaving me little to do when it comes to sourcing.

I will pass this back to my opponent for their final summary round.

Thank you,
Debate Round No. 4
Splashstorm

Pro

Thank you for debating with me all these rounds; it's been a pleasure. I agree we should focus primarily on children and not pets, so I will be brief as well on the matter of pets.

1) Pet training.

It is very well-known that no trainer trains pets using punishment anymore. Clicker training is now immensely popular because it revolves around positive reinforcement. Google "clicker training" and you will find much info about it's popularity and uses. Because animals exhibit basic instincts in their behaviors, scientists can learn some aspects of true human behaviors (unaffected by what we think is acceptable behavior based on social norms) by studying them. Since clicker training, which focuses around positive reinforcement and not punishment, works the best on almost every intelligent species of animal, I would venture to think it is a huge hint that children would do best with positive reinforcement and not punishment.

2.) Children.

My view on parenting is quite new and radical, and so because of this, I admit I do not agree with some of the things my sources have stated. It's hard to find people who have not gone with the traditional way things have always been done. Despite the fact that this idea of parenting is not well known, it is very effective in the long run. Your child will learn to make his own decisions early in life.

You should try to keep your child out of the road, but through telling him that the road is not safe, not through punishing him. After you inform him on the roads' dangers, it is his own decision. Always tell your children of the consequences of bad actions. In the end, no matter what you try to do, your children will always make their own decisions. Punishing only increases their contempt and/fear of you. As I've already stated, punishing children is ineffective and does nothing when it comes to learning. The child will only do what you are saying when you are supervising him.

Your child will also be missing out on life lessons when you shield him through restrictions and punishment. He will grow up not truly understanding why he must or must not do something. Contrary to this, if he has always learned things the hard way by himself, he will begin to understand life lessons quicker, and plus, he will begin to even realize that maybe you are right when you're telling him to not do something. I mean, how can he trust you on anything if you're always nagging him to not do something? He won't know what will really be harmful, and he will never be able to see for himself if you were right or wrong. Why should he trust you when you tell him almost everything he wants to do is harmful, and then follows up with restricting him from doing it? He didn't learn the consequences of his actions. And then there are those kids who will go and do what they want anyway (punishment or not). In those cases, punishment was unnecessary. The child would then have gone on to either having learned from the lesson or not, but either way, they would have learned it all on their own. Parents can never teach or enforce this type of learning; the lessons that you do not learn in school. Your child will have to do it alone. But, if you do not enforce punishment, and your child sees that you are consistently right, he will take more heed to your advice and may actually learn (not just pretend to learn when you're watching) that he should listen to you more often.

In a parenting style without punishment, you are ensuring that your child will use his own brain (some will, some won't, but they will do or don't regardless of punishment). You are going to have to trust that in the end, your child will make good choices. This may take 18 years, it may take 30 years, or it may take a month. The thing is, they would be doing what they are doing regardless of what you do to them. If they're born sensible, they will make sensible choices. If they're born reckless, they will continue being reckless. It doesn't matter what you do. That is why, in a world where almost everyone believes in punishing a child, kids are not getting any "smarter" at making decisions. It just does not matter what you do.

People have to learn that kids will do what they want, regardless of what their parents do to them. It is only when a child knows there will be no punishment from you, that their own punishment is the consequences of their own actions, will they find the inner wisdom and discipline that they may or may not have to truly change. If they think you are always there to punish them, they will think mainly of escaping your punishment, and will not realize what the true life lessons are.

Thank you.
Ore_Ele

Con

This is the final round so I will not add new arguments and keep this as short as possible. I will say that looking back over the debate, it is clear to see that my opponent cannot point to any sources that support her as many of hers supported me. My opponent counters that by saying her view is "new and radical." This is hinting at an appeal to novelty fallacy.

Just remember the definition of "punishment" from the opening round and we can see that there are cases when you should punish your kids.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Cobo 4 years ago
Cobo
parent vs parent eyyy?
Posted by Mr 4 years ago
Mr
woot! girl against girl, young verses the wise but who will win? i don't know i really don't want to read all that debate.
Posted by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
@socialpinko. Was your comment directed at me or at Pro, because I'm thoroughly convinced that Pro is not a parent. In fact, I'm willing to bet Pro is still a dependent.
Posted by Ore_Ele 4 years ago
Ore_Ele
funny, I took it and let it die because I thought the exploitation was too easy and I thought Pro was going to be a "here today gone tomorrow" member. Guess I was wrong. I will actually take it and post an argument.
Posted by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
Lol you have a kid, therefore you know how to successfully raise a kid? Cool story hombre. BTW, as to the resolution I can think of two great ways to exploit it. Might take this in a few days if it's still up.
Posted by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
Have kids then get back to me.
Posted by Kinesis 4 years ago
Kinesis
I've read some psychology which supports the notion that positive reinforcement (praise for good actions) is vastly superior to negative reinforcement (punishment for bad actions). Hope an interesting discussion comes from this (you might get a troll, or a pedant).
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
SplashstormOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The Con ignored Pro's good points, and cited several inaccurate data. Both raise decently good points, but the Pro was more convincing.
Vote Placed by davidtaylorjr 4 years ago
davidtaylorjr
SplashstormOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: The points by Pro were simply, well, ignorant at best. Rear a child in the way they should go is what the Creator said. Talking to them accomplishes nothing.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
SplashstormOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to be against all punishment at first then to "natural consequences" later, which seemed to me to just be a form of punishment. Pro's position struggles with consistency whereas Con provided strong evidence in favor of punishment as a disciplinary tool. I found the Pet discipline irrelevant. Con also showed that Pro's sources better supported Con's own case, so Con gets the sources point as well.
Vote Placed by baggins 4 years ago
baggins
SplashstormOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: 3:2 to Con. Pro concedes that 'correction' and 'discipline' is needed in many situations. It is trivial to show that many cases, 'correction' and 'discipline' amount to punishment. Still for a beginner who forgot to define terms clearly, Pro did very well.