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Should parents use spanking as an option to discipline?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/27/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,454 times Debate No: 31763
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Parents should be allowed to spank their children. A simple slap across the wrists or on the hand could possibly save a child's life in certain situations. A slap on the wrists or a swat on the butt is something the child will remember far more than a "stern talking to" or a time out - time out was a joke for me as a kid. The next time the child goes to run across the street, or stick a fork in an outlet, he/she will be more prone to immediately flashing back to that slap than anything their parents might have simply said to them. Spanking is okay, but beating should be totally outlawed. If a bruise or a mark or welt is left, that crosses the line between a spanking and a beating.


I was never spanked, and I remember my cousins who WERE spanked as whiny children who feared their father. I'll debate this with you. I believe that children shouldn't be spanked, there's a fine line between a beating and a spanking, and children have such tender skin. I remember when I was young I would come home with bruises up and down my legs from climbing and playing outside all day. I barely even noticed them. Therefore, I don't think that it's the pain of actually slapping that's most traumatizing, but the act of slapping. My cousins feared their father, even though he barely tapped them. There's just something terrifying about the prospect of your father or mother hitting you. And, when a father or mother might lose their temper, maybe they will be more loose with their hand, hitting you harder. Children who are spanked will always be fearful around their tormentors, and their perspective of their parent will be tainted from a very early age. Instead of The Protector, the parent will be The Enemy. In children's minds, there is a line between good and evil. In every movie they watch, there is the good guy and the bad guy. The Dalmatians and Cruella DeVil. If you haven't noticed, they base Cruella DeVil's name of of the words cruel and devil, so that it's even easier to hate her. And they make her want to skin puppies so that it is even easier to hate her. So children see good and evil, and if a parent spanks his or her child, they can easily cross over from good, into evil, and the child will fear his or her parent forevermore. Besides, I always feared disappointment from my parents most of all. I always sought to please them, since they seemed to be god-like. (An example of parents either being good of evil) When they were disappointed in me, I was absolutely crushed. I might cry for hours, and only at their smile and gentle caress could I stop. Discipline shouldn't be based on punishments, it should be based on rewards like attention and love from your parents. (not so much treats, I mean come on, we're not dogs) That way, instead of fearing your parent's wrath, you will be seeking their approval.
Debate Round No. 1


When it is used correctly, spanking is safe and effective. According to Robert Larzelere is a professor of research methodology and statistics in the department of human development and family science at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, in reviewing the literature that compares various kinds of punishment, there"s one that leads to better outcomes, reduced defiance and reduced aggression in children, and that"s what I call backup spanking.

In disciplining children, parents should do everything as kindly and gently as they can first. They should try to understand a child, make sure the child understands what is expected of them, use reasoning and find an adequate nonphysical consequence, like a "timeout" or taking away privileges. But if the child won"t cooperate, some kids "at least some of the time" need something more forceful to back it up.

This is where backup spanking comes in. It involves two swats of an open hand to the rear end, and parents should affirm a love for the child afterward. Research finds this most effective with 2- to 6-year-olds.

When I was a little kid my parents spanked me if I was acting up or throwing a tantrum. Not really hard, but enough to get my attention and make me straighten up. I don't feel like it did any long term damage. These days spanking your child is borderline child abuse, which is why we have all these spoiled, bratty little things running around with their iPads and deciding what type of punishment they should receive... Give me a break! People don't want to parent these days. Obviously spanking isnt used for every offense, it should be reserved for the most severe. And I'd probably only do it in your own home or some progressive non-spanking parent might call the police on you :)


Just wondering, but what age range are you thinking of for spanking?
As for your study, maybe children have reduced defiance and reduced aggression because they are heartbroken inside, and are terrified and submissive. I had a dog, and my dad hit him a bit, and it got to the point that whenever my dad walked into the room, my dog would pee in fright. He wasn't aggressive, not at all, he was the sweetest thing ever, and he was not defiant, but that wasn't necessarily a good thing. I know children are different than dogs, but the same basic concept can be applied to children.

I agree, sometimes you need to take drastic matters for a child, but I don't think that anything physical is necessary. I personally think that what a child craves most is attention, so deny him or her attention whe he or she is bad. Let them be locked in their room or have the silent treatment. Instead of a simple time out (only fifteen minutes or around that) you could ignore them for an entire hour, for a small child, that would seem like a whole day. It's drastic, but I think that it is still better than spanking. Then, afterwards, you can run to them and hug them and after they sorry, then you forgive them.

I'll recall my cousins, who aren't any study or anything, but they're an example. They were spanked, and they were whiny, bratty little things. Spanking won't keep a child from being spoiled. Spanking may make sure a child behaves around their parent, but if they don't feel that they are under any danger with everybody else, they will act like however they want. You need to show them what will happen in the real world, and make sure that they remember that if they are being spoiled and bratty, nobody will like them, you need to tell them that not only do you not like when they act a certain way, but nobody else likes it, by ignoring them. This will be easier and more effective because only one pweron can spank the offending child, or else that's too much, and if only one person can show their disapproval, the offending child won't feel as obliged to act good. But EVERYBODY in the family can ignore, and the child will crave the attention of his or her family members and act nicely.

Here are some paragraphs against spanking from the American Psychological Association. :) I know i really should pick out the most important stuff, but I feel like I just need all of this.

"A growing body of research has shown that spanking and other forms of physical discipline can pose serious risks to children, but many parents aren"t hearing the message.
"It"s a very controversial area even though the research is extremely telling and very clear and consistent about the negative effects on children," says Sandra Graham-Bermann, PhD, a psychology professor and principal investigator for the Child Violence and Trauma Laboratory at the University of Michigan. "People get frustrated and hit their kids. Maybe they don"t see there are other options."
Many studies have shown that physical punishment " including spanking, hitting and other means of causing pain " can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children. Americans" acceptance of physical punishment has declined since the 1960s, yet surveys show that two-thirds of Americans still approve of parents spanking their kids.
But spanking doesn"t work, says Alan Kazdin, PhD, a Yale University psychology professor and director of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic. "You cannot punish out these behaviors that you do not want," says Kazdin, who served as APA president in 2008. "There is no need for corporal punishment based on the research. We are not giving up an effective technique. We are saying this is a horrible thing that does not work." "

"Physical punishment can work momentarily to stop problematic behavior because children are afraid of being hit, but it doesn"t work in the long term and can make children more aggressive, Graham-Bermann says.
A study published last year in Child Abuse and Neglect revealed an intergenerational cycle of violence in homes where physical punishment was used. Researchers interviewed parents and children age 3 to 7 from more than 100 families. Children who were physically punished were more likely to endorse hitting as a means of resolving their conflicts with peers and siblings. Parents who had experienced frequent physical punishment during their childhood were more likely to believe it was acceptable, and they frequently spanked their children. Their children, in turn, often believed spanking was an appropriate disciplinary method.
The negative effects of physical punishment may not become apparent for some time, Gershoff says. "A child doesn"t get spanked and then run out and rob a store," she says. "There are indirect changes in how the child thinks about things and feels about things." "
Debate Round No. 2


In conducting the study, student researchers anonymously watched 106 incidents between caregivers and children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old in public places, such as restaurants and parks. The study revealed that 23 percent of the children received some type of negative touch when they did not do what they were asked to do by their parents.

I personally see no problem with people spanking their kids if they need it, and many do I think. Some kids just don't listen to anything or anyone. They already know it all. Poor parenting and the inability for parents to spank their kids and discipline them have led to a generation of more violent, ill behaved and rude kids as there has ever been. Stop all this calling social services or whatever. Let a parent discipline their kids when they are young and you stop a lot of this nonsense. There"s a big gap between abuse and discipline.

Spanking only teaches children that it's okay to hit when something doesn't go their way. Children under the age of two should never be spanked as they do not have the cognitive ability to understand the concept.

Spanking only teaches children that it's okay to hit when something doesn't go their way. Children under the age of two should never be spanked as they do not have the cognitive ability to understand the concept. And why in the world would you want your child to be afraid of you?


Nyx999 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Nyx999 4 years ago
I'm really depressed no one voted...
No votes have been placed for this debate.