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Pro (for)
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Spanking: Should parents use spanking as an option to discipline?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,413 times Debate No: 29993
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




Any form of physical discipline in my honest opinion is a failure to discipline and teach children the right way. If a child can't understand how what he/she did was wrong, violence isn't going to teach them anything. Yes, sure it may make them behave better but only out of fear which fear is not a good teacher at least in cases like this. You want to punish your children in a way that keeps pushing the lesson on them. For example you buy your kid a bunch of toys over a few years but now you are finding that they never clean up after themselves, you tell them that they need to clean up after themselves and they refuse. If you use violence they don't really learn and clean up after themselves out of fear. If you make the punishment relate to their negative actions then even if they don't learn right away they are guaranteed to over time. For example if they keep refusing to clean up after themselves, take their toys away and give them only one (preferably their least favorite) and tell them they can have the rest when they learn to clean up after themselves. Then it gets in their head that if they want to play with anything that means that they need to clean up the mess. Since the action between them and their toys is the source of the mess they learn that whatever action they do that causes a mess that they do will require them to clean up after themselves since they are the cause, therefore the responsibility to clean up after yourself comes with the privelege of having toys and later on this can be applied to other things. This kind of discipline actually teaches them where violence makes them behave out of fear. If the child with the one toy still refuses to behave take the one toy away for a little while without letting them know when they will get it back.


Parents should spank their kids, but it depending on the degree of spanking, parents should have the option to spank their kids. As ridiculous as it sounds, adults are not able to reason with kids some times and the only way for the kids to actually listen to their parents is by physical force. I do not condone parents beating their kids; however, a few spanks here and there will definitely not harm the child.
First of all, spanking could save a child's life. Kids rarely remember getting a talking to when they do something wrong, like running off in a store or to close to the road when playing outside, they will however remember a quick smack on the butt. That smack on the butt will stay with them far longer than a talking to and will teach them that they must listen or their butts will hurt. Now I don't think a parent should hit hard enough to leave a mark, that's abuse, but it should be hard enough for the kid to remember why they got the smack in the first place.
Debate Round No. 1


But, spanking teaches the child that when you're upset with someone you hit them.
The American Psychological Association says, "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... Although it's true that a lot of spanked kids will never develop serious problems, why would you take the risk? There are healthier ways to raise a well-behaved child." issues a strong warning about the dangers of spanking your child. "Parents tend to resort to spanking when they're angry, stressed, or tired, which makes carrying it out in a calm, controlled manner far more challenging. An estimated two thirds of child-abuse cases start off as disciplinary acts and then degrade into something far more menacing. In a survey published in Pediatrics and cited frequently by the AAP, half of the respondents who admitted to spanking their kids said they did so because they 'lost it.' And approximately one in four parents reported that they use an object -- a hairbrush, a wooden spoon, a belt -- to paddle their kids, an escalation of force that has been shown to raise the risk of child abuse nearly ninefold, according to a 2008 American Journal of Preventive Medicine study."


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 :)
Debate Round No. 2


I agree, some parents could have anger issues, and while spanking a child he or she could overdue it and could be beating the child to take out their anger. And very true, a child could have psychological issues from being beaten to much, they could get depressing over a period of time
Spanking a child doesn't help disciplining a child better. Why should kids have to learn that if they make a mistake the punishment is always gonna be by hitting them? That only gonna make them scared of the actions they do. It could also lead to little kids thinking that their parents love them and what if them being hit as children, makes them do the same when they grow older and have their own children.
This will only lead the child to fear. Yes it may discipline them, but it will not have a good effect on their mentality. Excessive spanking is not necessary and I do not find spanking itself useful. It may lead to psychological or mental trauma, the child may take it in as abuse or discontent in them from the parent or doer of the action. Children will feel the pain and will cry, in fact, they may not feel comfortable around their parents and may not be willing to socialize or share their problems with their parents. This may lead to loneliness, mental injury to the child, or even casting their parents out of their life in the future.


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?
Debate Round No. 3


Murray Straus is a professor of sociology and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of NewHampshire in Durham.

The research overwhelmingly shows that spanking is harmful to children. If you were to list all the things a parent wouldn"t want their kid to be doing, you"d have the list of the harmful side effects of spanking. For instance, several studies have shown that the more parents spank, the more likely kids are to hit the parent. Kids who are spanked are also at a higher risk for committing juvenile crime, assaulting other kids, being depressed as an adult and hitting their dating or marital partner.

One explanation as to why spanking has these side effects is that the child is following the example of the parents hitting them. Another part of the explanation is that when parents spank, children miss out on instances of a conflict being resolved nonviolently and therefore have lower problem-solving skills.

Spanking also undermines the relationship between parent and child. It"s part of American mythology that spanking is not a big deal and that kids take it in stride, but that isn"t what the research shows. Even among kids who say that parents have the right to spank, and most do, it"s still a traumatic experience.

Spanking also violates a child"s right to grow up free from being assaulted. Just imagine that someone twice or three times as big as you starts hitting you"that"s the way kids describe it. It"s fearful. Studies have shown that the more kids get spanked, the higher the child"s score on a post-traumatic stress test.

People are very committed to the idea that spanking is necessary not because they want to hit their kids, but because they believe that it works when other things don"t. But spanking doesn"t eliminate bad behavior any more than other forms of discipline, such as explaining what the child is doing wrong or removing the child from the situation. In one study, 73 percent of mothers reported that their child repeated the same bad behavior even after being spanked for it.


As I said before, when it is used correctly, spanking is safe and effective. It involves two swats of an open hand to the rear end, and parents should affirm a love for the child afterward. Parents should begin by talking to each other about how they want to handle discipline and establish the rules. It is important to view discipline as teaching not punishment. Learning to follow rules keeps a child safe and helps him or her learn the difference between right and wrong.

There are different styles and approaches to parenting. Research shows that effective parents raise well-adjusted children who are more self-reliant, self-controlled, and positively curious than children raised by parents who are punitive, overly strict (authoritarian), or permissive. Effective parents operate on the belief that both the child and the parent have certain rights and that the needs of both are important. Effective parents don't need to use physical force to discipline the child, but are more likely to set clear rules and explain why these rules are important. Effective parents reason with their children and consider the youngsters' points of views even though they may not agree with them.

Once rules have been established, parents should explain to the child that broken rules carry consequences. For example, here are the rules. When you follow the rules, this will happen and if you break a rule, this is what will happen. Parents and the child should decide together what the rewards and consequences will be. Parents should always acknowledge and offer positive reinforcement and support when their child follows the rules. Parents must also follow through with an appropriate consequence when the child breaks a rule. Consistency and predictability are the cornerstones of discipline and praise is the most powerful reinforce of learning. Children learn from experience.

Children do not always do what parents want. When a child misbehaves, the parent must decide how to respond. All children need rules and expectations to help them learn appropriate behavior. How does a parent teach a child the rules and, when those rules are broken, what should parents do?
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by bucki2571 5 years ago
Look, I'm a thirteen year-old boy, and yes I have been spanked on many occasions as a form of discipline. I can say first hand that spanking is NOT the most effective way to discipline a child. Especially if the parent becomes dependent on spanking as the only means of discipline. This dependance most certainly leads to a lack of communication between the child and the parent. I for one am indeed hesitant to talk to my parents about something as simple as how my day was at school. My parents aren't that strict, but being spanked has lead me to believe that everything must be done a certain way, or no way at all. Sometimes parents need to learn that their way isn't the only way, and that actions do not exist in a vacuum. All actions are performed in the context of a given situation, and while a child of 4, 5, or 6 may not have the cognitive ability to perform actions in a given context, spanking only lets them know that not only what they did was wrong, but why they did it as well. Many children have good motives, but can't yet understand how to fulfill these motives. This is where guidance comes in as opposed to spanking a child for what a parent might have THOUGHT the child was intending to do. Again, I'm only 13 and in 8th grade, but I though you might want a little input from the other side of the rope.
Posted by Angel_Miche 5 years ago
Sometimes the people who disagree with spankings often have no kids of there own. I've gotten spankings and I bet you I straightened up, as an adult I see children disrespecting their parents to the extreme and now discipline is ABUSE. Oh please thats why its so many kids beating up on their parents and killing them because they wanted to go out and the parents said No for once.
Posted by Avamys 5 years ago
Hey, both of you got good points. But Azeke should have used corporal punishment arguments and quotes to strengthen his points, and 20120506 should have used more evidence from research which proves that spanking really lowers self-esteem, etc.
Posted by IncredulousVessel 5 years ago
You are con to this.

don't say you're pro.
Posted by 20120506 5 years ago
Spanking a child doesn't help disciplining a child better. Why should kids have to learn that if they make a mistake the punishment is always gonna be by hitting them? That only gonna make them scared of the actions they do. It could also lead to little kids thinking that their parents love them and what if them being hit as children, makes them do the same when they grow older and have their own children.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tennis47 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: When I was a kid, my mom spanked me ONCE, and for the next 4 months I didn't do anything bad. Con needed to use more commas, and Con actually had some good sources.