The Controversial Discussion on the Pros and Cons of Spanking

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 Thinking back as far as I can I honestly say with extreme certainty that I was never much of a trouble maker. Of course, this doesn’t mean I never broke any rules while growing up. The truth is nobody is perfect and I was no exception to this reality. Throughout my childhood, I had my moments in which I was a handful for my parents to deal with. The one constant factor that kept me from repeating my actions was the use of physical discipline that my parents showed me. Today many see this as unethical treatment of children. However without the occasional use of the belt or sandal, I don’t think I would be the man I am today. The truth is the use of physical discipline can have a variety of effects on children, but overall it will help children in the long run.

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First of all, with physical discipline children get a better understanding of the difference between good and bad. This point is one of the main reasons parents are so inclined to use this type of discipline. An example of this is, a man is told that he has to wait another thirty minutes for a table yet he has been there for an hour. During this hour he has seen three other customers come and go. However, instead of being rude with the worker he decides to be respectful even when nothing is going his way. The reason this man acts this way is because as a young child his parents taught him at a young age not to be rude to others. In this particular case if he ever raised his voice when not necessary he would be spanked with the belt by his parents. This action alone has left a long-lasting imprint on the man’s behavior and morals for the better. It is a strong possibility that if the child was not shown physical discipline he would have caused a scene. While this was a possibility it did not occur because of the boundaries his parents set in their household. Truth be told a lasting result like this would not be possible with other forms of discipline used.

As a result, there has been an abundant amount of research done on the effects of physical discipline on children. A lot of the information found shows the undoubtedly positive effects that physical punishment has on individuals. Research by duke shows such, “The researchers found spanking in the “parent release” condition to be significantly more effective at enforcing compliance to the time-out chair than just allowing the child to get up from the chair when they were ready to comply”. (Greenspan). It is clear that the physical discipline applied to these children has left a strong impression on them. Of course this form of punishment has a strong effect on children, but it also affects them into adulthood. When done properly physical punishment helps set children up for their future endeavors. There are countless examples of successful individuals who were subject to corporal punishment. One example of these successful individuals includes Kelly Clarkson who has had a very successful singing career. A quote explaining her stance on this form of punishment is, “My parents spanked me, and I did fine in life, and I feel fine about it”(Nexstar). It is clear she feels that this form of discipline has great dividends especially into adulthood. Compared to all other forms of parental discipline none have quite the impact of corporal punishment. Overall when punished in this way they will have an everlasting memory that will keep them from making poor decisions in the future.

Futhermore, when it comes to some kids the truth is there is no other form of discipline that can get through to them as much as corporal punishment. This is why it can be a necessity for parents to take assertive action in punishing their children. In fact it is one of the preferred methods, “Many parents and children prefer physical punishment because its emphasis is on external disapproval”(Greenspan). This is because many times in our lives we are faced with making a good or bad decision. With this form of corporal punishment, we tend to learn quickly. A hypothetical example of this happening is, a teen is hanging out with his friends and they are the one driving. In this scenario, the teen falls to peer pressure and drinks with his friends which leads to him receiving a DUI. This teen has never been physically punished and has lived his life facing minimal consequences. Such as the use of a timeout or taking all of his prized possessions away for a week. All of the behavior that he got away with as a kid led him to this very moment. This would not have occurred if the child had boundaries set of what is right and what is wrong. Any sort of physical punishment such as spanking could have prevented this from happening. However in this scenario that did not happen and it led to a ripple effect of bad choices. There has been countless research done that shows the use of corporal punishment is the most effective form of discipline.

Accordingly, it has been found that those who were physically disciplined as children are less likely to go down the wrong path. According to professionals, “Insofar as the child has come to like her or his body, the child may avoid wrongdoing in order to escape pain and harm”. (Cuddy). One simple action could counteract the poor decision making of kids who are still maturing. At the end of the day, they will undoubtedly remember that their actions do have consequences. This especially could be said for the children who are the most defiant in nature. In all honesty, nobody is the same and this is definitely the case when referring to children. Some children have difficulty fully understanding their actions affect others. When this happens to be the case the only effective solution is the use of physical punishment. Of course, most parents don’t wish to hurt their child but the occasional use of the belt or sandal is sometimes necessary. While this is true there are also countless examples of physical discipline emotionally scarring individuals ruining their future.

Unfortunately, when it comes to physical punishment some can cross the line between punishment and physical abuse. In turn, this could lead to the child living and growing up in a broken home that has left them scarred for life. One hypothetical example of this is a boy who is physically abused so badly by their parents that they have multiple scars reminding them of their past. With these reminders, they can never truly escape their past. As a result this could lead the individual down a dark path feeling as if everyone in their life is out to hurt them. This is not a rare occasion and there are numerous accounts of this occurring. According to, “Physical punishment is associated with a range of mental health problems in children, youth and adults including depression, unhappiness, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, use of drugs and alcohol, and general psychological maladjustment” (Durrant). This information shows that scars from physical abuse are not only physical but mental as well. This in turn can lead to crippling depression. However this not only affects themselves as individuals but it affects those around them. Abuse can have a giant ripple effect on a child’s future adulthood and even their own children. According to lawnow, “Experiences of violence in the home teach children that violence is an acceptable, even normal, part of parenting and intimate relationships” (Wells). In the end an individual could end up hurting others with their misplaced anger from their scarring childhood. In fact, “A study which involved more than 14,000 participants in 32 countries found that the larger the percentage of participants who had been “spanked” as a child… had assaulted a partner and had injured a partner.” (Global). Analytical data is one of the strongest forms of data. Overall it shows that the effects of physical punishment can be truly damaging. It can have serious effects on people causing a series of aftermaths. There is no doubt that physical punishment does have valid causes for concern. However there is no denying the abundance of existing information that shows physical punishment has a positive impact on a child’s future.

That being the case, the truth is without the use of physical discipline the lives of those affected would be worse off not better. Of course, there are risks when done improperly but when done properly the use of physical discipline works wonders. Sadly without the use of a belt or sandal, many individuals tend to not comprehend the error of their ways. It pushes children to pursue good choices in life. With strict reinforcement, children learn at a young age of what acceptable behavior is. The repetitive consequences of their actions teach them that there are repercussions for their misbehavior. In turn, they learn how to be kind and respectful to others. This leads to them growing up with a good head on their shoulders. With a good understanding of right and wrong they in turn understand how to be a good spouse and parent. The use of physical discipline helps individuals get a better understanding of right and wrong.

To conclude, currently in today’s society the truth is many people feel the use of physical punishment is outdated. Some may even think it is completely unnecessary. However, there is no denying that without this form of discipline we as a society would be worse off. There are countless pieces of information that backs this up. The reality is when it comes to discipline there are right ways and wrong ways, yet when done right it truly has an everlasting positive impact. 

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