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Spanking: Not an Effective Disciplinary Method for Children

Humans have gone through enormous changes in their lifestyles throughout history. Changes and advances in society have happened due to technological breakthroughs in lifestyle, mode of transportation, parenting, and other aspects of daily life. However, one aspect of life has been similar throughout history: how young children are disciplined. Spanking young children is often regarded as the most effective method of teaching them appropriate conduct and respect for their parents. On the other hand, parents should not smack their children to get them to stop misbehaving since it interrupts the parent-child link, demonstrates that violence is a problem-solving approach, and has been shown to reduce academic achievement and productivity. Hitting young children is not an option, and parents should avoid it since it negatively influences their connection with their children.

When parents develop strong ties with their children, they teach them to trust and love themselves via tenderness and care (Scharp et al., 44). This suggests that a caring and nurturing atmosphere contributes to the development of a child’s attachment to their parents. A loving and respectful connection strengthens the bond between parents and children. When a young child gets slapped by his parents, family bonds are harmed, and the child’s good behavior is only motivated by the fear of punishment. As a result, the child begins to perceive his parents as a source of suffering, which leads to distrust, insecurity, and anger. When a child makes a mistake or confronts a problem, they initially lie or refuse to seek help from their parents for fear of being chastised. Following then, there follows a period of rejection. As a result of the spanking, the baby will develop anxiety and low self-esteem, giving them the impression that their family does not love them. He may even begin to disregard his parents in an effort to erase the horrific images from their childhood from his mind.

More than 100 research on physical abuse effects on children has been conducted. In addition to disrupting the parent-child bond, over 90% of them claimed that the kid was more likely to continue assaulting someone they had an emotional relationship with. According to the results, the humiliation and degradation caused by a beating may surely make a young child outraged and resentful of his parents, causing him to seek revenge. They were able to promise that he would not be a victim of violence again. According to the author, this sequence of events demonstrates the ineffectiveness of the snap as a form of punishment since it just “indicates that the parent has lost control of the situation” (MacKenzie et al., 659). When parents hit their children, they demonstrate a lack of problem-solving skills. As a result, parents are so upset and worried that others incorrectly believe they are bad parents who failed to teach their children not to misbehave that they resort to physical violence to express their frustrations and anxieties. On the other hand, children do not learn proper conduct; instead, they become estranged from their parents and develop feelings of hate against them.

Consequently, parents should avoid abusing their young children, as this will harm the parent-child relationship. When individuals use violence on a newborn, the youngster learns that this is an acceptable technique of problem-solving; as a consequence, whips are useless in addressing disobedience. Many studies have shown that children who are not physically mistreated by their parents are better suited to cope with social challenges than those who are (“de-escalation”). When children learn via imitation, it is natural that they will begin to imitate their parents’ harsh behavior. Slaps establish a good example for teenagers, telling them that using physical force to resolve conflicts is acceptable. Over time, young children, starting with their peers at school, learn to harass and abuse others. When a child who has seen domestic violence comes into contact with a classmate who has a different position, they are more likely to turn to violence to resolve the conflict. This is because a young person’s ability to resolve conflicts is limited since he was never taught how to use communication to deal with other people when he was younger. They are taught more than just punishment; they are taught violence. Even very young toddlers learn that if someone does not behave or believe the same way they do, they must persuade them to.

However, since the long-term effects of spanking include “physical violence towards his own children,” this problem may arise when a kid grows up and starts their own family (Scharp et al., 43). This demonstrates that parents may teach their children to raise their own children using the same harsh methods to train their own children. As a result, physical punishment will remain a serious problem in American households for many years to come. The cycle of violence will continue, resulting in higher infant mortality. There are over 700,000 mistreated children in the United States, with over 1,500 children dying as a result (Gershoff et al., 453). All of the statistics shown above are very high, and this cannot be accepted in any way. If parents continue to abuse their children, the number of children dying due to domestic violence will increase in the future years. Parents should avoid hitting their children, as this fosters the use of physical violence to resolve disputes rather than relieving the child’s guilt.

Finally, it was shown that using physical punishment to regulate children’s bad behavior resulted in lower intellectual capacity; as a result, parents should avoid hitting their young children. Pace et al. investigated their training ability over a two-year period. According to the results, children who were physically disciplined before the age of three had worse cognitive abilities than children who were not damaged (92). Spanking young children impairs their learning process and, as a result, their IQ and sensory perception development. Young children are immature mentally, lack inventiveness, and are easily distracted. In addition, they are impulsive, sensitive, and sympathetic. Children who are exposed to violence have a lower ability to solve problems and are more likely to acquire attention deficit disorder, both of which affect their academic achievement. Some primary school teachers in New York, for example, believe that victims of violence “work and study at a lower rate than [their]’more normal’ children” (MacKenzie et al., 662). Children who have been victims of violence do worse academically and educationally than other students.

Furthermore, depression is a substantial contributor to poor academic performance in children, and it should not be ignored. According to research, when children are physically disciplined for misbehavior rather than being taught about their error and how they would want their parents to behave, they demonstrate a high level of grief (Gershoff et al. 453). Many young children who are physically punished by their parents or guardians have difficulties in school because they are sad and spend the bulk of their time worrying about their parents’ or guardians’ behavior. Typically, these young children would try to find out what they did wrong to irritate their parents and then beat them. Sadness is a persistent source of distraction for young people, making it harder for them to concentrate in class and absorb information from their lecturers. Consequently, parents should avoid hitting their children, as it has been shown to affect a child’s academic achievement negatively.

Finally, slapping has been shown to be an ineffectual means of teaching children how to behave and be punished. People must change one aspect of their lives that has been constant throughout, since using violence to keep children on their feet does more harm than benefit over time. Physical punishment should be avoided by parents when rejecting their children’s misbehavior since it fractures the bond between parents and children, uses violence as a means of dispute resolution, and has a negative impact on children’s development. There are several alternatives to using physical force to discipline children that have been found to be more successful, such as time-outs, logical consequences, loss of privileges, warnings, and incentives, among others.

When parents use a nonviolent approach and engage in positive communication with their children, they learn what they are doing badly. This may help young children understand what they’ve done wrong and how their parents plan to pay for their bad behavior. As a consequence, parents will create long-lasting ties with their children and instill trust, knowledge, and empathy in them. They are more likely to be successful in the future if their parents raised them appropriately when they were little.

Works Cited

Gershoff, Elizabeth T., and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. “Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies and new meta-analyses.” Journal of family psychology 30.4 (2016): 453.

Grindal, T., Bowne, J. B., Yoshikawa, H., Schindler, H. S., Duncan, G. J., Magnuson, K., & Shonkoff, J. P. (2016). The added impact of parenting education in early childhood education programs: A meta-analysis. Children and Youth Services Review70, 238-249.

MacKenzie, Michael J., et al. “Spanking and children’s externalizing behavior across the first decade of life: Evidence for transactional processes.” Journal of youth and adolescence 44.3 (2015): 658-669.

Pace, Garrett T., Shawna J. Lee, and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. “Spanking and young children’s socioemotional development in low-and middle-income countries.” Child Abuse & Neglect 88 (2019): 84-95.

Scharp, Kristina M., and Lindsey J. Thomas. “Family “bonds”: Making meaning of parent–child relationships in estrangement narratives.” Journal of Family Communication 16.1 (2016): 32-50.


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