Why Spanking Children Is Wrong

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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Why Spanking Children is Wrong Parents have been spanking their children for hundreds of years, but recently this practice has come into question. The concern is not regarding the effectiveness of spanking but the correctness of spanking. Parents should not be allowed to strike their children. Child abuse is defined as any unnecessary or intentional physical or emotional or sexual mistreatment of children. Spanking is not the only method of child discipline. Spanking is not even the most effective method of child discipline. Numerous studies have made it evident that spanking does have a negative effect on children. Spanking children should be considered child abuse because it teaches children the wrong message about hitting, it does not teach a child to act out of conscience, but out of fear, it hurts the parent-child relationship, and there are other more effective forms of child discipline. The combination of these factors plays a large role in the inappropriateness of spanking as a form of discipline.

If spanking is not the best form of discipline then it is unnecessarily causing physical and mental harm to a child, thus constituting child abuse.

Spanking teaches children the wrong message because they think that it is acceptable for one person to hit another person in order to gain compliance. They learn that by hitting another person and causing pain, one can get what he wants. Often the child is not old enough to understand that hitting is used only in certain situations, such as when a parent is disciplining his child. Even when children are old enough to understand that hitting is wrong, they have seen their parent doing it for several years and have come to accept the fact that hitting is a part of life. Children also learn that it...