May 4, 2014
Dr. Hector Iweka
Spanking versus child abuse
The most common misconception that spanking is a form of child abuse has now affected the proper discipline of today’s children and young adults. Some parents are actually afraid to discipline their children in the same way they were brought up due to fears of child abuse claims. Are you one of those parents? It is surprising how many of us are. Is there a right or wrong way to discipline children, and who has the say in it? Most experts on child rearing are against spanking in belief that it causes negative long-term effects, but parents who were spanked as a child tend to believe ...view middle of the document...
“Spanking children under the age of 2 puts those children into a higher risk group for behavioral problems later,” says Eric P. Slade, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-author of the study (Slade, PhD & Wissow, MD, 2004) (Lallanilla, 2014). Some children may be more affected than others with behavior problems (Slade, PhD & Wissow, MD, 2004) (Lallanilla, 2014). “Researchers were surprised to find that 39 percent of all children younger than 2 had been spanked at least once in the previous week.” (Slade, PhD & Wissow, MD, 2004). This study is not the first to show an association between spanking and behavioral problems, but it is the first to show the effects of spanking in children under the age of 2 (Slade, PhD & Wissow, MD, 2004) (Lallanilla, 2014). After the completion of the study, researchers speculate that spanking may be more widely accepted as fair punishment among African-American families but more stigmatized among white families with high stress parents (Lallanilla, 2014). Two-year olds, of any race or gender, instinctually think it is ok to hit anyway, so why should it be ok for parents to reiterate that to them at such an impressionable age by using spanking as a disciplinary action (Zeidler, 2012)? Parents need to use their best judgment when it comes to spanking in their family and if it is obtaining the behavior results they were looking for (Slade, PhD & Wissow, MD, 2004) (Lallanilla, 2014).
The choice to spank or not to spank a child should belong to the parent. Discipline is a personal choice. Parents should have the right to discipline their children as they see fit according to the behavior or action. Spanking is a form of physical discipline that has been used for years and its effectiveness depends on how the parent uses this right. Yes it can cause brief emotional stress or it can also remind the child not to do the same thing again. The lessons learned by kids from their parents may be harsh to some, but the method of spanking does send a clear statement that the situation is not in their control, but that it belongs to the parent. There is no doubt that when a parent has a child that is acting out or throwing a temper tantrum that the first thought is to spank them to get the child to stop the bad behavior. However, it is the way the parents have been choosing to discipline their children that is raising major questions among experts, society, and family and friends alike. Because of those questions, parents nowadays have to be extremely careful in their choices of disciplinary actions, in public or the privacy of their home, so the lines of child abuse are not crossed. Too many parents nowadays are criticized for correcting their child’s bad behavior in public or private, and social workers are overwhelmed with reports of child abuse when in all actuality it is simply a parent who is trying to quiet a kid who is acting out. So how are parents supposed...