Is Spanking an Effective Discipline?
IS SPANKING AN EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE? – How much spanking is too much and should there be a legal definition determining when spanking is no longer discipline and becomes abusive? That is the question facing the state of Kansas which already condones spanking as long as it does not leave a mark.
One lawmaker is hoping to pass legislation allowing parents, teachers and other caregivers to spank hard enough to leave redness and/or bruising; oh yeah, and they are limited to 10 swats.
Full story … Fox8.com
Do we really need a law to outline the difference between discipline and abuse; is this what we have become, a nation filled with incompetent adults who need the loving guidance of the government on what is acceptable child rearing practices or are we so out of control that it is the children who are in need of the government’s protection from us?
With most states having outlawed spanking in public schools, the fact that it is still legal and practiced is somewhat surprising. In some way, I admire the state for allowing schools the opportunity to keep order within their walls by applying firm discipline when the situation calls for it.
Giving parents and educators the ability to discipline their children by spanking for years, it is obvious that there have been cases of an adult overdoing it and creating an abusive situation; hence the proposed legislation that would define exactly what is and what is not appropriate.
Many people are opposed to spanking because they consider it abuse, when it can be an effective method of correcting bad behavior in a child. My definition of spanking is one swat with a board applied swiftly to the bottom of the offending child, not a toddler and not anyone into their teen years.
Any more than one swat, or any swat administered while angry, drunk or emotionally compromised is abusive. Any swat that leaves a mark should be considered abusive and this is where the proposed legislation bothers me.
Currently, Kansas allows spanking in the school system and privately in the home as long as there are no marks. The proposed 10 swat limit can allow a great deal of damage done to the child both physically and emotionally; add an allowance for redness and slight bruising and even one incident could irreversibly harm a child.
As a child, my parents used spanking as the primary discipline tool, even into our late teen years. As a parent myself, spanking was used as a last resort and only after it was explained to my child why they were being punished this way. I never held to the belief that spanking a child teaches them to hit, but rather feel that any discomfort and embarrassment the spanking causes will speak volumes and be an effective deterrent to any repeated bad behavior.
From where I sit, it seems to me that children began being more insolent and obnoxious as the family structure broke down. With no clear authority in the home and Dr. Spock encouraging parents to “be their children’s friend” the rebellion against authority started with older teens in high school and has since spiraled down, now affecting even children in pre-school.
In fact, we have so many problems today because discipline has been too closely associated with abuse and society is not only afraid to discipline in public, they are now afraid of their own children. Schools have no recourse, no support and there have been multiple stories here on Meebal covering undisciplined students who not only create distraction in the classroom, but are a threat to the safety of teachers and other students.
There was once a time when school was a place where there was routine, safety and expectations but sadly, with the lack of effective disciplinary measures in too many schools, chaos now reigns. Poor attitudes, lack of respect, foul language and a lack of social skills have made any teaching arena a combat zone more than a safe place of learning. It is time we gave educators the tools they need to bring back discipline and provide an environment of education.
Discipline is used to create a structured environment that teaches and reinforces behavior boundaries acceptable to society. As parents, it is our responsibility to raise our children to respect themselves and others, especially those in authority.
With the breakdown of the family, this foundational truth has been missing from many homes and as many of us know, as a society we are reaping what has been sown.
Any discipline is only effective if the child becomes aware that what they did was wrong and is remorseful. The vast majority of children respond to lighter measures of discipline, and yet there is a small percentage who will fail to care what circumstances or punishment comes their way for they are intent on rebelling against any form of authority. For these children, even spanking will prove futile.
In our effort to curb rebellion, it is our responsibility as adults to bring punishment when necessary to help young minds grasp that consequences follow actions. With spanking being the harshest punishment available, it should be used sparingly and always with conversation.
I am against the legislature proposed by Kansas not because I am against spanking, but because I am against using such force against a child. Spanking can be a useful tool when used appropriately and it should never leave a mark that stays red for hours or bruises. That is violence, not discipline.