The School Newspaper of Placer High School

Hillmen Messenger

Safe Spankings Improve Behavior

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Lacie McArdle

Messenger Staff Writer

As high school students age and come closer to being adults, they learn to be disciplined, and how to discipline others, especially those younger than themselves.

Recently there has been an extreme amount of child abuse worldwide and is increasing daily. But does a small, disciplining spanking on the rear cause enough damage to be looked poorly upon?

Though some parents may take their so called “spankings” too far and turn it into abuse, most control themselves. On parents.com, 810 of 1,000 parents polled that they have spanked their child at least once. Additionally, 220 of the 1,000 admitted they have recently spanked their child at least once every week for the last few weeks. Third, a study in 2007 showed in the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, that nearly 80 percent of kids have been spanked once or more by fifth grade. Parents have always spanked children, so even with high abuse rates today, spanking children have a small effect on that scale of violence.

Some children may not respond well due to a timid personality, but teaching an arrogant, cocky, smug child who does not listen to verbal commands often learn to respect their parents when the adult shows concern for their child. To do so, a little hit on the toosh, as long as it does not leave permanent damage, can better the child’s behavior.

Other forms of physical discipline such as slapping should not be used on small children. Teenagers however will not allow parents to spank them, so slapping may be a solution. Taking violent actions on a child might be able to be avoided, but if a parent can control themselves, spanking is an effective use of discipline

“I think parents should be able to spank their kids, but only to a certain extent. It should depend on the age of the kid, and how hard they are getting hit,” said Alize Tittle, a Placer High student.

There are certain things to take into consideration before one pulls out a belt. First, a child should be old enough to make their own decisions, but young enough for the little hit to make them respect their parent instead of responding in a violent manner. Through research, spankings are found to be most positively effective in children in between the ages two and six. Second, what is used to spank should be considered as well. A soft belt is often used, but hard, unbendable objects such as paddles are taking the whole concept too far. Lastly, spanks should not be a constant punishment, otherwise they will become ineffective and may turn into abuse.

“I think that when kids are young, parents should be able spank them, but at an older age, new forms of discipline should be used,” said Danielle Eich a Placer High student, who received a few spankings as a kid.

Some students have said, “you shouldn’t spank your kid! That’s practically beating them. I mean think of something else to teach them wrong from right.”

However, this is not the case. Spanking is not beating, it is a form of getting a kid’s attention, show that the parent has concern for the child, or calm the rebellious children down. These can also prove to a child that they are not invincible, though it is not the main priority and intention of spankings.

It is proven that spankings can benefit a child. “In several studies, kids whose parents used a balance of love and limits, including backup spanking, were doing much better 10 years later during adolescence than kids whose parents were overly punitive and did not show love in various ways to the child,” published Jessica Pauline Ogilvie through Sun Sentinel.

So, if parents want their kids to grow up well behaved, and gentle, maybe they should take into consideration spanking their kids at a young age. Limits and boundaries should be set up when spanking children so violence does not play a role in the matter.

Some think that other forms of discipline should be used. “In a study I published in the Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review in 2005, I found that when used correctly, spanking leads to lower defiance and lower aggression than 10 or 13 other disciplinary alternatives with which it has been compared.,” wrote Jessica Pauline Ogilvie. “Opponents of spanking say that it has long-term negative consequences such as increased anti-social behavior. But in my research, I have found that those same consequences can be associated with nearly every other kind of nonphysical punishment.” So, if spanking decreases aggression, and has no negative effects on children, why is it considered abuse by some?

Spanking a child is not a form of abuse. Spankings can actually improve a child’s behavior. As long as spankings are not brutal, and are not used in a violent manner, they are not abusive and can benefit a child in the long run. At the end of the day, it is the (future) parents’ choice on how they discipline their child, but shown through facts, a mixture of love, and boundaries can benefit a child in the long run.

There is a fine line between abuse and discipline. If anyone is or know someone who is experiencing child abuse, they should call Child Protective Services at (530) 694-2151.

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The School Newspaper of Placer High School
Safe Spankings Improve Behavior