Spanking is Not the Answer

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Suppose you are in line at McDonald’s and the person in front of you places an order with the cashier. It has been a long day for the cashier and due to lack of experience, he makes an error on the order. Suppose the person in front of you, whose order was not followed as desired, reaches over the counter and strikes the cashier. What would be the reaction of surrounding bystanders? Most likely there would be gasps, an air of shock and possibly a panic. Someone may move in to restrain the assailant or comfort the victim. The police would quickly be called, and the assailant would be arrested for assault and battery. The entire mood of the restaurant would be one of panic. However, what would be the reaction if the same act of violence were committed against a child? Suppose that the person in front of you is being yanked on by her excited son, who begs for a Happy Meal despite her firm declines. The child has had a long day of following orders, and is quite inexperienced at life. The child throws a tantrum in frustration. Suddenly, his mother reaches over and strikes him. Would the bystanders witnessing this act of violence react the same way as they reacted to the striking of the cashier? Most likely not. The majority of the witnesses would watch passively, perhaps even smiling on what they consider to be “good discipline”. The mother would not be restrained, and the victim would certainly not be comforted. The time spent at the restaurant would go by as if an act of violence never occurred. In all 50 of the United States, it is a crime to hit a spouse or an employee. It is also a crime to hit servants, military trainees, and patients in psychiatric hospitals, elderly in convalescent homes, prisoners, any other fellow adult cit... ... middle of paper ... we advocate for children, respect children, care about the welfare and safety of children and want to prevent child abuse if we continue to permit the use of corporal punishment. Corporal punishment serves the needs of adults and society, NOT the needs of children. It is important to keep in mind that it is a child’s sense of personal worth and self-esteem that will shape him or her into a happy, healthy and successfully functioning person, not corporal punishment. Our most important job as parents, teachers and as a society is to give children a positive sense of self, and help lay the foundations for self-discipline, not to instill fear, resentment and anger. We do this through love, affection, encouragement, respect, and security, attending to children’s physical, psychological and developmental needs; and through consistent, positive, non-violent discipline.

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