By Kira Hess –
Is it right or is it wrong?
At some point in life, a parent has weighed the decision to give the misbehaving child a spanking… The question is whether giving a spanking is good, or bad? Studies to find the truth are still ongoing. Scientists, doctors, and just everyday people agree to disagree.
According to Dr. Peter Newell, of the organization End Punishment of Children, is that “all people have the right to protection of their physical integrity, and children are people too.”
Meaning children have the right to protect themselves. However, aren’t children too young to understand right from wrong? Have you ever seen a child driving a car down the road, or paying the bills…yes children are people, but they aren’t old enough to take care of themselves.
There is a difference between spanking and abuse. A tap on the hand or a pat on the butt is completely different than punching, kicking, and leaving the child with broken bones and bruises. There is a limit in punishment, when there isn’t that limit, that is when we see or read about the abuse.
An article in the May issue of Pediatrics stated that when parents give a spanking, it teaches the child to become more physically aggressive as they age. The article also mentioned that it’s hard to find children who haven’t been spanked. So couldn’t children who are more aggressive be just that personality type? “The problem is that we can’t really say from the studies if it is spanking that is causing the behavior, or some other family characteristic that isn’t easily measured,” said Eric Slade, PhD, who was interviewed by CBS news. Other articles on the issue discussed race, gender, along with the differences of well educated parents and the others who aren’t as educated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, states that it’s never OK to “strike” a child for any reason. They give a list of other options “that work.” If the child misbehaves or doesn’t listen, put them “away for the rest of the day.” How is that right? They do something bad during lunch and you just put them “away for the rest of the day.” Now couldn’t that be teaching parents to neglect their child? Often parents are afraid to even talk about how they punish their children because it’s become one of those horrible acts of “cruel punishment.”
So how are we as a country, as a nation, going to learn the difference in right and wrong on the important issue of spanking, when no one can agree and when studies can’t show us the answer?