Spanking a Child SHOULD Be Illegal in the US

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Spanking is bad for children, period, end of story. On CafeMom and other websites like it, there is an ongoing "debate" over corporal punishment. But the studies prove there really is no debate at all. Spanking and other forms of physical discipline are the last resort of parents who have lost control; they are wrong and they hurt children.

In fact, the US is one of the two countries (Somalia is the other) who hasn't ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international treaty that recognizes human rights in those younger than 18. In many other countries, including Sweden on which CNN just did a story, spanking is banned.

We all gasp at the video of the judge hitting his child, but some of us think nothing of turning an innocent child over our knee and swatting him. But the fact is, physical punishment is physical punishment, whether it's a paddle or a punch in the gut. And it's wrong.

In the US we all get afraid of coming off as sanctimonious or telling someone else how to parent, but the problem is that corporal punishment has lifelong effects. The same people who say things like, "I was spanked and I turned out fine" are the ones who have so much anger and vitriol built up inside that they go to the Internet and unleash their anger in the comments sections of websites. That's not "fine" at all. That is the mark of a very angry and sad person.

Children who are spanked are much more likely to be physically aggressive because they don't know how else to respond in the world. Gregory Jantz, author of When Your Teenager Becomes the Stranger in Your House, told CNN: 

You're degrading their personhood, attacking them as a person, their character, their worth and value. Combine that with the anger and the hitting, that's what we call violence, and that's about power and control: one person, through physical force, exerting power and control over the other.

Spanking is lazy discipline, quite frankly. As a parent, I understand it. I've had the urge to spank my daughter many times when she is out of control. But I refrain. Because I am the grown-up and she is only 5. But I have the benefit of educated friends who are psychologists and doctors. I know the effects and talk about the effects. The only times I feel like spanking are the moments when things are out of control and I am not educated enough to know better.

As a child, I was hit. I wasn't officially "spanked," but when my mom got mad, she would lash out and hit or physically discipline me. The urge is normal, natural, and totally understandable. But the action is abuse, plain and simple. In countries where there is a ban, parents don't go to jail, but they are invited to learn other discipline techniques and become better parents. When you have the urge to strike a child, either in anger or as "punishment," then you need to step back and reassess. Is this really worth risking the stress and anxiety this might cause in my adult child? Is this worth their low self-esteem and feelings of self-worth?

We're so afraid in the US to tell others how to parent that a generation of children is slipping by while some parents think it's OK to swat to physically discipline their kids. If parents who know better don't speak out, then who will?

Do you think spanking should be banned?

 

Image via AlishaV/Flickr

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jagam... jagamama0710

LOL Have fun, ladies. 

mom2m... mom2monsterboys

I don't spank my boys, I've never had to, but this article is a little overboard. Smh.

nonmember avatar Liz

I would like you to look someone in the face who was beaten as a child and tell them it's the same thing as someone who received the occasional spanking as a child. My father and his brothers were beaten on a daily basis by his father, sometimes they didn't even know why. Some of my uncles had scars from those beatings, until the day they died. Are you telling me my father's experience is the same as a person who was spanked a couple times growing up? I have no issue with you being against spanking, and I'm not arguing for spanking, but don't you dare compare constant physical abuse to the occasional spanking. This article is a slap in the face to any person who was left bloodied and bruised as a child, by someone who was supposed to love them.

nonmember avatar ellen

"In the US we all get afraid of coming off as sanctimonious or telling someone else how to parent, but the problem is that corporal punishment has lifelong effects. The same people who say things like, "I was spanked and I turned out fine" are the ones who have so much anger and vitriol built up inside that they go to the Internet and unleash their anger in the comments sections of websites. That's not "fine" at all. That is the mark of a very angry and sad person."

LOL, wow, because there's some sort of correlation between those two things that exists outside of your mind. so, to follow your logic, because your mom spanked you, you spend your days trolling blogs and being nasty? didn't think so. stop making things up just to prove your point (which i emphatically disagree with, by the way.)

nonmember avatar Tracy

No, it should not be banned. Spanking with a hand is not abuse, it's called discipline. It's easy to spot a parent who doesn't discipline their children, the children are the ones running around screaming with no regard for other people and no respect for their parents. Why listen to your parents if there is no consequence?

nonmember avatar ellen

i'd also like to point out that you're making spanking out to be this brand-new trend in parenting that's causing the decline of society as we know it. sorry, spanking has been going on for millennia. calling it "child abuse" diminishes the horror of real, bonafide child abuse, so maybe simmer down a little bit. nobody's forcing you to spank your kids.

kayla... kayla_mommy

Yes this is overboard and a spanking shouldn't even be compaired to a punch in the gut!!!! As a child I grew up getting spankings I think sometimes my parents went a little overboard... But it kelp me together I was really bad!

Akash... AkashaGermaine

What is the true definition of spank? Is it a "whooping", with a switch or paddle, a beating of the rear with the hand that leaves red marks, or a swift swat that does hurt but gets the kids attention? I have to admit to the last one. My 5 year old has days where time outs and taking away privileges just don't cut it. A swift swat on the bum gets her attention and let's her know the seriousness of her actions. I never hit out of anger. Judge me if you will but I am comfortable with my decisions and actions.

Aurastar Aurastar

Thank you!


I may not agree with spanking though, but why do people attack others for not doing it? It seems immature to me, no matter what your opinion.

Akash... AkashaGermaine

*does not hurt. I'm on my mobile and nursing the baby :-)

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