Were you ever spanked as a kid?

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Punishing a child brings up many controversial methods. What is considered appropriate? What is crossing the lines? Which type of punishment is actually effective? Spanking is a well-known "positive" punishment that is used here in our society, but it is also one of the most controversial.

Young children are the most susceptible to punishment as they are still learning right from wrong. There are many methods that are useful in punishing a child, positive punishment being one of them. Positive punishment means that a person or animal experiences something they wish to avoid that weakens the chances of their behavior of happening again. A few examples of positive punishment would be spanking, yelling, and physical shock. When is enough though? Spanking is thought to be an effective form of punishment in our society, but is it? Research says otherwise.

To set up a situation, lets have Betty be a young child, 3 years of age. Betty really wanted a piece of chocolate, but it was only 9 am, too early for candy. When Todd, her father, says she can't have candy this early, Betty throws a fit and calls her dad "stupid." Todd wants Betty to know that calling people names is not okay, so he gives her a few spankings and leaves her crying in her room until she calms down. Is Betty less likely to call her father names in the future?

Research shows that this type of "positive" punishment is ineffective and can have long-term psychological effects on the child, in this case, Betty. Some of these effects include aggression, antisocial behavior and mental health problems in the future. This type of punishment is also said to conflict with learning how to deal with problems in an acceptable way. Many more effects of this type of punishment are listed in these two articles.

Although "positive" punishment may have immediate results, the long-term affects of positive punishment are not worth the spankings. Todd in this situation needs to find other ways to punish Betty for calling him names. A form of "negative" punishment may be more effective although there may not be immediate results. In this case, taking away Betty's favorite toy would be a more effective and less harmful punishment than spanking. The following video gives other examples of effective punishment techniques that would be considered "negative" punishment; taking away something that the child wishes to experience to weaken the chances of that behavior happening again.


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Very interesting! I don't think I could ever spank my child... well I hope not, and I think thats because I have never been spanked. I agree that now days spanking can cause "psychological effects" because its almost taboo now, but back then it was normal. Either way... good job on your blog!

me and two of my roommates were recently having a discussion about this. one of them and myself were spanked when we were younger, and my other roommate was not. I would like to think that I have turned out just fine, as well as my roommate who was also spanked, and in fact we both agreed that it probably made us even more respectful of our parents and better all around. our other roommate however disagrees and pointed out some of the arguments you made. we both were not spanked for petty things, but if we were repeat offenders, that's when you knew you were really in trouble haha... thanks for this post, very interesting

I definitely agree with lega0053 on this one, when growing up I was spanked as a child, and I believe it helped me in the long run, and that it is a very effective way of getting the point across and making sure I dont behave that way again. However you make some very interesting points which makes me question how i will raise my kids.
great post!

Interesting topic! I was spanked when I was growing up and I am an opposer of spanking. I guess spanking could help children to be more obedient and respectful but I think it has more of negative effect. I hated to be spanked when I was a child and I am never gonna spank my children when I become a parent. I believe that there are better ways to teach and punish children. Good job!

Very interesting blog post! While I don't think spanking has any long-term traumatic effects on a child, I don't think it's an effective option for children. Children learn by example and when adults teach them that hitting is OK, that behavior may manifest itself in future violent tendencies. I feel like there's better ways of teaching children to behave. Nice job!

I would agree that spanking kids is a bit over the top for parents. My parents occasionally did it to me and that made me respect and fear them a little too which in my opinion made me a better kid and now person.I learned to have respect for my elders and superiors and this will help me a lot later down the line.

Your topic is very interesting to me. As a kid, my parents often spanked me when they wanted to teach me a lesson. I think spanking is fine, as long as it is still within limit and did not hurt the kids severely. I believe that spankin actually gives a direct point to the kid that he/she should not behave in bad manners. Nice post!

Although spanking is a controversial topic in today's society, I do not think that it is altogether a bad form of punishment. Some parents just take it too far, and these are the ones that are most often shown in the news and media.

My parents rarely spanked me when I was a young girl. On the contrary, they always taught me what is right and what is wrong. So I think the importance is not the spanking, just like the video saying--punishment cannot teach children what to do. Explaining to children what they did is wrong is the most important thing to do.

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This page contains a single entry by mcgre129 published on April 1, 2012 11:26 PM.

Setting the Rules on Parenting was the previous entry in this blog.

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