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Spanking: An Effective Method of Discipline?


            Raising children to be socially competent, emotionally and physically stable, and positive contributors of our society is a huge task. This multifaceted undertaking is the most important job parents will do in their lifetimes. However, there is much controversy on how you raise competent children to become productive citizens. We all know that children need limits and boundaries. This helps children learn acceptable and appropriate behavior as well as keep them safe. The ongoing argument is what to do when children test those limits and overstep the boundaries that have been laid out for them.
             Many parents use spanking as a method of punishment when children have misbehaved and "nothing else seems to work". However there is a significant difference between punishment and discipline. Punishment is defined as a "verb meaning to inflict a penalty on". Discipline is a noun defined as "mental and moral training". It is clear that there is a big difference between punishing and disciplining children. Punishment is not the most effective method of training children.
             Webster's defines "spanking" as: "to hit on the buttocks with a flat object or with the open hand as punishment". To "hit" is defined as "to come in contact forcefully; to deal a blow to". You can see there is not much difference between the definitions of the two. .
             However, adults always tell children hitting is wrong, and they are punished for it. Yet these same parents use spanking as a method of punishment. This sends a mixed message to children. It says violence is an acceptable method to solve disputes or make some one do what we want if one is a child and the other is an adult. It also says bigger people can hurt little people and that, too is acceptable.
             Irwin Hyman, author of The Case Against Spanking says: "I believe, and hope to convince you that there is absolutely never any reason to hit a child or adolescent.


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