Spanking Your Child

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I am doing a paper for a class I am in. I was wondering what you think about spanking your child. Do you think it is wrong? If so please specify. Thank you.


I absolutely do not believe in spanking. I believe in using methods that are effective long-term, not just short term. In other words, I'm not saying that spanking doesn't work. It does work if all you care about is stopping the behavior right now, and don't care about the long-term effects.
A primary focus of all our books is to help parents and teachers learn hundreds of methods that help children develop healthy self-esteem and important life skills while treating them with dignity and respect. In fact, the subtitle of our book, Positive DisciplineA-Z is 1001 Solutions for Everyday Parenting Problems.
Following is a long quote from my book, PositiveDiscipline:
When I discuss the issue of spanking during my lectures, someone inevitably argues, "I have to spank my child to teach her not to run in the street." I ask this parent if she would be willing to let her toddler play near a busy street unsupervised after she has been spanked to"teach" her to stay out of the street. The reply is always negative. I then ask how many times she would need to spank before she would feel it is safe to let her child play unsupervised near a busy street. Most parents agree that they would not let their children play unsupervised near a busy street until they are somewhere between five and eight years of age, no matter how many spankings they have had to "teach" them to stay out of the street. This illustrates the fact that maturity, or readiness to learn certain responsibilities, is the key -- not spankings.
Adults still need to take time for training while children are maturing, but it is more effective and less humiliating to use other methods instead of punishment to help children develop responsibility. One method would be to use a logical consequence, which in this case would be to put the child in the house or backyard every time she runs into the street. Some people may call this distraction,which is an excellent method for very young children. Taking time for training is an essential method that involves teaching her about dangers every time you cross the street together. Ask your toddler to look up the street and down the street to see if any cars are coming. Ask her what might happen if they tried to cross the street when a car was approaching. Ask her to let you know when she thinks it is safe to cross the street. She will actually learn more from this than from a spanking, but will still not be ready for unsupervised play until she is older.
This quote provides just one example of why spanking does not make sense. Too many people think the only alternative to spanking is permissiveness. I do not believe in permissiveness either. What's more, most parents would prefer not to spank if they knew what else to do that would help their children learn self-discipline, responsibility, and problem-solving skills. All of the positive discipline methods help children learn these essential life skills.
Jane Nelsen

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