Spanking is a disciplinary method that has over the years been fought against in many countries. In the United States of America, those who support the ban argue that spanking has a long-run negative effect on the child. Larzelere insists that the justification of banning the practice does not stand the test of time. In his article, he argues that there is no reason to ban spanking as a disciplinary method since there has not been concrete evidence showing that spanking is directly or indirectly harmful to children (1). While there is enough evidence that shows the negative effects of grounding and locking a child in their room as a form of punishment, careful and well-administered spanking has been proven otherwise.
Taking this disciplinary option from parents as the author argues has no basis or good intentions. Anti-spanking researchers are a little biased when it comes to relaying facts on spanking as a disciplinary method. While they acknowledge that other methods have negative effects if not well administered, the same rationale is not accorded when it comes to condemning spanking. Of course, there are parents who do it in an exaggerated manner and hence endangering the lives of their children. Nonetheless, truth be told, there are many parents who use spanking as a disciplinary method for their children and it has worked effectively.
So by ruling out the option of spanking in totality like it does not have a good side of it is not only insincere but also a misguided move by the anti-spanking researchers. I do not believe that every time a parent raises their hands to spank a child they always do so to harm the child or inflict pain for the sake of it. On many occasions, spanking is driven by love and the child’s interest at heart. Those opposing spanking have not even given the slightest attention to appropriate spanking in appropriate disciplinary situations (Larzelere 1). They unanimously have ruled out the practice without considering its effectiveness in some instances where grounding and other methods may not even work.
According to Larzelere, he has done enough and extensive research to try and find out a method that works better than spanking when it comes to disciplining children. In his entire research, he has not found another method that does it better than spanking (Larzelere 1). It is true other methods are working and are effective in molding children but not as effectively as spanking does. He is careful not to be biased and he articulately points out that this depends on how spanking is administered. Of course, every disciplinary method’s success depends on how it is administered by it spanking or grounding. This, therefore, means that all methods are effective and can work but at the same time they are administered to a child. This, therefore, leaves all methods on a level playing ground and that is why I find it a little biased to rule spanking out as if it was just a bad idea in totality.
It is only when physical punishment is extremely severe that the child outcomes are drastic than all other methods but other than that, spanking outdo all the other methods (Larzelere 2). Moderate spanking is what we are talking about. While moderation is considered during spanking, children become less defiant and less aggressive, unlike all the other disciplinary methods. The argument that the anti-spanking bases their reasoning is vague and far-fetched. They say that children who were spanked at a younger age display characteristics such as aggressiveness and have behavioral problems in adulthood (Larzelere 2). While this could be true, it is not a problem unique to spanking only but also happens as a result of any action used to restore discipline (Larzelere 2).
Parents with a lot of love and care do everything in their power to try and restore cooperation and good traits in their children. In essence, grounding, sending children to their rooms, and Ritalin and psychotherapy are just as harmful as spanking (Larzelere 2). In fact, putting it like it is the disciplinary method that leads a child to misbehave is a wrong perception. Children became aggressive because of their defiance and not because a certain disciplinary action has been administered to them. Disciplinary actions are meant to try and make them better and to improve their behavior. The author stresses this point when he retaliates that “neither parental discipline nor professional help can turn defiant children into perfect angles overnight.” (Larzelere 2).
The bottom line is, parents must find a way to balance between disciplining their children and establishing a relationship with them. The best way to approach any disciplinary method is to make the child understand that punishment is driven by love and good intentions to make them better people. Without such an understanding, be it spanking or grounding or even professional intervention, it will still be harmful to the child. Hence, the solution is not to try and abolish spanking rather it should be creating an understanding in the child’s mind so that they appreciate disciplinary actions against bad behaviors.
Larzelere, Robert. “Should there be a law banning spanking of children?” U.S News Digital Weekly. 36.3 (2011): 1-2. Print.