Spare the rod

Posted: October 17th, 2013

Spare the rod





Spare the rod

Spanking has been used as a disciplinary measure for decades. When children did wrong, they were spanked or canned. It was an effective measure until people began abusing it. People believe that physical pain makes children refrain from doing wrong. It is partly true because not in all instances it is effective. Today, it is not an option because the constitution has banned corporal punishment for children. Any parent or adult who spanks or inflicts physical pain is penalized. It is considered a form of child abuse and guardians are expected to use other forms of discipline. This is because spanking and beating children has resulted to severe child suffering.

Spanking children is wrong because it causes more harm than good. It may make children to become violent. If a child is used to being spanked, he or she will grow up knowing it is okay to hit other people. For example, a mother found one of her children spanking a younger one. The child claimed she did what she saw her mother doing. It means that children will emulate what parents are doing. When they grow up, they are more likely to become violent and hurt other people. This even becomes serious when they cannot have a normal social life because of their violence. Spanking encourages parents to relieve their anger or tension on their children. A frustrated parent will beat his or her child excessively because he or she has other frustrations. This act has made many children succumb to injuries.

Physical assault to a child may cause division between him or her and the parent. A child will distance herself or himself from the parent. Some parents have argued that they do not do it frequently so it will not be harmful. Research has proved that if a parent hugs his or her child one hundred times and spanks him once, he will remember the spank more than the hugs. Some consider spanking a sign of hatred so they will feel rejected. It could lead to depression and other psychological negative effects. Spanking deteriorate the morale of a child and he or she lacks confidence. This is most likely to happen when he or she is spanked in front of other people. Children become embarrassed and too quiet.

When I was growing up, parents used to spank children. It was the worst thing I experienced in my childhood. Sometimes I felt like running away but I knew that agents from social services would find and take me back home where I shall receive an even heavier beating. Therefore, I was always afraid of doing wrong and most of the time guilt always made me cry. The fear of corporal punishment was a major issue to me because it was the cause of my suffering, anxiety and depression. I found it difficult to talk about it because I was shy. Finally, I got the strength to talk to my therapist. When my parents learnt about it, they were so shocked and they promised never to spank any of my siblings ever again. My mother was personally sorry because she used to do it more than my father did. They tried making up for how they had hurt me but it did not help. However, I forgave them because their intention was to discipline me, and not abuse me.

There are so many ways of disciplining children without instilling physical pain. Most of them are very effective because they leave no negative effects. For example, if a child is disobedient, a parent can withhold a hobby from him or her and make them do something constructive that they dislike. They can be forbidden to play video games and be asked to do extra schoolwork in subjects that they perform poorly. Next time they will try hard to be obedient because they do not want to be punished. Grounding is another effective measure especially, to teenagers who are outgoing. Guidance and counseling could also help teenagers to be responsible. Since they do not want to remain indoors unnecessarily, they will become responsible to avoid punishments. Dealing with small children is easy because they are gullible. A parent just needs to tell them he or she will not buy them candy. They will quickly obey because they like candy. Spanking has far too many disadvantages to advantages. Therefore, no parent should consider it at all. It would be violating children’s rights, which are protected by the constitution.


Hill, H. (2011). Spanking today. New York: Ophelia Press. Available at

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