Problems of Spanking Children


Parents should not employ spanking as a disciplinary technique for shaping a child’s behavior. Some studies indicate that spanking is a futile technique for disciplining children. However, none of these studies show its benefits or usefulness.

In reality, spanking estranges children from their parents, instead of promoting good behavior. In short, this disciplinary technique does not work at all, and hence should not be considered as an option in shaping behaviors of children. This paper looks at several reasons why parents and caretakers should not spank children while disciplining them for negative behaviors.

Reasons why spanking is not an effective disciplinary technique

Spanking brings a painful experience emotionally to a child and his or her parent

When parents spank their children, they instill pain on them. It is crucial to note that the “No pain no gain” slogan is not applicable promoting a good behavior on a child. The pain that a parent brings to the child also harms him or her emotionally.

For instance, after hitting a child, a parent gets emotionally affected. No one feels wonderful after hitting a child. Instead, they feel guilty, remorseful, and even feel that they offer poor parenting skills. Spanking brings trauma to children, making them doubt their feelings. It also creates resentment, making them face problems associated with their body and self images.

In reference to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), effective disciplinary techniques should create room for a learning environment with positive behaviors in children. They should also reduce and eliminate undesired behaviors in children. Some people tend to believe that spanking can shape behaviors of children. However, this disciplinary technique is harmful, and hence the need for other alternative forms of child discipline.

In his article, Dr. Baumrind, who is a psychologist, does not advocate spanking children. She quotes in Erica Goode, “the scientific case against the use of normative physical punishment is a leaky dike, not a solid edifice” (Goode par. 2).

This author associates spanking with abusive parents, citing that it should not be employed in child-rearing because it sends wrong messages to children and cause more harm. She calls for other alternatives to child discipline.

Spanking a child is a disrespectful act

Spanking is not an efficient disciplinary strategy for children. A child feels disrespected after being hit. This leads to breaking the trust between children and their parents. It also affects how they communicate, and hence does not promote teaching children about respectful standards or values.

Murray A. Straus and Donnelly quote in their article “Hitting a child is wrong, and a child never, ever, under any circumstances, except literal physical self-defense, should be hit” (Straus and Donnelly p 42, par. 1) These authors criticize laws that allow the physical punishment of children, arguing that it contributes a lot to poor relations.

There are many efficient disciplinary techniques that parents should employ in changing the behavior of their children. Parents should teach their children restraints and values. This helps them to become competent and independent, both today and in the near future.

Spanking affects the relationship between parents and their children

This practice contributes to poor parent-child relationships, creating a distance between them. Instead of promoting good behavior, it encourages a violent society, and hence does not work for the children, their parents, and the whole society. This is because this practice exacerbates aggressive behaviors in children.


Spanking is not an effective disciplinary technique for shaping a child’s behavior. Instead, it causes a painful experience for them and affects parent-child relationships. In addition, this disciplinary technique is considered as a disrespectful act that is associated with abusive parents.

Works Cited

Goode, Erica. “Findings Give Some Support To Advocates of Spanking.” New York Times 25 Aug. 2001: A6. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

Straus, Murray A., and Denise A. Donnelly. Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families. New York: Lexington.1994. Print.

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