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Pros and Cons of Spanking

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The Pros of Spanking Children
Here are the main advantages of spanking children:
When correctly used, this can be an important tool for parents. When spanking children is used correctly, this can really be an effective and safe means for parents to discipline their children. When it comes to disciplining children, it is important for parents to do everything as gently and kindly as they can. They must try to understand their children and ensure that they understand the things expected of them.
It gives relief for parents from their frustrations. Spanking will not only stop children from misbehaving but also offers lots of relief for parents from their frustrations because of how they children behave. This has also believed to stop children’s certain behavior.
Establishes the meaning of authority
Quick short-term compliance outcome
Those who believe that spanking is an appropriate and effective way to punish their children, generally think that children need to understand that it is important not to do bad things. They feel that a spanking will send their children a loud and clear message that what they did was wrong. Most people, who believe in spanking as a means of punishment, grew up in a home where spanking took place. They feel that the spankings they received as a child taught them a lesson and they want to teach that same lesson to their children.
Proponents of spanking do have some studies that show that spanking can be effective at least on a short-term basis. Studies have shown that this type of punishment really only works for those children who are between two and six years old and works best when performed with other punishment forms, like time-outs.

The Cons of Spanking
Here are some of the disadvantages brought by spanking children:
May Teach Aggressive Behaviors. Spanking children is supposed to stop children’s bad behavior, but various studies implied that spanking only does the opposite. A lot of psychology and childcare experts claim that it just teaches children that violence is a form of punishment that is acceptable.
Spanking Teaches Fear and Not Respect. A lot of supporters of spanking thought that this is a way to teach respect and discipline. However, others believe that it just teaches a child to be afraid of his parents rather than respect them. This is also often considered as a form of abuse where abuse victims are living in fear of the abusers.
Poses Danger to Children. Studies reveal that spanking is dangerous to children. In fact, many studies have revealed that the more parents spank their children, the more possible children are to hit their parents. This act will actually put them in danger for some problems later in their life. Spanking children also has potential long-term effects on many children. This can trigger aggression, misbehavior, violence or even criminal behavior. This may also cause psychological problems to children.
Less *long-term* compliance, because corporal punishment reduces bonds of trust, and institutionalizes violence
Positive correlation with high anger indices later in life
Positive correlation between spanking and more serious child abuse
Proponents of non-spanking forms of punishment often believe that spanking will harm a child both physically and emotionally. They believe that there is never a reason when physical force is useful or necessary. Many of them feel that spanking is cruel and claim that they would never do such a thing to their child. They believe that other forms of punishment like reasoning, positive reinforcement and time-outs are much more useful and effective.
Proponents turn to many studies performed to support their opinion. Most studies done show that children who are spanked as children are more likely to have aggressive, anti-social behavior when they get older. Studies predict that adults who were spanked as a child are more likely to handle stressful tension with aggression than those children who were not spanked growing up.

Spanking erodes developmental growth in children and decreases a child's IQ, a recent Canadian study shows.

According to the report, spanking may reduce the brain's grey matter, the connective tissue between brain cells. Grey matter is an integral part of the central nervous system and influences intelligence testing and learning abilities. It includes areas of the brain involved in sensory perception, speech, muscular control, emotions and memory. Additional research supports the hypothesis that children and adolescents subjected to child abuse and neglect have less grey matter than children who have not been ill-treated.
Medical professionals investigating the long-term effects of spanking have consistently found a link between corporal punishment and increased aggression in children. Such "educational" discipline correlates to higher levels of acting out in school and trouble in academic performance. It predicts vulnerability to depression, typically in girls, and antisocial tendencies usually manifest in boys.
Many studies have shown that physical punishment- including spanking, hitting, and other means of causing pain- can lead to increased aggression, antisocial behavior, physical injury and mental health problems for children.
Physical punishment can work momentarily to stop problematic behavior because children are afraid of being hit, but it doesn’t work in the long term and can make children more aggressive.
Most parents feel angry when they spank. An angry person is determined to assert control in a situation, and doing something physical feels like it will bring some relief. So spanking a child may make a parent feel temporarily righteous, back in control, or vindicated. It may give a parent the sense that he did not allow himself to be victimized.
Parents have to steel themselves emotionally in order to follow through with a spanking. We have to harden our hearts. Or, perhaps more often, a challenging situation that we’ve been trying hard to deal with finally sends us into emotional badlands; where love can’t be felt. And there, we feel that our child has driven us to spank—it’s their fault, not ours, that our hand hit them.
I don’t think parents like to spank. And the more often parents spank, the less rewarding parenting feels. Spanking is a road to a place they don’t choose, but parents who spank are often too stressed, both by “having” to spank, and by the other pressures in their lives, to find their own inner compass that says, “Change direction!”
When a child is spanked, his or her limbic system (the emotional center of the brain, and the part of the mind that mediates learning and understanding) goes into alarm mode. The child’s brain clearly perceives spanking as an occasion of danger, and responds accordingly.
For the child, it is an experience of being small and unable to control an overwhelming and unpredictable force. In this state, his mind can learn nothing. His prefrontal cortex, the center of reason and judgment, shuts down. Hence, a child’s behavior during and after a spanking is not thoughtful behavior. It’s reactive.
The “control” that the parent is striving for has everything to do with fear, and nothing to do with teaching, learning, or a child’s understanding of concepts of right and wrong. What the child “learns” is that, seemingly out of the blue, for reasons he can’t fathom, he has been hit or hurt by a person who loves him. This is a confusing lesson indeed.
Spankings are perceived by a child to be random acts of violence. Over time, they create a wedge of fear and resentment between child and parent. The more time a child spends with his mind shut down by the fear response that physical attack brings, the more reactive his behavior becomes. A vicious cycle results: a fearful child becomes aggressive or withdrawn, the parent spanks in response, and the child becomes more frightened, and loses control of his own behavior more often.
So, though a spanking may result in a quieter, more cautious child for a few hours, that apparent peace has a high price. A child’s sense of safety, and with it, his ability to reason, to cooperate, to learn, and to trust are all eroded with every spanking—so is a child’s openness to love from his parent.
What are the long-term effects of spanking?
Many studies have been done on spanking in the United States and in other countries. The evidence is clear that the effects on children are negative. The American Academy of Pediatrics and a long list of other professional societies take a clear stand against the corporal punishment of children, both at home and in the schools.
One large study showed that the more parents’ spanked children for antisocial behavior, the more the antisocial behavior increased (Straus, Sugarman, & Giles-Sims, 1997). The more children are hit, the more likely they are to hit others, including peers and siblings and, as adults, the more likely they are to hit their spouses (Straus & Gelles, 1990; Wolfe, 1987).
Studies show that even a few instances of having been hit as a child are associated with more depressive symptoms in adult life (Strauss, 1994; Strassberg, Dodge, Pettit & Bates, 1994). A landmark meta-analysis of eighty-eight corporal punishment research studies of over six decades showed that corporal punishment of children was associated with negative outcomes, including increased delinquent and antisocial behavior, increased risk of child abuse and spousal abuse, increased risk of child aggression and adult aggression, decreased child mental health and decreased adult mental health (Gershoff, 2002). It has also been shown that corporal punishment has an adverse effect on a child’s cognitive development.

Gershoff, E. (2002). Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review, Psychological Bulletin 2002. Vol. 128, No. 4. American Psychological Association.
Strassberg, Z. D. (1994). Spanking in families and subsequent aggressive behavior toward peers by kindergarten students.
Straus, M. &. (1990). Physical vioence in American families: Rish factors and adaptions to violence in 8,145 families. New Brunswick, NJ : Transactions.
Straus, M. (1994). Beating the devil out of them: Corporal punishment in American families. San Francisco, CA: New Lexington Press.
Straus, M. S.-S. (1997). Corporal punishment by parents and subsequent antisocial behavior in children. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
Wolfe, D. (1987). Child abuse: Implications for child development and psychopathology. . Newbury, CA: Sage.

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