Spanking as a Form of Discipline
Ninety percent of families worldwide use physical pain as a punishment when disciplining
their children. What was once thought to be a harmless means of discipline is starting to prove to
have long-lasting effects on children.
Spanking should be considered child abuse because it may
cause behavioral, emotional, legal, and social problems as spanked children grow older (Kim,
"As long as the child will be trained not by love, but by fear, so long will humanity live
not by justice, but by force. As long as the child will be ruled by the educator’s threat and by the
father’s rod, so long will mankind be dominated by the policeman’s club, by fear of jail, and by
panic of invasion by armies and navies”
& Sidis, 2009, 12).
While spanking a child usually solves the issue for the short term it may have long term
effects. A child who is spanked is more likely to carry violence into relationships with siblings
and peers. As an adult, a child who was once spanked may carry physical punishment to spouses
and offspring. Children learn that it is normal to hit out of anger. Further, spanking may teach
children it is okay for a bigger person to hit a smaller person, and a stronger person to hit a
weaker person (Sears & Sears, n.d.). Expert Jordan Riak, executive director of Parents and
Teachers Against Violence in Education, states that girls are more likely to internalize things,
while boys are much more likely to act out.
"When a girl is spanked by her father or paddled by
a male school teacher, she is being trained to submit,"
says Jordan Riak,
“It is setting those girls
up to be victims of future male authority figures, whether it be a boyfriend, husband or
(Riak, 2001, 4 & 5) Irwin Hyman, professor of school psychology at Temple
University in Philadelphia and author of several books on the effect of spanking on children, says
spanking by parents also has negative emotional consequences for girls.
"The intention of