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?Is Spanking a Correct Tool for Punishment of Children?
New or expecting parents have a lot to think about. For instance, what day care is their
child going to attend, which of the 30 doctors offices that they visited are they going to pick,
which babysitter, which crib will be the safest and most comfortable, and whether or not they
should get a new alarm system placed in their home. The one thing that is constantly debated is
whether or not parents should spank their children. Every parent either has a firm view or is still
searching for what is best for the child. Rarely does anyone have an apathetic view on this
subject. The truth is that spanking children is necessary to communicate to them that they have
At a day care in Irmo, South Carolina, the employees cannot spank the children. There is a
girl there that works mostly with children that are about two years old. Some of them can speak a
few words, but others can barely speak anything besides “no.” The other day this employee was
playing outside with them. They have a big sandbox that the kids love to play in. Three boys
named T.J., Brandon, and Kevin were playing together. T.J. and Brandon began throwing sand all
over each other and Kevin. They had sand everywhere: in their hair, in their diapers, in their shirts,
in their shoes and socks. No one likes to be the one who gets the sand thrown on them. So, Kevin
was crying while T.J. and Brandon continued fighting. The employee yelled for them to stop and if
they didn’t that she was going to put them into time out. The only reaction she got was that they
paused and then gave her a confused stare. Then, even as she was staring back at them, they just
went back to throwing sand everywhere. So she yelled at them again and the same thing happened.

So she put them in “time out” and they had no idea why they were being punished. These are not
bad kids and it never hurt anyone to get a little sand on them. But when they are throwing it
everywhere and an innocent person is getting sand in his eyes, then it is time to stop. After they
had been in time out for a while the employee went to them and asked if they were going to do it
again and made them apologize to Kevin. It only took them a few minutes to begin doing the same
Brandon and T.J. are too young to understand what she was trying to communicate to
them through yelling and “time out” periods. If she had been able to lightly but firmly tap them on
their hand or bottom while they were holding the shovel and about to throw the sand they would
have been able to understand that there are harsh(to them at least) punishments for doing a bad
thing. It is not their fault that they did not understand me; they are just too young to reason with
and tell them why something is wrong. Children understand physical pain but they do not
understand reason. From the example above we can prove that children do not understand reason.

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In a home there was a wood stove that heated the whole house. One day cousin Shane came over.

Shane was told not to touch the stove because it was very hot. He nodded his head in
understanding. An hour later Shane came running to his mother screaming! He had burned his
whole hand on the stove. Even though someone had sat him down and explained to him not to
touch the stove or it would hurt him, he still did not understand. Shane never again even went near
the stove. This is why reason does not work and connecting slight physical pain with doing wrong
is something that a young child can grasp.

People will argue that spanking is just a way for the parents to vent their anger while
“abusing” the child. This is false if the parent is correcting the child properly. There is a big
difference between abuse and correction. The proper way to go about spanking children is; as soon
as the parent finds out what the child has done, they should make sure that the child knows what
he or she has done wrong then send them to their room. This is to give both the child some time
to think about what they have done and the parent some time to cool down. Then when the parent
is calm they should call the child down and once again explain what they did wrong and they spank
the child lightly but firmly. After the duty is done the parent should let the child know how much
they love him or her. This will prevent the child from thinking the parent hates them and will never
forgive them. Also waiting until the parent is calm will guarantee that they are not acting out of
There are unfortunately many people that do abuse their children and child abuse is not a
subject that should be taken lightly. But there are times when children do need to be physically
shown that they have done something wrong. Before spanking a child there are some things that
parents must think about: whether or not the only answer is to spank( spanking should be a last
resort), they need to make sure that the child knows why he or she is being spanked, and they
parent MUST be calm! Spanking children out of anger is abuse. But spanking children is necessary
to communicate to them that they have done something wrong.
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