To Spank or Not to Spank, That Is the Question

This question is one that causes no end of the debate (and at times behavior that justifies that the one arguing might need a good spanking themselves).

Good parenting isn’t a matter of doing things the way everyone does it because (newsflash) you aren’t raising everyone’s kid/kids.

That being said, there are some justifications for and against physical discipline, also known as corporal punishment. (Which is a really strange term relating to the “corporeal form,” the physical body, vs. the incorporeal form, which is the soul or spirit; don’t sign me up for incorporeal punishment please, which for me is watching 12 hours of HGTV with my wife.)

As far as sides both for and against, we will look at an example of each.

Judeo-Christian values based on the Bible (not that much of Judeo-Christian practice is actually based on the Bible, but I digress) argues for spanking and or physical punishment of children via scriptures such as:

Proverbs 13:24- Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Proverbs 23:13-14- Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. (Note: this is not an excuse to beat the hell out of your child, but yes, your child will live through a spanking)

The APA (American Psychological Association), by contrast, makes a strong statement on the negative impacts spanking children has on their emotional and mental health. The psychologists at the APA contend that physical punishment has many of the same effects on the child’s psyche that can result from physical abuse; withdrawal, increased aggression and anti-social behavior just to name a few (the last of those I’m not sure about, as for the most part when my parents spanked me it made me want to be around people other than them, but maybe that’s just me).

We will talk about positive discipline in our next post; come back ready to put on your happy face!

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