Sample Ethics Critical Thinking Paper on Spanking Is Not the Best Alternative for Disciplining Children

Spanking Is Not the Best Alternative for Disciplining Children

            Over time, most individuals have had varying perceptions on whether punishment works for children and if it is sufficient for shaping their behaviors, without any adverse long-term effects. Most parents employ spanking as a strategy for punishing their young ones. However spanking is not the most effective alternative for punishing and disciplining a child. According to Gershoff et al. (2016), spanking has many negative consequences for a child and could distort the emotional links between the child and the parent. Spanking also destroys the children’s sense of security and interferes with their development of inner control and discipline.

             However, some people reject the idea that spanking is ineffective, claiming that if used effectively, the strategy gives positive results. The opposing side claim that not every child is likely to suffer adverse effects as a result of spanking. Hudnut-Beumler et al. (2018) assert that occasionally spanking sometimes makes a difference and helps correct a child’s behavior. The opponents further claim that spanking is essential in case a child fails to cooperate to the verbal form of corrections, as it is more forceful and thus it backs up the non-physical types of punishments.

            Some of the concerned parties regarding the issue of spanking as a form of children’s punishment include the parents, instructors, psychologists, and pediatricians. Sources of information regarding the dangers of spanking as a disciplining tool include libraries, websites, and various social media platforms. Some of the data released regarding spanking suggests that spanking exposes a kid to long-term side effects such as non-compliance, adopting violent behaviors, resentment, and aggression (Gershoff et al., 2018). Such children are, therefore, likely to engage in assault cases and juvenile offenses in the future. Research further claims that spanking distorts the close relationship between kids and their parents and violates children’s rights of growing up with no assaults.

 The information, therefore, does not conflict with the personal experiences and observations, and it supports the background data regarding this issue. Some of the rhetoric and fallacies used concerning the claim that spanking is an effective disciplining strategy for children include the claim that “spanking teachers hitting’ (Gershoff et al., 2016). The other fallacy is that spanking results in aggressive behaviors as there is no such evidence from research. The essential thing, therefore, is how spanking is employed.

            There exists a variety of scientific studies and findings regarding spanking as a strategy of punishing children. As postulated by Hudnut-Beumler et al. (2018), scientists claim that while parents use spanking as a strategy to eliminate bad behaviors and encourage positive behaviors, it can only achieve the first goal. Researchers claim that spanking has three significant effects on a child, that is, aggression as well as short term and long term compliance. In the past, spanking was an acceptable technique of punishing children and as it was not regarded as a form of child assault. During that time, scientists claim that spanking had adverse implications for children’s behavioral patterns and emotional health.

Such effects have accumulated over time, and research overwhelmingly supports these initial studies and findings and thus discourages the use of spanking as a form of child discipline. Scientists confirm that spanking does not stop kids from engaging in disruptive actions and behaviors and therefore parents should opt to use nonviolent methods while correcting their children.

            In conclusion, parents should employ gentle and kind techniques when disciplining their kids. Research and scientific findings clearly outline that spanking has adverse long term effects on a child, for instance, it triggers noncompliance and aggressive behaviors. Spanking has also been linked with future criminal activities and juvenile offenses. Parents should, therefore, drop the practice as it is not an effective strategy of punishing children.


Gershoff, E. T., & Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2016). Spanking and child outcomes: Old controversies

            and new meta-analyses. Journal of Family Psychology30(4), 453.

Gershoff, E., Goodman, G. S., Miller-Perrin, C. L., Holden, G. W., Jackson, Y., & Kazdin, A. E.

(2018). No Longer Up for Debate: Physical Punishment Leads to Negative Outcomes for

Children. PRC Research Brief Series.

Hudnut-Beumler, J., Smith, A., & Scholer, S. J. (2018). How to convince parents to stop spanking

            their children. Clinical pediatrics57(2), 129-136.