When Does Discipline Cross the Line to Child Abuse?
In this report, I concentrated my research on the fine line between physical discipline and child abuse, with emphasis on spanking vs. not spanking and its effects on children. Included are research from statistics, opposing views and arguments, advocates’ and Department of Children and Families’ position. The use of corporal punishment, or spanking, as a form of parental discipline is a controversial topic. Adults who remember being spanking by a parent for misbehaving may carry on this behavior as an acceptable form of punishment for their own children. Others believe spanking to be an outdated punishment that is cruel and can cross the line to physical abuse.
2010 NATIONAL ABUSE
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Proponents also believe spanking allows a parent to immediately stop a dangerous action, and, as a traditional form a discipline, may be necessary to communicate a message about negative behavior to young children who may not understand verbal explanations. Some of the staunchest supporters of spanking are fundamentalist religious groups. For example, pro-spanking Christians believe spanking is a necessary form of punishment and cite biblical passages that refer to a rod being used to discipline a child (www.religioustolerance.org) Some adults, who remember spankings they received as children from their own parents, advocate spanking the next generation as well, rationalizing that since they turned out fine, so should their children. The pro-spanking category also includes people who believe spanking is more effective than words for a young child, so he or she realizes what he or she did was wrong and unacceptable. Advocates of physical punishment may argue their children are better behaved than children whose parents do not believe in spanking and that talking through a discipline issue only goes so far, while spanking drives a point home. In Connecticut, corporal punishment in schools has been outlawed