Does Spanking Lead to Aggressive Behavior in Young Children?

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Spanking and Aggression in Young Children Can spanking really lead to aggressive behavior in young children? In my opinion, it can and usually does. Have you ever gotten a spanking from a parent or adult, but then were told “hitting and slapping are not okay,” by that same adult? You probably felt confused or angry and asked them, “why is it ok for you to slap me, but it’s not okay for me to slap you?” This is one of a few reasons why I do not believe spanking is an effective form of punishment and can lead to aggressive behavior in children. It can cause confusion, which can then lead to stress, which can then result in aggressive behavior from the child. Spanking is a form of punishment which typically involves the punisher (usually an adult) striking the person that is being punished (usually a child) either with their hand, a belt, or some other instrument. Spanking is commonly used in situations where adults want the child to immediately stop whatever it is they’re doing wrong, which is why some people would consider spanking to be a good thing. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is a phrase I’ve heard at least a hundred times throughout my life. This phrase simply means if you don’t give the child a spanking when they deserve it, you’re teaching them that their behavior is ok. A typical spanking (a couple swats with a hand) may be physically harmless; however, it can get out of hand. When a spanking is given out of anger or with a belt, stick or other instrument, it becomes both physical and emotional abuse (Ciccarelli & White, 2012 p.188). This is why spanking is considered a severe form of punishment. Severe forms of punishment have many drawbacks associated with them. Severe punishment can cause the child being punished to avoid the punisher instead of the behavior being punished, so the child learns to respond the wrong way (Ciccarelli & White,
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