The vast majority of evidence suggests that spanking has a wide range of negative effects and should be avoided, reports James Hamblin of The Atlantic. A child’s relationship with his or her parents shapes future social habits. The repeated use of violence to discipline children can raise the chances of them engaging in it later in life. It creates the notion that violence breeds respect. Anxiety, depression, aggression, and even sexual harassment later in life have been linked to spanking in childhood. Ultimately, positive disciplining and praising good behavior is a better and healthier way to get children to stop acting out.
There is a solid line between spanking and child abuse. The former can be a highly productive tool in teaching right and wrong, when administered correctly, infers Jared Pingleton in Time. Violently lashing out at a child out of anger is wrong. Spanking should only take place when a child has directly disobeyed or defied a parent, not for example, due to childish irresponsibility. Children need to be given rules and clear consequences for breaking them. It may be hard for some parents, but providing authority and structure for children is the best way to prepare them for life. Some life choices result in negative consequences. Spanking is one of them.