The technique of physical punishment, otherwise known as spanking, as a way to discipline children has become a very controversial topic over the past few decades. When people envision this method, they usually think of a parents using all of their force and injuring a child without realizing that using a belt or a hand to the backside can be non-abusive. There are people who think the act of spanking a child is unacceptable and should be punishable by law. Using corporal punishment should be the right of the parent, just as long as spanking is not the primary form of discipline and it is not so severe that it can be considered child abuse.
The purpose of disciplining a child, is to teach them right from wrong and to bring them up in the way that they should go. There have been many studies done which show that severe physical punishment by a parent towards a child can result an increase in aggression, physical injury, antisocial behavior, and mental health problems for children (Smith, par.3). The result of discipline should be a well behaved child, but these characteristics do not reflect good behavior. In a study which was published in Child Abuse and Neglect, researchers concluded that young children who were punished physically were more likely to utilize hitting to resolve conflicts with siblings and peers (Smith, par. 15). So in a sense, hitting children as a way to resolve conflict is teaching them that should use hitting as a problem solving strategy. Also, spanking children as the only form of discipline does not teach them self-control or what they should have done instead (Graham, par. 1). Also, spanking becomes more ineffective with time making it more difficult for the parent to influence children (Graham, par. 10). Therefore, the parents who use spanking children as the central form of discipline are not developing a well behaved child because they are not teaching them.