Is Childhood Discipline Effective

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The essay would hereby initially trace the historical background of using corporal punishment, particularly smacking, as a tool for childhood discipline. In addition, the discourse would present a general overview of different positions or contentions on the issue of smacking as the most effective technique for childhood discipline. Finally, the concluding portion would highlight the crucial points discussed and present a speculation and recommendation on the most effective tool for childhood discipline in the future. Relevant History and Background The roots of corporal punishment could be traced from the earliest published article in a periodical, the San Francisco Call, dated March 23, 1893 entitled Slap or Spank?: School Punishment Query in Alameda where the School Board of Alameda supposedly sought to determine the manner by which parents would agree and stipulate the kind of chastisement to be used to discipline the children ( 1). At that time, the contents of the article generated different reactions and responses from school administrators, teacher and parents. with the final recommendation that the general verdict of all those seen is to the effect that the spanking process is far superior to the regulation strap method, but all concurred in saying that the best way of all in such matters was to leave it entirely with the teachers, who should be kept within bounds regarding the severity of the punishment inflicted by rules laid down by the Board of Education ( 1). Suffice it to say that even at the earliest published article on corporal punishment through spanking or smacking, the issue was elicited diverse and conflicting arguments. Some parents averred that they do not want their children to be spanked at all. Other parents support smacking on prescribed areas of the body, but never on the face. And still, surprisingly, one parent remarked that ’taken across the knee and spanked, by all means. That’s the old way, and I have found it very efficient.’ And the obedience of the little ones clustered about her was good evidence of the truth of the statement ( 1). These diverse reactions have evolved through centuries and until contemporary times, smacking continues to be a controversial issue. In current times, Gershoff and Larzelere disclosed that, corporal punishment remains a widely used discipline technique in most American families, but it has also been a subject of controversy within the child development and psychological communities (par. 1). The controversial nature is clearly depicted from the contradictory arguments advocated by parents, to wit: The consultation document issued this month by the Department of Health on the physical punishment of children states clearly that ‘many parents would welcome support in learning effective measures of disciplining their child which do not involve physical punishment’ while adding that ‘there may still be occasions when parents … may consider it appropriate to discipline a child through physical punishment’ (Waterston 261). In this regard, parents, social workers, health professionals and policymakers all provide different perspectives on the subject of corporal punishme