As a writer, I read a great deal, both online and between the covers of books. Sometimes I encounter a blog post or story that inspires me, or that I feel the need to respond to. One such piece is Mom on the Move 35's post "10 Things You Don't 'Owe' Your Child."
The point of the article is that children aren't entitled to many of things that society typically considers to be good, including lots of material possessions, winning, gourmet food, and popularity. It's not that I disagree with the author, per se. It's that I want to add an addendum in the affirmative. If there are many things that you don't owe your child, then what do you owe them exactly?
Mom on the Move concludes that "Children are entitled to parents who will teach them the difference between the things in life they have to work for and the things in life that are given freely."
Since she doesn't expand on the topic, let's examine it further here. What does the classical philosophical tradition have to say about the things that parents should freely give to their children? Modern psychology? How about common sense?
I was spanked as a child, but my husband and I don't plan on spanking our son. We have determined that spanking is not ethical or ok for our child and family. Children are people with rights of their own, and they should be treated with respect.
Spanking, or corporal punishment, is the intentional use of physical pain to control a child's behavior. Spanking carries more of a social stigma today than it once did. Corporal punishment is banned in public schools in 31 states. As of 2015, corporal punishment is actually illegal in 30 countries. However in recent polls of American parents, up to 70 percent spanked their children.
Corporal punishment is an important moral issue, because it is widespread among Americans and in the developing world. But why are many parents willing to sanction behaviors towards children that they would never sanction towards adults? Why is there a double standard at play when it comes to hitting kids, who are the smallest and most dependent of people?
Many parents who were spanked as children believe that it is fine to spank kids because they themselves turned out ok. However this is a poor argument and a logical fallacy (appeal to tradition or common practice). Thanks to various academic studies, much more is known today about about the psychological and behavioral consequences of spanking than was known in the past, and none of it is good. Parents should carefully consider the case against spanking before deciding whether or not to spank their children as a form of discipline:
Growing in Goodness
Welcome! If you are new here you may want to subscribe by RSS or email:
Most Popular Blog Posts:
5 Ways to Avoid Being Manipulated and Dumbed Down by the Media
Personal Growth Resources:
Use this in-depth questionnaire to learn more about your faults and subconscious motivations.
Common Sense Ethics At A Glance: