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The “Debate” on Spanking

the debate on spanking

A young person in high school was going into a class debate about spanking.
They are against spanking, but find themselves in the minority.
They asked for some ideas that they could use in the debate.
I supplied a list of debate style points for them to use
and I share them with you now!

Personally I believe that most of the points apply to all forms of punishment.

Let me know what you think.
Here is what I wrote:
Here are a few short, sharp points you can make in a debate.
Some of them are logical and rational and some are inflammatory.
That is the nature of a debate.

1) According to your pro-spanking philosophy, If I disagree with you it would be okay for me to come and slap you!
May I do so now?
Remember you’re not allowed to fight back!
I’m only following your own suggestion on how we should treat people.

2) Spanking doesn’t teach a kid to behave well, just to avoid getting caught.

3) It teaches kids to do a good thing in order to avoid pain.
That means as soon as the threat of pain is gone,
there will be no reason to avoid doing the bad thing.

If we teach them to do right,
just because it is loving and right,
then there is no need to keep a constant threat.
The lesson is self-sustaining.

4) Teaching through spanking (and in fact all punishments)
produces a fundamentally self-centered and selfish attitude.

This means that a person sees the world through how they can avoid pain for themselves
and what they can get for themselves.

Since we’re trying to avoid the pain,
there is no opportunity to think of another person
because we’re forced to always think of ourselves.

If you can teach important life lessons without the fear of punishment
then kids can learn to think of other people!
This is where true respect comes from.

5) Spanking will not make a child respect their parents.

If you disrespected me and I hit you for it,
would that make you respect me more?

Even if you were afraid of getting hit
so you ACTED like you were respecting me,
the fact is that you wouldn’t actually respect me!

In fact it’s likely you’d resent or even hate me for hitting you!

6) The only reason a parent can hit a child
is because they have physical and economic power over them.

If we hit a kid we are teaching them that
if they have physical and economic power over someone else
it’s okay to use violence to control them.

7) We are teaching them that violence is an acceptable conflict resolution strategy.
Is this not how fights start?
How bullying persists?
Is this not how wars are justified?

Do you believe that we should use violence to work out personal disagreements?

8) Can you think of any other circumstance where
Non self-defense
Non consensual
Non law enforcement
violence is acceptable or legal?

There is NONE!

And yet we are allowed to hit the most vulnerable and helpless of all people.
That makes no sense whatsoever!

9) You’re a fucking idiot…
Oh I’m sorry i thought you were in favour of violence!

that was verbal violence and you didn’t like it,
why are you okay with physical violence?

(this one is a bit nasty and manipulative, but a debate is like that so it can be effective)

10) When a parent spanks a kid, it automatically puts distance between them.
The more you spank, the greater the distance until you’ve lost them altogether.
Parenting should be about building your relationship, not destroying it.

11) When the threat of spanking is there
kids cannot be honest with their parents if they do something wrong

We are actually teaching them to lie to us!

Do you want your kid to lie to you and be afraid to call you if they’re in trouble?
Or do you want them to trust you enough to reach out if they need your help?

For example, they’re at a party that they weren’t supposed to go to
and the only way home is with a drunk driver.

Do you want them to call you for a safe ride home?
Or do you want them afraid of punishment
so they get into the car with the drunk driver?

12) The majority of people were spanked over the past few generations
and look what they did to the world.

War, pollution, economic disparity…
the world is in terrible shape and it’s all because of people
who learned their life lessons through spanking and punishment.

The very violent world we live in should be proof enough
that spanking doesn’t produce good results.

13) Why are we having a debate about this topic and not a fight to decide who is right?
Because discussing ideas is more powerful than physical violence.
Shouldn’t we apply the same concept to our children?

14) The idea that kids need to be hit is largely dependent upon the use of the word “need”.

What do kids need?

When I say “need” I am referring to what they need in order to be
happy, healthy, independent, deep thinking, confident, loving,
self-respecting, considerate of others, trusting in their intuition,
creating their own value system and having the courage to live by it…
and on and on!

When People who advocate spanking say “Need”
they are referring to making their kids behave how they want them to behave.
Usually that means quite, obedient, polite.

Hmmm… compare the two lists and see which you would honestly prefer for your child.

I could go on and on, but hopefully if you end up in a debate these points can serve you well.
I could write pages on each of these points, and I’m sure you can fill in more details.
I have just written short talking points for use in a debate style argument.
Good luck and keep up the fight for peace!!

4 thoughts on “The “Debate” on Spanking

  1. Awesome! I was that drunk teenager one night and was able to call home instead of driving. I was not fearful of my parents, luckily.

    I don’t do much debating but no scientific evidence on the damage it does to the brain? And the fact that 31 other countries have banned it is a good one. Corporal punishment rates in prison I believe are @ 90%. I know you said you could go on, I just like those too : )

    #9 is awesome. Made me laugh. #13 is great too.
    All very good points.

    Thanks for doing what you do!

    1. Those are wonderful additions Nicole.
      There really is so much science to back up these ideas.

      I’m so happy to hear that you felt free to call your parents.

      I hope we can keep spreading this message!

  2. I was totally the kid afraid to call home in case of emergencies because of fear of being spanked. Good points Vivek, they really hit home. Spanking for me was a total spacer between myself and my parents. It left us with a broken relationship and a relationship of closed hearts instead of open trusting communication. Even though now as an adult there is no fear of physical abuse, there is still the lost time of bonding as a kid that I’ll never get back and it takes a lot more effort now to have an open relationship with my parents.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience Luke.
      I’m sorry for the experience you went through.

      You’re a great guy.
      It sounds like your parents might have missed out on having you as a good friend.

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