This reminds me of convincing someone that taxation is theft. Once you are there it is obvious, but for most they deny it through several cycles of logical discussion before they accept it.
Physically hitting a person is certainly a violent act. If a man hits his wife is he disciplining her or is he committing a violent act?
What we can all agree on (I hope) is that it is the parents responsibility to teach, nurture and guide the child, and the question then becomes what is the best method to achieve that result. One philosophy is that you tech them with physical punishment for failure to comply with the parents guidance (spanking). A second philosophy is that it is the parents responsibility to teach and motivate the child to act appropriately without the use of violence (non-violent parenting). And I am sure there are many other philosophies out there.
So 3 points I would like to make.
1. Which most accurately mirrors the real world for which we are preparing them for. As an adult, if I am rude, throw tantrums, or be offensive then I most likely will not be hit (unless I am those things to government.) I most likely will be lonely and ostracized by this anti social behavior. Further when your child is in a position of authority as an adult (say a politician or policemen) do you want them modeling
your behavior and to deal with disagreement with violence? Likewise do you want them to be conditioned that people in positions of authority have the right to hit them?
2. In the adult moral world all of our relationships are voluntary except ours to the state. Wife, husband, friends, business partners. You cannot discipline any of these people in your life with violence, unless they are violent with you. The skills you teach your child by modeling them can either be, "lets negotiate and figure out what is important to you and what is important to me and try to come to an agreement where we are both satisfied" or "The person in the position of power can use violence to ensure cooperation." One parenting philosophy teach them to be great husbands, wives, friends, and business partners. the other teaches them to be rulers or serfs.
3. The scientific results are pretty clear. Spanking actually changes the brain structure of the child to make them less rational and activates aggressive genes that are very hard to deal with as an adult.
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