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Section 43 of the Criminal Code states:    “Every school teacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.”This defense of “lawful correction” appeared in Canada’s first Criminal Code in 1892; the content has remained unchanged since that time. This particular section has sparked a lot of controversy among Canadians. In the past decades, people have called an end to this particular section. In fact, around 2015, a legislation to repeal section 43 of the Criminal Code was introduced to the Senate. On the flip side, spanking is justified for reasonable and minor physical correction in certain circumstances. Furthermore, there are a variety of parenting styles and techniques across Canada, therefore, one’s particular type of parenting shouldn’t jeopardize one’s freedom nor risk criminal prosecution.Parents spanking their own children sends the wrong messages about topics such as the use of violence to get what they desire, fear and aggression, and that human bodies don’t have boundaries that must be respected. Spanking is a form of corporal punishment that teaches children to fear getting caught. Children grow up to be afraid of physically harmful consequences for their actions. Spanking one’s children is a form of “lazy parenting”; it’s the easy way out rather than deliberately discussing the issue with one’s children. Lastly, there have been proven detrimental long-term effects of spanking such as increased aggression, a negative parent-child relationship, and the child having low self-esteem. Parents should not be allowed to spank their children under any circumstances to discipline them because it is a form of assault and child abuse. Spanking teaches and sends the wrong message to the child. Spanking teaches the child that authority figures are stronger and use violence against the weak. It also teaches that human bodies don’t have boundaries that should be respected since the parent doesn’t respect the child’s feelings of pain when spanked. Parents tend to justify the spanking afterward with words of reassurance, that they did it “out of love” or “to make the child a better person”. Therefore, spanking sends a clear message of fear and aggression, showing that it is acceptable to hit someone they love. Furthermore, spanking teaches the child that being big-bodied, strong, and dominant is better, which could lead to future issues with persons of authority. With the parent spanking and controlling the situation, the adult is clearly in charge and dominant. Despite the child’s cries of pain, the adult in charge still continues to spank; this shows that the child’s feelings aren’t important and valued. This tends to result in the child having low self-esteem and showing signs of anger and fear.Corporal punishment instills fear rather than understanding. Spanking has been proven to have long-term negative and damaging effects on the children. In fact, a 2 decade-long study found that “…no study has found physical punishment to have a long-term positive effect, and most studies have found negative effects.” According to a 20-year long research conducted by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the accumulated evidence suggested that spanking children causes a decline in the child’s IQ, increased aggression, cognitive impairment, and developmental difficulties due to reduced brain grey matter in areas relevant to intelligence testing. Not only does spanking only harm the child mentally and physically in the long run, but also socially. Spanked children tend to be more aggressive and antisocial towards their peers growing up, and can even develop a negative parent-child relationship through the years. Emotionally, spanked children have a higher chance of developing low self-esteem than their peers, showing aggression, and “internalizing kinds of difficulties, like depression and substance use” (Joan Durant, Professor of University of Manitoba).Spanking allows the parent to establish respect and authority in the household, creating a sense of power and control. Spanking, in certain circumstances, has been proven to stop the children from doing dangerous activities out of fear of the repercussions they’ll suffer when the authoritative figure finds out. Spanking children is a short-term, immediate solution to a problem; it doesn’t involve hours of verbal communication, deliberately explaining to children why their actions are wrong. Instead, parents show they’re wrong without having to explain why or how the children are wrong. Spanking quickly delivers a powerful message for behavioral modification. Parents should be allowed to spank their children using as much reasonable force as necessary to discipline a child. 

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