In a recent article ‘Discipline Debate: Spanking gets a timeout,’ they discuss if spanking is a good or bad practice. Either good or bad, does making spanking illegal fall under the constructs of liberty? Do you think the new spanking law will motivate a change for the better, are we incapable of making changes for the better? Is it right to infringe on someone’s parenting techniques? All this and more in “Should
It is quite apparent what many libertarians would say about this new bill. They would feel that it infringes on their liberty as parents, while other libertarians might say, “hitting another human being is against what liberty stands for, and at that moment the child would have the right to defend themselves.” What if the child is too young and incapable to defend themselves, do they have the right to be defended by the government? After reading the presuppositions of the classical liberal as defined by Barnett he revolves them all around the pursuit of happiness. I feel it is the child’s right to grow up in a family that will encourage the pursuit of happiness, and that is best done without physical abuse. In this case I think Barnett might side with making spanking illegal.
If this truly is a “better” method of parenting wouldn’t the general public be inclined to ‘spare the rod and spoil the child.’ Why would the government need to interact? Apparently, the incentives have not been strong enough for parents to shift their rearing techniques. Even though many benefits of non-physical reprimanding exist, “they found that spanking seemed to be associated with more aggressive behavior and increased anxiety.” (Slade 1) Also, Researcher Paul Frick of the University of New Orleans in Louisiana warns, “Even children who are only smacked occasionally are more likely to show signs of depression or lower self-esteem” Frick and his team, who studied the impact of corporal punishment on 98 children and published their results in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology said “they couldn't find any positive effects for spanking. Children on the receiving end of a slap can learn that when they are upset and angry they hit, he says, rather than understanding their behavior was wrong and that they need to do better.” (Clayton) Saying it is the right for a parent to hit their children is implying that they own their children, that they are the property of the owner. I do not think this is right. Libertarians speak of unalienable rights, to me this means no matter what age, race or gender, you have the right to the pursuit of happiness as long as you are not effecting another’s pursuit.
On the other side of the argument “The association (between hitting children and aggression) was weakest in
All in all, I feel spanking and liberty can live under the same roof.
Eric Slade, PhD
Can Spanking Cause Aggression?
Discipline Debate: Spanking gets a timeout