Lauren Prof. Blake Holtz, Lauren 11/26/10
Speech 111 M, A [email protected]
Persuasive Speech Speaking Outline
In criminal and tort law, an act, usually consisting of a threat or attempt to inflict bodily injury upon another person, coupled with the apparent present ability to succeed in carrying out the threat or the attempt if not prevented, that causes the person to have a reasonable fear or apprehension of immediate harmful or offensive contact. No intent to cause battery or the fear or apprehension is required so long as the victim is placed in reasonable apprehension or fear. No actual physical injury is needed to establish an assault, but if there is any physical contact, the act constitutes both an assault and a battery.
Webster’s New World Law Dictionary, 2010.
We can all agree that assault is wrong. Why, then, do we allow it to be performed on our weakest citizens?
Use of corporal punishment as child discipline is both unethical and ineffective and it should be legally banned.
I have personal experience in child discipline as I have been employed at Hidden Pond Day Camp for three years. Hitting or spanking a child will only teach them violence. If the child does learn to behave it is only out of fear. It is more effective to explain to the child why their behavior was wrong and devise a reasonable punishment.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 142,000 children in the United States are severely injured each year by Corporal Punishment. 18,000 of these children suffer a permanent disability due to their injury.
Main Point One: Corporal Punishment is dangerous.
• Violence breeds more violence.
Based on a study by Elizabeth Gershoff, “corporal punishment is associated with increased aggression” and “one study showed that use of corporal punishment to halt aggression increased risk for aggressive behaviors by 50%”
According to Jerry Wycokoff PH.D. and Barbara C. Unell, “Children learn to behave in violent ways through our adult example. It is difficult to justify the admonition “Don’t hit!” while parents are hitting their children for hitting.”
According to Benjamin Spock, M.D. there is a correlation between violent crime and harsh childhood punishment.
• Adults may not know their own strength.
According to Oleg Kaminetskiy of Credit News Digest, “Homicidal deaths of infants and toddlers were usually the result of parental attempts to control child behavior. These deaths appeared to be unintended and related to the physical vulnerability of the child who is smaller than the attacking adult.”
Corporal punishment of children is not only dangerous, but also unethical.
• No matter how young, each individual has the right to personal space. If a child does not want to be touched, they have that right. (picture)
• Who’s the adult in the situation? Who should have mastered self control and be more creative in problem solving?
In screamfree Parenting, Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT points out that many parents attribute their physical punishment to the effects of their children “pushing them to their breaking point.” It is a pathetic excuse to claim that a small child has this much power in their relationship with an adult.
Journalist Alan E. Kazdin points out that “In this country, if you do the same thing to your dog that you do to your child, you’re more likely to get in trouble for mistreating the dog.” There is something wrong here.
Still, ethics always lend themselves to opinion. Scientific research is needed to support a claim.
• The child won’t repeat the behavior because they are afraid of being hit, not because they think that what they did was wrong.
Jerry Wyckoff, PH.D. and Barbara C. Unell refer to Lawrence Kohlberg’s hierarchy of moral development.
• Instilling fear in children will not gain their respect.
• The child will still engage in bad behaviors if there is no chance of the parent catching them.
Jerry Wyckoff, PH.D. and Barbara C. Unell state that “Punishment often simply drives bad behavior underground” “Children, in fact, become exerts at not getting caught.”
• Corporal punishment hinders child development.
• “Straus and Paschall found that the more prevalent the corporal punishment, the greater the decrease in cognitive ability. Considering other studies, which showed that talking to children, including infants, is associated with increased neural connections in the brain and cognitive functioning, the researchers hypothesized that if parents are not using corporal punishment to discipline their child, they are very likely verbally interacting with that child, thus positively affecting cognitive development.”
As a camp counselor, I’ve learned that explaining to a child why a behavior is wrong is most effective in preventing the behavior. Having things explained makes the child feel important and teaches them something.
After all, what could a child possibly be guilty of to warrant physical injury? Physically injuring a sibling? Instead of being hypocrites, parents and caretakers can gain the child’s respect and actually teach them something.
Dr. Spock On Parenting Benjamin Spock, M.D. Pocket Books New York 1988
Discipline Without Shouting or Spanking Jerry Wyckoff, PH.D. and Barbara C. Unell Meadowbrook Press, New York 1984
Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool Hal Edward Runkel, LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) Broadway Books New York 2007
Cambridge Journal of Education Vol 34, No 3, November 2004, Carfax Publishing, Hothead Article: Against the corporal punishment of children John Clark, Massey University, New Zealand
Spare the Rod and Spare the Child; [NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]
Susan Jacoby. Susan Jacoby, the author of “Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge,” is currently writing a book on American secularist dissent.. Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: Sep 26, 2002. pg. A.41
What shocked me most was that Madelyne Toogood, 25, paused for a second and looked around furtively to see if anyone was watching. Only then did she begin striking and shaking her daughter. In fact, at least one person was watching – Toogood’s sister, Margaret Daley, who did not intervene.
I’ve seen a father dragging a toddler by one arm along the sidewalk – pulling so hard that I feared the boy’s shoulder might be dislocated – and said nothing. I am sure that I would have called the police if I had seen scars or bruises but there was never a physical mark – just as there were no marks on Toogood’s daughter after the mother turned herself in to authorities in Indiana.
Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show with her lawyer, Toogood said, “I’m no monster” and explained that she “just lost it” after her daughter misbehaved in the store. Scores of psychologists and child- abuse experts were quick to say that such incidents – and worse – are often a case of discipline gone too far.