Speech Blog – Lauren Holtz

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Persuasive Speech – Working Outline

Lauren Prof. Blake
Holtz, Lauren 11/16/10
Speech 111 M, A [email protected]
Persuasive Speech Outline
Topic: Child Discipline
General Purpose: To persuade
Type of Speech: Value
Strategy for Presenting Content: Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
Listener Needs: Safety, Social, Self-esteem, Self-actualization
Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that non-physical forms of discipline are more ethical and effective.
Thesis Statement: Use of corporal punishment as child discipline is both unethical and ineffective.
Introduction: Upon receiving the 1978 German Book Trade Peace Prize, Astrid Lindgren – author of Pippi Longstocking – told this story:
“When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking – the first of his life. And she told him that he would have to go outside and find a switch for her to hit him with. The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy onto her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because violence begins in the nursery – one can raise children into violence.”
Thesis statement. 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.
Transition: 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.
99% of jail inmates were victims of corporal punishment as children.
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%”
• 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.”
Transition Statement: Corporal punishment of children is not only dangerous, but also unethical.
Main Point Two: Corporal Punishment of Children is 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.
• Who’s the adult in the situation? Who should have mastered self control and be more creative in problem solving?
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.
Transition Statement: Still, ethics always lend themselves to opinion. Scientific research is needed to support a claim.
Main Point Three: The Counter Argument – Effectiveness of Corporal Punishment
• The child won’t repeat the behavior because they are afraid of being hit, not because they think that what they did was wrong.
• 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.
“Slade and Wissow found that, compared with children who were never spanked, white non-Hispanic children who were frequently spanked (five times a week) before age two were four times more likely to have behavioral problems by the time they started school.”
“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.”
“Overall, the percentage of parents who reported their children hitting siblings dropped from 80% in 1993 to 56% in 1998. Hitting other children declined from 45% to 27%, damaging things, from 47% to 31%, and hitting adults, including parents, from 28% to 9%.”
(About Elizabeth Gershoff) “She found that CP decreases internalization of moral rules.”
Transition Statement: 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.
Conclusion: 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.

Feedback: Adrianna Trusiak, Kei-Landa Rembert

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