Our culture is conflicted about child rearing. On the one hand, are people like the conservative Christian psychologist James Dobson who, through his widely syndicated radio show Focus on the Family, has been a prominent critic of permissive parenting and an advocate for the use of spanking and corporal punishment for disciplining children. At the same time, corporal punishment has increasingly come to be regarded as a form of child abuse and is penalized by today’s child protection laws.

In a four to six page essay (double-spaced, 12pt Times New Roman), discuss the current controversy about corporal punishment in childrearing with reference to the historical origins of this debate. You may wish to refer to the Cole and Coffin text as a reference.

Based on what you have learned so far from Cleverley & Phillips’ Visions of Childhood, I ask that you first identify each side of the historical debate (those for, and those against corporal punishment) and briefly summarizing what you perceive as the main point of each view. Then discuss within each view, the ways in which development can “derail” or go wrong and secondly, what each view imply about child development and how parents may most effectively foster positive development.

In an additional section, please feel free to explain your personal view. Were you aware of the historical origins of your view?

You must include a REFERENCE Page at the end of your essay. You may refer to Purdue’s Online Writing Lab (new window) for proper formatting if you so wish.

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