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If you observed bruises or other forms of injury on a child, how would you determine whether these occurred as the result of an accident or a willful act of harm? Most children suffer minor accidental injuries during their day-to-day lives. Further, parents/caregivers can argue that they have a right to discipline their children, and this discipline may result in minor injuries.

Recently, the news reported that a professional sports figure who took a “switch” to his child was referred to CPS for physical child abuse. Apparently, the parent had whipped the child with a small branch to discipline him. For this Discussion, you consider what constitutes acceptable physical discipline given your local laws and child-rearing customs.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Read the Learning Resources that cover spanking.
  • Locate and read your state or region’s laws on spanking and other forms of physical discipline.
  • Describe the ethical issues likely to come into play when considering whether or not discipline might constitute physical abuse or neglect, and how these ethical issues could be resolved.

Post a response to the following:

Should parents and caregivers be allowed to physically discipline their children? Based on your state or region’s laws, explain what is considered abuse versus discipline. Are only certain parents permitted to physically discipline a child, or may others? Explain your reasoning using scholarly resources.

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