Kelly Clarkson found herself in the midst of a kerfuffle after a recent radio interview where she admitted to Spanking her children. Clarkson immediately fell victim to the social media horde and was lambasted for her parenting technique. Several Twitter users accused her of being a lazy parent and said that spanking encourages violent behavior. Clarkson pre-justified her actions by telling the radio show, “I’m from the south, Y'all, so we get spankings.” This rationale seems perfectly reasonable because as we all know, the south has never had any bad traditions.

Here in America, a parent’s right to spank their children has been a hot button issue for quite some time. Some parents believe that you should never hit a child under any circumstances while others think society’s lack of Corporal Punishment has led to a generation of unruly, disrespectful monsters.

The experts say no, but we won't listen

The American Academy of Pediatrics is vehemently against spanking children after several studies revealed spanking could lead to mental health problems and increased risk of drug abuse. This diagnosis from the experts should put the argument to rest, but this is America where ignoring science has become the national pastime. In America, science doesn’t matter as everything is boiled down to how the topic affects each of us personally.

And those personal experiences, whatever they may be, are then presented to the world as irrefutable evidence just as worthy as peer-reviewed research.

With that in mind, the question remains: Is spanking an effective form of discipline? I was spanked by my father growing up, as were almost all my friends, and the best answer I have to this question is…maybe?

I would describe myself as fairly normal, and most of my friends grew up to be productive members of society, but a few ended up with criminal records due to crippling drug abuse. The point is, it's impossible to know how spanking will affect your kid. You may get lucky, but it could also backfire big time. It’s like finding a date on Tinder.

He/she could be the love of your life, but they also may be a serial killer. Or even worse, they may be slightly older and fatter than their picture.

From my experience, spanking was always a short-term solution. It’s similar to when your old tube TV starts getting fuzzy, so you hit it until the picture is clear. You’re not preventing the TV from getting fuzzy in the future, and you certainly haven’t taken the time to figure out why the TV went fuzzy in the first place. You just want the TV to act right and not embarrass you when your friends are over to watch the game.

It's a new era, which is a good thing

Perhaps my dad didn’t know any better. He grew up in an era where any adult could smack a kid for virtually any reason.

Every kid from that generation was at constant risk of catching a beating. Parents, teachers, priests, or even the milkman could all take a turn smacking you around. This is probably the main reason I’m not for spanking kids; our parents were always being spanked, and that generation, just like every generation before them, still produced an infinite number of horrible adults.

I agree with Clarkson’s critics that spanking just seems like lazy parenting. It means you aren’t willing, or creative enough, to come up with an adequate punishment. There must be a better response to child buffoonery than simply physically hurting them. If smacking a disobedient kid was guaranteed to make that kid a better person, then, by all means, go nuts.

The problem is that you can’t know if it will make them better people, and there is a good chance spanking could, in fact, make them worse. If violence is how you deal with problems, then they might just deal with their issues the same way. I’m willing to bet that both Hitler and Martin Luther King were spanked as children, so if you fancy a gamble…

Look, I’m not saying that violence is never the answer. Without violence, we would still have slavery, and we’d all be speaking German (Which right about now doesn’t sound so bad on account of free health care). Plus, I’ve seen every "Rambo" movie multiple times, and you can’t argue with his approach to conflict resolution. But, just try to remember that these are just kids.

Beating a kid won’t make them more respectful. Learning not to be an entitled brat really only happens with age and proper influence. Besides, if spanking was really a cure-all solution, why do the biggest proponents of spanking generally come across as angry, unhinged maniacs?

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