Every parent(s) encountered an experience where their child becomes ruthless and act in a disorderly way. There are times when the child acts that way to gain attention from their parent(s) or because they “feel” like it and wants to be in control. For instance, let’s say you, who are the parent, decide to go to Wal-Mart with your child. While you are in Wal-Mart, your child comes across a toy that he/she wants badly. You already know you will not have enough money to buy the toy so you find a way to explain it in a way he/she will understand. You also make a promise to your child that you will buy it another time so they will not cry. All a sudden, your child becomes the “angel” from hell and begins to cry, scream, and grabbed other toys off the shelf to throw it on the floor and make a mess. Other customers begin to stare at you and start shaking their heads. You try your best to calm your child but he/she will not stop crying until he/she gets their way. STOP!! This is where the scenario ends. What would you, as the parent, do in this situation? Would you spoiled your child and buy them that toy after he/she completely embarrassed you and became disruptive? Or would you spank your child in the backside to show them who is in control and do not buy the toy? The main question here is: to spank or not to spank?
This leads to an editorial written by Miami Herald columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr. who is the author of “Spare the Rods, Spoil the Parenting.” In this essay, Pitts uses rhetorical tactics in his article to present his views on corporal punishment. The genre of this editorial is an op-ed (opinionated-editorial) piece. Pitts persuasively try to convince his audience, who are parents, to understand that disciplining a child is not a negative habit. Spanking or other forms of corporal punishment should be acceptable when raising a child or else they may become spoiled “brats.” To support his argument, he used Dr. Diana Baumrind’s study as his source of evidence, in a way to win his audience over. His essay is ultimately effective and credible. His choice of words is not difficult to understand. Since it is a general topic that many parents can relate to, it’s pretty much straightforward. The tone in his essay is personal and entertaining. Although Pitts’s main purpose is to convince his audience why corporal punishment, such as spanking, should not be considered as a form of child abuse. He also took it on himself to explain the distinction between minor and harsher corporal punishment.
Pitts entertained his audience through his personal view of corporal punishment. He said:
“I’ve seen too many children behave with too grand a sense of entitlement to believe that it is. Heard too many teachers tell horror stories of dealing with kids from households where parents are not sovereign, adult authority not respected. As a culture, we seem to have forgotten that the family is not a democracy, but a benign dictatorship” (248).