Children and Discipline: 1

Should parents use corporal punishment to discipline children?

Effective when used wisely

Many parents use physical punishment to discipline their children. Others prefer to use different methods to reward good behavior or punish misbehavior. This essay will look at some of the arguments for and against physical punishment of children.

It is often claimed that physical punishment will damage children in later life. Opponents of corporal punishment claim that the children will grow up to become delinquents or even beat their wives. However, many happily married adults today were slapped when they were younger but have never hit their spouses. Another point often made is that physical punishment teaches children that you can use force to make others do what you want. In fact children brought up well soon learn that force by itself is nothing – it must be associated with right. Finally, some people say that punishing a child by smacking him will damage the relationship between the child and the parents. This is clearly wrong. Children who understand the reasons for rules will be happier than children who are not given clear guidelines.

There are definitely concerns about physical punishment. Some parents lose control and can injure children – even breaking bones or causing bruises. Others can use violence excessively or as the only method of discipline. In this case, the child will be hurt, fearful and anxious and will not learn to distinguish right from wrong. The biggest problem with physical violence is when it is not appropriate to the age of the child. It can be very effective to quickly smack a two-year-old who is screaming. However, it is not effective to beat a 16-year-old who is late for school once again.

In conclusion, physical punishment can be a useful method of discipline. However it should be the last choice for parents. If we want to build a world with less violence we must begin at home, and we must teach our children to be responsible.

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