Children & Physical Punishment

Should we physical force to punish children? This essay says no.


Time to Change our Minds!

There have been big changes in the attitudes of most parents over the last few years. Very few parents would agree with using force regularly as a way of dealing with discipline problems in their children. Physical punishment is banned in schools in most countries, and in many countries, there are moves to ban all corporal punishment of children even in the home. However, many parents still believe that they have a right to use some physical punishment to deal with certain misbehavior at certain ages. This essay will ask if some physical punishment is acceptable today, and will ask how parents can know what the limits are.

It is easy to find reasons to allow some physical punishment. One issue is that many parents find it very difficult to abandon physical punishment completely. Parents argue that this was the way they were brought up themselves and that it didn’t do any harm to them. They believe that for the child’s sake that they have the right to discipline the child in any way they see fit, including using corporal punishment. A second point is that corporal punishment can be quick and effective: there is not much point reasoning with a screaming child in the supermarket. Finally, most parents are reasonable and fair, and very very few would ever consider hurting their children by using unnecessary physical force.

There are several reasons however why we should stop using physical punishment even in the home. One point is that most parents are not trained to deal with misbehaving children. They do not have enough resources or choices to handle the situation. As a result, they immediately react by smacking or hitting the child, even if there are other solutions to the problem. Another point is that unless people are challenged or forced to change their beliefs they may keep following negative habits. An example is seatbelt use – now most people wear seat belts without thinking, whereas years ago the idea of using safety belts was strange to most people. In the same way, banning physical punishment in the home will allow people to change their habits and break a cycle of violence. However, the most obvious reason for banning all physical punishment of children is to prevent child abuse. If all parents are allowed to hit their children in the name of discipline, some parents will go too far and will inflict severe emotional and physical damage on their children. It may only be a small minority of parents, but we need to protect all our children.

In conclusion, parents have to change some of their beliefs and ideas about how children should be raised. It is possible to avoid the use of physical force in the home, and doing so will help us move closer to dream of removing violence from our society.

474 words
This essay is very long! You only have 40 minutes for Task 2 in IELTS and you only have to write 250 words. However, there is no penalty for writing over 250 words – if you can do it…

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