Ideas: Children & Physical Punishment

Is corporal punishment – beating, slapping, spanking – a good way to make children behave?

Arguments against using corporal (physical) punishment:

  • Can cause permanent, lifelong damage, such as poor school performance, juvenile delinquency (misbehavior as a teenager), domestic violence, etc.
  • Can cause physical injury to children, such as broken bones, bruises
  • Is used more against children who live in poverty, with disabilities, or who are from minorities
  • Teaches children that force is an acceptable way of making others do something, that it is acceptable to hit someone smaller or weaker when you are angry
  • Damages the relationship between children and the parents
  • Shows an emotional lack of control or resources on the part of the parent

Arguments in favor of using corporal (physical) punishment:

  • It is immediate. The child can see the result of what he did and the relationship between the wrongdoing and the punishment.
  • Other punishments can be even more psychologically damaging or humiliating
  • It is effective and easily remembered by the child. It is uncomplicated. Children can understand physical punishment easily.
  • Children cannot always understand punishment which is removed from the time or the scene of what they did wrong.
  • Parents love their children. They have no intention of hurting them. They are punishing them for a misdeed, not injuring them physically.
  • We live a violent world. We cannot pretend that violence does not exist.

What do you want to do now?

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