Forms of Discipline: What is best for the child?
Children are like flowers, if well taken care of they will bloom. If ignored or tortured, they will wither and die. Child discipline is one of the most important elements of successful parenting. Today, many people have this notion that physical abuse is in no way a solution to helping children discern between right and wrong. Since generations children have been taught the art of discipline through physical punishment. Often this approach to disciplining has resulted in two outcomes, one is where the child becomes more tolerant and is willing to adhere to what he/she has been told, or the other which more often results in children developing a sense of anguish and desire to revolt. Physical punishment often destroys the psychological mindset of a child and can scar his/her childhood, resulting in them to grow up to be particularly irritable and frustrated individuals. Over the decades we have seen that fewer and fewer parents are resorting to this sort of method of violence to discipline their children. However contradictory to all that has been stated, I believe that sometimes parents are caught in a situation when children cross all boundaries of discipline and spanking is the only effective solution. Therefore, it is imperative to do so. Nonetheless, before spanking is even taken into consideration; all the other non-violent forms of discipline should be used. If none work then finally the act of spanking can be justifiable. The act of spanking is not merely a punishment that should be conducted on a whim by parents; there must be reasoning and evidence of a clear sort of rebellion or revolt that requires such treatment. However in such a situation I am of the firm belief that dialogue or discussion is not the option that will placate the issue in the long run. I feel this approach may only last for a short period of time until the child feels that his or her parents have forgotten the issue and will once again go back on the same path. A spanking advocate says, “I don't think it hurt me, in fact, it helped me in the long-run. It made me look at consequences, things kids don't normally think about. I was always told, ‘Listen, or you'll have to feel it.’ I listened when I was told, and now, I'm grateful I was raised like that because I feel now I am much more respectful to my peers and my elders especially.” Thus, the act of a spanking induces a fear, a fear that is necessary for children to experience, as it is this fear that rings in a child’s mind when he or she is on the verge of pursuing a mistake he or she is aware is wrong. When a child is noncompliant, I agree that a spanking is desirable by any parent, however spanking works best when followed by a serene conversation with the child about why was he/she spanked. There are many parents today who do not know how to use this disciplinary action on their children. They usually end up excising too much or too little control over their child without giving them a suitable reasoning. A ‘Fact sheet from the Rocky Mountain Family council’ states that “pairing reasoning with a spanking in the toddler years delayed misbehavior longer than did either reasoning or spanking alone. Reasoning linked with a spank was also more effective compared with other discipline methods. Talking with the child about what behavior is expected and why-with the potential of a follow-up spank-worked best.” Hence, Spank a child only when necessary and in conjunction with reasoning and other forms of discipline. Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from it the more plausible it seems. Being raised in a traditional Indian family, I have been exposed to all forms of disciplines depending on the situation. As a child, I was spanked when I did something wrong. Being spanked taught me respect and kept me in line. The way my parents disciplined me is an accepted method of punishment back home. It is only today that I understand...
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