Child Rearing

Topics: Childhood, John Locke, Punishments Pages: 4 (1493 words) Published: April 16, 2012
“Corporal punishment is the use of physical force causing pain, but not wounds, as a means of discipline.” Definition of Corporal Punishment by Unicef- Educate! Don’t Punish! Awareness Campaign Physical punishment was very common. In the past corporal punishment was by not only applied to children. It was used on adults as well. In England from the Middle Ages whipping was a common punishment for minor crimes. In the 18th century whipping or flogging was a common punishment in the British army and navy. This type of punishment was abolished in England in 1881. (Lambert P.2) From the Middle Ages to the late 20th century children were disciplined with rods or rulers in schools, work and at home. (Lambert P.2 ) After the Bible a lot of our modern philosophy on child rearing can be traced back to the writings of John Locke who wrote the treatise Some Thoughts Concerning Education which was published in 1693. Locke started writing his thoughts about childrearing at the request of his cousin who was asking for advice about the upbringing of her son. (Cleverly et al P.15) As John Cleverly and D.C. Phillips point out in Visions of Childhood: Influential Models From Locke to Spock, Locke began by discounting the notion that any "innate principles" arrived inborn with the infant. Instead, he proposed that a child entered the world as a tabula rasa or blank tablet upon which would be written the contents of the mind. Locke wrote “…'tis fit we now come to consider the parts of the discipline to be us'd…... I have spoken so much of carrying a strict hand over children, that perhaps I shall be suspected of not considering enough, what is due to their tender age and constitutions….. that great severity of punishment does but very little good, nay, great harm in education; and I believe it will be found that, …. those children who have been most chastis'd, seldom make the best men. A compliance and suppleness of their wills, being by a steady hand introduc'd by parents,...

Bibliography: James, Allison, and Prout, Alan. 1990. Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood. London: Falmer Press.
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