October 25, 2012
Actions speak louder than words and they often speak the truth. Parents commonly resort spankings, a form of corporal punishment, to discourage their children for misbehaving. Corporal punishments do not do anything to ensure that children will no longer misbehave. Whether it be spanking, hitting, or paddling a child, the only aspect that this form of punishment reinforces in children is fear. This fear will in turn be associated with pain, rather than the difference between right and wrong. Less painful and more effective means should be taken into consideration while choosing punishments.
Choosing to eliminate a child’s negative behavior through violent means does nothing to guarantee that the child has learned a lesson. Corporal punishment does not always have a positive outcome ("Corporal Punishment "). Parents should be encouraged to guide their children to gain a better understanding of what it was that caused a need for punishment. A parent’s job is to nurture their child, never to hurt them. If parents choose to spank their children, eventually, the children gradually will lose their sense of safety that they feel for their parents. They could also gain a fear for any authority figure in general. Children thrive off of nurturing and encouraging behaviors, especially those that come from their parents. Spankings destroy the natural trust bond that children share with their parents. This is because children trust their parents to be kind, loving, and understanding. The second a spanking is given the child may feel as if the parent doesn’t understand, or that the parent no longer loves them.
Corporal punishments can lead to more disobedient behaviors. Spankings only bring a stop to bad behaviors for short periods of time and can lead to more aggressive behaviors from the child (Straus). Spankings can lead to domestic violence issues between a child and their parents. In many cases, corporal punishment is viewed as a form of child abuse and it is important that parents refrain from striking their children, especially when they consider themselves angry (Henderson 141). Punishing a child while angry can lead to child abuse. Spankings can also affect the relationship between the child and their peers. Children who are victims of any form of corporal punishment tend to be more violent and disobedient. They also are more likely to have problems interacting with peers and members of the opposite sex (Straus).
Developmental processes are affected by corporal punishments. At such a young age a child’s brain is not completely developed. The frontal lobe, responsible for things like understanding, is still developing while children are young ("Corporal Punishment "). This means that children do not always fully grasp that what they have done is unacceptable. For example, if a child were to pull a dogs tail and the dog were to bite them, the child now knows that pulling a dogs tail is an unacceptable behavior. There was also no need for a spanking because the child now has a full understanding of the consequence. A spanking in response to this situation would only confuse the child and may cause them to the generalized idea that any contact with a dog will lead to a spanking. In other words, a spanking is not necessary for a child to learn right from wrong.
Corporal punishment is not the only way to discipline a child. Parents can try a timeouts, taking away privileges, or simply eliminating the source of the negative behavior. Hitting a child should never be an option. Spankings can break bonds between parents and children, cause authority and social problems, and could also be a gateway to child abuse. Corporal punishment should be avoided all together to insure that these unfortunate circumstances do not occur. Children will feel more comfortable and safe, and parents will be relieved to know that striking a child does no justice when trying to teach a lesson.
"Datawise." Corporal Punishment – High Time for Its Return in Schools and the Home. Datawise. Web. 24 Oct 2012. Henderson, Shirley. "To Spank or Not To Spank." Ebony 63.3 (2008): 140. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. Straus, Murray A. "New Evidence For The Benefits Of Never Spanking. “Society 38.6 (2001): 52. MAS Ultra - School Edition. Web. 24 Oct. 2012.