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Against Corporal Punishment

The people who are against corporal punishment argue the following negative effects of corporal punishment:
Negative effects of Corporal Punishment: Arguments against Corporal Punishment

  • Scared Child
  • Short term effect
  • Psychological effect on the child
  • Hatred towards the parents
  • Parents' guilt feeling
  • Children learn violence
  • Unhealthy environment at home
  • Children avoid activities altogether
  • Making of a bully
  • Immunity against Corporal Punishment
  • Branding the child
  • No harm from beating received in childhood?
  • Adulthood of physically punished child: Long term effects

1. Scared Child

Physical punishment settles fear and phobias in child's mind. Beating shakes the whole body-mind constitution of the child. The whole physiology and psychology comes to an alarming situation. It is immensely painful.

Signs and symptoms of scared children

  • Body trembling or shaking
  • High blood pressure
  • Testicles squeeze upwards
  • Palpitations and pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Total blockade of mind, mind going blank

2. Short term effect

Corporal punishment has a short term effect. The child learns to behave only when he has fear of punishment. This is an external disciplining force. The internal system of child doesn’t learn to behave. Child's internal forces always work against Corporal Punishment and keep finding ways to avoid it. So the misbehavior returns as soon as the apprehension of physical punishment is over.

3. Psychological effect on the child against Corporal Punishment

Apart from causing immense physical pain, physical punishment also makes the child feel humiliated and insulted. His self esteem is hurt. The child feels rejected by the parents. This arouses the feeling of hated and resentment in child’s heart against the parent.

This is normal human reaction. We are all like that. This is the self defense mechanism we are all fitted with. Whenever someone points out our mistake, we tend to resist it. Our ego is hurt and we attack back with or without any reasonable defense or justification.

Now the child wants to react back. He wants to speak out or hit back. But if he does it, he might be beaten more.

So he learns to suppress it. But it comes out in some other form with or without the child having realized it. It may come out in various forms of negative emotions like bullying, not studying, bed-wetting, being depressed, having phobia, anxiety, lack of love, destructive attitude etc.

4. Hatred towards the parents 

Repetition of suffering, humiliation and struggle against Corporal Punishment reinforces the hatred in child's heart. The child doesn’t find his parent worth respecting. He begins to find out the things that the parent doesn’t do well. His attitude towards his parents becomes totally negative. He thinks his parents don’t love him and tends to dislike and disobey each of his parents’ command.

Children want love, care and attention. If they think their parents don’t love them they may try and find other things outside home which interests them. Some of them might be really harmful … like substance abuse.

5. Parents' guilt feeling

It causes tension in parents’ mind as well. Only exceptional case parent would be happy doing it.

Generally parents beat their kids in a fit of anger. After some time when they are at peace and give a second thought to the misbehavior of the child, they realize that probably kid didn’t behave as bad as they then perceived, and he didn’t deserve that punishment.

Then they hug, kiss, feel sorry and love their kids. They try to find ways to compensate the wrong they did to their child. Why do we feel guilty if it’s something good? What do you feel having done it?

We feel guilty only when we realize that we have done something bad. Parents’ guilty feeling itself proves the point against Corporal Punishment.

6. Children learn violence

What does parents’ beating with or without having felt guilty teach the kids?

It teaches them that it is acceptable to hit someone you love. And that you can use as much violence as you can against your loved ones and then get away with it by later loving, kissing, hugging and saying sorry. This is extremely poisonous lesson.

They tend to use this lesson in every relationship. This kills every relationship. So the child is bound to have problem in maintaining long terms relationship with people around him.

7. Unhealthy environment at home

Physical punishment is an act of violence. It creates an atmosphere of tension, hatred, fear and violence in the parent child relationship for several hours or may be months and years.

All members of the family are affected by this tensed atmosphere. Repeated instances take happiness out of the home. The home becomes like a prison or punishment cell for the kids.

8. Children avoid activities altogether

The child connects various things with one event of physical punishment. Some of them might be good while most of them are bad. Though the punishment is intended to stop bad things, the child learns to stop good things with it as well.

For example if a father beats his son for making mistakes in doing Science homework, the child, instead of realizing his mistake, resents. Since he can’t express his resentment because of his parent’s fear, he tries to find a way out of it.

How does he do it? He associates Science with beating and learns to hate Science, and starts searching ways and means to avoid studying Science.

This is his method of finding the way out of beating. He finds it easier than working against Corporal Punishment.

9. Making of a bully

Those who are regularly punished physically are almost sure to turn into a bully. Corporal punishment is certainly a prominent form of parent bullying their kids.

This teaches kids that stronger and elders can bully younger and week people. It is one of the main reasons for kids to turn into bullies. The kids who are bullied tend to vomit out their frustration by bullying others.

10. Immunity against Corporal Punishment

With every incident of physical punishment, child’s immunity against Corporal Punishment keeps increasing. Soon he learns to be stubborn. Frequently beating doesn’t cause fear in his mind or body any longer.

It is at this point Corporal punishment stops working altogether. And now on, its negative effects come exploding in a serious way. The child becomes totally out of control of parents.

Parents don’t have any tools that works on the child. The child becomes rebellious, and now he is in a position to control parents in whatever way he wants to.

11. Branding the child

In an advanced stage, the child might turn into a rebellious and may misbehave even more out of frustration. This aggravates the problem even more. The parents brand the child as a ‘bad Child’.

This Branding is very harmful. It teaches the child that he’s already branded. It doesn’t matter now even if he does something good. So why even try doing something good. The child misbehaves more than before, gets more physical punishment and the vicious cycle goes on.

And it teaches the parents that the child is a problematic case. There is no way to mend him. So why even try. The parents internally reject even the idea of correcting the child. And the child rejects the idea of doing anything good.

This is disastrous for their relationship, more so for kid's personality and his future life. This is total break down of parent child relationship.

12. No harm from beating received in childhood?

Some people say that they were beaten in their childhood whenever they did something wrong and that’s why they were doing well in life, and they suffered no harm from beating.

What does doing well in life means? A good job? Handsome salary? No criminal record?

Well according to me doing well should mean doing well in every aspect of life, like being a good parent, spouse, friend, colleague etc.

Beating always remains there deep inside the unconscious corners of child’s mind. We might or not be aware of it. And It does influence some part of our life.

Children who are beaten often tend to beat their kids when they become parents. Their relationship with their spouses and friends are unlikely to be as healthy as they should be.

They are always prone to violence. They have problems in maintaining long term relationships. Either they tend to be timid or dominating.

Are they actually happy, relaxed, cool and enjoy the life in a positive and contented way? I doubt it.

The damage is always there. It might be hidden behind the decency. But it is always there and it might come out in any form depending upon the external environment.

13. Adulthood of physically punished child: Long term effects

Such kids are likely to be very aggressive and violent and might have various personality disorders in their adulthood. They have problems in maintaining relationships with friends, colleagues, spouse and their own kids. Might even turn into criminal.


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