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Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is a fancy name of causing physical punishment with a view to correct behavior of a child.

The history of physical punishment is as old as our civilization. We have been watching and hearing numerous physical punishment stories around us since our early childhood. Times have changed but it hasn’t.

Almost every parent has spanked, hit, slapped, pushed or caused any other form of physical punishment to their children at some points of time. They might have done it willingly or unwillingly, with or without pre-planning or having any intention to do it. They do it because they think this will correct their kids' incorrect behavior.

But does it really works? Lets explore ...

Some people support physical punishment while others are against it. Let's find out their views. Click on the links below to visit the pages on pro and againt Corporal punishment and come back:

Are you back? Okay! Let's go ahead ...

Let's summarise the good and bad points from both sides in a table. It'll help us analyze easily and properly:

Points of Comparision Pro Corporal Punishment Against Corporal Punishment
  1. It is only fear which restrains children from misbehaving. Show them something to be afraid of and they will behave.
  2. That's the only language children understand, and they understand it instantaneously.
  3. That's how you can prevent children from spoiling.
  4. I'm successful and doing well today because my parents hit me when I did something wrong.
  5. It has deterrent effect. If you beat one child in front of other children, others also learn a lesson to behave.
  1. There are so many other non-violent methods to discipline kids, like encouraging, listening, withdrawal of privileges etc., which have long lasting effects on the child's behavior.
  2. By stopping physical punishment and using positive discipline techniques, the frequency of misbehavior keeps on reducing and ultimately fades out with the passage of time.
  3. This also improves love, affection and harmony in the parent child relationship.
Good points
  1. It works instantaneously.
  2. It has deterrent effect on other children as well.
  1. It has long lasting effect.
  2. The child learns self discipline without the application of any external force.
  3. There is lot of love, affection and harmony in the parent child relationship.
  4. The child grows into a happier adult, leads a relaxed life and enjoys the life sharing the joy of life with people around.
Bad Points
  1. It has a short term effect. The misbehavior return as soon as the apprehension of physical punishment is over.
  2. Apart from suffering physical pain, the child feels humiliated, insulted and rejected by parents. This arouses resentment and hatred in his heart against the parents.
  3. The child doesn't find his parents worth respecting. This destroys the relationship completely.
  4. It provokes violent thoughts in child's mind and teaches him that violence is an acceptable behavior in a relationship and if you love somebody, it is okay to beat him/her for the things that they do which you think are wrong.
  5. It creates an atmosphere of tension, hatred, fear and violence in the parent child relationship.
  6. The child begins to hate and avoid doing the thing for which he was punished doing it the wrong way.
  7. Child learns aggressive and violent behavior, becomes abusive or bully in any relationship that he might have ever in future.
  8. Repetitions of physical punishment makes the child immune against it, and then it doesn't even work temporarily.
  9. Produces negative emotions in child's heart like fear, phobia, anxiety, lack of love, sadness, depression, panic etc.
  10. The child might turn rebellious and may misbehave even more out of frustration. The parent brand the child as a 'Bad Child'. The branding teaches the child that he is already branded and it doesn't matter now even if he does something good. So why even try?
  11. Parents beat their kids and later feel guilty about it.
  12. Likely to cause various personality disorders in the child's adulthood. He might grwo into a timid or bully or even a criminal adult.
  1. It doesn't produce immediate effects. It might take few hours, days or even months.
  2. It requires lots of patience, control, use of parenting skills and management, which every parent might not have.

From the comparision given in the table above, it is very clear that physical Punishment does more harm than good to the child.

Physical punishment is not only bad but dangerous. There have been numerous cases where parents have committed heinous offences under the garb of disciplining their kids. In West Virginia, a man spanked his son for two hours, which killed the little boy. The only crime the little boy committed was that he disobeyed one of God's law, which was unacceptable to the fundamentalist Christian father. The father felt it justified to give his son hell.

Most of us have grown with various form of physical punishment in almost acceptable way. So we tend to use the same way to discipline our kids. It seems to show immediate results and therefore we tend to believe that it is very effective.

Every parent thinks that “He/she is always right”. So for the parent, kid’s behaving means following parents wishes and commands, and misbehaving means disobeying parent’s wishes and commands.

But are the parents always right? I’m sure no one is 100% right all the time. That means sometimes parents might be wrong, and these are the times when children are forced to do wrong thing only because their parents think them right.

There are many other healthier ways to teach them discipline. If we stop physical punishment and simultaneous use other positive discipline techniques like listening, encouraging, understanding, avoiding criticism and arguments, etc. children begin to cooperate.

Even if stopping physical punishment doesn’t improve the situation immediately, it certainly doesn’t make them worse. Even this is a great reward that you and your kids can remain the same (howsoever bad) without use of violence. So even if stopping physical punishment doesn’t make any difference, why do that?

The results may not be dramatic in the beginning. But slowly their behavior improves. The frequency comes down slowly. And the atmosphere at home or school is more peaceful and fun. It reduces our stress and tension as well.

"When my parents spanked me it made me feel more hatred towards them and feel that no one understands me". - by S5am  (california)

Lesson ... we need to be more kind, forgiving and patient with our kids.


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