Is corporal punishment an effective way of disciplining children? Corporal punishment is a violation inflicted on children, teachers, and others in names of “discipline” which is experienced by a large majority of children in many states worldwide. In the United States, there are laws protecting children from physical abuse, including at school and home; nevertheless, most American parents think spanking is an appropriate method of discipline for children. There are some countries that have passed anti-spanking laws such as Germany, Sweden, and others, but other countries do not have any support against spanking.
Spanking children can leave physical scars, affect mental problems, and be ineffective in that children do not understand which is right or wrong. Spanking can affect a child’s behavior and learning ability for years. The studies have shown spanking would have negative outcomes; in addition, spanking does not work because of child abuse. Disciplining children without using implements helps kids to understand the connection between actions and consequences. Overall, the most realistic answer to this controversial topic is to allow corporal punishment under strict guidelines and limitations.
I have experienced being spanked by my parents within early childhood in Vietnam. Whenever I was disobedient, my mom started yelling and hitting me with a long huge ruler. Her face was red and angry; I cried a lot. There is no rule to prohibit spanking children in my country, and I believe I would be afraid when my friend talks about spanking. Being an adult, I realize the reason that my mother hit me so hard because she wants me to understand that I have to respect and listen to her. Nowadays, I have seen some cases of spanking children on the breaking news in the United States.
Some young parents treat children unequally, and children are neglected by them. By searching the information, I begin to understand the concept of corporal punishment. In the Lenta’s journal, the author states that corporal punishment is still increasing attention to children as moral subjects in many countries. Spanking is considered an acceptable method of child discipline and legal toleration of this practice in some countries; there are only thirty-two countries that permit spanking of children. People are concerned about these problems, so there are debates between pros and cons.
The crucial part of this article is expected whether corporal punishment of children is allowed. The rule of corporal punishment should be changed because it inflicts physical pain on its victims (Lenta 689-716). Corporal punishment was practiced even in public schools and at home throughout the twentieth century. In the Scheller’s news, there are one hundred and thirteen countries that have outlawed it in both school and home. Today, in California, spanking is prohibited for teachers and parents; the laws protect children who are three or younger.
If someone sees you hit your child, you would be punishable by up to one year in jail or fined one thousand dollars. In one case of a famous sport star, Peterson was accused of using a small tree branch to spank his young son who was just four years old. It was considered child abuse. Although Texas has not banned corporal punishment, this child would be protected under the laws (Scheller). In the twentieth century, spanking was considered normal to hit children if they did wrong. They were often the victims of corporal punishment.
We did not have real strong laws to protect them when punishment turned to abuse. Children were hurt without reason because parents were crossing the line. When these children grow up, they tend to abuse their children. It affects from this generation to other generations. If teachers and parents were the best models, children would follow them. On the other hand, if teachers and parents were not good models, children would become bad young adults, such as using drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking, and beating their kids. As the result, being guardians of children is very important.
In the article by Jacob Middleton, the author said many parents disagreed about using corporal punishment in school in 1890 because the teacher stalked around the classroom and threatened children with a big knife. It was not an appropriate behavior to treat students. In the nineteenth century, there was no rule to protect children from adults who wished to strike children. In the First World War, many parents protested against disciplinary excesses. The corporal punishment rule was established as limits to a normal discipline to protect children, and this practice was prohibited in British state school (Middleton).
Most parents think discipline and punishment are different. First, they believe discipline is more effective than corporal punishment in teaching children how to behave. Second, the more parents use effective discipline methods, the less children need punishment. Third, there is no excuse for using physical or verbal punishment to discipline a child. Fourth, using consequences as a discipline method helps children learn to take responsibility for their behavior. Fifth, the child must see the relationship between his or her misbehavior and the consequences.
Finally, the child must know he or she has a choice when consequences are used. Therefore, if we use psychological discipline instead of using punishment, it will help us to teach children in the most effective way. In the Discipline Miracle’s book, two authors attempt to persuade the audience that discipline is the best method to teach children behavior (Pearson and Stamford 48). More specifically the authors mentions about how the effect of discipline on the children. “We must discipline because proper discipline is essential for a child’s developing personality.
The goal of discipline is to instruct, teach, guide, and help children develop their own self-discipline. Structures, limits, and routines help kids develop a sense of predictability and a capacity for self-regulation and self-control. Children feel safe when they feel safely contained within their rules and structures” (Pearson and Stamford 48). Using discipline methods in an appropriate way helps children to understand the wrong and learn from the mistakes; children learn how to control their behavior.
Most people believe spanking may benefit children as necessary to teach children manners, obedience and respect. Some parents spank their kids when they do not listen or obey parents. However, other parents hit them without right reason such as an alcoholic parents beat them, and it can be considered child abuse. According to the article, it shows ninety percent of parents that admit to spanking when children are hit as a mean of correction. In the pros, the supporters believe spanking would stop children from misbehaving and correct their mistakes; these children would listen and obey to parents.
The experts expect fifty percentages of parents that admit to spank teenagers who are between thirteen and fourteen years old. On the other hand, in the cons, spanking is considered as a child abuse, which the victim is living in fear of his or her parents. Some studies show ninety-three percentages of agreement that spanking has harmful effects to children (“Pros and Cons”). Mild spanking has an immediate compliance of the child. Every parent wants his/her child to become a successful person when he/she grows up. For example, some children are stubborn and disobedient which makes parents angry about their bad behavior.
Especially, the children who are three or younger have been spanked a lot of times; parents mostly use hands to hit them on arm butt, hands, feet, or legs. Some people consider spanking helps children who are between the teenagers’ ages to understand what is right or wrong. Moreover, they can learn lessons from their parents’ advice and teaching. According to the researchers quoted by Dr. Zeidler said he was spanked when he was a little boy. He also approved, “Spanking children as needed when necessary and believes the occasional use of physical punishment-not abuse-can be an effective tool for parents” (Zeidler).
The author argues that parents have the responsibility to teach their children in the correct way, especially not using any weapon. If parents hit their children without reason, children would not learn lessons and would not know which way is right or wrong. People would disagree where to draw the line when it comes teaching right from wrong (Zeidler). In my opinion, even though spanking is not a good method, half of American parents think spanking is an appropriate method of discipline for children. Most parents think spanking has detrimental effects on children’s lives.
Spanking would have side effects, including with the increasing health mental issue (anxiety, depression, and substance abuse), increasing aggressive behaviors, and decreasing empathy. Some parents use implements such as a belt, long ruler, slipper, can, or paddle to spank them; therefore, it would leave bruises or cause physical harm to the children. It can be physically dangerous and lead to serious injuries. Each parent has a responsibility to protect his/ her own children. Parents sometimes are out of control by using drugs or drinking alcohol to beat them. They are innocent, or they even do not know how tell a lie to parents.
Hitting children is not morally right because they are just kids. Even though many supporters of spanking think this is a way to teach respect and a discipline, others believe it just teaches a child to be afraid of parents rather than respect them. This is considered child abuse. Furthermore, spanking is dangerous to children. If parents spank their children, it would be possible that children are to hit their parents. This reaction will get worse and have more dangerous problems for the future. It will have long-term effects on many children, and this may cause psychological problems for them.
Therefore, spanking is not a good way to teach their children lessons. Every parent needs to have strict guidelines and limitations. Instead of spanking, we can use different methods of discipline to teach correctly, such as time-out, stand in the corner, removal of rewards, and helping kids understand the connection between actions and consequences. In the article from Healthy Children, the website gave some advice and strategies that work on discipline for a child, tips to make discipline more effective, and reasons that corporal punishment is not a good choice. There are four strategies.
First, natural consequence means the children will learn the best when they learn themselves. Second, logical consequence is if the children do not pick up their toys, they are put away. Third, withholding privileges means when children need something they like, the item should not be put them away, such as a meal. Fourth, time-out is if children do something wrong or make mistakes where they stand isolated about five to ten minutes (“Disciplining”). Corporal punishment is not effective for children, so parents should limit to a few slaps to the buttocks or legs with an open hand.
It should be used only when other disciplinary methods are not effective. In addition, spanking used along with reasoning is the most successful type of discipline for most situations. Therefore, there are many techniques such as time-out to teach children in the correct way instead of spanking. Psychologists are the main supporters of anti-spanking because they believe the children should be treated with equal rights. The United States is a democratic country, so every human being should be treated equally and with dignity no matter what his or her circumstance.
No one should be tortured or treated in inhuman. Corporal punishment is a violation of child’s basic human rights, which include the right to protection against violence and the right to respect for human dignity. Children have the right to protection from abuse, and parents need to treat them equally. In the Pennsylvania’s article, a three-year-old boy died after his mother and her boyfriend confessed to hanging him by his feet, taping him to a chair, and beating him with sharp objects. Whenever he would not eat his breakfast, they started to use corporal punishment.
Thus, they are the murderers that kill their own son, and their punishment would be the death penalty (“Police”). Some other psychologists also say spanking leads to assault; it causes injury and affect mental issues. According to the news, a mother neglected her sons in the apartment for a long time. The police report the boys’ parents kept them in a dirty or unclean place including with a cat, feces and flies. It was considered child abuse, and the woman’s punishment would be three months in jail (“Denver”). Children were victims in these cases. The percent of being treated unequally are increasing.
More children are getting hurt, so the more children have the higher risks. The bottom line is children should have a right to be treated equally. Other people believe children’s brains are not fully developed, so they need to learn right from wrong. If children are not punished, their actions will be driven by the need to fulfill their selfish wants. From one to three years old, these children really love to imitate or copy another person’s characteristics and behaviors; they do not know to distinguish the right or wrong. They think they have fun, so they would do actions again and again.
Children are naive; they never know to tell a lie except teaching by parents. They are not developed enough to make a decision on their own. Whenever they want to do something, they need to ask parents’ permissions. Parents would not let their children play with strangers unless they are friends or neighbors. If parents spank their kids, it would not work with children. These kids just cry out loud because they do not understand why parents hit them. Therefore, parents should use other discipline methods to teach them in the right way instead of spanking. According to the Telegraph article, it showed two brains of three years old.
The left brain was normal, and the right brain was neglected. Therefore, the left brain was bigger than the right brain. Some neurologists said the child on the right is less smart, less able to empathize with others, and more likely to become addicted to drugs or involved in violent crime than the child on the left. The more children are neglected, the more children are damaged. The child’s brain is not completely developed; she or he has lack of parent’s love and care (Palmer). When children turn into the adults, some children’s brains are developed fully.
However, other children do not because they have detrimental effects from the past. For instance, parents do not treat them well, and they do not care or love them. Children are tortured and spanked when they do not listen to parents. Parents abandon their children when they really do not want to take care of them. In short, children do not have enough knowledge and experience to decide what is right or wrong. According to the experts, they reported teen brains were eighty percent developed, so the teens did not able to control what they did right or wrong.
They would do foolish things such as using drugs and alcohol to damage more brain cells. However, teen brains easily absorbed many new things, including learning new lessons and retaining skills. The part of the teen brain incompletely developed was the frontal lobe, which controlled all their minds. As the result, teen brains cannot access easily unless they are twenty or thirty years old (“Are”). In brief, parents should not use a corporal punishment to teach their children because children’s brains are grown fully. In conclusion, deciding how to discipline children is a difficult task.
The most realistic answer to this controversial topic is to allow corporal punishment under strict guidelines and limitations. Many studies have shown overwhelming corporal punishment is harmful to children, adults, and societies. Although corporal punishment is sometimes justified, we still feel uncomfortable about the idea being punished physically. Parents and teachers should not use implements to hit, spank, punch, kick, shake, or choke. In closing, all forms of corporal punishment are a violation of basic human rights, and we should not use them.