“For every action, there’s a reaction”, states Newton’s law of motion. This obvious truth doesn’t apply to just physics alone. It can also be applied to the human personality. When applying it to a child’s behavior, especially from a very early age, children need to be taught that their actions will have consequences. Being the sponges that they are, sometimes they absorb bad behaviors. Since they are inexperienced and need guidance throughout their life, there are different methods of discipline that can help correct their bad behaviors and actions.
One way that is often effective is by explaining to the child why certain behaviors are not acceptable. But when a simple explanation isn’t enough, or when the child refuses to apply counsel, parents do have one last resort: corporal punishment. When parents do in fact use corporal punishment on their children, it normally is done after other forms of discipline have lacked effectiveness. For example, what if little Johnny has started hitting his young sister when she plays with his toys because he is not fond of sharing?
We all know that sharing is one of the first principles that should be taught to children since it teaches them not to be selfish human beings. The first form of discipline that a parent might try is sitting down with little Johnny to explain to him that he needs to learn how to share and that hitting his sister is not appropriate. However, on a second occasion, Johnny hits his younger sister again for the same reason of not wanting to share.
Children Behavior Worse Than 10 Years Ago It is evident that child behavior today is worse than ten years ago. There is a tendency for children today to be more aggressive than ever before. The media is extensive with reports of children doing drugs and exhibiting violent behavior. Girls are indulging in premarital and/or unprotected sex at an early age (The consequence has been increased rate in ...
This time, the parent gives him a warning which results in Johnny remembering what was explained to him and stopping the wrong behavior, but with a pout. Once again, Johnny hits his sister for taking his toys, but instead of explaining or giving warnings, the parent now takes matters to the next level and decides to spank Johnny on his bottom. This third act of discipline, although still legal in all 50 of the United States, has been under much debate.
The main argument that experts have as to why spanking should not be used is that it has negative psychological effects on children which can result in depression or even suicide. (Gershoff).
Dr. Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff, PhD, of the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University analyzed 62 years worth of data that looked into the “positive and negative behaviors in children that were associated with corporal punishment”.
She defined corporal punishment as ‘physical force used with the intention to cause pain, but not injury, in order to correct or control a child’s behavior’, but this action turns into abuse when it is taken to the extent of “punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, yanking hair, twisting ears, and making a child stand in the same place for a long time, even if no injury results” (The Spanking Debate).
In her study she found that the use of corporal punishment “increased child aggression and antisocial behavior”.
But one main thing she pointed out about her findings is that the negative effects on the child were seen in association with the use of corporal punishment to the extent of physical abuse to the child (Gershoff).
Dr. Gershoff herself admits that the results of her findings are not concrete evidence as to why corporal punishment should not be used because “they almost never record whether the punishment was deliberate or impulsive, or if it was a first resort or a last resort” (The Spanking Debate).
At no time in history has a culture been so focused on children’s education as we are today. As a result, the issue of whether punishment should be used as a tool to educate children at an early age aroused the public’s attention. I am of the opinion that punishment is a very effective way to discipline children. In this essay, I would like to explain my view and try to put forward some suggestion ...
This last admission about her own results shows how different discipline techniques gives different results.
Corporal punishment that is administered lovingly should not be expected to provide the same results that abusive corporal punishment will obviously show. Most of the results taken from Dr. Gershoff’s study, although said to support the argument of how corporal punishment should not be used, lacks to explain the different results obtained if corporal punishment where administered in a loving way with the intent to guide children in the right direction and to help them develop the correct principles in order to become good citizens in today’s society.
The fact that different parents administer corporal discipline at two completely different extremes is a major factor that needs to be more profoundly investigated. Although Dr. Gershoff’s analysis did contain both of those extremes, the results from the type of discipline used also gave different results.
With these two variables being a part of Dr. Gershoff’s equation, it is argued that although severe forms of corporal unishment do exist, the positive effects of when it is correctly applied by means of a moderate and occasional spanking by parents who continuously convey their love for their child and explain the reasons for their actions, result in huge benefits for the child that overshadow the temporary pain that they may encounter because of the appropriately administered corporal punishment (The Spanking Debate).
Robert Larzelere, a psychologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, reviewed 38 studies in relation to corporal punishment and came to the conclusion that when moderate and un-abusive spanking was administered, it reduced misbehavior in children without having the negative psychological effects that some psychologist claim that corporal punishment has. According to Larzelere, not only did that type of discipline work, “but it also reinforced milder forms of discipline, so that children are more apt to respond without spanking the next time” (Time).
Edward Ledezma, who had been a single parent for about 7 to 8 years, recalls having to spank his daughter on two different occasions because his five year old daughter, Lilly, was continuously not listening to his instructions. That was the first and only time he had to use that type of discipline, and it was only after trying to explain to her first why she needed to listen to him.
... a parent who communicates and shows affection but is firm will see positive results in their discipline (Cope, 2010). The use of corporal punishment gets ... 2012). Utilization of corporal punishment can also affect the quality of a child-parent relationship. Studies of parents that do administer spankings have shown that ...
Now that she’s nine, there’s is no indication that she has psychological problems. On the contrary, she’s at the top of her forth grade class, is a well behaved girl, has he utmost respect for her dad, and loves him unconditionally. The loving corporal punishment that Edward had administered four years ago had served its purpose and he did not need to use it again. It shouldn’t be a surprise that such a debate on corporal punishment continues.
On one side there are experts that say that abusive corporal punishment is wrong because of the negative psychological effects and who would doubt that it would. On the other hand, parents can reap the benefits with administering corporal discipline in a loving way. The argument should not be whether to administer corporal punishment but rather parents need to be taught that although it works, the only way they can sow the benefits from it is if they administer it within limits and only as a last resort.