The Thin Line of Physical Punishment
The most controversial topic among parenting is the one that creates barriers in family and culture, physical punishment of children by parents. Whether it’s abusive or just another form of discipline, it creates major debate among parents. Many believe it to be wrong, but those who oppose it have not seen the whole picture. Every child misbehaves, but it’s the way the parents respond to this behavior that produces controversy.
At one point or another every parent has had to confront their child’s misbehavior but everyone handles it differently. The most controversial way of taking care of this behavior is by punishing the child physically. It has been called an ineffective, abusive, and negative way of disciplining children, “One claim is that spanking promotes violence and aggressive behavior which the child will imitate. Also, spanking your child can result in depression and low self-esteem. This view takes the negative approaches to spanking and displays the harmful effects spanking takes on children. To these non-supporters, spanking is seen as hitting and in no way will parents support hitting. Spanking, to some, is dangerously close to child abuse and can rear terrible developmental problems.” CITATION htt \l 1033 (© California State University) Others, like me, believe that it’s still a very effective way of disciplining kids and showing them right from wrong-with restraint, of course. There is a thin line between being a punishment and being abusive; this is why many believe it to not be effective and an incorrect way of handling misbehavior. This can be true to an extent, if a child is not told what he did wrong, why he is being punished and what he should have done then the child will not understand the reason for physical violence and act out even more. There is more than one way of physical punishment that not many think about or forget they exist. Many just hit their kids with no explanation; others hit too hard or exaggerate the punishment and, in the end, cause these re-precautions.
Not only how hard or how much the punishment is, where the child is being hit comes into play. There should be parts of a child that should never be hit; for example, the head and torso should always be off limits. Striking these areas can cause real damage and maybe even traumatize the young one. Many factors come into play when using physical punishment. “The act of corporal punishment itself is different across parents - parents vary in how frequently they use it, how forcefully they administer it, how emotionally aroused they are when they do it, and whether they combine it with other techniques. Each of these qualities of corporal punishment can determine which child-mediated processes are activated, and, in turn, which outcomes may be realized." CITATION Eli02 \y \t \l 1033 (Gershoff) One way that can be a huge improvement when using physical punishment is to say why he or she is being punished and what he should do the next time the same situation arises. This way the child knows what caused them to be hit and to make better choices next time. Of course, age makes a difference as well; no one should be penalizing a very young child. Instead one should calmly explain what they did wrong and give a time out or other form of passive aggressive punishment. Throughout time, many generations have dealt with misbehavior in differing ways. For example Nicholas Orme of the University of Exeter argues that children in medieval times were treated differently from adults in legal matters, and the authorities were as troubled about violence to children as they were to adults. In his article, "Childhood in Medieval England," he states, "Corporal punishment was in use throughout