Instructor: Karin Celosse
Corporal Punishment Corporal punishment has been debated for years. I remember when I was raising my four children, I heard a story in the news that a woman had disciplined her screaming child, who was throwing a fit because his or her mother would not give said child something that he/she wanted, in a store of some kind. That was not the shocking part , the shocking part was that the mother discipline was interrupted as child abuse. The form of discipline that the mother chose to use that day for her fitting/screaming child was to pop him/her in the mouth with her opened hand. She didn't close her fist to create damage on the child, she smacked the area of the child that creating the hysteria, his/her mouth. That mother was arrested and put in jail. My husband and I were both very shocked. Not only that the mother was arrested but also that one bystander could make such a claim without knowing exactly what the facts were. Like; how long had the child been throwing this fit, or how many times had the mother asked the child to stop the screaming and fitting for the toy or candy bar. Either way, maybe her actions warranted some kind of investigation or inquiry, but jail, I think that a parent trying to control a child's out bursts in a public place, such as a store, should be commended not punished. Let's face it, no one likes to hear a child throwing a fit because they are not getting what they want. I never had that problem because I always made sure that my children knew who the boss was, and part of why they know this, without a doubt, was because I used corporal punishment (aka; spanking), up until they were at the oldest eight. That being said I am sure that there are many other views out there that are far different from mine.
In an article I read, " Parenting Expert Warns Against Physical Punishment", a Dr Kazdin is being asked several questions about spanking. I would like to share a couple of those questions and his answers. Then I would to share what I think and have experienced in regards to the subject;
Q: Some parents spank their child not only to punish him or her but to change their child’s behavior. Does spanking have that effect?
A: Dr. Kazdin: Spanking is not a very effective strategy. It does not teach children new behaviors or what to do in place of the problem behavior. It is also not useful in suppressing the problematic behavior beyond the moment. Research indicates the rate of misbehavior does not decline, in fact, the problem behavior returns, even if the parent escalates the punishment. (APA)
I like some of what Dr. Kazdin said but my experiences do not echo his answers. I have done the reward system and have had little to no luck in this area. I have also tried the system where we take things away. My son's room was empty at one point, I mean there was nothing but the bed and his dressers in his room and his father and I could not get him to stop trying every boundary that we set, almost on a daily basis. After my husband and I established that we would use spanking as a way to detour him from the behaviors that he was displaying, then, and only then did he fully understand that he had to stop breaking the rules that we had set. We did not hurt, nor did we ever want to hurt our son, but there were times, because of his anger towards his biological mother that he would do things like light fires and put the other three child at risk when doing so. We HAD to establish that we were the ones in charge and not him, and spanking was the only thing that seem to work with him.
"Q: What is the difference between physical punishment and child abuse?
A: Dr. Kazdin: Child abuse is defined individually by the states in the U.S. and the definitions vary — some focus on where on the body the child is hit; others focus on whether objects are used, and so on. The key issue is that…