Discipline and Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment by definition is the deliberate infliction of physical pain as a system of changing behaviour. Corporal punishment may consist of methods such as shaking, pinching, kicking, punching, slapping, hitting, painful body posture, or use of different objects such as sticks, belts and paddles (National Association of School Nurses, 2002, p. 1). In the past, corporal punishment was a technique of disciplining youth and children in the school setting.

At present, several States in America have enacted legislation banning corporal punishment in schools. On the other hand corporal punishment has been an accepted mode of reprimand that several parents choose to integrate into their lives without giving a careful consideration. The mode of punishment can commence at any time but is generally initiated within the start of the child’s grade school (Mathews, 2006, p. 1). The physical inflictions can be tolerated all the way until the teenager grows old enough to leave or be independent.

This type of correction is purely torture, which has been employed for centuries and is still a frightening and disturbing incidence in several families today. Dr. Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire Family Research Laboratory revealed that corporal punishment: when regularly imposed to children it increases their antisocial behaviour such as bullying, cheating, stealing, lying, assaulting peers or sibling, and lack of repentance for erroneous doings (The Center for Effective Discipline, n.

d. ); provides as a model for violent behaviour and for improper ways of dealing with disagreement among the punished children; erodes trust between a child and parent; and badly influences cognitive development of the child. Corporal punishment is not desirable for the reason that it increases the risk of child abuse and adults who were frequently hit during their childhood are likely to experience depression and other unconstructive mental health and social effects.

This form of punishment can have a negative effect on the affected children as it relates to their physical and mental growth and health, as they are at a period of fragile mental capacity. Finally, corporal punishment is not desirable because children are entitled to security, care and good rearing from their parents and teachers. Adults should understand the significance of recognizing corrective discipline instead of outright imposition of corporal punishment in disciplining children.

Because children’s ability to control their own behaviour is limited, corrective discipline is an important characteristic of adequate parenting for the reason that it generates the best preventive steps, which is reducing the occurrence of misconduct, and not eliminating it (Straus, Fauchier, 2007, p. 5). Corrective discipline incorporates positive in addition to disciplinary behaviours, and combinations of the two. Conclusion Corporal punishment has a strong possibility to influence the child’s self-image and contribute to violent and disruptive behaviours.

However, the practice remains a commonly used method of discipline in most American families and is still legal in educational institutions in several States in America. The progress of social skills after the infliction of corporal punishment may be severely changed, leading to belligerent behaviours. The imposition of corporal punishment also advances the message that cruelty is an acceptable form of behaviour in the society. Clearly, corporal punishment is not desirable and effective in enforcing discipline among children.

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