A Parents Guide to Discipline

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Parenting is a difficult job! It does not come with a handbook or set of rules on which method of discipline is the most effective.  When it comes to your children you want to be positive that you are doing the right thing for them. One of the many things that parents fight about when having a child is how to discipline them. Each parent has their own opinion on what worked best on them and what will work best on their children. Therefore, the question is corporal discipline effective on disciplining your child. The answer is no! Corporal discipline is closely linked to abuse and can have detrimental effects on a child. If you want the best for your child you will choose a different method to discipline them.

                The first reason that corporal punishment is not a method that parents should choose when disciplining their child is because it is abuse. The article “Corporal Punishment” by David Benatar, a professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, stated “They suggest that corporal punishment “escalates into battering,” or at least increases the risk that those who punish will “cross the line to physical abuse.” Therefore, David Benetar is stating that it is very easy for parents to cross the line from trying to teach the child a lesson and physically hurting them. Physical abuse is defined as, by the American Humane Association, non-accidental trauma or physical injury caused by punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning or otherwise harming a child, physical abuse is the most visible form of child maltreatment. When using corporal punishment the punisher is intentionally hurting the children and as the definition says “it is non-accidental trauma or physical injury.” Therefore, according to the definition, corporal punishment is s form of abuse. Many people believe that if corporal punishment is done under the right circumstances it will work. The right circumstances are calm and not being emotional. Usually most parents are not calm and are very emotional when using corporal punishment on a child. Not only can it be physically harmful but it can be mentally harmful. A research done by Taylor Smith et al. (2004) “reported a number of negative developmental consequences for children who had experienced corporal punishment, including: disruptive and anti-social behavior; poor academic achievement; poor attachment and lack of parent-child warmth; mental health problems (particularly internalizing problems such as depression); and substance and alcohol abuse”. The effects of corporal discipline can be detrimental to a child’s future and development.

                Parents want to be caring, honest, and truthful but it is hard to do that when using corporal discipline. Besides all the major effects that corporal discipline can have on a child it is also very hypocritical of a parent to use corporal discipline. As a parent you are telling your child not to hit another child when they do bad things or become frustrated but when the parent becomes frustrated with the child they hit them. This is very confusing to a child because the parents are sending mixed messages to the child. They are telling the child to do one thing as the parent’s actions show another. Plus, we all know that ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! Ashly Baugh, a writer for examiner.com, writes “Often children who are spanked or otherwise abused focus physical aggression on smaller children and animals the same way they are by their parents.” Therefore, if you want your children to make wise choices and not be aggressive then you will choose another method of discipline. This also leads to breaking of trust between parent and child. When spanking a child the message that is sent to a child is that they are not valuable. This could lead to many self-esteem issues. Once a child is spanked the parent is no longer respecting them as a human being, but rather, belittling them and then the trust is broken. The child, as they become older, feels as if they can no longer talk to the parents about anything because they are afraid of being hit. Being a child that grew up in a house hold were parents used corporal discipline made me afraid of my parents and this was detrimental to our relationship as we I got older. I would lie to them a lot because I was too afraid to tell them the truth. The trust was broken but, luckily, it was reparable. This is why it is so crucial on picking the right method of discipline.  

                Choosing how to discipline your child is a crucial part to their development and their future. Choosing a method of discipline is a very massive task to take on. The way you discipline your child could either hurt them or help them.  When looking into different methods of discipline corporal discipline should be crossed off of the list immediately. There are damaging effects to a child’s mental and physical state if corporal discipline is used. So ask yourself do you want to be the cause of your child’s failure? Or the reason why they do drugs? Or the reason why they hate you?  Or the reason why they hit other children? Be the parent that you would have wanted your parents to be. Parenting isn’t easy but hopefully these tips can help out.

 

Resources:

Baugh, Ashly. “Spanking: the argument against corporal punishment – Davenport attachment parenting | Examiner.com.” Welcome to Examiner.com | Examiner.com. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.examiner.com/article/spanking-the-argument-against-corporal-punishment&gt;.

Benatar, David. “CORPORAL PUNISHMENT – philosophical study.” Corporal Punishment Research: Main Menu (spanking, paddling, caning, flogging). N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.corpun.com/benatar.htm&gt;.

“Corporal punishment.” Princeton University – Welcome. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Corporal_punishment.html&gt;.

Holzer , Prue , and Alister Lamont . “Corporal punishment: Key issues – Resource Sheet – Child Family Community Australia.” Australian Institute of Family Studies – Australian Government. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.aifs.gov.au/nch/pubs/sheets/rs19/rs19.html&gt;.

“Section 26 F11 Psy 1001.” Domestic Corporal Punishment – It’s Legal but is it Okay?. N.p., 13 Nov. 2011. Web. 23 Apr. 2013. <blog.lib.umn.edu/reife014/myblog/2011/11/domestic-corporal-punishment—its-legal-but-is-it-okay.html>.

“The Center for Effective Discipline.” The Center for Effective Discipline. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2013. <http://www.stophitting.com/index.php?page=athome-main&gt;.