Should children be disciplined by physical punishment? No, they shouldn’t and this essay shows why. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” an old saying that has been passed on and practiced in our Arabic countries for many generations. For centuries parents and teachers have used physical punishment as a way of “disciplining” children. Little do they know that physical punishment does more harm than good. Although there have been some who believe that it’s time to change our minds and mentality.
Physical punishment not only includes beating, but also other types of torture like being forced to sit in grueling postures or kneeling down in the hot sun or raising your hands until they pain and many other forms of punishment. It is easy to find reasons to allow some physical punishment. One issue is that many parents find it very difficult to abandon physical punishment completely. Parents argue that this was the way they were brought up themselves and that it didn’t do any harm to them.
They believe that for the child’s sake that they have the right to discipline the child in any way they see fit, A second point is that physical punishment can be quick and effective: there is not much point reasoning with a screaming child in the street or supermarket. Children can be punished for trivial matters like talking in class, forgetting homework, staying a few extra minutes watching TV. The child is punished for such things and if he/she happens to protest then he/she’s punished more severely.
Most parents are not trained to deal with misbehaving children. They do not have enough resources or choices to handle the situation. As a result, they immediately react by smacking or hitting the child, even if there are other solutions to the problem. Also unless people are challenged or forced to change their beliefs they may keep following negative habits. An example is seatbelt use – now most people wear seat belts without thinking, whereas years ago the idea of using safety belts was strange to most people.
In the same way, banning physical punishment in the home will allow people to change their habits and break a cycle of violence. However, the most obvious reason for banning all physical punishment of children is to prevent child abuse. So new parents must be trained on how to deal with misbehaving children without the use of physical violence. If all parents are allowed to hit their children in the name of discipline, some parents will go too far and will inflict severe emotional and physical damage on their children.
Some studies shows that physical punishment of children, such as pushing or slapping, is linked to an increased incidence of problems, including alcohol abuse or depression, In conclusion, parents have to change some of their ideas and out dated ways about how children should be raised and to know that childhood is a stage in which everything about one person reforms. It is possible to avoid the use of physical force, and doing so will help us move closer to dream of removing violence from our society. Rahaf Abukoura 17. 10. 2012
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