“Corporal punishment remains a widely used discipline technique in most American families, but it has also been a subject of controversy within the child development and psychological communities - Writing Assignment introduction. ” (Gershoff) Corporal punishment is not only spanking your child but it is the effects that hitting your child can have. Studies have shown multiple outcomes of corporal punishment, some which have not resulted to be positive. There is so much behind disciplining a child stemming from emotions, force, and frequency. A child should not be disciplined to the severity where it will in turn affect them for the rest of their lives.
Corporal punishment is severely damaging physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially to children and should not be allowed in any home. Some will argue that corporal punishment is okay because it teaches your child right from wrong. An interview done a parent stated that they used the action of spanking their children and they believe that is taught them right from wrong. The parents explained that when they would lie, they would get spanked so the next time they thought about lying they would remember of the hurt from the spanking.
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I then interviewed the children of this family who are now a 12 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. They both stated that they knew right from wrong even when they did the wrong action and would still get consequences for it. The daughter told me a story of her not making her bed one morning. She explained that it is a big deal in their household and the children always are to clean their rooms and make their beds. However, they never had consequences from the action not being done until one day when the dad came home to find her bed unmade, she was beaten pretty severely.
This happened 3 years ago and she stated that she remember it as though it happened yesterday. They both then went on to share that their parents expected them to live perfect lives and in front of their parents they did. Away from their parents was a whole different story they both shared. They both said that on a regular basis they would sneak out of the house at night, go to parties every weekend and get drunk, sleep around but always make sure their life at home is in order, including their grades.
I went on to ask why they did such actions and they both agreed that the discipline in their home and the expectancy to live a so called perfect life leads them to figure out life outside their “bubble. ” Studies have proven the severity of corporal punishment that have affected the lives of many. “The more often or more harshly a child was hit, the more likely they are to be aggressive or to have mental health problems. ” (Gershoff) Emotional trauma affects the American population more than those even speak about. Corporal punishment involves a lot of actions.
It is not just spanking your child but also emotionally abusing them, verbally abusing them, and the most noticed is the physical abuse. The results of corporal punishment also involve children using drugs, hanging out with “the wrong crowd”, early sexual relationships, getting involved with gangs or even prostitution. Physical aggression towards a child results in nothing positive for the children. Children who have had mild to severe physical aggression towards them usually wind up that way as adults. There is a domino effect that is happening in today’s society with homes who stand for corporal punishment.
Laying your hands on your children is not the only way for discipline and when doing so, you are then affecting your child and generations to come with permanent damage psychologically, emotionally, and even physically. Many studies have shown negative effects with children who experienced corporal punishment. “Over 90% of parents of toddlers spank or use other forms of corporal punishment. Although the rate declines each year from about age five, this study of a large national sample of U. S. adults found that almost half recalled having been corporally punished during their teen years.
This high prevalence indicates a need to investigate the possibility that corporal punishment puts adolescents at increased risk of developing mental health and social relationship problems later in life. The analysis, which controlled for a number of possible confounding risk factors such as low socioeconomic status, found that children who experienced corporal punishment in adolescence had an increased risk later in life of depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts, alcohol abuse, physical abuse of children, and wife beating”. “Result Filters”) Effecting a children’s social, mental, and physical lie is not worth the spanking. Parents can determine their child’s future by the discipline they give, whether it be positive or negative. In an interview that was done, one source stated that she had received corporal punishment on all degrees; verbal, physical, and emotional. She went through the motions of life and always expected the worse of every day, whether it was words that put her down or her dad beating her. She was always told how ugly she was, how she will never be anyone or go anywhere with her life.
She was bullied all the time in school because she didn’t look how everyone else looked and would come to school with bruises on her body that were visible to her peers. She grew up insecure and alone and never had many people to turn to and always felt as though she was running from people, especially her mom and dad. Corporal punishment effected her severely and is still effecting her today. In the interview that was done, she currently is using drugs and has not gone very far with her life. She makes her money by stripping and feels that she will never be good enough due to what she endured when she was a younger girl.
One good thing that she does mention that she has turned to is her faith. She said that church has brought a new light in her life and allows her to escape from reality. This goes to show that corporal punishment on all levels is damaging, no matter the severity. Another interview that was done involved a local police officer. He does not agree in corporal punishment due to the many incidents he has been called to and the lives that were severely affected or even lost due to it. He shared many cases that he witnessed.
One specifically was regarding a little 19 month old girl and her mom, but the situation went far beyond she ever thought. A neighbor called the 911 dispatch reporting a woman yelling for over 20 minutes. The police responded to the call fairly quickly and showed up to find that the mother was beating her child over and over leaving marks, bruises, cuts and blood all over her little body. She went on to share with the police that her daughter would not stop crying and she did not expect the situation to get so out of hand. The result of this turned into the girl given to foster care and now is without any parents.
The belief in spanking a child gets to the degree that damages children’s lives and leaves them hopeless or without parents, like in the little girls case. Another case that was shared from the police officer was a case he dealt with regarding a man and his 4 year old son. He shares joint custody with the mother of the child and they had made the exchange as always one afternoon. The little boy went to his moms that afternoon and shared with his mom the bad night that he had with his mean daddy the night before. Of course, that sparked questions in the mothers mind. So that evening the mother came to find bruises and lashes all over his body.
When the mother told the police, the father was then arrested and brought in for questioning. He went on to tell the police that he had a bad day at work and was really angry and his child was the only thing that helped get his anger out. He confessed of beating his child for over 30 minutes. He said the little boy wouldn’t clean up his toys. This made the father more enraged causing him to beat his little boy even harder. The child is now 8 years old and has been taken away from both parents and now is in a foster home without the care of either parent. No matter the situation in anyone’s life, corporal punishment should not be allowed.
Statistics show that corporal punishment has caused “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. ” (Holzer and Lamont). No matter how angry you are, this is no way to raise children. There are other means of effective discipline such as: time out for younger children, grounding to their rooms when they are of age, taking toys or privileges away, no television, x-box, or play time with friends just to name a few.
Corporal punishment causes permanent damage and gives young people an altered look on life. It then opens the door for them to rebel against what their parents are trying to teach them, which at the end of the day corporal punishment is not making a point regarding discipline but causing more physical, mental, emotional, and social damage rather than disciplining them successfully.
Gershoff, Elizabeth and Robert Larzelere. “Is Corporal Punishment an Effective Means of Discipline? ” Is Corporal Punishment an Effective Means of Discipline? American Psychological Association. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. Holzer, Prue and Lamont. “Corporal Punishment: Key Issues. ” Copyright 2010 Australian Institute of Family Studies. 24 October 2012. Web. 11 November 2012. Jones Family. “Is Corporal Punishment Okay? ” Personal Interview. 12 November 2012. Lewis, Shane-Henderson Police. “Is Corporal Punishment Okay? ” Personal Interview. 1 November 2012. “Result Filters. ” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U. S. National Library of Medicine. Web. 11 Nov. 2012. Smith, Jessica. “Is Corporal Punishment Okay? ” Personal Interview. 3 November 2012.