The Effects Of Physical Punishment On Children Essay

The Effects Of Physical Punishment On Children Essay

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“As they watched me pick, sweep, and mop [spilled orange juice and broken glass shards], I understood how parents could hit their kids” (Berger, 2014). In a heated moment of frustration or all out anger, parents often forget, or perhaps have never considered, the developmental impact words and actions have on their children. Physical punishment such as spanking is a quick action to temporarily cease whatever unfavorable behavior a child is displaying. Psychological control serves to recruit a child’s emotions, both positive and negative, to render a favorable behavioral outcome. Social exclusion, or “time out,” is a tool usually intended to provide a child time to reflect on their inappropriate behavior. Each form of discipline has some effect in modifying behavior in children, but the short-term results may or may not be in the best interest of a child’s long-term development. The thought processes in a parent concerning discipline must be aimed toward the goal of bringing the child to a state of self-discipline. However, reaching this goal may seem unobtainable depending on the child. Given the potential for developmental chaos, parents must consider how various forms of discipline affect cognitive, emotional, and social development in their pre-adolescent child.
Physical (Corporal) Punishment
Straus and Paschall (2009) defined corporal punishment as “an act carried out with the intention of causing a child to experience physical pain, but not injury, for purposes of correction or control (pp. 459).” This form of physical punishment ranges from a swift swat on the hand to spanking the rear end with a belt, stick, or other object. Sometimes such punishment reaches to more extreme levels involving actual physical abuse. Any liber...

... middle of paper ...

...should the parent follow up?
“The well-disciplined child is created when parents appropriate fulfill the needs of childhood and adolescence” (Haiman, 2015). Parenting comes with no certain, complete, or simple job description. Unfortunately, children still do not come with a comprehensive instructional manual. Disciplining children requires consistency, incredible patience, and familiarity with a child’s personality and learning style. Disciplinary techniques such as corporal punishment, psychological control, and social exclusion may work for some children, but may manifest long-lasting, irreversible developmental impact in others. Aside from being in tune with their child’s individual needs, parents must carefully examine the possible side effects of these commonly used behavior modification tools, enabling them to make informed disciplinary decisions.

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