English 12 Enriched
18th of June
Means of Child Discipline:
Should Parents Use Corporal Punishment to Discipline Their Children?
Have you ever seen a child being spanked by his or her parents in the supermarkets or shopping malls because of their misconduct? Have you ever seen parents whacking or thrashing their children in the alleys due to their disobedience? If your answer is yes, have you ever considered about whether physical punishment is applicable for parents to discipline their children? Despite that to spare the rod is, traditionally, to spoil the child, the use of corporal punishment is an impracticable way for parents to perform in terms of its detrimental impact on their children, including both physical and mental problems, behavioral problems, as well as less internalization of moral norms.
It is undeniable that corporal punishment has an adverse impact on youngsters physically and mentally. Above all, in most cases, physical abuse occurs within the context of corporal punishment. According to the definition given by the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information (2000), “physical abuse is characterized by the infliction of physical injury as a result of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, rather the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment” ( qtd. in Gershoff 540). It can be proved by a national study of child maltreatment in 1998 in Canada, which gives a breakdown of different categories of physical abuse, including shaken baby syndrome, inappropriate punishment, and other forms of abuse ( Trocmé and Wolfe 13). There were 69% of substantiated cases involving inappropriate punishment inside the range of corporal punishment such as, “hitting with hand or object” while only 31% of substantiated investigations contained other more serious forms of physical abuse, like “burning a child or hitting the child with a fist”. Therefore, given the statistical data, it clearly conveys that physical abuse is more likely to become potential outcome of over-discipline that results in physical harm to youngsters. Furthermore, corporal punishment is also a risk factor of impaired mental health.
Considering the data from the National Epidemiologic Survey in the years of 2004 and 2005, which was published by American Academy of Pediatrics, it confirms that children who were physically punished have more tendency to different sorts of mental disorders, like “major depression”, “any mood disorder” and “general anxiety disorder” than those who do not suffer from physical discipline. One of the victims of physical punishment, Kathy Darbyshire, whose father hit her almost everyday in her childhood, suffered from insomnia due to her extreme anxiety, which resulted in her multiple times of suicide attempts. In a recent interview, she says, “I was afraid all the time. I was lonely and I was angry. I had no self-esteem. I thought I was nothing. I still don’t think much of myself,” (consumer.healthday.com). It can be concluded that physical discipline brings about fear, resentment and pain, which are the great contributors of various mental problems. Hence, body injury and psychological problems, which are considerably harmful to youngsters, are the inevitable results of corporal punishmen