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Spanking Essay

1241 words - 5 pages

The Effects of Corporal Punishment by Brenlee Robinson Corporal punishment is a punitive act that inflicts pain. This includes hitting, slapping, spanking, or forcing a child to maintain an uncomfortable position. American data suggests that 93% to 97% of children have been spanked. The use of corporal punishment declines as children reach adolescence, to a reported 52%.Frequently a punishment has more to do with a parent's frustration level than with the child's misbehaviour. Many cases of child abuse result from an escalation of "low level" hitting or spanking.The CWLC and other organizations have policies opposing the use of corporal punishment. Many child advocates are against corporal ...view middle of the document...

Corporal punishment has been associated with a variety of psychological and behavioral disorders of children and adults, including anxiety, alcohol abuse, depression, withdrawal, low self-esteem, impulsiveness, delinquency and substance abuse.The Emotional Climate It has been suggested that mild physical punishment will have a minimal effect on aggression and delinquency if the punishment is administered in an atmosphere of warmth, reasoning,and acceptance. However, studies indicate that few children are spanked in this type of rational and warm emotional environment. Punishment is usually administered in the heat of the moment, when anger is the strongest emotional influence.Children tend to perceive corporal punishments administered in anger as rejection by the punisher--usually a parent or other person important to the child. The strength of this perception is determined by the severity and frequency of punishments received. The more rejected children feel, the more impaired their psychological adjustment tends to be. Perceived rejection and physical punishment each negatively effect the child's emotional and psychological development. Together, the effects are compounded.Corporal punishment is usually predicated by a parent's frustration level, rather than by the child's misbehaviour. Most physical punishments are imposed on children to "teach them a lesson," and are usually in response to a perceived misbehaviour. These punishments do teach lessons--but not the intended ones.Corporal punishments teach children to consider consequences of their actions in terms of what will or won't "earn" them a punishment. They are usually not taught to consider others or the consequences of their acts on others. This is a superficial morality, based on the probability of getting caught. There is no development of moral judgment or self-control. When children are physically punished by adults, they are shown that one need not consider the well-being of others. This modelling of violence may be the most damaging effect of all.Natural vs. Artificial Consequences The consequences of a child staying up past bedtime may include not getting up on time the next day, being tired and cranky, and/or missing the school bus. The natural consequence is what occurs without intervention. When children are helped to recognize the natural consequences of their actions, they can learn to predict these consequences and develop their own judgment based on real situations.A punishment is an...

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