Why do we insist on passing the pain of corporal punishment to the most vulnerable of our society? Corporal punishment is infliction on one’s body. The problem is deep and serious. As part of their daily lives, children all over the world are spanked, slapped, hit, smacked, shaken, kicked, pinched, punched, caned, flogged, belted, beaten and battered by the parents whom they trust the most. Corporal punishment is a negative reinforcement that affects children negatively. Corporal punishment should be considered illegal because corporal punishment can irreparably damage a child’s psyche through damage of trust, aggressive behavior, and violating the right to security of the child.
Large spoons, belts, shovels, and ordinary household items become instruments of torture. Typically, parents define corporal punishment as “tough love”, but that is not the case, resulting in a damage of trust between the parent and child. “Weapons leave marks on tender body parts. When we fold and use our fist, it can break a bone, dislocate a joint, but most importantly break trust. We must stop the ravages of corporal punishment.”(Gordania) If we can not claim corporal punishment is abuse, then we can not regret it and if we can not regret it, then we will pass it on to the most vulnerable. Children often hear, “I’m beating you for your own good” or “This hurts me more than it hurts you” but this is one of the living lies that we have been fed and has continuously been repeated. A lie becomes truth when continuously repeated. Society must stop repeating this lie. How can the one beating on you be more hurt than being beat with the object deriving from rage and fury?
Physical punishment can work momentarily to stop problematic behavior because children are afraid of being hit, but it doesn’t work in the long term and can make children more aggressive. “The message sent to children through corporal punishment is one of aggression. It includes repeatedly telling a child that he is worthless, useless, unloved or unwanted, and threatening to use physical or psychological violence on him. This message of aggression, more than the actual physical punishment, has an important effect on a child’s psychological health later in life.” (Soh) It’s ironic to use physical punishment to teach a child not to be aggressive. Physical punishment usually occurs with psychological aggression. If this continues, over time the child may embody a message of violence and grow up believing that physical aggression is okay in certain social situations. A child who learns that violence is the solution to problems will begin to use violence to solve their own problems. Teaching that any form of violence is every okay can cause major problems with children as they get older.
When we speak up against corporal punishment we are faced with trends of ignorance and the status quo of raising children. When we dare to continue, we are faced with ferocious undertow scald tradition, culture, and norms. Three silent killers that are at work every minute of every day in every country on the globe. According to … supporters of corporal punishment argue that parents have the right to discipline their child and rely on bible verses to justify the practice. “There are references to corporal punishment in the Bible, suggesting that it is the only way to raise a truly Christian child. Whether it is practiced by a parent or a teacher, corporal punishment is one of the best ways to teach children right from wrong and establish authority over them.” () Although this may seem justifiable, there is absolutely no good reason for a parent to physically punish their child when there are more effective methods that will not impact their child psychologically. Parents who thoroughly review mistakes and effectively explain how to correct mistakes that occur will continue to maintain a healthy relationship with their child.
Corporal punishment violates the right to security for children. Our children are already vulnerable, we must not alter their safety. “On the international front, physical discipline is increasingly being viewed as a violation of children’s human rights. According to … Children are not any more “half” persons with a limited number of rights. “The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a directive in 2006 calling physical punishment “legalized violence against children” that should be eliminated in all settings through “legislative, administrative, social and educational measures.” (Smith) The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child internationally recognized human rights to freedom from cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment, and freedom from physical violence. The right not to be hit is a children’s right! Corporal punishment violates a child’s physical integrity, demonstrating disrespect for human dignity and undermining self-esteem.
Many individuals tend to overlook the impact of corporal punishment because it has been passed down for generations, but this method of punishment is affecting our children negatively. We must rise above these generational trends and stand up for the well-being of children by teaching right from wrong through effective discipline. We must remember that discipline teaches, and abuse destroys. We must not confuse or forget this.
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