Free Essay Discussing on the Theme of Physical Punishment

Published: 2022-07-19
Free Essay Discussing on the Theme of Physical Punishment
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Punishment Parenting Child abuse
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1688 words
15 min read

Physical punishment is the act of intentionally inflicting pain on a child to correct them for a mistake that they have committed (hordes and Borg 2014). This act can be done by a parent, guardian or senior member to the child. There are many methods in which physical punishment can be carried out to yield the required effect. In America, spanking, which entails hitting a child on the buttocks using a belt, a hand or a stick is a common practice. There are many other synonyms for this act some of which include whupping, thrashing, whipping, among others. Physical punishment is also done through other means such as twisting the ears, pinching the cheeks, placing hot sauce on a child's tongue among other methods. All this method are deemed fit for use as long as the child does not get hurt or injured in the process of executing them.

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In most countries such as Malta, physical punishment is widely frowned upon. It is only a small number of states which still have legalized physical punishment. In fact, out of the fifty countries in Europe, thirty-nine have made physical punishment illegal and very punishable by the law. The act of physical punishment is slowly reducing as parents and guardians are urged to result in other methods of correcting their children instead of inflicting pain on them especially those of a young age. It is deemed unfit to spank a child younger than three years for a mistake they do since it does not prove helpful. Though many people are taking up the trend to avoid physical punishment, there are still people who hold on to it as the best method to correct their children when they do wrong. This essay dwells majorly on the disadvantages of using physical punishment.

To begin with, physical punishment has no set limits, and the line between it and acts of violence is blurred. There is no known number of whacks that should be given to change a child's behavior for example. This makes it hard to decide whether one is punishing or violating a child's rights and freedoms. Physical punishment is also deemed an unfair method in that it is termed a criminal offense in hitting a fully grown person whereas it is okay to run a child (Borg and Hordes 2014). To know what type of punishment a child needs it is essential to consider whether there are any other methods of correcting the child.

Moreover, physical punishment has a likelihood of being passed on to generations depending on how a person's childhood was (Afifi et al. 2017). This implies that if one was severely punished as a child, there is a very high likelihood that they will also discipline their children. This is because children take up most of their character traits from the people around them. In a case where a parent was punished intensely using methods such as heavy thrashing, slapping, choking, pushing and grabbing among others in their early days, there is a very high possibility that they may tend to do the same for their children. This may result in extreme pain or injury to the child.

In addition to that, it is proven that physical punishment does not always yield the expected results. The child may show immediate obedience but later return to his unwanted behavior. In some cases, the child being disciplined does not stop the bad behavior. This prompts the parent to deliver even more physical punishment. The higher the intensity of the punishment, the closer it comes to becoming a violation of human rights. It most likely ends with the child getting hurt. It also breaks the amount of trust that a kid has on their parents if they keep on punishing them severely.

Furthermore, physical punishment leads to the development of antisocial behavior in children (Fellimet et al. 2013). The children tend to fear people around them and avoid instances in which they interact a lot with their peers. The children tend to fear instead of love their parents as they view them as a source of pain in their life instead of seeing them as a source of guidance. The acts of the parents when disciplining their children should be highly considered depending on the child's initial temperament (Gershoff 2002). There are children with very mild temperament, and they change a lot on minimal physical provocation. They should be given minor punishment to change their bad character traits, unlike their counterparts whose temperament is steady.

Besides that, physical punishment leads to the development of a violent society where each member of the community thinks that the best method to resolve conflict is through fights and other physical methods. Research shows that if a person was brought in a physically punishing society, they tend to continue with the habit. Researchers revealed that people who have had previous experience with lousy punishment methods such as chocking see it as a rational act and even practice it. The result of such an upbringing is the overall increase in violent societies.

On top of that, physical punishment is not all tender as the adults phrase it as. According to experts, it is wiser to consider what the kid thinks about the method of punishment being used to correct them. When asked what they thought of this method, most of them complained that the method was painful and did not like it at all. This is an excellent opposite to what people think of as tender punishment. It creates a very indelible mark on the child's mind whenever they are punished. It hurts both their body and their feelings too.

Due to continuous debates throughout the United States, two researchers names Larzelere and Kuhn found that a spank to children may not be all useful as most of the time it would not affect. They found out that spanking, whether on the face or the back may also lead to aggressive behavior among children of very young age. The children under study were not as kind as those who grew up without physical punishment as they interacted with their peers. They seemed to quarrel a lot and were easily annoyed (Gershof and Grogan 2013). All the above statements show the risks of using physical punishment as a method of training a child.

In conclusion, Physical punishment may be used as a vent to let go of a parents' or guardians anger. Some of the parents will beat up their children when they are angry or sad at issues that are not even related to the child. This serves to push the child away as it shows them how cruel their parent is. At such an instance, it is probable that physical punishment may cross over to violence as the parent is not punishing to correct the kid but uses the opportunity as a means to let go of previous burdens and anger. The mood of the parent matters a lot especially during punishment as it is when the child observes and receives lessons from their parent. Wrong punishment could create an impression that they are not as loved as other siblings.

The topic of physical punishment has been an issue that has been discussed a lot in the past years. Over time, the use of this method is significantly reducing as the people take into account the other child-friendly means to pass on crucial life lessons to children. People visit doctors and other specialists to ask about the different expectations they should have as their children grow up to find the proper method to pass information to them as they undergo different life stages. The results of having such developments are very evident in the modern society. There is reduced aggressiveness, fewer cases of antisocial behavior, more natural ways to pass information, fewer cases of corporal punishment among others.

The use of other disciplinary measures is a welcome respite to the society today. However, some disadvantages come with it too. In recent years there has been an increase in the rate that children disrespect their parents. Unlike early times when the parent's orders were followed to the latter, today's' children seem to follow their instinct instead of what their parents ask them to do. This makes it especially hard for the parents to mold their children into what they would wish them to be.

Furthermore, it reduces the amount of control that a parent has the home. Children negatively take advantage of the law by even taking their parents to court when issues concerning them are not addressed well by the parent or guardian. This puts many parents at the mercy of fate when deciding what to do to ensure their children become responsible adults. The banning of physical punishment has caused some of the parents to lose their children to drugs and other social evils ( Baumrind 2012). This is because the children could not be controlled by their parents, but they followed the advice of peers who had earlier experience in such social evils.

The banning of spanking has both positive and negative outcomes in our modern day society. It is however evident that the positive outcomes outweigh the negative ones. Due to this fact, it is crucial to accept the change and, embrace it in the best manner possible. The come up of better methods to teach a child has led to more improvement, and it is up to the parents to use this method before resulting in physical methods which may cause harm to the children involved.

Works cited

"Editorial Board". Vol 156, no. 5, 2015, pp. 2C-2C. The Endocrine Society, doi:10.1210/endo.2015.156.issue-5.edboard.

Freeman, Michael, and Bernadette J. Saunders. "Can We Conquer Child Abuse If We Don'T Outlaw Physical Chastisement Of Children?". The International Journal Of Children's Rights, vol 22, no. 4, 2014, pp. 681-709. Brill Academic Publishers, doi:10.1163/15718182-02204002.

Miller-Perrin, Cindy, and Robin Perrin. Physical Punishment Of Children By US Parents: Moving Beyond Debate To Promote Children'S Health And Well-Being. 2018. Accessed 23 Sept 2018.

"Prevalence, Societal Causes, And Trends In Corporal Punishment By Pare" By Murray A. Straus". Scholarship.Law.Duke.Edu, 2018, Accessed 23 Sept 2018.

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