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Is corporal punishment okay?

By admin
20 October 2013

Discipline can be maintained in families without physical punishment. Parents can effectively discipline their children without inflicting physical pain on them or being threatened about children’s rights. It is necessary to understand the difference between discipline, corporal punishment and spanking.

1. Discipline. This means teaching and learning. In the family system, discipline means teaching your children to learn by personal example, directed practice and verbal explanation. This should teach the child values of sound judgement, responsibility, personal courage, self-control and dignity. Discipline involves teaching your child wrong from right, how to respect the rights of others, and what is acceptable and what is not. The goal of discipline is to help develop a child who feels secure and loved.

2. Corporal punishment. This is an intentional infliction of pain on the body for the purpose of punishing or controlling the behaviour. It includes slapping, spanking, hitting with an object, pinching and shaking.

3. Spanking. Hitting with the flat of the hand, usually on the buttocks, for punishment or to stop bad behaviour.

As parents, we have to ask ourselves what is the best measure to take when our children misbehave: 1, 2 or 3? In most cases when we use 2 or 3, we are not disciplining our children. Instead, we might cause fear and hatred in them.   So we must ask how we can practise discipline without making our children scared, but with appreciation and love. It is a fact that even a well-behaved child does not always cooperate. We need to understand that discipline is about talking to your children and not inflicting pain.