Social and Cultural Background of the Debate
Physical punishment of youngsters has been part of human life for as long as people have lived. It is prevalent all over the globe making its prohibition highly unlikely since many parents believe that it is the appropriate way to discipline kids. Debate over the use of corporate punishment reveals to sides to the coin with people saying it is an effective way to educate the child while others attribute it to a vast range of adverse developmental factors. The method is commonly practiced across various cultures for different reasons. For instance, studies indicate that parents are driven by distinct elements within themselves or in their children to execute the physical punishment. Some factors include traditions, age, religion, sex, community, legislation, family structure, etc. The punishment is a behavioral manifestation of the psychological, social, and cultural relations between adults and children. Many countries have banned corporal punishment viewing it as a form of abuse while others hold on to the belief that it is a reasonable form of chastisement. Nations such as Iran, Palestine, and Kuwait consider any issues related to the households as private matters; hence, the state cannot interfere. The United States is also in a dilemma as to whether to declare the act illegal or not based on the perceptions of the contemporary society. This essay presents arguments for both sides and a reflective stance regarding the best alternative.
Conceptual Arguments for the Side
Every human being deserves to have a right of his or her physical integrity, and that includes children. The kids preserve the elements that they obtain or experience in the childhood. Therefore, hitting the child would automatically mean that he or she will also become a hitter. Extensive proof indicates a correlation between physical punishment and violent or aggressive behavior in the adult or teenage years. Virtually, most dangerous criminals were punished or threatened in the childhood. Nature plans that the youngsters learn the behaviors and attitudes by imitating or mirroring the actions of their parents whether ill or good. Hence, it is the role of the guardians to set appropriate examples of wisdom and empathy (Gershoff, 134).
In many situations, the bad behavior that makes the parents punish their kids is a response that is defined by the child’s experiences and age. Some youngsters feel that their basic requirements have been neglected especially during this era where either parents or too busy working to monitor or care for them. Therefore, corporal punishment for the actions that are drawn from neglect is unjust. Lastly, the beating distracts the kids from learning suitable ways to resolve conflict in a humane and effective manner. The educator, John Holt once said that the moment a teacher makes a child afraid, learning comes to a halt. The young one becomes preoccupied with emotions of anger and revenge fantasies. The child will learn little about solving similar situations in the future (Straus & Stewart, 55).
Conceptual Arguments against the Side
Corporal punishment is considered useful for disciplining the unruly kids. In the “uncivilized” period children were respectful. Whipping them produced good men and women who would not talk back to their elders or assault other people. Today, in the so called civilized era, assault is the order of the day as the unruly youngsters commandeer their seniors and use foul language. Such children deserve physical punishment since education, and words of advice do not seem to bear fruit. The overwhelming argument that corporal discipline should be made illegal is that it is a form of abuse against the youngsters. The fact that several parents inflict the punishment in an abusive form should not result in the conclusion that it should not be administered to anyone. If it were pictured as an abusive technique then it would mean, for instance, that the consumption of alcohol before driving regardless of the amount is illegal as well (Zolotor, et.al, 59)
It is essential to notice that there are two classes of parents: those who administer the punishment in moderation and those who do it excessively. Hence, it is not right to condemn the act based on the actions of a few people. Also, from the argument that corporal punishment can inhibit the development or the behavior of the child, people must be aware that it is not the only form of discipline (Zolotor, et.al, 59). Other punishments such as rehabilitation in children facilities or timeouts can also lower an individual’s standing even more that physical discipline and they do not receive the same amount of condemnation.
The interactions and relationships between kids and their parents can reflect support, nurturing, respect, and love. Often, adults’ control and dominance characterize the relations creating dependency amongst the children. The relationships that are based physical coercion, dominance, and power have often been challenged, but they have continued to exist as a form of normalcy. Physical punishment is a type of parental control that instills fear and other psychological defects in the kids. For the sociological risks, it possesses on the growth and development of the child it should be made illegal in the US (Gershoff, 136).
Despite the arguments against its illegality presenting concrete cases as to why people should preserve the discipline, the advantages of banning the practices outweigh any disadvantages provided (Straus & Stewart, 61). Children should not learn how to show respect through the use of violence because they will enforce the same strategies towards their peers and society. It is time to change the old assumption that sparing the rod spoils the youngsters to sparing the rod embraces humanity.
Gershoff, E. T. Spanking and Child Development: We Know Enough Now to Stop Hitting Our Children. Child Development Perspectives, 7(3), 133-137, 2013. doi:10.1111/cdep.12038.
Straus, M. A., & Stewart, J. H. Corporal punishment by American parents: national data on prevalence, chronicity, severity, and duration, in relation to child and family characteristics. Clinical Child And Family Psychology Review, 2(2),a 55-70, 1999.
Zolotor, A. J., Theodore, A. D., Runyan, D. K., Chang, J. J., & Laskey, A. L. Corporal punishment and physical abuse: population-based trends for three-to-11-year-old children in the United States. Child Abuse Review, 20(1), 57- 66,2011doi:10.1002/car.1128