Painful, brutal, and abusive are only a few words that describe corporal punishment. Living in a home with siblings or being an only child knows what it feels like to get spanked or get a “beaten” a time or two. Children get disciplined by getting spanked with his/her parent’s hand, belt, or paddle. Although that can be normal in some households, sometimes the punishment may involve kicking, shaking, or forced indigestion, such as “washing” a child’s mouth out with soap.
Although, many parents think physical punishment is effective on his/her children; it can be more abusive to the child rather than effective. Although using physical punishment on a child may stop the child from misbehaving in the moment,the long term emotional effect damages the child which can last a lifetime. The stress from the harsh punishment on a child can be very harmful during his/her younger years. Barwick states, “Moreover, harsh punishment is associated with depression and stress in adolescence, she states, and coercive parenting leads to increased feelings of helplessness and humiliation among children.
” The stress on the child is very abusive, emotionally. Any parent does not want his/her child to feel helpless, depressed, stressed, or humiliated by any other parent, so why would parents put his/her own child through the pain?
The lack of maturity also causes children to make decisions they normally would not make. Barwick also states, “…children’s brains are still developing, and misbehavior is not always intentional but linked to a lack of maturity, understanding, or impulse control.
” The brain does not fully mature till about the age of twenty five. When children are being physically punished at the age of five and sometimes when he/she is still in a diaper there is no doubt it is effecting the child emotionally. At this age the child is very immature and the misbehavior is not always meant intentionally.
On the other hand, many people believe physical discipline has a positive impact on a child and is effective rather than abusive. “Parents are not stupid, they know the difference between beating and spanking, and they do not need her to draw the line for them” (Saunders). This may be true, but in the moment when a parent is mad and the child misbehaves all of the anger built up inside of the parent can be very harmful and abusive towards the child. Many parents are not trained to correctly physically punish their child.“… an appropriate spanking is the shortest and most effective route to an attitude adjustment (Dobson). This may also be true; the attitude adjustment is only short term and the child may change his/her behavior and obedience for the moment but it is not long term. He/she may not have meant to leave those welts, bruises, or scratches on the child but that parenthas just abused their child. A news report of a man in Wyoming thought he was only disciplining his children by spanking them with a belt across the buttocks, legs, and arms, but the bruises that were left on the children left the man with time in jail and a fine. “Cheyenne police got a child welfare call from a Department of Family Services officer at Afflerbach Elementary. He has been charged with one count of child abuse: victim under 16 years old with physical injury. That carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine” (“Cheyenne man charged with child abuse, allegedly spanking with belt.”). The physical injury on a child can lead anyone to time in jail and a fine.
Even though all humans have rights what happens when one spouse hits the other spouse? If the police are called he/she can go to jail, so what is the difference in hitting a child? Many parents get away with leaving bruises, welts, and scratches on children but if a husband/wife left those marks on the husband/wifethey can be arrested and charged with assault. This is not fair to a child who can be spanked with a belt, hit, or scratched and the parent not get in trouble for being abusive towards, but if a spouse hits his/her spouse he/she can be charged with assault. Even in adults it is not an acceptable behavior to act towards each other, so it should not be acceptable for an adult to punish a child physically. In conclusion, children are being abused physically but it effects the child emotionally as well. There are more effective and safer ways to teach children acceptable behavior.