Corporal Punishment

March 9, 2012
It is little known that it is legal to physically enforce corporal punishment at school in 19 states. In Texas about 1.1% of all students have been physically struck by an educator, that’s about 50,000 students. When adults use corporal punishment on kids, are they crossing the line between good parenting and child abuse? Some people say that in order for kids to learn to behave well and learn respect at an early age one needs to enforce corporal punishment. Should adults spank or slap their kids? What if their kids truly deserved it?

I was raised in a family where my parents did use spanking, which really was one “pop” on the butt, if I misbehaved or did something terrible. Since I was raised in this environment you may think my view on this is bias. I must say that I agree with my parents, we need to teach our children what is right and what is wrong at an early age. If, and only if, nothing else is working, then there may be a need to use corporal punishment. Studies show that corporal punishment is a short-term reminder that the child should not do or do something in particular. I must clarify that I agree with having to “pop” the child’s butt, but never while being angry, as that may result in hurting the child rather that simply teaching a lesson. A child is likely to stop the behavior that caused the spanking right away; if that is not working, then maybe the problem isn’t the child’s behavior, but the parenting style.

The cons of corporal punishment have a longer list than the pros, because in today’s society people want to “protect” kids. Sometimes corporal punishment can lead to long-term psychological problems. People don’t want to enforce this, because they are afraid that when their kids grow up they will feel the need to abuse people as they had been “abused” during their childhood. Many parents often get carried away with corporal punishment, which then turns into child abuse. Child abuse can come in many forms; it’s not always physical. Child abuse includes neglecting, not taking them to any type of medical check ups, and not feeding them. As far as using corporal punishment in the schools, is not very effective, as it is the same kids that keep getting disciplined that way; and it is the same kids that end up getting in bigger trouble.

I personally feel that in today’s society we treat our kids as if they are going to be released out into a perfect world. Parents are trying to protect their kids by trying to be their best friend instead of doing their job and parenting them. When kids have been raised in a family that uses corporal punishment, they are more likely to succeed in the real world when they are adults. They are successful because they are disciplined and know right from wrong more thoroughly than people who weren’t raised with corporal punishment. Kids know when they are being punished because of bad behavior, and also when they are simply beaten because their parent is having a bad day.

Corporal punishment is very effective when used with good parenting in mind, but the outcome of how the children will be affected in adulthood may vary depending on each family’s situation. I believe that if a parent does not have a good reason to spank their child then it is called child abuse. This topic will never be settled, there will always be people who are in favor and those who will disagree, but I will stick with the old fashioned way of raising kids; using corporal punishment only as a last resort.

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