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Corporal punishment and its impact

Corporal punishment or physical punishment is a punishment that inflicts physical pain to a person. It is most often practiced on school going children especially in home and school settings. Some of the ways it is been given includes canning, pinching, spanking and paddling. There is a wrong notion among parents and many academicians about the discipline of young children. Even some of the literate parents misunderstood the difference between punishment and the discipline. They are literally different from each other in many ways. The recent trends clearly suggested that punishment is almost like an abuse that is used an instrument of expressing the anger and frustration of the parents and teachers. It has been long known that corporal punishment is trigger for a wide range of negative developmental outcomes. Irrespective of whether a child is really committed crime or innocent, the belief about correcting a student through any means of physical punishment is an absolute false perception. By this way, there are many examples where kids turned aggressive, habituated, antisocial, intellectual laggards and the list goes on. It is a clear indication of poor parenting and schooling no matter whatever the circumstances, however there are rare exceptions in which children tend to be abnormal despite almost every aspects of caretaking is fine. Let us understand the consequences of punishment and the true difference between the discipline and punishment.


Difference between the discipline and punishment

This probably the poorly addressed corner in the academics as well as domestic settings. Discipline is a constructive way of teaching children self-control, confidence, and responsibility in an empathetic, acceptable and controlled manner. The core aim of the discipline is to make him or her realize the fact about the depth of mistake and how it really impacts oneself and others. In a true sense, discipline is the controlled method of injecting guidance that improves children’s moral, emotional and physical development which can empower the children to take responsibility for themselves. As a parent or well-wisher, we need to tap the minds of the young kids in a way that , they completely realize if he or she would have committed a XYZ mistake when he grew up , how might others and the society feel about him. On the contrary, punishment is intended to take control of things in a way that threatens and demoralizes a child. It focuses on past misbehavior with little or no help to mold the character of a child. It is an irresponsible act and the statement proves to be even clearer if the child do not know about what is his or her offense.


Impact of corporal punishment

Hardly few studies argue that the punishment help in bringing some behavioral changes while the majority states that it might help to control the situation by padlocking  the innocent`s mouth.  Yet there are few research scholars who argue that every child differs, though punishing is wrong in bulk of the population, some short-term compliance can, however, be achieved with the acceptable level of punishment. Nevertheless, none of the literatures really defined what acceptable level of penalty is for a child on the account of his nuisance (I am using nuisance because crime is not an appropriate term for juveniles). Let us debate over the negative impact that the physical punishment carry on children.


  1. Effects on the Social Behavior and the character

Children suffered from intense corporal punishment can set some very bad examples as they perceive their society and life in an unusual and blizzard way. Such kids are associated with aggression, antisocial behavior against peers, siblings and sometimes on the adults. Most paradoxically, the parents or teachers have implemented a physical punishment with an intention to control the behavior but what they get back is exactly the behavior that they are less likely expected. In simple words, if you abuse them, they learn abusing others. In addition, these victims tend to be less sociable, respectful, and are least bothered about how am I supposed to be with the society and neighbors. More often than not, they set a wrong example and try to force others to follow it by stressing the fact that, his or her statement is correct.


  1. Cognitive  intellectual effects

Children’s cognitive development is the product of social interactions in and out of the family along with some genetic and physiological influences. Ones intelligence can be molded, nourished, redirected tin a bad direction, furthermore it can be completely destroyed and this is what happens when we punish children for the mistakes. Such children develops fear, anxiety, guilt, and complete misjudgment about the right and wrong of something. There are clear evidences observed in many cases that children entered bright into a school and gradually plummeted themselves due to punishment that are out of the books. Some children develop absenteeism, rudeness, lethargy as well.


  1. Physical effects

Though physical pain is intense, the resolution is quicker however, the emotional scars remain long for years as children remember the verbal insults longer than the pain they felt when a parent canned or slapped . Children attending pediatric clinics with physical abuse are often present marks over skin, cigarette burns, buckle marks over back, loss of teeth, bruises and bleeding but these are not very common.  Very rarely, kids sustain head injuries, organ injuries , fractures and some clinical complications that takes longer to treat.


  1. Emotional and moral impact

A major concern arising out of physical punishment is the disconnection or less attachment between children and their parents. Victims become stubborn, less tolerant, irritable, and negative and above all they mistake the true meaning of warmth and affection. Demoralization has a long lasting impression on the children as the consequences can surface out in their adulthood.



More than 1/3  of  the kids who suffered from corporal punishment display  undesirable behaviors and experiences with poor  moral internalization, increased child aggression, delinquency,  antisocial behavior, decreased quality of relationship between parent and child, decreased mental health, increased risk for being subjected to adult aggression, adult criminal and antisocial behavior.


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