discipline and punishment

I realize this is late, I thought the due date was next Sunday.

Until recently, I always thought that spanking or any form of physical punishment was considered abuse and illegal. A couple of months ago, I came across this article about some reality television show about how “Kate” spanked her child on television. Immediately I thought that she was incredibly stupid and will probably have her child taken away from her and her show stopped but instead her show continued on and she was interviewed for her parenting style and why she chose to spank her child. I didn’t understand why her children weren’t taken away from her. Any form of violence towards a child or any other human being is outlawed but why was spanking permitted? Is spanking not a violent and abusive act?

As we learned in class, it turns out that certain forms of physical punishment are permited. They are required to be open-handed slaps and only used on children ages 2 to 6; there can be no sign of injury or bruising. Any closed fisted hits, kicking, punching, burning, or harm towards children younger than two is considered abuse. To me, this is ridiculous. This sends the messages that physical punishment is okay as long as you can get away with it by not showing any evidence such as bruising. Not to mention, it also teaches violence. Parents are models for children and they learn how to manage their emotions by watching their parents; so if mom hits child when child was misbehaving in some way that doesn’t suit mom, then child will apply that to similar situations when the child doesn’t get his way.  The physical punishment that the parents thought would teach the child or cause fear in the child to prevent the misbehavior ends up teaching the child more about the consequences of physical pain and abuse than what they did wrong. It should be illegal and not permitted, but instead of taking children away from the parents, we need parenting classes to help teach parents better ways to deal with their children. Physical punishment should not be the last resort, it shouldn’t be an option at all.

kathy phan


~ by phankathy on December 15, 2009.

One Response to “discipline and punishment”

  1. I like and agree with your suggestion about offering classes to parents to teach them alternatives to physical abuse.

    Tracy Hubertz

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