Wentai | 3

Instructor Shipman


30June 2015

Corporal Punishment: A Failing Education Approach

Children are the most beautiful gift that God gives to humans.Watching them as they grow is an enjoyable process, and every parentwants his or her child develop healthily as well as happily. However,provision of education to children is a difficult task. Youths haveirrational behavior that makes it hard to address their conductthrough verbal education. According to the article “A systematicreview of effective interventions for reducing multiple health riskbehaviors in adolescence,” when they reach adolescence andadulthood ages, they become rebellious and unreasonable (Hale 30). Insuch instances, parents quickly lose patience and prefer to usecorporal punishment to the verbal discussion. As Clay Jones notes,“In the US, corporal punishment is legal at home in all states aswell as, 80% of young children and more than half of kids through age13-14 years are disciplined by caregivers with physical punishmentseveral times each year” (Clay). Also, many criminals in the UnitedStates of America also get the sentence. The subject is verycontroversial to both opposers and proponents therefore, it providesa valid premise for each party to support its cause. However, in the21st century, the method is an archaic approach to deliveringjustice.

Corporal punishment warns children that their bad conduct will leadto awful consequences. As such, it offers an immediate solution toaddress undesirable behavior on the target subjects (Mortorano 490).At the same time, it is an effective and convenient way to helpparents build their authority at home (Hicks-Pass 79). Since manyguardians do not want to give up the use of corporal punishment, itis still legal in some states (Clay). However, the damage to childrenoutweighs the benefits since it causes temporary pain in the body aswell as long-term damage to children’s mind. Physical pain is easyto recover, but the emotional injury is long lasting. In addition,corporal punishment can easily turn into child abuse because thecorrect force is very hard to control. On the same note, childrensubmit to force on many occasions, but they do not realize theirmistakes and correct them (Mortorano). Consequently, the method is afailing education approach. Parents should support the ban oncorporal punishment at home to protect children and reduce the chanceof child abuse.

The punishment causes long-term emotional damage to children which isvery hard to reverse. According to Rochman’s article, SavannahHardin, a bright, lively and blithe child from Alabama, he becamefearful and depressed after experiencing serious corporal punishmentfrom his stepmother. For most children when spanked by their parents,they strongly feel what they do is totally wrong and isolatethemselves. According to Schrock, “Psychologist Sandra A.Graham-Berman of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor indicatesthat the group of 15 experts in child development and psychologyfound correlations between physical punishment and an increase inchildhood anxiety and depression, an increase in behavioral problems,including aggression, and impaired cognitive development ”(Schrock).A lighthearted environment is important for children. Grownups whosechildhood is dominated by corporal punishment are lackself-confidence when meeting with strangers. In addition, they resisttalking with others as well as have few friends. If parents wanttheir children to develop a healthy character, they should not usecorporal punishment to educate their children.

Children can inherit the corporal punishment mentality in addition tothe long-term damage it causes on their emotions when they grow up.Subsequently, they prefer to use physical violence to negotiation astheir primary strategy to achieve peace. As shown in the article“Construction Play and Cognitive Skills Associated with theDevelopment of Mathematical Abilities In 7-Year-Old Children,”children do not have the ability to judge between the wrong andright. Instead, they have a strong imitative ability that is highlyinfluenced by the frequent contact with their parents who are theirprimary model (Nath and Szücs 74). In addition, parents’ behaviordeeply influences their young ones. If parents use corporalpunishment regularly, their children will imitate the vice. Accordingto a recent research by Simons, “The majority (87%) of children whowere victims of corporal punishment during their childhood are likelyto spank their children 63% of the children who were frequentlyspanked (high spanking) were willing to hit a peer during a conflictin comparison to 12% children who were spanked less frequently (lowspanking).” When asked those children who hit other children whythey used violence, they said they did not think violence was badthey just imitated their parents’ behavior (Simons 640). So we cansee, if parents often use corporal punishment their children wouldunconsciously develop the concept that violence is good and imitateit. Therefore, to avoid children becoming violent and physicallyabusive after they grow up, parents should give up the use ofcorporal punishment and set a positive example by nonviolentbehaviors at home.

In the recent years, several news reports have emerged that corporalpunishment has resulted in damage and even death to children. Thereis no doubt that parents do not want their children to get hurt, butthe physical force is extremely difficult to control and may causeserious injuries to children. The punishment theory justifies thedeath sentence (Bohm 6). The essay will approach the subject with theidea of dignity, decency and civilization. The three aspects willshow that subjecting individuals to death punishment reduces them toobjects that are at the mercy of their government (Laskowska 7). Ifthe society upholds and appreciates the role of the correctionalsystem, then it should abolish death punishment in the penal code. Atthe same time, Eckholm argues that most parents regret using physicalpunishment since most of them use excess force. Consequently, casesof children succumbing to corporal punishment at home are frequent(Eckholm). Many parents are overconfident about their ability tocontrol the force of corporal punishment and never consider it as acause of serious side effects. However, there is no scientific wayparents can tell what is the correct “amount” of force forcorporal punishment. It is obvious that while using the strategy, itis very easy to lose control. Although the reported cases of seriousaccidents are rare, no one can promise that the disasters would neverhappen to their families. When the accidents happen, the damage cannever be undone. Corporal punishment causes physical and mentalinjury to people and it should be abolished. It is within the laws ofmany states to protect the lives of citizens by all means. Anyefforts deemed as harmful to the life of human beings by anygovernment faces a lot of counter measures. For example, deathpunishment is unacceptable. The government contradicts this mandateby implementing the death sentence through its legal institutions. Itis an indirect assertion that individuals subjected to deathpunishment are beyond rehabilitation, and the best way to deal withthem is isolating them from the society through death. So parentsshould not use corporal punishment any more to prevent the accidentsfrom reoccurring.

It is difficult to distinguish child abuse from corporal punishmentexcept for the serious injuries the former causes. Child abuse canhappen under the name of corporal punishment. According to thearticle “Parental Attitude: A Mediating Role in DisciplinaryMethods Used by Parents,” over 70% child abuse cases happen insingle parent families because the guardians use the punishment as ameans to relieve personal stress (Juby 520). Since corporalpunishment is legal at home, child abuse happens under the cover ofcorporal punishment. As described in the article, “A Girl isPunished to Death in Alabama: Does Running Count as CorporalPunishment,” Savannah Hardin’s death was caused by herstepmother’s frequent corporal punishment and such accidents arepreventable if corporal punishment is illegal (Rochman). Therefore,we can see, corporal punishment provides an excuse for child abuse.In fact, it can easily cross the line to child abuse. To preventchild abuse at home, parents should support the abolishment ofcorporal punishment.

The disadvantages of corporal punishment are obvious, but manyparents still support corporal punishment because they believe it hasan immediate effect on solving children’s bad behavior (Hicks-Pass79). Although the correctional strategy makes most children correcttheir behavior immediately, it does not emphasize on helping them torealize their mistakes and learn a lesson. According to Mortorano,many victims only recall their tears, their parents’ angry face andthe feeling of being spanked (481). However, they also stated clearlythat they could not recall the cause of spanking (Mortorano 481).Subsequently, the research proves that corporal punishment justprovides a temporary solution for correction of children’s badbehaviors. Besides, it is hard to make them realize their mistakesthrough physical pain induction. Instead, it may cause an oppositeeffect on children as they enter into adolescence stage from ageseven to fourteen years respectively because their behaviors becomemore rebellious (Antonia). If parents just use corporal punishment toeducate their children at this period, they usually continue theirbad behavior at a more intense level than before (Antonia). Theresults clearly prove that corporal punishment is not effective andcould even be counterproductive into adolescents’ education.Subsequently, the corporal punishment just achieves a temporaryeffect in educating children because they just submit to force onmany occasions. It is useless to make them learn a lesson that mayresult from opposite effect. Therefore, for parents corporalpunishment is a useless way of addressing misconduct of their youngones.

Another argument that supports corporal punishment at home is that ithelps parents build their parental authority at home. As described inHicks-Pass’s article, over 50% of parents hold the opinion thatcorporal punishment is a good way to maintain the parental authorityand status figure before their children (Hicks-Pass 79). However, thereality would disappoint such parents. Mortorano’s researchasserts, “Corporal punishment is incompatible with evolvingstandards of decency and violates and undermine the parental bond”(Mortorano 481). Parents want to gain respect from their childrenthrough corporal punishment however, the strategy convinces themthat their parents are unkind. In addition, the punishment makes thembelieve that parents are spanking them because they lack grace.Corporal punishment is a mean behavior. If parents want theirchildren to be sincerely convinced by the correction, they should begraceful throughout at home and refrain from using induction ofphysical pain as a correction method.

Corporal punishment is a failing education approach although it has atemporary effect on correcting children’s behavior because itcauses serious physical and emotional injuries on the targets. Thenegative effect on children’s emotion remains intact throughouttheir life. Besides, the children can inherit the vice. As a result,they may resolve to use violence after they grow up. At the sametime, it may cause heavy physical damage on children and easily turnto child abuse since the force is very hard to control. It is nodoubt that rational and patient communication with children is thebest approach for parents who love their young ones to correct theirundesirable behaviors. It is the correct way to let childrensincerely correct their behavior. Moreover, it does not destroyparental authority. On the contrary, it gains children’sappreciation and respect. Therefore, capital punishment should notfind a place in the modern society because it does not contribute tothe projected role of rehabilitation and correction. It only ends thelife of individuals and reduces the state as an organ thatcontravenes its role of protecting human life.

Works Cited

Bohm, Robert M. Deathquest: An introduction to the theory andpractice of capital punishment in the United States.New York:Routledge, 2011. Print.

Clay, Jones. “Corporal Punishment in the Home: Parenting Tool orParenting Fail.” Science-Based Medicine. Science-BasedMedicine Company, 3 Jan. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2014

Eckholm, Erik. “Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths FuelDebate.” The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 6.Nov. 2011. Web 27 Apr. 2014

Hale, Daniel R., Natasha Fitzgerald-Yau, andRussell Mark Viner. &quotA Systematic Review Of EffectiveInterventions for Reducing Multiple Health Risk Behaviors InAdolescence.&quot American JournalOf Public Health 104.5 (2014):e19-e41. Academic Search Premier.Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Han, Seunghee. &quotProbability Of Corporal Punishment: Lack OfResources And Vulnerable Students.&quot Journal Of EducationalResearch 104.6 (2011): 420-430. Academic Search Premier. Web.12 Mar. 2014.

Hicks-Pass, Stephanie. &quotCorporalPunishment In America Today: Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child? ASystematic Review Of The Literature.&quot BestPractice In Mental Health 5.2(2009): 71-88. Academic SearchPremier. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

Juby, Cindy. &quotParental Attitude: AMediating Role In Disciplinary Methods Used By Parents.&quot Child&amp Adolescent Social Work Journal26.6 (2010): 519-531. Family &ampSociety Studies Worldwide. Web. 14Mar. 2014.

Khaskia, Manar. “Scarred for Life: Identifying the Line betweenCorporal Punishment and Child Abuse.” Interpolations.AcademicWriting Program of the University of Maryland. Spring 2010 Web. 7Apr. 2014.

Laskowska, Magdalena. &quotOn Death Penalty-To Let Die or Not to LetDie?.&quot Available at SSRN 2507253 (2014).

Meltsner, Michael. Cruel and unusual: The Supreme Court andcapital punishment. Louisiana: Quid Pro Books, 2011. Print.

Mortorano, Nicole. &quotProtecting Children`sRights Inside Of The Schoolhouse Gates: Ending Corporal Punishment InSchools.&quot Georgetown Law Journal102.2 (2014): 481-518. AcademicSearch Premier. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

Nath, Swiya, and Dénes Szücs. &quotConstructionPlay And Cognitive Skills Associated With The Development OfMathematical Abilities In 7-Year-Old Children.&quot Learning&amp Instruction 32. (2014): 73-80.Academic Search Premier.Web. 27 Apr. 2014.

Rochman, Bonnie “A Girl is Punished to Death in Alabama: DoesRunning Count as Corporal Punishment?” Time. Time Inc, 24Feb. 2012 Web. 24 Feb. 2012

Schrock, Karen. “Should Parents Spank Their Kids?” ScientificAmerican. Scientific American, Jan 8, 2009. Web. 23 Apr. 2014

Simons, Dominique A., and Sandy K. Wurtele. &quotRelationshipsBetween Parents` Use Of Corporal Punishment And Their Children`sEndorsement Of Spanking And Hitting Other Children.&quot ChildAbuse &amp Neglect 34.9 (2010): 639-646. Social SciencesAbstracts (H.W. Wilson). Web. 11 Mar. 2014.