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Corporal punishment of children/Spanking: History

Debora Jones
Safe Environment Coordinator
Diocese of Fall River, MA


Did you know that discipline and punishment are two different things? Often, the words are used interchangeably, but in the world of child development, they mean different things.

Discipline is an intentional consequence, given by the parent or caretaker, for inappropriate action and designed to be a teaching moment for the child. It is not an emotional or angry reaction.

For example if a two-year-old who insists on throwing food at the table has been warned that continuing to do so will result in the food being taken away, and the child throws the food anyway, taking the food away calmly is both a logical consequence and a disciplinary action. The intent is to teach the child that throwing food is not acceptable and that there are consequences to such behavior. If the child is very young, such as the age given in this example, the parent and child can have a "snack" an hour or so later. This will still teach the child the lesson and also ensure proper nutrition.

On the other hand, if the parent were to scream and hit the child for the same behavior, that is considered punishment. It was administered by a parent who was not in control of his or her emotions and it has very little ability to teach a child about appropriate behavior. It only teaches the child to expect pain if the child throws food.

Countless other actions by a child could be substituted in this scenario, but the important issue here is the attitude and intention of the corrective action. If correction is given while the caretaker is in an emotionally reactive state and lashing out in anger, that is not discipline that teaches the difference between right and wrong. Instead, it can teach a child that yelling and hitting are appropriate behaviors.

Of greater concern is the potential for abuse in such situations. A parent's or caretaker's acting out in anger can easily escalate to hitting with an intensity that causes welts, bruising or worse, and that is reportable child abuse. Most importantly, while the physical pain will eventually heal, the emotional pain is much more difficult to overcome. If such punishment, or abuse, continues, the relationship between the parent and the child can be seriously damaged over time.

There is more than physical care involved. Since parents are the first teachers their children will know, it is parents who are the first ones to demonstrate the love of Christ to their children.

Unlike Jesus, however, parents are not always perfect, but they can commit to always keeping their children safe. Any parent of a baby with colic will likely agree that there are moments of extreme stress and frustration. Parents of toddlers who are testing their independence; parents of school children who want to do what their friends do, no matter how unsafe it is; and parents of defiant teenagers all know this stress too. During those times, parents need to stay in control of their tempers. If you feel like hitting your toddler, which every parent does at some point, you need to walk out of the room. If you feel like shaking a screaming baby, put the baby in the crib where there is safety and walk away until you calm down. The key is to remove yourself or the child before the situation becomes explosive.

Often parents who do abuse think that they are the only ones who get angry with their children, yet ALL parents get angry and want to react in anger. The primary difference between the parents who abuse and those who do not is the ability to remain in control.

Parents need to allow themselves a time out if needed. If there are young children involved, the only caveat is to ensure that the child is safe before walking away, which may mean placing the child in a play pen or some other place of safety while the parent has time to cool off.

There are ways to lessen pressure for any parent feeling stressed by child care. Help can come through utilizing daycare, even if just one or two days a week. Working with other parents whom you trust to form a group and share childcare, taking turns watching the children, is another. Some communities offer crisis nurseries, where parents who are in need of a break to prevent abuse can access free services within certain guidelines. In other areas, parents can identify adults whom they trust who can take the child if the parent feels as if he or she needs a break to prevent possible abuse. Certainly there is no shame in reaching out for help. The problem lies with not asking for help and abusing instead.

Good parenting calls for planning and involves thinking about calm, rational, teaching responses to a child's inappropriate behavior and mentally rehearsing using that strategy the next time the child acts out. It also means asking what you can do the next time you feel yourself getting out of control. If you have a plan in advance, then the next time you need it, you will be much more likely to respond with a plan rather than with anger.

 Doomed 1991 attempt in US congress to ban school corporal punishment at federal level.

I think that everyone is different and every case too. Peterson did what is good for his son and what he believed that is good. Nowadays, we can see many young people on the street smoking cigarettes, marihuana. Why? Because they don’t want to get any advice. Some parents don’t spend any time trying to educate their children and when someone does it. The news says that is abused why? Now we are living in a crazy world because if you do something good some people say that is not good if you do something bad that is good. Everybody has different ways to educate their children but, we should find the best way and try to not making abused. I think abuse is when parents don’t give the best education to their children and hurt so much them. In Paterson’s case I think he was very strict with his son but, he knows why did it.

Child corporal punishment: spanking History of corporal punishment

Like corporal punishment, it is a nonresolution method of dealing with differences.

But that is not how the judges saw it in . Jessica Serafin was 18 years old when she was paddled for a summer school rule violation at the School of Excellence in Education, a public charter school in San Antonio. Her hand "suffered minor, temporary injuries" when she improperly failed to keep her hands away from her bottom while being disciplined. Ms. Serafin sued. The in October 2007 that "having voluntarily chosen to attend classes after her eighteenth birthday and remain enrolled, she was not free to disregard school rules". They added that "the Texas statute governing the use of corporal punishment in schools makes no differentiation between adults and minors, stating that all students are eligible to receive corporal punishment". In 2008 the US Supreme Court .

The case of the player What Adrian Paterson did to his son moved me a lot because it shows what is happening with some parents. Last weekend in my way to work, I was running out of time, I saw a parent yelling his son and I he snapped him I try to come back but I lost them. Alike Adrian P case, It is an abuse because these parents are attempting against the welfare of the child. These children feel pain in their bodies and their souls, it sounds rare, but they accumulate the anger and take it out when they become adults. Some these children channel the aggression in good ways, like sports like football, boxing, but still their pain are there, it is the case of Adrian P. He is repeating same patron, showing his anger, unfortunately other offended children become a problem, they need a lot help. So in order to avoid this as parents we have to analyze what are ours injures, and how it is affecting our interaction with our children, we have to clarify the importance of the boundaries, we are their parents but not own their lives. The respect for their rights is very important. We should be examples for them. In my culture my mother hurt me a lot but I worked in it, and I am checking my relationship permanently, in this way I prevent myself of been an abuser.

Corporal punishment/spanking of children: Legal status

Would have required the state to adopt rules governing corporal punishment in schools. Died in committee (2000).

"Corporal punishments always figure prominently in the roots of adolescent and adult aggressiveness, especially in those manifestations that take antisocial form, such as delinquency and criminality. Assaults upon children by adults in the name of discipline are the primary familial models for aggression, assaults, and other forms of antisocial behavior, delinquency, and crime that emerge when children grow up."

What is child abuse? Child abuse means the physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment of children. There are two sorts of child abuse, sexual and physical abuse, it is a universally known fact that sexual abuse is completely wrong, and there is no other prospect to view the matter, it was is and will always be considered a “SIN”. However, do people share the same prospect on physical abuse on children? When the issue of physical abuse is mentioned I lean towards Corporal Punishments. Corporal punishment takes many form, including spanking, shaking, choking. Parents/Guardians believe that punishing there child severely is the only method of correcting them. I would like to tell people the truth of the story, which is that corporal punishment, is not an appropriate method of correcting children.

Text of 1986 legislation making corporal punishment illegal in public (but not private) schools in California.
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Corporal punishment in US schools

Many people, even within the USA, think corporal punishment ("CP") has long disappeared from all American public schools. This is not so.

Argumentative Essay-Final Draft | Corporal Punishment …

We were wrong. It seems that came along instead. However, concern about corporal punishment does seem to be increasing slowly as more people become aware of the links between corporal punishment and youth rage, youth criminal acts, adult alcoholism and abuse of other drugs, adult clinical depression, adult clinical anxiety, etc.

Argumentative Essay against Corporal Punishment - …

"... a parent has the right to reasonably discipline a child by physical punishment and may administer reasonable punishment without being liable for battery. In order to be considered disciplinary the punishment must:"

Argumentative Essay Against Corporal Punishment ..

It is ineffective: Spanking a child will stop the child from misbehaving for the moment, but studies have shown that the child's compliance will only last for a short time; corporal punishment actually increases the child's non-compliant behavior in the future. Psychologist H. Stephen Glenn said

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