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Children Discipline And Physical Punishment Essay

1046 words - 4 pages

One of the major problems many parents have to face while rearing their children is the method of discipline they can use to teach the children how to behave. Since most parents today were disciplined with physical punishment when they were children, it is the common belief that that is the method that should be used.This paper will present the definition of the word discipline, discipline and physical punishment, the negative effects of physical punishment and some alternatives to physical discipline when disciplining the children.What is Discipline?First of all, it is important to define the word discipline, so that we can understand its relationship with any method of discipline, especially physical punishment.Usually discipline is thought of in very negative concepts. In fact, many people cannot hear the word "discipline" without hearing something negative, so sometimes it is better to use the words "training" or "correction."The root word of discipline is disciple (a student, a learner).When you discipline your children, you are making disciples. Discipline is defined as training that develops self-control (Guernsey, 1984).Discipline and Physical PunishmentMost people, when they hear the word "discipline" the first thing that comes to their mind is "punishment". But there is a big difference between discipline and physical punishment.What's the difference? As stated earlier, the root word of discipline is disciple and means learner. In contrast, punishment implies getting even, retaliation, vengeance, and exacting a penalty.The difference between punishment and discipline is clearly seen in their purpose, focus, attitude, and resulting emotion.PunishmentDisciplinePurposeTo inflict penalty for an offenseTo correct and promoteTo pay back for wrongspositive growthFocusPast misdeedsFuture behaviorAttitudeAngerLoveResultingFear, guilt, hostilitySecurityemotionThe Negative Effects of Physical Punishment in DisciplineIn a large-scale meta-analysis of 88 studies, psychologist Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff, PhD, of the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, looked at both positive and negative behaviors in children that were associated with corporal punishment.While conducting the meta-analysis, which included 62 years of collected data, Gershoff looked for associations between parental use of corporal punishment and 11 child behaviors and experiences, including several in childhood (immediate compliance, moral internalization, quality of relationship with parent, and physical abuse from that parent), three in both childhood and adulthood (mental health, aggression, and criminal or antisocial behavior) and one in adulthood alone (abuse of own children or spouse).Gershoff found "strong associations" between corporal punishment and all eleven child behaviors and experiences. Ten of the associations were negative such as with increased child aggression and antisocial behavior. The single desirable association was between corporal...

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