There are many methods to correct, control, or change children’s behaviour. In the past, the common tactic was physical punishment. Straus defined physical punishment as “the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain but not injury for the purpose of correction or control of the child’s behaviour” (Straus cited in AlAnazi, (2008, p.8). In general, the physical punishment could range from hitting with heavy objects to mild spanking. Many societies had experienced physical punishment. Also, physical punishment has been still practiced in many countries such as Saudi Arabia. As AlAnazi, (2008, p.190) found that a bulk of young people 89% were subjected to corporal punishment from their parents. In the last decades, the attitudes toward physical punishment began to change because many studies warn of the negative consequences of physical punishment of children. Therefore, many organizations around the world claim that physical punishment is harmful to children, and they start to constrict the educators’ authority via legislation to protect children. This essay will discuss the negative consequences of physical punishment such as, physical and psychological harm, its effects on the education achievement. On the other hand, mild physical punishment could be useful in some cases with some conditions.
The main negative consequence of physical punishment, especially severe punishment, is its physical harm on a children’s body. Using tools such as sticks or belts for punishment or pushing the child on a wall or floor could cause an injury, disability or death. This could easily happen even if educators did not intend to do that because
children’s bodies are weak. AlAnazi (2008, p.193), found that more than eight percent of young children who had experienced physical punishment were subjected to body injuries which needed medical intervention. Also, it is more likely to harm children’s bodies when educators punish them with anger.
Physical punishment also has an affect on children psychologically as it may increase their aggressive behaviour. If children receive physical punishment as part of their education from their parents or teachers, they may adopt it as a solution to their problems. Children might practice physical punishment when they disagree with each other. For example, if a child takes another child’s toys, he/she may beat the child. In this case, if parents or teachers try to correct the children’s behaviour by using physical punishment, they send a double message. On the one hand, the reaction of child, who is beating the other child is completely wrong. On the other hand, the reaction of adults is using the same principle via physical punishment, which is clearly a contradiction for children, to solve the problems. In fact, it accumulates the experience of aggression, and they will use the same principle in the future. In addition, children learn from this situation that a strong person can use...