The Pros and Cons of Corporal Punishment


Authored by Kennedy Allen in Teaching and Learning 
Published on 08-22-2009

Raising children properly is the biggest responsibility a human can ever have. As the creator of the future inhabitants of earth, it is important to make sure they adopt the proper values and are set on the right path. However, sometimes the methods by which we get to this can be quite harrowing. For instance, take corporal punishment. While corporal punishment has some pros, some people might only see the cons.

Some people think of corporal punishment as the best way to establish the upper hand in the relationship with non-obedient children, while others might see it as a cruel way to make an unsuspecting child suffer. There is a difference between corporal punishment to correct behavior, and straight out beating your child.

Because of the unclear distinction, many parents as of late have come to the conclusion that any corporal punishment at all may present a scary situation that will not correct a child’s bad behavior streak and instead only cause them to fear the punishing parent.

Corporal punishment had been more popularly used years ago as a measure to keeping your child in a position of respect to you. It is used to establish seniority and leadership. If the child is to deviate from a set of your established rules, a good smack on the bottom should scare them onto the straight path once again.

However, to keep corporal punishment in a good light, the parent must take measures to ensure that they do not go overboard. A big con of corporal punishment is that many parents might let their anger over the rules being broken overshadow their love of the child, and instead of a simple smack to scare the child, they can wind up beating them.

To keep corporal punishment working for you, make sure to not be overly angry while administering it. One of the pros of corporal punishment used to correct behavior is to give the child a jolt back into consciousness, for most of the rule-breaking they indulge in is usually done semi-unconsciously. Kids do not know what they are doing all the time. They just do without thinking. By introducing corporal punishment, you are providing a reminder that actions have consequences.

Beating a child into submission with anger will not have the same benefits. If a child is beat, they know what they do makes the parent angry, but will continue to do it behind their backs. While a light slap might correct a behavior because of its jolt-like effects, a beating will just make the child afraid of their parents and more prone to disconnect from them rather than listening and obeying.

The bottom line is that the pros and cons of corporal punishment walk a thin line between one another. On the one hand, light corporal punishment can help keep a child in line. Parents just need to learn to keep the anger out of the equation. Think of corporal punishment as a tool to guide your child in the right direction, and not as a method of showing them how upset you might be over what they have done.


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