At least 4 out of 5 parents believe in some form of corporal punishment whether it is a pop on the behind or hand either with an open hand or a belt or ‘switch.’ Corporal punishment is the act of purposely inflicting pain in order to discipline or gain order of a situation. Most common is domestic corporal punishment, wherein children are punished by their parents or relatives.
Domestic corporal punishment done by parents to a child is known as spanking, whipping even slapping. These actions are currently legal in the United States. It is however unacceptable to appear to be have beaten a child.
With a Texas judge beating his daughter in front of her hidden webcam, the issue and the validity of corporal punishment has been placed back at the table for debate. The video has caused national outrage; at the same time some are asking what the big deal is. In this case, the parent is within his legal right to discipline his child anyway he see fit. Judge William Adams told the Today show, “In my mind I haven’t done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing and I did lose my temper but I’ve since apologized. It looks worse than it is.” However, does that make the video right?
According to one survey conducted on corporal punishment found that there was just a many individual who had been physically punished, 72 percent, as those who were not growing up 77 percent. In most cases, parents used both methods of discipline. For those who were subjected to physical punishment, some said was nothing serious while others had different stories to tell. The most compelling respondent answered, “I got spanked, and I got hit with a belt, wooden spoon and a telephone.” This response was from a young woman of European descent raised by a single father.
According to the American Psychological Association, domestic corporal punishment teaches children to be physically violent and more likely to commit crimes. Also a study appearing Pediatrics said that a parent’s disapproval of violence shaped an adolescent view on violence. In addition those teenagers who were subjected to physical discipline were more likely to be involved in fighting, bullying and victimizing others. The survey respondent said she had been kicked out of school and also in trouble with the police for assault and battery as well as breaking and entering. A parents use of physical violence leaves children open to ‘at-risk’ behaviors.
Overall a parent’s disciplinary style can shape a child’s views on violence. If violence is the choice of discipline, it should be use sparingly and along with other forms of discipline like time-out, writing sentences and grounding.