10 Prevailing Pros and Cons of Corporal Punishment

Discipline is critical in molding a person’s character, no doubt about it. But the methods used to inculcate discipline are plenty, and parents and those in authority are often debating over whether or not to use corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure. Is corporal punishment or inflicting pain to correct mistakes a valid form of discipline or is it inhumane? Let us find out.

List of Pros of Corporal Punishment

1. Parents/Authorities Have Control.
Those who use corporal punishment or even spanking gives them control over those under disciplinary action. A child knows that every wrongdoing gets physical consequence, and that allows them to respect authority.

2. Deter Mistakes from Recurring.
When done right, negative reinforcement teaches the child not to repeat bad behaviors in order to avoid punishment.

3. Correct a Wrongdoing.
The child immediately stops misbehaving, accepts the punishment, and does a short-term compliance.

4. Affordable Method of Discipline.
Parents and those in authority do not need to spend so much to administer punishment. All they need to do is to deprive the child of his or her privileges.

5. Saves Time.
Administering corporal punishment does not take long. Both parent and child can resume their chores right after the disciplinary act.

List of Cons of Corporal Punishment

1. Affects a Person’s Esteem.
Corporal punishment may negatively affect both the parent and the child, leaving them with heavy hearts and troubled minds.

2. Unlawful in Some Areas.
Some countries or regions prohibit and even penalize those who administer corporal punishment. A parent could go to jail for spanking their child.

3. Might be Unnecessary.
Not all bad behavior needs to have physical consequences. It might be enough to have a heart-to-heart conversation with the child for them to understand what they did wrong.

4. Replicates Violence.
A child who went through so much painful punishment may have a tendency to become violent to their peers and other people. They might even fight back authority.

5. Prone to Abuse.
At the height of anger and frustration, a parent may cross the hairline difference between loving discipline and hateful discipline. The result is an abused child, and not a disciplined one.

Parents and people in authority have the responsibility to instill discipline on those under their care. However, corporal punishment is just one of the many ways to discipline a child. A parent must weigh their options very carefully, and always have an open and heartfelt conversation (in addition to, or in lieu of, corporal punishment) with the child in order to encourage understanding, respect and learning.

No parent in their sane mind would ever want to hurt their child, and if possible, they would want to avoid punishing their children and prefer to reward good behavior instead. But for parents who believe that corporal punishment is the way to go, then they should also take note of the cons of corporal punishment and be keen never to abuse their authority. Always remember that damage done to the psyche of a child often lasts a lifetime, and hardly ever reversible.