Last night I found an article in Facebook at ‘Bright Side’ about the educational ways for children. The title of the article spoke about 5 Reasons why Corporal Punishment does not work. There were thousands of comments to the article and I started to read those before even opening the article.
I was surprised. Almost all parents that commented were saying Corporal Punishment (or using spanking as an educational tool with kids) is good and helps to educate children. They mentioned learning respect for others as one of the benefits of spanking kids. Parents were complaining that non-violent methods have failed as the new generation does not respect anything at all.
The other argument they used was: “I was spanked myself as a child and I turned out to be OK citizen”. Amazing, not? Most of them desperately kept saying that they were not spanked at the point to consider themselves abused, but were spanked rightly when misbehaved. This issue of the ‘rightly spanking’ is like the one with the mini-skirt. When mini-skirt became trendy at the first place, women shortened their skirt just 3- 4 cm. One month later they took the same skirt and shorted it 3 more cm … and … kept doing the same thing and in a short time they found themselves without skirt at all. Spanking works the same: parents start with one slap, next time with two to have a stronger effect and without noticing it they end up bringing out all their stress on the back of poor child.
I am a child and an adult that has never been spanked in my life. My father did not believe in violence, so always communicated with me with words and tone of voice. And, guess what, I turned out to be a good and respectful person. But, I am a free person too, the type of person that does not allow dis-respect by anyone and whatsoever. Because I have not suffered violence on myself, I’ve never thought to spank my daughter ever. Instead I’ll follow the heritage my father left to me and will continue with ‘non-violence’ policy in my life.
While I read the comments of so many parents, from different parts of the world, begging for support to discipline their kids through violence, many horrible news’ headlines kept flashing in front of my eyes. Men and women that abused with each-other and sometimes even killed each-other. Violence inside the house that damages people life forever. Young people killing kids and teachers at school, or other ones killing innocent people in the name of some strange ideals. And I wonder: Are these people part of the group of children that faced corporal punishment to learn discipline? Or, same as myself, these are people that have never faced violence in their own life.
I don’t have clear answer for my question, most probably behavioral researchers should conduct a study about this particular group. But, for most cases made public so far, police say they were people with psychological problems. I’m not a psychologist, but it does not take to be graduated for this subject, to know that violence in childhood produces psychological problems in adult age.
For me, corporal punishment is a tool that helped parents build “Yes Sir!” type of behavior. Unfortunately for most today’s parents that were raised with such behavior, this is a outdated prototype. Today’s children are “OK Mum” and “OK Dad” type of behavior. They do not see us as the only smart people in the world. They are the generation of internet, the generation of children rights, the generation of technology and world’s without limits. For sure our generations will disagree in many things. The same way we disagreed with our parents, and our parents disagree with their parents … and so on from generation to generation.
Today’s children are more demanding. They demand us (parents) to earn their trust and respect. They demand from us to love and to accept them as they are, not in the disciplined version we want them to be. They want to live their life with full freedom and individuality. In the end of the day, I see no harm in their demands. These are demands of individuals with high self-esteem that want to be true in their life. Do you prefer to have a low-self esteem child that is taught to live by the rules (respect rules, society rules, family rules, school rules, work rules, friendship rules, etc.) and who wears a mask all his/her life; or you’d rather want to have a ‘rebel’ child who fights for his/her own way of living and wants to be true and happy with own choices?
Should you choose the first child, keep going with corporal punishment. Good luck in creating the ‘perfect’ citizen that either live to satisfy other people, or is so selfish to not care for others but only for own self. But, if you want to have the second type child, you have maximum chances to have as child a free individual that expresses him/herself fully and is able to give the best for himself, for people around him/her and for the entire society. Guess what? This child will be more demanding since when will be a little kid. He/she will request to be heard since he/she will start to bring out the first sounds. This child will strongly express own opinion even before being able to stand on own legs. This is what my 19 months daughter is doing to me every day.
There are 1 billion children abused on earth, says UNHCR reports. The bad news is that more that 70% of such violence is happening inside their family. Please dear friends! There is so much violence going on around the globe right now, do not make your children be + 1 billion abused children. This high level of violence in the world proves that corporal punishment and its “Yes Sir Child” have failed big time. If well-educated adults that are performing such violence would have been educated rightly, there should not be so much violence around. Brazil is a horrible example for this: According to CNN 4 girls under age 13 are raped on every hour there. The other parts of the world are not better as well.
Childhood violence is inherited says a recent study, children of abused parents turn out to be more apt to face violence like their parents did. Please do not leave violence as heritage to your children and other generations. There are better things to be inherited in generations.
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One last thought on children education methods. I’ve read somewhere in parenting books: “Show patience to your kid, to teach the child patience”. My goal is wider: “I want my child to grow up and live in a better world, with less violence, less fear and without non-sense limitations”. But you see what’s going on around: We cannot send our teenager girls in Brazil, because God know what might happen to them. We cannot leave children outside in the park alone, because someone can hurt them or do even worse. We cannot move to many countries of the world because violence is growing beyond acceptable levels. So, I say: Educate your children with non-violence principle to be able to stop world violence in the future. If new generation will say no to violence and have love to lead their life, there is hope that future generations will be able to live better and in peace.
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