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‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. - English Core

Answer in Brief

‘Spare the rod and spoil the child’. 

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                                                    Spare the rod and spoil the child

The purpose of this arguement is to determine whether corporal punishment is beneficial to children and  their development. We have all experienced some form of corporal punishment whether from our parents or  from our teachers in school. To majority of societies around the world, corporal punishment is the norm  rather than the exception. Many scholars and academics have viewed corporal punishment to be a negative  form of discipline as it affects the child’s or student’s behavior. According to Save the Children’s awareness  campaign on corporal punishment, children who have been subjected to corporal punishment experience a  low self esteem, feelings of sadness and anger as well as feelings of loneliness and abandonment. Many  scholars and academics have viewed corporal punishment to be a negative form of discipline as it affects the  child’s or student’s behavior. According to Save the Children’s awareness campaign on corporal punishment,  children who have been subjected to corporal punishment experience a low self esteem, feelings of sadness and anger as well as feelings of loneliness and abandonment.Their social skills within and outside the school are also affected as they are afraid to communicate what they want. Corporal punishment has also been viewed to increase fear of reprisals creating educational barriers that lead to poor performance in school.  Children who have undergone punishment also have a negative view of their school and also   the society  making it difficult for them to integrate into their community. Physical punishment also discourages reasoning  by affecting the child’s reasoning capabilities. Corporal punishment has noted that this form of punishment has played an integral role in how parents discipline their children. This form of punishment has been the  main focus of psychological research in the United States with various researchers and academics providing  contributions on whether corporal punishment is beneficial or detrimental to the child’s development. Despite  various countries adopting measures to prohibit the use of corporal punishment as a form of discipline, support for using corporal punishment in the U.S. has remained strong with 94 percent of parents and  school teachers supporting the use of physical violence to discipline errant children. While there have been many negative effects of corporal punishment, there are scholars who have advocated for the use of corporal  punishment in dealing with discipline cases. Child psychologists who advocate for the use of corporal  punishment have noted that it is advantageous in that it is the only form of language that children will understand  and react to. This is especially so with children who have been identified to be problematic and reckless.  Rather than pamper and spoil these types of children, psychologists have seen corporal discipline as a  means of preventing children with poor conduct or behavior from degenerating even further to reckless  behavior. To further explain the term “spare the rod or spoil the child” various advantages of using corporal  punishment have been advocated for when compared to using non physical forms of punishment . Children who are physically punished for doing something wrong are most likely to not repeat the offence in future. This can also be attributed to the instantaneous effect physical punishment has on children caught in reckless  behavior. The use of corporal punishment has also been seen to restrain children from engaging in reckless  behavior with respect to historical statistics which have shown that children behave well after they have been  subjected to corporal disciplinary action. Corporal punishment filled the gap that was created when other  forms of punishment were used such as detention, suspension or expulsion. Another benefit of corporal  punishment is that when used in the proper context, it initiates a change in behavior as the recipient will be  deterred from misbehaving in future. Use of corporal punishment is particularly beneficial for children who  are irrational, impulsive and need some firmness. He noted that children’s impulsive nature needed to be controlled through tougher methods of punishment such as corporal discipline. He advocates for the sustained  use of physical force on children with regards to the level of misconduct they have engaged in. Corporal  punishment should also observe due process and timing so that it can be justified. Due process will entail  punishing the guilty parties while timing refers to whether the punishment will take place before or after the  wrongdoing. Corporal punishment does not necessarily have to be viewed as a negative form of punishment.  Through the use of appropriate restrictions, it can be used to discipline children who have been found to misbehave or have engaged in misconduct. Despite the many protagonists who have argued about the  disadvantages of corporal punishment, this form of discipline can prove to be beneficial when dealing with  cases of misbehavior, truancy or misconduct amongst school going children. Corporal punishment is an  effective method of deterring detrimental behaviors in children who are still developing. It eliminates cases of  repeat misconduct or misbehavior in children who have not responded to the other forms of punishment  such as detention, suspension, reprimanding or expulsion. 

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