Corporal punishment is a punishment which is planned to cause physical pain to a person. When caused to minors in home and school, it includes paddling and spanking. When caused to adults, it includes prisoners and slaves. It is also known as physical punishment. By the late 20th century, corporal punishment was eliminated from many developed countries.
Types of Corporal Punishment:
Corporal punishment in home: punishment of children by parents or local guardian at home is known as corporal punishment in home. It includes spanking, slapping, or striking with belt, slipper, cane, hairbrush or paddle, hanger. It also includes pinching, shaking, forced ingestion or forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions.
School corporal punishment: punishment of students by teachers or school administrators. It is banned in many countries like Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Europe. It is legal in United States and Australia even today.
Judicial corporal punishment: it is a punishment as a result of a court. It includes caning, bastinado, birching, whipping or strapping. It is still legal in Afghanistan, Bahamas, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, etc. it was practiced in Egypt, China, Greece and Rome to maintain judicial and educational discipline.
Prison corporal punishment: it is ordered by prison authorities or directly by staff. For example, Australian penal colonies. It is also known as disciplinary corporal punishment. It includes flogging, beating, branding, blinding and the use of stock and pillory.
Corporal punishment was allowed in military settings in few jurisdictions. In past, it was ordered by masters on their workers. Campaigns against corporal punishment have aimed to ban the use of corporal punishment against minors in homes and schools.
Author Jared Diamond states that hunter-gatherer societies use little corporal punishment because they tend to have few valuable possessions and misbehavior of children would not cause harm to other’s property whereas agricultural and industrial societies uses more of corporal punishment.
Fifty nine countries have prohibited corporal punishment of children, including Europe and Latin America. The 1979 Swedish Parental Code reads: “Children are entitled to care, security and a good upbringing. Children are treated with respect for their person and may not be subjected to corporal punishment or any other humiliating treatment.”
Many parents rely on physical punishments to teach children acceptable behavior, including how to make good choices and exercise self-control. Changes in behavior due to corporal punishment may only be short term but it causes behavioral problems to worsen over time. For example, spanking increases aggressive behavior.
Corporal punishment damages the relationship between kids and parents. Trust, stability, safety, and security are essential for children to develop skills that manage their behavior but corporal punishment makes behavior management more difficult. Discipline shouldn’t be about controlling kids, it should be about teaching them to control themselves. It is best if children learn from their mistakes while also cultivating better decision-making skills. These skills help children in making better choices in the future.
Some discipline strategies effective in developing skills are:
Take away certain privileges
Implement logical consequences that teach life lessons
Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.
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