Corporal punishment has always been a controversial subject not only for the United States but also for the rest of the world. Opinions are often divided when it comes to the effectiveness of corporal punishment as a tool for disciplining children. In most circles, corporal punishment is also known as a spanking. The differences in opinion when it comes to corporal punishment are not necessarily specific to political, religious, demographic, or geographical affiliations.
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Jessica Beagley, a mother from Anchorage, was recently put before a jury to answer to charges of abusing her adopted son. The revelations about Beagley’s behaviors were brought to the authorities’ attention when she sought help about how to discipline her children from renowned TV psychiatrist Dr. Phil.
The events surrounding Miss Beagley’s charges have rekindled the debate on whether corporal punishment is an acceptable method of disciplining children. Corporal punishment has proved to be an effective disciplinary method, and the government and child protective services should give parents room to exercise it at their discretion.
When corporal punishment is employed correctly, it is a safe, effective, and an appropriate tool for disciplining unruly children. Corporal punishment is not usually the ‘go-to’ disciplinary tool for most parents. Responsible and reasonable parents usually try to understand the child’s position first. On the other hand, the parent will often try to explain the consequences of unruly behavior to the child. In the video that Miss Beagley sent to ‘The Doctor Phil Show,’ she can be seen trying to reason with the unruly child.
The next form of punishment is only carried out after this approach has failed. Also, parents usually try milder forms of punishment before resorting to corporal punishment. Milder forms of punishment might not work for most children, but they might prove to be a good choice for others.
Corporal punishment should also be mild and the slight pain it inflicts is often supposed to send a physical and a psychological message to the child. Researchers have found corporal punishment or spanking to be particularly effective on children aged between two and six years.
Corporal punishment is known for inducing short-term compliance in unruly children. Most times, children will often test the resolve of the disciplinarians when other modes of discipline are enforced. For instance, when children are punished by being denied television privileges, they can keep trying to watch it when the parent is not around.
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However, corporal punishment produces instant results because parents can be able to monitor compliance almost immediately. This attribute makes corporal punishment a more effective disciplinary tool. The videos that were presented to Doctor Phil show parents being involved in lengthy confrontations with their children a situation that can be easily resolved using corporal punishment.
Corporal punishment has often been associated with long-term shortcomings, but this view is unsubstantiated. Opponents of corporal punishment blame the practice for anti-social behaviors in children, among other problems. However, this view is biased because all other disciplinary methods can lead to similar problems. Comparative research indicates that the long-term effects of corporal punishment are similar to those of other punishment methods such as grounding or professional counseling.
Using corporal punishment within reason can produce good results when disciplining unruly children. Most of the opposition against corporal punishment is based on unsubstantiated results. The case of Jessica Beagley is an indication of the overstepped mandate by child protective services. Also, corporal punishment is not a hallmark of any parenting style, and it should only be used in appropriate situations.