Discipline: physical punishment

Physical punishment and children


Physical punishment is only one form of discipline, and it works to inflict pain at the moment of negative behaviour, so creating an association between the behaviour and the pain. Physical punishment can include everything from a smack on the hand, through to whipping, punching, beating, and belting.

  • Physical punishment can cause some children to experience feelings of anger and hurt so that they can no longer remember the reason they were punished.
  • Physical punishment is often given out in the heat of the moment and allows the parent to momentarily lose control, so while a smack on the bottom is unlikely to injure a child, the act itself opens the door to the possibility of other physical punishments.
  • Physical punishment can teach children that an acceptable way to solve problems is by using violence.
  • The fear of physical punishment can encourage your child to lie and cheat to avoid the punishment.
  • Children who are subjected to physical punishment themselves may tend towards bullying behaviour at school where they can inflict violence on other children.
  • Physical punishment is unlikely to permanently stop the undesirable behaviour as this type of punishment doesn’t offer any alternative ways of behaving.
  • Physical punishment can cause some children to become withdrawn, anxious, isolated fearful, or rebellious.

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This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include Anglicare.

 



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