TO PARENTS: TEACH WITHOUT VIOLENCE

It is funny how adults feel offended or upset when their fellow adult slaps them but they do not think about how a child feels when they slap them. YES, you are older than the child, YES, that is your child or YES, you are trying to correct the child or teach the child. These are some justifications for hitting a child but it is not justified when your fellow colleague or friend slaps you because they are correcting you.

The context of teaching a child without violence such as corporal punishment has been debatable over the years. Protagonists and Antagonists of Corporal punishment also known as Physical punishment agree to the same context that corporal punishment is to inflict pain on a child to curb a child’s behavior. However, in the argument of the Antagonists, the use of corporal punishment encourages a violent society by teaching us that the means of teaching, learning, correcting behavior is not effective without violence, hence, leading to an increase in aggressive people. In addition, there are several negative factors of the use of violence (corporal punishment) such as the mental health of the child and physical injuries which has led to the death of some children.

Whist I was (still) undergoing my doctoral research, I have understood that the term “violence” is very broad and some persons do not consider “corporal punishment” as a form of violence. Examples of violence against children are child slavery, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, negligence, violent psychological discipline, physical abuse (corporal punishment and many more. These examples are confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and some other international organization reports that are aimed at protecting or safeguarding children. At what point do we draw a line between the use of physical punishment and the excessive use of physical punishment? Some proponents have argued that the administration of corporal punishment (physical punishment) should be limited to certain numbers of strokes or flogging and on a particular part of a child’s body, that will not cause injuries or harm to a child.

Back in secondary school, I remember how the teachers whip us (the students) and this did not have a positive impact as we adapted to the violence and did not learn to stop the bad behavior, rather we found alternatives to avoid getting caught. A lot of students especially the senior students exhibited this act on the junior students and even their mates. This increased the rate of violence and aggression amongst friends, siblings and colleagues.

I strongly advice that the use of violence to discipline a child is not the best and it has been proven from several medical, psychological and social research.

Feel free to drop your opinion about the use of violence (corporal punishment) to discipline a child.

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