Domestic Corporal Punishment

1 year, 10 months ago

Earlier today while I was on a bus a woman and two children sat in front of me. The children (about 4 years old) seemed to be very excited about being on the bus and one of them stood up on the seat to look out the window. The woman started yelling at the young boy to sit down and when he didn’t she grabbed his waist with one hand and slapped his rear-end about three times with the other. The boy sat down and started to cry, loudly. When the woman took out her phone the boy immediately stood up again. This time she grabbed his shoulders and pushed him down onto the seat and slapped him across the head, twice. I was horrified. I had never before witnessed a child being hit literally in front of my eyes. I felt incredibly empathic towards the child and started to imagine him being hit at home.

When I got off the bus I started thinking about domestic corporal punishment. Is it necessary? What does it achieve? Why do it? I drew the conclusion that it’s a ‘quick fix’. The parent instantly releases some of his/her anger and also inflicts pain on the child (the punishment). But this has adverse long term consequences, in my opinion. I’d like to think if the woman was more mindful the above wouldn’t have happened.

What are your thoughts on the matter?
Why do you think people punish children in this way?
Would you ever do it?
Any thoughts on corporal punishment in public spaces?
Any thoughts on a parent hitting their child versus a non-relative hitting a child?

May 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

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Profile photo of TheSkaFish TheSkaFish M (@theskafish) 1 year, 10 months ago ago

@cosmicd46, I don’t think corporal punishment should be used, ever, for a number of reasons. First, it is primitive and backwards. Second, it is not even correcting anything really, it’s just the parent losing control of their temper. And lastly, I don’t think it gets the point across to the child to behave. It doesn’t help them understand why not to do something, why that behavior is wrong. All it does is teach them fear and ultimately resentment or even hate of authority. It teaches them that the strong have their way with the weak, and if it creates a strong enough pattern perhaps the beaten child will go on to become an abuser themselves, having been taught that it’s ok to hit someone like that, or having their own twisted revenge issues later in life. Either way I think corporal punishment has no place in the 21st century.

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