People use many paths to correct what they call “bad” or undesirable behavior. This is what has been called discipline. What is discipline exactly? As defined by many dictionaries, discipline is 1) suffering or pain as retribution; punishment 2) a field of study 3) training that corrects or molds 4) gaining control by obedience; orderly conduct. Throughout our lives, based on choices we make, naturally we experience suffering or pain in some way. Since this is true, why, do you suppose parents and/or adult caregivers insist on inflicting more pain and suffering on children? Is this to prepare them for the pain and/or suffering they may face in the future? Oh yes! Let me inflict this “good” pain on you now to prepare you for all that “bad” pain you’ll experience later in life!! Why is it called discipline when we hit children but abuse when its done to an animal, or an elderly person, women, or someone who is disabled in some way? Hitting is violence no matter what creative name you give it ( spanking, corrective discipline, etc.). Is it not considered violence because you ‘love” your child?
What if your husband or significant other hit you and told you that it was out of love? Would you thank them for their loving correction or think they’re bat shit crazy and abusive and therefore leave them?
Shaming is another method people use to coerce obedience. I’ve seen people place their children in a corner and force them to hug each other as if this will incite love, then post it to social networking sites like it’s some great feat. I’ve also seen children made to wear oversized shirts called “get along shirts” in an effort to force siblings to get along. This is shaming. It’s also ridiculous! It solves nothing. Do you think putting a homophobe and a gay man in a shirt together will make the homophobe like gays? NO!! See my point? For one thing, it teaches our children to lie when we do this. To feign feelings that aren’t there at the moment. Then we turn around and punish them when they lie to us.
Is corporal punishment or punishment period effective? If your goal is to raise blindly obedient and subservient children in society the answer is yes. If your goal is to develop independent, mentally and emotionally healthy, critically thinking children the answer is no. Spanking and many punishments lead to mental imbalances which in many ways contribute the current state of our world. Much research has been done that proves this. I liken spanking to slavery. Slaves were yelled at, punished, and beat with whips so that they would fear their owners and be obedient to their demands. However, many didn’t allow their spirits to be broken IN SPITE OF the terrible treatment. We must look for more effective ways of disciplining our children if we want them to inherit a better world.