Children are important people in our lives and every family seeks to ensure that they are properly trained to become respectable individuals in society. This is why many parents have used different strategies to instill their offspring’s desired behaviour. Discipline and corporal punishment are the techniques used by guardians to correct behaviour. Both methods have different approaches that lead to various outcomes. Currently, the movement is towards punitive behavioral correction strategies. Criminality is physical and includes kicking, spanking or pain. Additionally, it includes psychological tactics such as shaming, disapproval or isolation. On the other hand, discipline applies techniques of imparting children with confidence, self-control, and responsibility. The child is directed on the behavior to emulate while avoiding “wrong” behavior. The paper will outline the reasons why discipline is preferred, how to shift from corporal punishment and future effects of applying discipline in the upbringing of children (Russo, 2017).
Reasons for shifting to discipline
Developing individual focus
A person becomes focused on his activities, goals or work when he is disciplined. When disciplined children become grown-ups and get employed, they will always maintain ethical behavior in their places of employment such as arriving to work in time each single day. Also, a disciplined individual will be able to meet all his goals and complete all the assignments in his job description thereby positioning himself to future professional growth. On the other hand, lack of discipline will inevitably result in termination of employment thus resulting in career failure. The focus is also applied in personal endeavors or personal goals that people set in life such as building a house or buying land. Without discipline, there is a high chance that an individual will not be able to save money to purchase a home (Carpenter , 2017).
Discipline enables children and adults to be aware of the responsibilities that accompany their actions. A typical example is where parents do not shield their kids from the consequences of their actions so that they experience the repercussions of their decisions. For instance, when a parent warns his son that playing in the dart will result in a one-week curfew that will involve staying in the house without playing with the neighbor kids and the son goes ahead to play in the mud, the father will install the curfew. The child will learn that some decisions have negative impacts in their lives. Therefore, utilizing this model of will nurture the child’s behavior by teaching him to be responsible, and the parent will dictate the experiences that they will face as they grow up. In future, such children become responsible adults who will also take good care of their families (Carpenter , 2017).
Imparts appropriate behavior
Discipline uses various circumstances to instill good behavior in kids. For instance, when a parent cautions his child after committing a wrong action, the child will know that the action he committed was not allowed and he will not do it again. The benefits of acquiring an appropriate behavior include proper interaction with other children, to withstanding discomfort and having control of pleasure. Therefore, discipline results in children and adults who respect other individuals in the society by being better-behaved.
Applying efficient disciplinary methods will reduce the work needed to install further discipline in later stages of a child’s life. Children acquire self-discipline skills after experiencing a variety of consequences which will make them aware of the words, actions or behaviors that are unacceptable and acceptable. A child who knows what is wrong and right will try to avoid actions that will result in negative consequences in a bid to avoid being punished. As they grow, they learn to do the right thing which becomes glued to their minds even when they become adults. Therefore, the behavior of a person is improved after attaining self-discipline (The Primal Parent, 2017).
How we can move from corporal punishment to discipline
Creating awareness of the adverse effects of corporal punishment
Knowledge of the appropriate methods of instilling discipline in children is crucial for ensuring successful parenting. However, many parents are not aware of the proper techniques of handling children and thus resort to brutal methods which result in the wrong upbringing of a child. Therefore, NGOs, governments and private citizens should create awareness of the adverse effects of corporal punishment by incorporating television adverts and seminars for parents and teachers. Also, NGOs can conduct door to door awareness where experts will have a face to face discussion with parents on better techniques that can be applied to correct behavior. The information dissemination should be continuous and reach all people both in rural and urban areas. The adverts should ensure that people are aware that corporal punishment offers a temporary solution and that the child will comply for fear of physical pain (Durrant , Hart, Newell, & Power, 2005).
Developing alternative methods of correcting behavior that is scientifically proven
Each parent has the duty of ensuring that his child or children become people of good behavior as they will be a reflection of their parenting prowess. For this reason, many guardians tend to apply all sorts of techniques to instill good behavior in their kids. When cautions by word of mouth do not work, they switch to punishment because it is effective in the short run. However, there are alternative methods that can replace corporal punishment. For instance, loss of privileges and time-out sessions has shown positive feedback with parents reporting that the techniques are effective especially if they are applied from the start of a child’s development. The use of natural consequences is also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics (American Psychological Association, 2012). For instance, a one and a half-year-old baby who damages a toy car when throwing a tantrum can no longer play with it. According to Alfie Kohn, applying constant communication and other discipline techniques that are child-centered can be used instead of the rewards and punishment model.
The use of corporal punishment to correct behavior in children has been recognized as a human rights violation by international bodies such as the United Nations (UN) and Non-governmental organizations. Since almost all countries are members of the UN, they should enact laws that will deter people from using punishment by instituting severe consequences such as a short jail term or fines. For instance, in 2013, a report by a worldwide initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children stated that a total of thirty-four states had illegalized corporal punishment in schools and homes. The states comprised of New Zealand, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and Greece. In the U.S, the federal and state governments have not established laws to prevent all forms of corporal punishment. In fact, no state in the U.S has disallowed the technique of correcting behavior (Durrant , Hart, Newell, & Power, 2005). There have been attempts to enact such laws in California and Massachusetts, but nothing has materialized. However, the federal government should institute laws that can apply in all the states.
Future effects of shifting to discipline
Disciplined children will grow up to become honest, trustworthy, industrious, goal oriented, focused, obedient among other qualities which result in employees or entrepreneurs who have a high chance of succeeding in their endeavors. For instance, active employees working together will complete their task faster and efficiently which will improve the performance of a company thereby increasing its profit margin. The firm will in turn expand and employ more disciplined people who will propel it to higher profit margin. If every business improves its performance, it will result in the overall economic growth of the country (The Primal Parent, 2017).
Creation of a better society
Disciplined individuals can interact well with others in the community. Qualities such as respect, honesty, and compassion will ensure the needy people in the society are helped by individuals who are well of; children will respect their elders, adults will treat every child as his own and the whole community will be like one large family. In such a society, no one will suffer as there will be many people who are ready to help both psychologically and financially. For instance, when a natural disaster such as an earthquake happens, people will contribute money and goods to offer support to the affected (Carpenter , 2017).
It is evident that the benefits of discipline outweigh those of corporal punishment. Each parent should apply discipline when correcting their children’s behavior which will consequently lead to an increase of disciplined people in society. Corporal punishment is only a temporary solution, and it may result in permanent psychological damage that will affect the child’s future. We can shift from corporal punishment by creating awareness, enacting laws that abolish punishment and applying alternative methods that do not involve inflicting physical harm to children.
American Psychological Association. (2012, August 3). Is Corporal Punishment an Effective Means of Discipline? Retrieved from American Psychological Association.
Carpenter , B. (2017). The advantages of Parental Discipline. Retrieved September 2017, 2017, from How to Adult.
Durrant , J., Hart, S., Newell, P., & Power, C. (2005). Eliminating corporal punishment: The way forwqad to constructive child discipline. Paris: United Nations Educational , Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Russo, J. (2017, June 13). Child Discipline and Corporal Punishment. Retrieved from Livesrong.
The Primal Parent. (2017, June 15). The Benefits of Disciplinining Your Children In a Postive Manner. Retrieved from The Primal Parent.