Using corporal punishment on children

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This week the debate rages over whether Adrian Peterson should be suspended from the NFL for using corporal punishment on his child.

Most of our readers are very familiar with the practice of corporal punishment since the method was commonplace in their youth. It made them understand they behaved in an unacceptable manner, and it should not be repeated.

There is no handbook issued to a parent to direct them how to discipline their child. Most of the time they draw on what they experienced as children, and what helped them become the adult they are today and therefore recycle those experiences when they become adults and rear children of their own.

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But there other ways of disciplining a child to get a point across without resorting to violence.

Methods of child discipline have evolved that not only allow the child to see that their actions were wrong, but also provide them insight as to how they could have handled the situation differently. If a child punches another child and the parent resorts to a spanking them, then there’s a bit of irony in the punishment.

One option is to employ a simple punishment such as no television or video games for a week or two to get the message across.

But just a simple punishment fails to convey they reason they are being punished and how their actions could have been different. Instead the parent should discuss a viewpoint as to why punching other children is wrong.

When a child acts up or behaves inappropriately they need to know why their actions are unacceptable and how to best handle that situation next time it comes around.

So take the time to sit down and speak to your children. And with time and proper guidance they can become the best possible adult they can be, and later employ the same disciplinary skills.