New Data On Corporal Punishment – Viable Option For Solving Child Misbehavior?

There is significant merit to the claim that children only listen for fear of punishment, and may deviate once out of their parents’ control. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Your child will carry his/her negative experiences in his/her mind, body and soul until she/he has an awakening and the trauma from physical punishment is healed in mind, body and spirit.

Contrary to popular belief the majority of western parents approve and promote hitting children as a well-accepted method to correct unacceptable child behavior. The majority of Americans promote and condone physical punishment in the home in all 50-states, and 19 states condone and promote physical punishment in school. 42 countries ban corporal punishment in the home and school. What do these 42 countries know that Americans are turning a blind eye?

A full list of countries that enacted laws prohibiting violence against children in the home and school is courtesy of the Global Initiative to End Corporal Punishment. Most recent first:

San Marino (2014)

Argentina (2014)

Bolivia (2014)

Brazil (2014)

Malta (2014)

Cabo Verde (2013)

Honduras (2013)

TFYR Macedonia (2013)

South Sudan (2011)

Albania (2010)

Congo, Republic of (2010)

Kenya (2010)

Tunisia (2010)

Poland (2010)

Liechtenstein (2008)

Luxembourg (2008)

Republic of Moldova (2008)

Costa Rica (2008)

Togo (2007)

Spain (2007)

Venezuela (2007)

Uruguay (2007)

Portugal (2007)

New Zealand (2007)

Netherlands (2007)

Greece (2006)

Hungary (2005)

Romania (2004)

Ukraine (2004)

Iceland (2003)

Turkmenistan (2002)

Germany (2000)

Israel (2000)

Bulgaria (2000)

Croatia (1999)

Latvia (1998)

Denmark (1997)

Cyprus (1994)

Austria (1989)

Norway (1987)

Finland (1983)

Sweden (1979)

The danger of corporal punishment appears in many physical and mental illnesses, mental, emotional and spiritual dysfunctions. One of the commonalities among all people in American prisons-Male and Female-they are the product of physical (corporal) punishment.

Furthermore, the U.S. has more prisoners than any other country. Yes, MORE prisons per headcount than any other country in the world. This fact is testimony that if corporal punishment produced law abiding citizens why then do all prisoners have corporal punishment as a commonality. If corporal punishment created law-abiding citizens, it would stand to reason that prisoners would have the commonality of never experiencing corporal punishment. There is no evidence that all people who suffered corporal punishment have committed crimes. However, it is a testimony to the fact corporal punishment is more apt to create criminal adults.

U.S. Prisoner Count – 2013 – Most recent year statistics available:

Federal Prisons: 2,217,000; State Prisons: 1,270,800; Local Jails 731,200

The odds that corporal punishment will lead to psychological aberrations or that physical punishment leaves a child vulnerable to rage, hate, fear, low self-esteem, self-loathing, lack of self-confidence, and lack of successful lives is reason enough to avoid such an unnecessary practice. Source: Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom.

The U.S. laws and culture values are unambiguous concerning adults who physically attack or verbally threaten other adults. Such behavior is criminal, and we hold the perpetrators accountable. Why then do we promote the same actions against children who are dependent on their perpetrator? Corporal punishment of a child is a betrayal of trust and hypocrisy. Elizabeth Gershoff

Researchers looked at effects on three undesirable behaviors in children who experienced spanking: non-compliance in the short term, non-compliance in the long term, and aggression. This area is hard to study in the home because spanking rarely occurs in front of strangers. It is hard to study in the laboratory because of the prohibition against hurting subjects.

In one set of analyses with young children in a controlled environment, time out worked better than spanking for (immediate) subsequent compliance on 30 tasks assigned by the mother. Long-term compliance decreases after spanking (Gershoff, 2002; Gershoff & Grogan-Kaylor, 2013).

Why do adults become interested in the needs of children only after they have become horribly traumatized, damaged, or have become delinquents victimizing others? The answer is not complicated.

People will not have empathy toward children who are subjected to corporal punishment until they can honestly acknowledge the mistreatment from his/her childhood physical punishment and examine the shortcomings of his/her parents. To the extent people feel compelled to defend their parents and guard their secrets, they will do the same for others who use corporal punishment against children.

I heard someone make the statement, “I would like to clarify that I do not approve [corporal punishment] either and I would never wish anything similar on my kids. But if the day comes when I feel like I need to, I will.” is the testimony to the above statement-people will not have empathy toward children until they can honestly acknowledge their mistreatment (corporal punishment) from childhood.

Many people invoke the Bible as proof that GOD intended parents to use physical punishment to correct an unruly child.

By insisting that you turned out OK, you are reassuring yourself and diverting your attention to a false outcome and deeply hidden memories of hurt, sadness, anger, rage, grief, shame, humiliation, betrayal, abandonment and the loss of a peaceful childhood.

If people believe they turned out OK, in spite of corporal punishment, when someone says, ‘Spanking’ (corporal punishment) is abusive those who experienced abuse, react as though a barricaded door was broken open, exposing their painful childhood memories. A barricaded unconscious door has prevented corporal punishment (spanking) survivors from committing the most egregious and most unpardonable act of disloyalty imaginable, disloyalty to one’s parents. Everyone is afraid if they open the door to the truth, she/he will fall into an abyss-abandoned and cut off from any possibility of reconciliation with the parents she/he loves. The fear is irrational. Denial-about the abusive (corporal punishment you experienced and the next generation is experiencing in the home and schools in 19 U.S. States-is the real danger and the real sin. Change begins with one person standing up to expose the truth.

Many people believe spanking is justified or even commanded in the Bible, specifically the book of Proverbs. There is a distinction, which is important for fundamentalists, between the practice in King Soloman’s day of beating adults on the back for misdeeds and crimes, and the modern American practice of hitting children on the buttocks, back, face, head with a hand or an implement. The latter is no anywhere in the Bible. Furthermore, the Old Testament contains passages that could be (and in some incidents have been) construed as divine endorsements of wife-beating, racial warfare, slavery, the stoning to death of rebellious children and other behaviors that are outrageous by today’s standards. As Shakespeare said, “The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.”

Many non-violent parenting skills and actions create appropriate behavior with no damaging side effects. In fact, there are more books on parenting without corporal punishment, than books on the virtues of corporal punishment. Not surprising, you won’t find books on corporal punishment in Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com. You will find them distributed by fundamentalist organizations or in an underground marketplace. These two facts are a strong indication that corporal punishment is shameful, disgusting and something many people intend to hide, albeit they might disparage it in public.

It is a telling fact, however, that the U.S. and the UK are the only major countries that have not banned corporal punishment in the home and in school in 19 states, which still cling to the well-established aberrant practice of physical abuse disguised as a parental/social prerogative.

The following books on child discipline without hitting, spanking, paddling, smacking, beating, whipping or other forms of violence clearly sets the foundation for healthy and peaceful parenting.

-The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance-From Toddlers to Teens by Kim John Payne

-Mindful Discipline: A Loving Approach to Setting Limits & Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by Shauna Shapiro and Chris White

-1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas Phelan

-10 Days to a Less Defiant Child: The Breakthrough Program for Overcoming Your Child’s Difficult Behavior by Jeffrey Bernstein

It is never too late to stop using physical (corporal) punishment to create corrective action in your child. This moment is the first moment of the rest of your child’s life. YOU can make a significant difference in his/her adult life NOW.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized authority on bridging Science, Spirit and Human Potential with 30+ years experience as a transformation facilitator, speaker, and educator in natural health and wellness; personal/professional development.

Dr. Dorothy specializes in: Physical and Sexual Abuse Recovery, Mind, Body, Spirit transformation for Individuals, Special Issues and Professionals. As an inspirational leader, Dr. Dorothy empowers people to view life’s challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening.

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