Corporal Punishment vs.
Permissive Parenting This argument has been on going for decades or dare I say centuries even. There are articles, quotes, and whole books written on this, an example would be “Spare the rod spoil the child” whose proverbial notion dates back to the King James version of the Bible pre 1377. There are even popular shows on television that highlight this debate. While history seems to be biased toward a firm grip on children, there are those old folk tales about spoiled princes.The idea of using corporal punishment dates back centuries as demonstrated before, parents of yester year did not have the psychology that we have today.
A good place to look at this would be the schools of previous centuries. The child committed a wrong doing they were firmly put in there place both psychologically through chastising the child and physical correction. The belief was that this would rear an “appropriate” child. To put it bluntly, when doing what is undesired starts to hurt the child will shape up to expectation. With a firm hand they did the school work and chores.
These ideals have carried through the years and remain today. It is believed by dare I say many, that the parenting style that is devoid of the hand or belt will raise a certain “type” of child that may be undesired, like say “whimpy”, unruly, or just plain without any direction of right or wrong. James Dobson a conservative Christian Psychologist was a public advocate of corporal punishment, that a good belting could set any child on the path to righteousness. A popular late night television show on the network “Adult Swim” has a great example of this in a claymation comedy “Moral Orel” about a conservative Christian family.True, the show is poking fun but they are correct at least in that area. There have been children getting spankings all throughout history, in many cases the child grows up just fine and well adjusted, but unfortunately not in all cases.
The use of corporal punishment on children does go wrong and can end up crippling a child psychologically in a plethora of different areas. They can grow up resenting parents for the punishments inflicted, or because in many house holds there is an inconsistency in the parent that nflicts the punishment and one who is more lenient, a child may get good at being bad because being the disciplinarian is the only source of attention from that parent. There is also the question of how far corporal punishment is taken. A light spanking is one thing but beating a child into submission every time they forget to do their homework is where the child abuse laws start to come in to regulate the heaviness of the hand. Once again there may be jarring negative affects on the child stunting their development physically and psychologically.
Permissive parenting is the flip side of the coin, this is defined as taking a hands off approach in both the areas of physical punishment like spanking but even a more laid back psychological approach. Letting the child basically find their own with the hope that once the fear of physical repercussion is removed the lines of communication will be improved thus allowing the parent to lightly guide in their desirable direction. This is something that has it’s roots in history. Great examples are whipping boys established in the English court during the 15th and 16th centuries.Where as the prince would not be disciplined but a stand in would be disciplined for the princes actions creating a child who knew they were untouchable and a bit spoiled. There are definitely less cases of permissive parenting in the bowels of history as it is something that seems to have blossomed later on as our education of child development increases. This does not mean it was non existent though as previously demonstrated. Yet even though as time has progressed permissive parenting has taken hold as more popular it can go awry just as in corporal punishment.
One way permissive parenting can “derail” is if in the long run the child feels lost on their way between right and wrong because they never got the direction they felt they needed , making them as they develop, more indecisive. The main issue with this style of parenting that can be viewed is inconsistency. Where do you get involved and correct the child and where do you lay back.
If you take a complete hands off approach to where you are basically coddling the child through every misfortune, they may never become acclimated with loss and disappointment.This leads to an inability to self soothe and a possible codependence issue in later development. Another example is when a permissive stance is taken the child views this as some sort of weakness of the parents and starts behaving in a manner that may become uncontrollable.
The child may view the parent more as an equal or friend rather then someone to be learned from losing the important lesson of respect and sometimes manners. Child development is in no way an exact science although if you were able to ask someone like Sigmond Freud he may come to disagree as would a handful of other scientists that have been studying this for decades.Each main point has its successes and its places where it falters. As well as both arguments having their merits on how parents may effectively foster positive development. On one hand corporal punishment may produce a child that quickly learns what is expected of them in both the home and in society where stern talking to may falter, but on the other hand permissive parenting may make a child more comfortable communicating without fear thus learning the same lessons in a different way. It is a case by case basis and as long as it is not taken to extremes may foster a positive outcome.Everyone wants their child to be well behaved, well mannered, respectful, happy, social, and successful in what ever endeavors the child’s surroundings may offer. Throughout writing this discussion, I have viewed a great deal of varied materials on both cases and I do find it interesting on the historical origins of both sides of the coin, which is neither one way or the other is infinitely correct, and indirectly learned the origins of my view.
I believe that in early development corporal punishment is helpful in directing a child toward respect but in very low doses.I do not agree with beating a child, but I do agree a light spanking not exercised out of anger but out of direction will help a child learn but more so as a last resort. If talking, explaining, time out, loss of privileges and all other means are exhausted, a light spank to the seat of the pants may make your point clear. Not demonstrating to the child that you do not love them or that you should be feared but a correction to bring about acceptable behavior.
A happy medium can be reached here where both parents are happy and the child is comfortable, happy and developing well.I agree with some of the reading that I have done were permissive parenting may lead to the “Parent Trap” and the parents find that they have devoted their lives to the child’s every waking moment thus losing a bit of themselves, causing a strain on relationships and causing the child to possibly feel smothered. Turning permissive parenting into a sort of corporal punishment in it’s own right. Cleverly & Phillips, Visions of Childhood http://www. consistent-parenting-advice.
com/permissive-parenting-style. html http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Whipping_boy http://www. endcorporalpunishment. org Gershoff 2002