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  1. #1
    Now 17% more helpful gingerninja's Avatar
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    Corporal Punishment

    This is my first thread start in this forum, so I apologise if this has been covered before. (I did do a search)

    In the opinion of those on this forum, do you think corporal punishment of children in schools should be re-introduced? Do you think that there are alternatives, such as re-introducing national service, to re-install discipline in children?

    I'll start us off naturally:

    I'm not sure whether it is the same in every country, but I believe that the general discipline of children is decreasing the world over. I think there are several factors for this:

    1) There are a lot of parents who have children too young. How are you meant to look after a child when you are a child yourself. (This is a generalisation, of course there are some young parents who do very admirable jobs in very difficult conditions)

    2) There are more single parents about, and this maybe contributing, as discipline from one parent cannot hope to be as effective as discipline from 2. (Again a generalisation, but a logical one)

    3) The general manners of the nation (in the UK at least) have declined, and as such, children can gain access to rude and offensive words much sooner in their lives.

    4) Access to information to easy for the young (ie. TV, internet (ironic))

    I personally believe that to deal with the most troublesome students that teachers should be able to re-introduce corporal punishment. Now this should be monitored and controlled of course, but the threat of physical violence is much more of a detterant than a simple detention.

    I know I am only young myself, and therefore not the best to pass judgement, but I have seen a decline in responsible behaviour in my own short lifetime, in all areas of society, not just children.

    I also believe that young offenders should be enlisted into compulsory military school, instead of prison, to give them an education with a strong background of discipline.

    This is of course only my opinion, I look forward to hearing yours. :ninja:

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  3. #2
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    I am vehemently opposed to corporal punishment of children, in school and elsewhere, so I apologise if my post might come across as a bit aggressive. I don’t believe that corporal punishment has any positive long-lasting effects on a child’s behaviour; of course the child will for a while be frightened into submission and therefore stop the undesired behaviour for which it was punished, but eventually that behaviour will return due to lack of any true understand of why the behaviour was undesired.

    What a child really learns from corporal punishment is not proper conduct of behaviour and a polite tone of conversation; rather, the child learns to respond to anger with violence. Corporal punishment perpetuates a cycle of child abuse by teaching children to deal with frustration and annoyance by hitting someone smaller and weaker than themselves. Corporal punishment is very damaging to a child’s psychological development and will without a doubt cause troubles later in that persons life, which is why it is illegal in most civilised countries just like any other form of abuse. You might have noticed that most parents spanking their children were also spanked themselves; they usually defend themselves by claiming that ‘I was spanked as a child, and it never damaged me!’ to which one can only shake one’s head and wonder if the impulse to deliberately hurt their own children is not actually a symptom of psychological damage.

    As for how to get children to behave properly, I first of all don’t think it’s an issue the schools should have to deal with, so considering to reintroduce corporal punishment there is to entirely miss the mark. Children should be raised by their parents, and the parents should make sure to educate themselves on the best methods to form their children into well-adjusted adult individuals.

    When children misbehave it’s often because they lack contact with their parents and want to get their attention in any way possible. I’ve experienced it myself; ignore a pre-teen boy long enough and he’ll start shouting out rude words to see how far he can go before getting a reaction, even a negative reaction being better than no reaction because contact of any kind is seen as a reward. If parents only react to their children’s bad behaviour, they will actually involuntarily encourage this behaviour. In my experience, which granted is limited to taking care of my sister and smaller cousins apart from the psychology classes I’ve been taking, the proper way to encourage good behaviour is to establish clear expectations and guidelines, enforce these rules fairly and consistently above all else, and emphasize on positive behaviour.

    I might add that I was never spanked myself, and I dare say I turned out an okay adult individual in spite of this.

    ~Grephaun.
    Last edited by Grephaun; January 5th, 2006 at 15:26.
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  4. #3
    ISIS Secret Agent Squishy mpdscott's Avatar
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    As far as I'm concerned, corporal punishment and national service are two completely different topics. Corporal punishment, of which I am a supporter, is used to teach children about consequences and discipline; whereas national service is one method of bringing a sense of community and nation to a country.

    On corporal punishment - I was brought up with corporal punishment as a child, and I learned right from wrong, good from bad, and the important lesson of consequences for my actions (that isn't to say that I'm an angel, just that I know when I do something wrong). I was a little horror as a child, and I knew that when I got caught doing something wrong, I would be punished, but I always knew what I was being punished for, my parents made sure of it. Unfortunately for society, corporal punishment has been legislated against in an effort to prevent child abuse from occuring. In Australia nearly all parental rights have been taken away to prevent any kind of child abuse, this includes the right to tell the child off for doing something wrong. To escacerbate the problem, children are taught in school what their rights are and what their parent's right are not. With children unable to be disciplined in any way, they feel that they can get away with murder, and are entitled to everything. I do understand and applaud the idea of preventing child abuse, but when telling a child off for doing something wrong is considered to be emotional/psychological abuse by the legal system, then there are major issues with the way the law is organised. Before parental rights were removed, it was uncommon to see children committing adult crimes, but has become so commonplace that it barely makes the news anymore. I lament the state of today's children, apparently they are the future, and it seems anarchy is what I have to look forward to.

    On national service - Surprisingly for someone of my age group, I am in favour of national service in it's purest form (all citizens/residents of a country have to participate regardless of social standing). I would welcome Australia introducing a national service system, if it was correctly run. National service should not have to be purely military in nature (as some countries have it), there should be a selection of alternative services that participants can choose from, ranging from military service to environmental service (maintaining the environment) or even social service (medicine, aged care, et cetera). A variety of ways to serve the country would be able to satisfy all philosophies and creeds (whether religious or pacifistic), while still instilling a sense of community. The primary problem with national service of any kind, is the tendancy of the wealthy or the families of the government to avoid having to participate. This leads to elitism and social unrest, which is the bane of a sense of community. The easiest way to deal with this is to remove any possibility of avoiding national service, no loopholes, no exceptions, all citizens/residents must have participated in national service at least once in their life. How do you ensure that all citizens/residents perform national service at least once? You make it a compulsory requirement after high school; either directly after, or after university, whichever is more suitable (depending on career plan ie. med students wait till after they are qualified). In addition, you make national service a part of the unemployment system; for instance, if a person has been unemployed for more than 12 months in a row, they must (once again) enrol in national service. This has the benefit of reducing the ability for people to spend their whole lives on governement benefits without any effort to do anything to help the community. It might also help some people figure out what they want to do with their lives. All in all, national service can be beneficial to society as a whole, and people as individuals.

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  5. #4
    Now 17% more helpful gingerninja's Avatar
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    Well 2 replies and 2 different opinions, exactly what I wanted a bit of lively debate :w00t:

    First of all to Grephaun, I understand your position entirely, although I do not agree with it, but I would like to clarify my position, so as to leave as little grey as possible.
    I am not saying that corporal punishment should be brought into all educational areas. I believe it should be added in at secondary school level (11+), so that a child can have the situation explained to them after the fact, what they did wrong and how they can rectify thier behaviour so as they only have to struck once.

    I do agree with mpdscott though. With parents being chastised for disciplining their offspring is rediculous, and I was smacked as a child, only once mind, but it was then explained why it had happened by my parents and I never did it again.

    I do not condone child abuse in any way shape or form, but to remove the ability to discipline your child, other than saying "that's not what I would have done, but I respect your right to free expression" is silly, in my opinion. Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived, and it must be there, in one shape or another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheredanine View Post
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  6. #5
    The Voice of Reason RJSuperfreaky's Avatar
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    As a parent myself, I believe that corporal punishment has a place in child-rearing, albeit infrequently and as a last resort. To put it quite simply, very young children ( < 5 years) are incapable of complex thought, and are unable to "reason" in the traditional sense. "Explaining it to them" is not always effective for this reason, as they are not always able to think abstractly. For example, you can tell a child "Don't play with the fireplace, it's hot and could burn you", but they often really don't have a concept of what a "burn" is. They don't understand. So, if you use spanking as a proxy ( i.e. if you try to play with fire, you will get spanked), theycan understand it. They are able to associate painful stimuli with actions. Thus, sometimes a spanking will achieve the desired effect.

    That being said, I think we need to be clear about what constitutes "corporal punishment". Specifically, I refer to spanking, using the parent's hand. Kicking, slapping of the face, punching, whipping, etc. are NOT corporal punishment but rather ASSAULT.

    As a child, I was spanked, and I don't hate my parents for it. I actually appeciate it now that I am older. By the same token, my wife was never spanked, and she turned out just fine

    For my own children, I prefer the time-out rule. I have spanked my eldest daughter before, but only to dissuade her from doing something that could cause her grievous bodily harm (like playing with fire), and never out of anger or frustration ( I always go and cool off before I think about dishing out a spanking). Needless to say that she doesn't play with fire anymore

    So in summary, spanking is OK in moderation, as defined above.

    I think mpdscott's example above represents the problem with over-legislation. For some reason we as a society increasingly feel the need to over-regulate every aspect of our lives. Certainly no one argues FOR child-abuse, but the problem with legislations is that they are often an imperfect method for regulating behavior, and are incapable of codifying things like "user discretion". If they are made too lenient, then they are pointless, and if the are made too strict, they seem to contradict common sense.
    Last edited by RJSuperfreaky; January 5th, 2006 at 16:22.
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  7. #6
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    First of all great thread. I don't think we have ever discussed this before (Y)

    I disagree with corporal punishment for a different reason from Greph's.

    I think corporal punishment is a method of social control more than individual control. It has wider ramifications than teaching little snot-nose Derek to have some manners. Whether or not it is prevalent in a society changes the whole way the society works. Look back on the world of the 1950's and earlier (or ask someone who was there) and you'll see what I mean.

    A society that beats children has these things going for it, as far as I can see:

    *Most children are respectful of all adults.
    *Adults have learnt to be respectful of authority figures.
    *Stronger group identity and sense of what's "normal" and what isn't.
    *People are more humble.
    *People are more willing to make individual sacrifices for the good of the group. After all, they've all suffered together and it was for the good of everyone.

    However these are the cons (IMHO):

    *Less individuality.
    *Fewer open displays of emotion and self-expression.
    *People will hesitate to disagree with an authority figure.
    *Less tolerance, especially of those who "rock the boat."
    *People are less self-assured and imaginative.

    I think the atomization of modern society (the tendency for people to be individuals, live and work alone, enjoy solo entertainment like video-games) has led to a sense in most people's minds where corporal punishment must be unnacceptable. People (even children) have greater self-importance nowadays (you could say arrogance ) and simply will not accept violence against themselves as being "for their own good."

    Every society has social problems, it's inevitable and the societies with corporal punishment are no exception. We just have to accept that rudeness and precociousness in children and teenagers is the price we pay for having dynamic and creative adults, as opposed to what we used to have: A horde of identical suit-and-hat wearing factory workers who would gladly die for mother england (or whatever) whenever they were asked to.

    I understand what you are trying to say gingerninja but I think it's too late to go back. Social trends evolve along with technologies and the world of tolerance, the internet and the all important consumer is incompatible with corporal punishment. Could you go back to a world where everyone dresses the same, has the same hobbies, etc? Maybe you could but most couldn't. It's too late.

    You can't tell kids they are each a beautiful and unique snowflake while at the same time making them sit in rows and slapping their hands with a cane for talking in class. They're going to notice the inconsistency.

    EDIT: When I'm talking about corporal punsihment I'm talking about institutionalized corporal punishment of school-aged children, not spanking a very young child because they walk out onto a busy road or play near the fireplace. As far as I'm concerned I agree with RJ on that. My mum only ever spanked me when I did something that could have resulted in my serious injury or death, and then only when I was too young to understand reason. I do not consider that corporal punishment, and I don't think many people would. Caning "bad" students for rudeness, flogging thieves, etc is corporal punishment in my book.
    Last edited by Kahoolin; January 6th, 2006 at 01:46.

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    I was spanked a lot. My parents are at the tail end of Gen X. I learned a lot. I didn't listen to reason, hell, I don't always now. But I have a sense of whats a bad idea and what isn't. Besides, very high ranking developmental psychologists, have stated that children between the ages of x and y only consequences and rewards. So its pointless to try and reason.

    For example. Up until I was about five, we lived near a very busy highway. I liked to play by the highway, sometimes in. Everytime I did this, I got spanked and sent to my room. Eventually I learned and stopped doing that. That is until I found my window lead to the roof. But the line was roughly, anything I did that could have caused injury to myself or oter and to a lessor extent other living things, I was spanked. Other breaches of protocol, etiquete, and minor inconveniences were groundings or time outs. And they were very firm on their punishments. What they had said orginally was law and they acted as if they couldn't cahnge even if they wanted to. And besides afterwards, if my parents felt they overreacted they would wait a while until everybody had cooled down and very carefully explain themselves, and that the transgression wasn't to happen again or the same consquence was to be invoked. As a result of this or not, I feel I have a great balance of morality and common sense for my age. I plan on raising my kids the same way. Plus I haven't been in and ot of juvie, or in trouble with the law alot. Sure I've done my fair share taht could get me there but I haven't made it obvious.

    Of course this may not work for some, and others might find it horribly harsh. But there is a lot of grey area in this subject. It shouldn't be decided by a few people, nor even a lot of people. You will get the method straight for a bunch and figure it works for everyone, but then there will be others that aren't effected by it. But because of laws, you will be screwed into trying to reason with a 4 your old.
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    I think there are two big issues here, the legal and the moral.

    The legal reason why corporal punishment of children is now illegal in most situations, and limited in others, is the same reason we have the age of consent. If the regulations regarding corporal punishment were too vague, there would be legal room for people who seriously beat or hurt their children to escape punishment for it. The law isn't designed to stop the 'average' parent from giving their children the occasional smack, it's designed to stop people from punching their children in the face when they get angry.

    As for moral reasons, I'm not a moral person, so I don't deal with them. In fact, I'd argue one of the reasons I'm not a moral person is that I was never smacked or hurt as a child for anything, and I'm quite glad of that fact. Right and wrong is a closed point of view which limits your perception of the world, I'd rather be able to create right and wrong for myself, and the great thing about this increasingly postmodern world is that it allows us to do that.

    As for national service.. I'm against it for the same reasons.

    But in both cases really, and certainly the latter, it depends what you want from society. If you want to go back to the 1950s, where crime and social problems were less of an issue, but where people were more judgemental, less independent in their thought and followed a narrower spectrum of beliefs, you're probably a fan of collectivist measures like national service. If you like the way society is progressing, with less social cohesion, more diversity, and more freedom for individual thought and expression, at the cost of all the things which come with it, I'd imagine you're against national service.
    Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; January 12th, 2006 at 03:58.

  10. #9
    Librarian from Hell Andusciassus's Avatar
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    Nice thread, great discussion. Love to you all.

    Gingerninja's first post was about corporal punishment i school, this is what I will reply to.

    I think the children who would be punished in such a school are those most in need. Not in need of a physical punishment but some extra time and attention.
    Make school a good place, where they get respected for their qualities, not a place they fear.
    If beating would have been legal in Sweden when I went to school I would have gotten my share of it, but the ones whom would have been punished more often, harder and finally sent to "army-shool" are the ones who came from really bad familyconditions. Families where respect and love, time and attention were rare indeed.
    And it's theese qualities that make people grow. Those guys are today still in many ways infants. Violentely screaming their needs.

    I think the best would be if school was a place where those needs were met. A place where even those from broken homes (not separated nor divorced but broken) could find peace. A place where they were respected and given the attention needed.
    A place where they were allowed to develop their inner qualities, in their own time, and hence gaining self-confidence.

    It would cost more then a beating though and it would take longer time.

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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingerninja
    1) There are a lot of parents who have children too young. How are you meant to look after a child when you are a child yourself. (This is a generalisation, of course there are some young parents who do very admirable jobs in very difficult conditions)
    Hmmm, I think not. Back in the days when life spans where shorter, getting married and having kids at 16-17 for a woman was normal. IMO in this day and age our child hoods have been extended beyond what we really need. What we need is Space Marine Hypno Therapy to make the most of our time.

    And as for coporal punishment, ekkk! Keep it away.

    Seriously, Older children are highly unlikely to accept this without a fight. So the teachers are going to have to be bigger and far more numerous to administer it. I can just imagine some of my teachers trying to administer the cane to some of my more unruly class mates and then getting their lights punched out. :sleep: I have to say I wouldn't settle lightly for someone whacking me with a stick.
    Last edited by Triumph Of Man; January 16th, 2006 at 13:53.


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