Effects of Physical Punishment on Children
Are the children getting still now physical punishment at home? Any kind of punishment on children is prohibited in most of the countries through out the world. But can we give protection to our children from physical punishment at home? The effects of physical punishment on children is devasting but many parents are indifferent about this and they make it their habit to punish their children physically with the thought that their children are their property type not the different human beings.
Sorry dear parents for the harsh words but this is the reality of the scenario and most of the parents including me easily take the physical punishment as the tool to make the children disciplined or to teach them new things and thus hamper the proper growth and development of children. ” Discipline is helping a child to solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem.” L.R. Knost
What do We Mean by Physical Punishment? Is it Corporal Punishment?
Often we use the words the physical punishment and corporal punishment interchangeably because the UN committee on the Rights of the child defined the corporal punishment as ” any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light”. According to the committee, this mostly involves hitting children with hand like slapping, smacking etc. or hitting children with thinks like belt, stick, spoon, bat or others. It also involves pinching children, pulling hair, shaking children or unboxing ears, keeping children standing in a uncomfortable position or kicking children.
So physical punishment is any kind of punishment that cause physical pain to children and we should always avoid those by keeping in mind the harmful effects of physical punishment on children.
Severe Effects of Physical Punishment on Children
Corporal or physical punishment is highly prevalent globally, both in homes and schools. Around 60% of children aged 2–14 years regularly suffer physical punishment by their parents or other caregivers.” according to the WHO published in a report in November, 2021. That report also states that, “Evidence shows corporal punishment increases children’s behavioral problems over time and has no positive outcomes.” The major effects of physical punishment on children by the parents or other caregivers are stated here.
Stress- Acute Stress Syndrome
The children who are punished physically at home by their parents are always in stress and tension, they suffer physical pain, shame, fear and going through a traumatic experience. So the effects of physical punishment on children are needed to be treated seriously. In their adulthood also, they are unable to cope with the stressful situations effectively.
The physical punishment on children creates anxiety disorders in them, they are always anxious – they cannot face a new situation easily and also feel anxious to deal with new people. Too much anxiety lead them to avoid the social situations, to avoid the public speaking and thus Social Anxiety Disorder develop in them. Sometimes the effects of physical punishment on children make them the sufferer of Anxiety Attack or Panic Attack and those children feel many physical difficulties like shortness of breath, tremor, palpitations, headache etc. in the situations related to severe anxiety.
Depression, Social Isolation
Too much physical punishment not only give the children physical pain but also they suffer from too much psychological pain- they feel lonely, neglected and lack of parental love and affection. And all these things create severe sadness in them and this sadness if persists for a long period, it create depression in children. Severe depression may create the tendency of social isolation in those children.
Aggression and Violence
Another severe effects of physical punishment on children is make them aggressive and violent. Several studies also proved the fact that frequent physical punishment in children by the parents increases the aggression in children and the children also model those behavior and also practice those. That’s why we see that some children are too aggressive and often show violent behavior to others.
Impaired Cognitive Development
Physical punishment make the children stressed, scared and losing their capability to explore the surroundings. It often makes them to feel inferior and dependent on their parents for even the little things in their lives. They are afraid to use their thinking capacity to solve any problem of their lives and also to show their creativity to explore the unknown only in fear of physical punishment. But the scope to experience new things, to use the critical thinking and creativity to explore the environment, to learn to take the decisions in life and also to solve problems etc. are essential for the proper cognitive development.
Here the fear of getting physical punishment make the kids to stay in their circle and cannot achieve the actual level of their cognitive growth and this is one of the serious effects of physical punishment on children.
Lack of Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
Another crucial effect of physical punishment on children is that to lower their self-confidence level and grow the tendency of self-doubt in them due to the fear of punishment. It also creates the feelings of shame, guilt and confusion in them and those children grow up with poor self-confidence and self-esteem.
Anti-Social Behavior in Children
The anti-social behaviors are mostly seen in those children who are frequently punished physically by their parents. So it is also mentioned in the report of WHO that corporal punishment do-
poor moral internalization and increased antisocial behaviour;
increased aggression in children.
adult perpetration of violent, antisocial and criminal behaviour;
Thus we can really see that how devasting is the effects of physical punishment on children.
Lack of Emotional Growth
It is also one of the serious effects of physical punishment on children that frequent physical punishment by parents on them wipe out the soft traits in them like compassion, pity, kindness, empathy etc. and make them to exhibit selfishness, cruelty in their behavior. They also lack the ability to regulate and manage their own emotions and thus lack of their emotional growth.
Problem in Making Relationships
Too much physical punishment makes the children restless, aggressive, selfish and also lack of emotional control. They also lack faith, mutual dependency and often show anxiety and nervousness. So it is very tough for those children to make friends and also to form other relationship in their adulthood. It is also another serious effect of physical punishment on children.
More Prone to Addiction
The another most horrible effects of physical punishment on children is that those children are more prone to any kind of addiction whether alcohol or drugs or cyber as most of them are suffering from stress, anxiety, depression or social isolation. Those children cannot make friends easily, develop inferiority complex in them and also develop fear in them. So they try to forget their all issues by engaging themselves in the activities which give them temporary relief like the addiction to drugs.
Words from Wingsofwishes.in
Actually we, the parents are unaware about the devasting effects of physical punishment on children and that’s why we apply it on the children. Yes, we can sometimes lose our temperament and we slap once our children. It’s may take place but we should never use the physical punishment as the tool to rear our children. A 2002 meta analytic review by Gershoff that combined 60 years of research on corporal punishment also described it as linked with increased negative outcomes in children.
“ There are no bad children, only bad behavior.” UNICEF
Table of Contents: