Should Children Be Physically Abused?

A Swedish member of parliament, Helena Bargholtz, has created a furor by openly attacking a referendum to be held in New Zealand which would allow corporal punishment of children. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Article 19, protects children from either physical or psychological abuse. Of course, in many societies, the belief is that a smack on the butt of the child is the best way to get them to behave. For some strange reason, people who adopt this view do not believe that adults should receive a smack on their butt when misbehaving. Heck, how many fights have arisen because one man accidentally bumped into another?

What exactly does the smack on the butt or the face allegedly do in terms of improving behavior? Writing as one who was physically abused as a child, the only thing one learns is to get old enough to prevent the abuse from occurring. Children need love, care, and affection more than there is need for being physically assaulted. I have taught thousands of children and can identify few cases in which physical violence led to proper behavior on the part of children. Being frightened into silence and obedience is not the birth of caring and love.

OK, if children are to be beaten, how about allowing bosses to beat disobedient workers– after all, a few smacks in the face won’t hurt anyone and it will teach them to behave and do what the boss wants.

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