Chakra Discussions

Corporal punishment seldom warranted

by Gaurav Mittal

Posted February 16, 2005

I don't know why the author of the article "What constitutes actual child abuse?" has withheld his name. The evangelic Christian group "Focus on the Family" also suggests using spanking (albeit rarely) for disciplining children.

If we want our children to perform exceptionally, then we need to be tough with them. For example, the parents of people who excel in gymnastics or ice skating had to force theur children to go through the tough years of practice and training.

Excessive love may sometimes make children not live up to their maximum potential. But excessive love can never spoil the child. Especially, teaching children to lead loving, truthful, compassionate lives centered around God should not require corporal punishment.

It depends on the nature of the child, also. Some children are very sensitive, and they will take harsh words to their hearts. I take my own case: my parents never hit me. There were few instances when a teacher spanked me (I mean hitting once with a ruler) and I still remember those incidences. I feel that spanking, even in those incidents, was not required.

There might be a few kids who may need corporal punishment to learn values, but such kids will be a very small percentage. Non-corporal punishment is a much safer rule to follow than using corporal punishment, even if only rarely.

Also, in most cases of corporal punishment, the person who hits the child does so out of his own mental agitation, not with a calm and relaxed mind. The perpetrator uses spanking to release his or her own anger or mental agitation. The occasions where spanking, etc. can be justified will be rare or almost negligible.