Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child? – Part 1
Posted on: August 14, 2015. Comments ( 11 )

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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‘Punishment is the root of violence’ – Marshall Rosenberg.

How can I get through to my child? How can I make him do what he needs to do? What should I do to make my child a fine one?

What did my parents do to me? Am I the fine person whom my parents expected me to be?

‘As a child, I was often spanked’, says Mythili, my friend. And she muses, ‘That is why, today, I am what I am. Thanks to my parents for disciplining me thus.’

Is it not the voice of many of us, echoing the same thoughts, as Mythili’s?

Maybe we all think that it is a good way to guide our child. Maybe some of us think it is not a good way. But, when we face helplessness, then we start questioning our stand. Should I or shouldn’t I spank my kid to get through to him?

Interestingly, adults who were not beaten as kids do not beat their children. They just feel it is wrong to do so.

But, then what else do they do? Yes, they do find other ways to get through to their children. Such children also turn out to be well raised children. In fact, it is those children who are beaten who have a tougher time regulating their emotions, and they are the ones who get into more trouble during their growing up years, and continue to be so, long after stepping into adulthood, as well. A decade long period of intense research has been going on in this field and scientists have come up with a number of findings well needed to be known by the young parents of today.

Children who are subjected to beatings have a poorer emotional health than their luckier peers. What is more shocking, such kids behave worse, when they are grown up.

Hence, if one was spanked when young and now feels he is finely grown adult, he is so not because of being spanked. And although one is a fine adult now, hopefully, he or she could be probably suffering from a poorer emotional health than would have been if his/her parents had spared the rod.

In, 2013, Elizabeth Gershoff and her team of researchers have reviewed the previous two decades of research and have also confirmed that children who were beaten by adults are more likely to exhibit depression, anxiety, drug abuse and aggression as they grow older. Children who have experienced more severe corporal punishments have been shown to have less grey matter in their frontal cortex, and to have amygdales that are more hyper vigilant.

What’s good about spanking a child? The only positive outcome I guess that shows its effectiveness is in its immediate compliance. To every parent, that is a good relief, isn’t it? That is why the act is also highly prevalent in all homes boarding kids and children. The problem, that goes unnoticed, is also the fact that violent handling of kids is also associated with less long term compliance. Severe punishments also point out to the fact that they augur many negative outcomes, including increased rates of aggression, delinquency, mental health issues, and problems in managing day to day compliance in parent relationships and interactions large, peer reviewed studies throw light repeatedly on the fact that the more children are beaten the more likely they are to hit others in turn, including their peers and siblings. As adults, when grown up, they are more likely to hit their spouses. When children indulge in anti-social behavior, parents mean to correct-tem by spanking. The result? More indulgence in antisocial behavior. All of the peer reviewed studies continue to publish and confirm these findings, again and again.

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Comments (11)


    Chandrashekhar Prabhakar Kulkarni says:

    very nice

    Rohini says:


    Vachan Seetharam Shetty says:


    Dr. Sathyanarayana H.k. says:

    Is YOGA class conducted during summer anywhere around Mylapore ? Please suggest.

    Chandrasekaran says:

    very nice article
    it is useful and to be implemented

    Dr Reetha Dinesh says:

    As a parent I want to set DAV (Mat)Choolaimedu School Principal and teachers as an example for striking best balance between punishment and reward.
    I would really like to express my sincere gratitude towards Principal and her wonderful team of teachers. It was indeed nice to see each and every teacher supporting the students so well and bringing in stress free education.”Teacher Efficacy” has been 100 % with such resourceful approach from teachers.
    Excellent coordination between student and teacher and happy to see teachers as “”facilitators”" and not mere teachers.
    Kudos to Principal and her wonderful team of teachers.

    S. Navamani says:

    Ken Blanchard books shows how to respond to your children when they do mistakes. Shamu the great killer whale was trained in that manner, and the same he suggests for child’s growth. Children should be always appreciated of good things even when they have done something bad, so this would allow them to differentiate the bad and good, and how dad/mom connects with them.

    Ramona says:

    Discipline is a must, may be the best punishment would be not talking to the child for some time or cutting down his TV time or not giving him his favorite things.

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