Do punishments lead to better disciplining in children? Vizag citizens opine.
The increasing number of cases where the children are brutally punished in the name of discipline has put the method of raising a child in question. “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is a famous proverb that many of us must have come across. This saying intends that if children are not physically punished when they do wrong, their personal development will suffer. However, in an age where the entire process of upbringing children is completely changing, and positive parenting is a trend, we need to question if this proverb still holds its ground.
On the one hand, there exist some parents and teachers who still believe in employing the conventional methods of punishing a child when he/she doesn’t listen to them. This, the parents and the teachers feel, will help in letting the children know their limits and will make them think twice before committing a mistake.
On the other hand, there is an increasing number of voices being raised against these “cruel” techniques of disciplining the children. Those who argue against these methods mention that the parents and teachers must possess high levels of patience and empathy in order to make a child understand what is right and what is not. According to them, thrashing a child with a cane, or making the students stand in the hot sun, will invoke mental trauma in the young minds of the children.
On asking Vizag citizens about their take regarding this issue, some of the Vizag people have spoken out their point of view. With both thoughts rampant, we bring you what the citizens of Vizag opine on this raging issue.
Vizag citizens opine
Spare the rod and spoil the child has been a controversial issue for long. Sometimes a little firm spank might be necessary for certain situations especially when a child is being very stubborn. Having said this, I opine that being firm with a ’No’ is far better than spanking. Most parents who cannot handle hyperactive children either because both the parents have long working hours or have another younger one who needs more attention resort to spanking out of sheer frustration. People think it’s a shorter, quicker and more effective way of discipline. What they fail to understand is that the child is actually seeking attention.
A happy child is one who has positive parenting. There’s physical affection, encouraging words when the child does something good. This child will not become stubborn and knows how to accept discipline. The child does not get emotionally affected by a No or a spank as one who regularly gets spanked.
I was horrified when one of the children who come to our workshops said that both his parents beat him regularly and many times with a belt. When we enquired, his reply was that his little brother is always carried and that his mother feeds him all the time. We took care that we didn’t use harsh words and in fact, praised him every time he did something right. The parents saw the change in the child’s behaviour. Whenever we see a very distracted and destructive child, we talk about the home and realise the reason for his behaviour. Some become very quiet with low self-confidence. With a little bit of encouragement, they come out of the shell. So spare the rod and help the child to become smarter. They will not be spoilt.
I would not deny the fact that children can go over the top with mischief sometimes and test the patience of both, parents and teachers. Especially, given the stress parents need to cope up in their daily lives, the job of handling children can get extremely frustrating at times. However as per psychologists, being apathetic and thrashing children will make the children foster hatred toward the parents or teachers. Adults must be responsible and try to identify what the child is going through. Talking to them patiently and providing the necessary counselling is the only way of bettering the situation. The quote, “Our parents beat us up in our childhood and that is the reason why we are disciplined” makes no sense in this age. The times have changed and so should the methods.
I feel beating up or punishing children is not an effective solution at all. Physical abuse only causes stress and fear in children and can affect them adversely. Also, physical violence sends across a wrong message to these young minds. It is important to treat them affectionately and guide them with empathy and care. After all, they are the building blocks of our country and we don’t want them to be damaged.
The four important T’s while dealing with children are Time, Talk, Trust, and Touch. While beating up the kids for every small issue will set them a wrong example, pampering above a certain limit might spoil them too. So, it’s crucial to strike a balance. Parents must ensure that children maintain the right discipline while enjoying the freedom given to them.
I am against the phrase, spare the rod and spoil the child, as I feel that children are like wet soil and as a teacher or parent, we must use tools i.e rod at correct times to shape them into beautiful earthen pots, to survive and sustain in the outside world.
As a parent, I believe that hitting children will be instigating fear in them, which is not good at all. This will make them hide a mistake when they commit one in the future and snub their instinct to tackle it in the first place. The main aim as a parent should be to educate your child on what’s right and what’s not. Parents can call themselves successful only when children are able to trust and rely on them instead of being petrified.