Corporal Punishment is no longer allowed as it is against the law. However it continues in because many caregivers and educators feel they have no alternatives.
Do you know what Corporal Punishment is?
This is when physical punishment is handed down to someone from a teacher or parent. For example it is when youre smacked or hit as a form of punishment.
Is Corporal Punishment allowed?
According to our law, corporal punishment in schools is not allowed. However, getting a smack at home is not against the law (although steps are being taken to stop this too). This does not mean that your parents are allowed to hit you senseless and get away with it. If your parents did continuously hit you as a form of punishment, it would be considered abusive.
Are you punished by your caregivers or disciplined?
There is a difference between punishing a child and disciplining them. Punishment is based on the belief that if children are made to suffer for doing something wrong, they will not do it again. For example, a hard smack on the buttocks.
Disciplining a child involves them taking responsibility for what they have done, helping them make amends for this when this is possible, and thereby making them learn that the behaviour is unacceptable. For example, taking away the privilege of television for a day.
Why caregivers may be punishing you?
Children today have a lot more freedom than before. They grow up fast by watching TV, playing video games and accessing the internet. This means that you are very often far more advanced than your care-givers give you credit for. You talk back. You question orders without just accepting them. This leads to conflict and very often your parents and caregivers are at a loss about what they should do.
Your parents are also under a lot of pressure. They have to work hard to provide what you need and want. They are constantly under pressure and this means that they arent able to spend much time with you and when they are with you, they often dont know what makes you tick. So, when there is trouble in the home, parents often resort to smacking and destructive forms of punishment and discipline.
How can we change things?
It isnt simple. It calls for everyone to compromise and communicate. It is not acceptable for parents to discipline or punish in an abusive way, but try to look at the situation from their perspective. Are people communicating in your home? Are you talking through problems? Are you trying to understand what your parents may be going through in order to provide for you? Accept responsibility & play a more active role Being a teenager is generally a confusing time. You are trying to find out who you are, what you like, and who you like.
To top it all, there is a lot of peer pressure nowadays. Ask yourself if you sometimes behave in a manner that makes it difficult for your caregivers to approach you. A lot of children find it difficult to talk to their parents but it works both ways. Caregivers aren’t mind readers and can only help you if you let them. Also, ask yourself if you show appreciation for all the things your caregivers do for you, even if you dont get all the things you want.
What does this have to do with punishment and discipline?
Well, if there is no communication and openness between you and your caregiver, perhaps that is why they resort to unacceptable forms of discipline and punishment. Are you treating your caregivers as you would like to be treated? Perhaps try talking to them about the way that they punish/discipline you. You never know, they might value your input!