Parents often resort to physical punishment to “correct” and “educate” their children. This method of correcting behavior can range from pushing and slapping to full-blown beatings. The sad thing is that these are not isolated cases but a very topical problem. The data confirms that the number of physically punished children has grown in recent decades, especially in areas with more poverty and lower levels of schooling.
However, physical punishment, however light it may be, leaves deep marks, not only physically but also psychologically. In fact, its repercussions are not limited to childhood but can extend to adulthood.
10 effects of physical punishment during childhood
In the past it was thought that punishment physical had an educational effect on children but today we know that it can cause very negative effects in the emotional and social sphere. In fact, the frequent practice of violence can:
- Damage children’s self-esteem, promoting insecurity and lack of self-confidence.
- Destroy the creativity of the little ones since it blocks their behavior and initiative.
- Limit their autonomy and independence, turning them into submissive people.
- Decrease the capacity for reasoning and children’s learning since they do not consider dialogue as an alternative to solve their problems.
- Affect the emotional development of children, causing feelings of sadness, anguish and anxiety.
- Limit communication between parents and children by raising barriers so great that they often survive even into adulthood.
- Increase the feeling of loneliness and abandonment, which often generates a feeling of helplessness .
- Hinder the development of social skills and conflict resolution cts, often children who are abused are not able to develop assertive communication.
- Generate a negative and threatening view of the world, the child who is the victim of violence by the person who should care for and love him, he usually forms a negative conception of his environment and of people.
- Causing physical harm, whether intentionally or not.
The risks The most common risks of physical punishment
The greatest risk of physical punishment is a violent response. In fact, the majority of children who have been victims of physical punishment they develop aggressive and violent behaviors with their classmates and friends. It is common for the abused to become, in turn, the abuser.
In reality, these children do not have a sadistic tendency, what happens is that they do not know any other relationship pattern. They have not developed their social skills and believe that it is normal to respond with violence when something does not like or bothers them. When these children face a conflict, they have no other tools to resolve it than violence.
Another important risk of physical punishment is disease In fact, a study conducted by Canadian researchers that was recently published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that physical punishment is a risk factor for the development of some psychopathologies.
This research found that children who were spanked as children were 2-7% more likely to have mood disorders, anxiety, and substance abuse such as alcohol and drugs. They also noted that these children are between 4-7% more likely to develop personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders and intellectual problems in adulthood, compared to children who were not abused.
The c Conclusions leave no room for doubt: physical punishment lacerates the psychological development of children in the short and long term. Therefore, it is best to avoid it.