A survey conducted by the Finnish Central Union for Child Welfare suggests Finns’ attitudes toward corporal punishment have changed. Today the physical chastisement of children is generally considered unacceptable.
Paddling doesn’t teach a child anything except how to use force to get your way. That’s the exact wrong message to send to our students, who should be encouraged to control their emotions and use their brains to get past challenges. Worst of all is the bizarre twist of paddling students not just for misbehavior but for bad grades. What if a student has a learning disability or simply can’t grasp a difficult subject? Paddling in public schools is simply wrong. It needs to end now, not later.
Among the unconscionable problems with corporal punishment: Racial discrimination. The U.S. Education Department found that African-American students are twice as likely to be spanked as their peers of other races, USA Today reported. In North Carolina, Native Americans represent 2 percent of the student population yet make up 35 percent of those physically punished, The American Academy of Pediatrics concluded years ago that spanking harms learning and self-image, the paper reported.
“The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body (especially the brain), with damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan.”
By the time she spanks, it is the mom’s second misbehavior. The first is whatever she did or did not do to cause the child to “misbehave.” A 15-month-old or a 3-year-old may be curious, impatient, goading, erring, attention-seeking and cuddle-requiring.