Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, November 19th, 2017

The Consequences of Punishing Children

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The Consequences of Punishing Children

Family plays a key and an irreparable role in socializing children. As a most fundamental environment for training, a family will put a profound effect on its members, mainly on children. Families should be supported so as to play their role in the best possible way and children need to be brought up in a safe and secure milieu to complete its mental, emotional, and physical growth in a normal way. Although family plays a pivotal role in shaping the children’s personality, it is not always a proper environment and the bulk of violence against children takes place within families. That is to say, the development of human societies could not reduce violence against children. In countries like Afghanistan where patriarchal system still rules, violence is more tangible. Children are either threatened by their parents or their brothers and sisters. Since there are extended families in the country, violence is also extended and widespread. In such families, children fall victim to violence applied by other members of their families, as well. The ruling culture suggests that parents should ignore violence taken place against their children by other members of families or else it will generate further conflict in the family.
There is great possibility for the death and harassment of children in extended families rather than by strangers. Within the past days, harassing children made national headlines. For example, a little girl was killed by her father in Herat province in a tragic way, a two-year-old boy was killed in Iran, and a man beheaded his ten-month-old child and its mother in Nimroz province. There are tens of such reports making the headlines in this society but they are turned a cold shoulder. Mostly, families are involved in the issues.
There are many types of violence against children that will put a pernicious effect on their minds in one way or another. In other words, children’s harassment starts from depriving them from food, shelter, clothing, and parental love to inflicting physical harm, which sometimes may lead to amputation of their limbs or even to their death. Generally speaking, harassing children are divided into four categories which include sexual violence, physical violence, mental violence, and negligence. Physical violence against children is highly blatant. There are hardly any children who have not been punished by their parents, which is done for training them. Regardless of the fact that punishment make children more stubborn, it will be applied severely next time. Some may have discerned the fact that the children who suffer more physical punishment will be less fearful and show more tendencies on tasks forbidden by their parents. Parents compound the punishment out of anger that may result in serious harm.
Emotional harassment is the next kind of violence against children. A large number of children are appalled by remembering their parents’ anger. This is a small example of emotional violence that will put a seriously destructive impact on the minds of children. Accosting children and addressing them with foul languages or degrading them are also kinds of violence. Saying that you hate children, comparing them with their playmates, controlling them strictly, castigating them, threatening or letting them not express their emotions will inflict mental and spiritual harm on them.
The Consequences of Punishment
The effect of physical punishment will be eroded soon. Children will turn stubborn versus punishment. The more parents add to the severity of their punishment the more children will show disobedience. With the erosion of its effect, parents will not be able to get the desired result. Perhaps, parents will lose their control and resort to a serious action that will harm children seriously or even lead to their death.
The next effect of punishment is that children will learn that violence and conflict are solution to challenges. Hence, they will also resort to violence for resolving an issue. Rather than being changed into a suitable person, a child will cherish revenge and perform what enrages their parents such as sabotaging instruments at home, harassing their siblings, etc.
With punishment, children will lose their self-confidence. During punishment, parents may utter words that fill children will disappointment and contempt. Children will deem themselves inferior to others, especially when being compared to their friends and playmates.
This article does not have the capacity to scrutinize the consequences of punishment in detail. There are many consequences that have been shortened in this article. Escaping home, depression, resorting to prostitution or addiction at early age are all the adverse effects of punishment.
Solutions
Since playing an important role, parents form the cornerstone of children’s personality. Children are the society’s future and if they are not brought up properly, both families and society will be harmed. First and foremost, parents are supposed to learn the way of bringing up children. Many parents think that punishing children will be a better way for training them. However, it should be noted that punishment will not only fail to reduce the challenges but it will rather add to the issues.

Fatima Faizi is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. She can be reached at the outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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