Corporal punishment is the intentional use of physical force to cause bodily pain or discomfort as a penalty for unacceptable behavior. Corporal punishment includes any action that produces discomfort, such as:
Corporal punishment is not an effective method of managing behavior. It does not teach a child how to act properly. At best, corporal punishment has only a temporary effect on behavior. And it may even make it worse. Not only does it reinforce some bad behavior, but also it teaches a child that physical force is the way to resolve conflict.
Corporal punishment can also have emotional and psychological effects, both short- and long-term, such as:
Effective alternatives to corporal punishment include distraction, time-outs, alternate activities, discussion of values, verbal reprimands, and natural and logical consequences.
Research has shown that positive reinforcement is more effective than corporal punishment. Catch your child doing something right and praise him or her. Don't wait until your child has done something wrong to notice his or her behavior.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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