To punish or not to punish


That is the question.

I agree with those who consider beating children as a means to discipline is bad parenting. I saw no difference between kids who were spanked and those who weren’t.

There was spanking both in my primary and high school days. Looking back, the spanking didn’t act as a deterrent. Many times, the spanking made no sense. I remember in high school, we came up with ways to cheat the teachers.

Those who think spanking is good for character formation should tell us why in the comments section.

In Tyranny of god, Joseph Lewis writes

The child is brought into this world from the insuppressible passion of two people, and surely without its consent, and it is absolute tyranny and barbarity to torment its mind or to punish its body, regardless of the result its action may have upon us.

To the little children that have suffered the horrible punishment so generally followed in that cruel and false book—the Bible—my heart goes out in pity, since words fail me to describe those savage characters that visit inhuman, tormenting and torturous treatment upon their unwelcome offspring.

If we were forced to perform the thousand tyrannies that are directed against the child during the day by cruel and thoughtless parents, the lunatic asylum would soon be our place of refuge. Such trivial things as a spot on the shoe, a speck of dirt upon the clothes, a mere tip of the hat, a slight turn of the scarf often give rise to such violent reprimand, and very often brutal punishment, that the savageness of barbarians is mild compared to such displays of temper.

My heart again goes out to you, little children, when and wherever you are, that must bear the brunt of brutal actions from stupid and thoughtless parents and guardians. These people seem to classify children in the matter of discipline as grown ups, thinking(or, rather, not thinking) that children’s undeveloped minds should be as strong as theirs, when they themselves are unable to practice the self-denial that they expect from mere infants.

How often does a child receive a slap in the face from a parent for the asking of only a simple question, when the parent is not in the “humor” to “bother” with him?

What a painful and terrifying beating does a child often get for disobeying some arbitrary command uttered by the one over him. To the child, “Don’t do this,” “Don’t go there,” “Stand up straight,” and “Say this” are commands that carry with them court martial and its severe and unrelenting punishment.

he also says, and I agree

Prayers are only wasted words on the desert air. The greatest mental crime ever committed is that of teaching a child, “while still upon its mother’s knee,” its duty and obedience to God. It would appear that for the amount of suffering it must endure, and in the face of its unconsulted coming, we should at least disregard God for his insolence, and impress upon the child the peculiar conditions of life. We should instruct it, that from time immemorial, Nature has been laboring through the most awkward process of reproduction, and has finally brought the child into existence, not to enjoy the benefits, or eat of the fruits of the earth, but to bear a life of continual strife and suffering. Not of God should we speak to our child, but of the importance of being prepared to do all in its power to help others to escape the torture, misery and hardships it must so painfully overcome. Is it any wonder that we grow up to be serfs and slaves? Before we are able to know or understand the very rudest fundamentals of life, our entire mental machinery is corrupted by unshakable fears and dedicated to the vilest and most sickening submission. Would that we were left alone, and free to follow the thoughts of our own minds, regarding the great problems of life. What a mighty, unhampered power we would possess to find the proper course of action, and possibly the real solution to the mystery of the Tyranny of God!

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

64 thoughts on “To punish or not to punish

  1. koppieop says:

    With clubschadenfreude (at 02:12), I am for a spanking but in a limited frame. My parents only spanked me for disobedience and lies. It may have helped me to be obedient and honest the rest of my life. I don´t know but what I can say is that I always thought the penalty was justified.
    There was one measure that really hurt me deeply. That was when my dad unexpectedly requested the key of the wooden box where I kept my precious collection of stamps. Not being able to exchange and order these small pieces of paper with geographical information and suggestions during one or two weeks, was a real punishment.
    .-

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] This post over at Mak’s blog discusses the merits and demerits of punishing children. By punishment, the post (and its links) refer to actually visiting physical violence upon one’s children. This is a pretty heated issue in the States, with some public schools still allowed to physically hit students with a parent’s consent. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak about my own view of my own childhood. It directly informs my views of punishing kids. […]

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