Last Updated 16 Jun 2020

Discipline Versus Child Abuse

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Is there such a thing as too much discipline? How far can a person go with discipline before it turns into child abuse? How do a person know if they are performing child abuse? These are the three main questions that raise a debate when the subjects discipline and child abuse are put in one sentence. What some people might call discipline others may say is child abuse. Gaining the knowledge and education of what is right and what is wrong is the key to preventing discipline from becoming child abuse.

As stated in the American Heritage College Dictionary, discipline is defined as “training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior. ” Child abuse is defined as “mistreatment of a child by a parent or guardian, including neglect, beating, and sexual molestation” on dictionary. com. Unfortunately, a parent or guardian training a child to produce a specific character or pattern behavior may lead to mistreating or neglecting a child unintentionally. It is legal to pk a child but it is also illegal to beat them.

Spanking a child may be considered as light licks on the legs or bottom. Beating a child may consist of bruising or drawing blood. But what works for one child might not be any good for the other. One child can learn a lesson from a pking but if a parent pk’s the other child, it might not have an effect on him at all. That is when alternatives come in. Either way a parent decides to punish that child, that parent’s point will be made or that child will have learned a lesson. There is nothing wrong with disciplining a child for doing something he was not supposed to have done.

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Punishing a child will serve as a warning to let that child know that if he ever did something bad again, there will be a consequence. There are many ways to discipline a child without performing child abuse. For example, if a child is at school and acts inappropriate towards his peers or the teacher, he can be giving a pking, a timeout or some of his privileges can be taken away from him. That child might think the parent is being mean or obnoxious, but that entire time that parent is really showing how much they love and care for that child. As a kid, I would get into trouble a lot.

Of course there would be a consequence, and a few words that came along with it. I will never forget the words my mother said to me as I received my pking: “I am only doing this because I love you and I want you to do what is right no matter what the situation is. If I do not whip you, you will continue to do the same thing, so I have to teach you a lesson. ” As I got older, I realized that she really cared. I felt that I did not want to embarrass her or myself any longer and that is when I decided that I was going to do what was expected of me.

Parents have the right to lead their kids by example but they must do it the right way. On the other hand, damaging a child’s self-esteem, self confidence and making him feel unloved or wanted is considered to be child abuse. Why would a parent want to see their child suffer, especially without any cause? If a parent does not want another person or child harming their child intentionally, then why would that parent commit abuse? There are many examples of child abuse but I decided to press the issue on one example. A woman just found out that she has gotten pregnant.

The pregnancy was unplanned and the baby’s father does not want to be a part of that new life, but she decides to keep the child. When the baby arrives, the woman is frustrated because she realizes she cannot take care of herself and the baby mentally, physically, emotionally or financially. The woman now decides to take her anger and frustrations out on the child and that is where the abuse comes in because she does not know what else to do. Sometimes not disciplining a child can be considered child abuse as well.

Everyone knows that a parent has to let a child be child. But when a parent lets the child get away with things a little too much, it is time to let that child know that enough is enough. Since that child feels that he has not been stopped before, he has the right to continue to do what he pleases. The parent needs to tell the child that they are the adult and he is the child will definitely set the boundaries. The parent is going to ruin that child if they let him into the world thinking that he can do what he please.

That is the first step to abusing that child and others are going to do the same if do not step in to guide him. The parent has to learn to say ‘NO’ every once in a while so the child can get used to hearing that word. The parent has to know that they cannot be their child’s best friend and the child has to abide by their rules. If a parent does not start at home by forcing the rules upon the child, then they are giving the world permission to keep the abuse up. Again, the three main questions come to mind. Is there such a thing as too much discipline?

How far can you go with discipline before it turns into child abuse? How do you know if you are performing child abuse? A parent might feel that no one can tell them how to raise their child. So they may feel the need to punish the child however they want. The parent says it is discipline. The outside world might say it is child abuse if they see a child is being mistreated in a way that they feel that is not right. A parent might have their own personal reasons to why they punish their child the way they do.

Maybe it is discipline—then again it may be child abuse. There are people out in the world that feel that they can care for a child better than that child’s parent. Sometimes those people are eager to take that child that they feel are being abused away from that parent. I would tell those parents to choose a more logical way of what they do to their child and how they do it. However a parent decides to punish their child is on them. The parent just need be careful of how they do it because they might not have their child any longer--or even worse, thrown in jail!

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Discipline Versus Child Abuse. (2016, Dec 09). Retrieved from

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