Is completely doing away with the cane increasing indiscipline in today's children?

Cane Discipline – Right or Wrong

With increasing educational awareness and changing mindsets of people, cane punishment is no longer considered acceptable for children. These days, parents or teachers prefer to understand the problem from the child’s perspective and then an appropriate disciplinary action is taken. But some believe that cane punishment is still a better deterrent for indiscipline. Do you agree? Read further to know more.

Raising your children in the right way has various perspectives and views. One of the key challenges of parenting is disciplining your child in the right way. The age-old tradition of cane discipline (both at homes or schools) has been replaced for the present-day generation, by more toned down methods.

Experts discourage parents to punish children by spanking or hitting them with a cane to instill discipline as this might have greater adverse effects- both physically and psychologically emotionally. But, some parents argue that even today the cane method is a better and effective way to discipline a child.

Why Parents Resort to Cane Discipline?

Usually, parents or teachers use canes, flexible rods, whips or belts to punish the children in corporal punishment. The reasons may be several:

  • They are extremely angry with the child and hit them in a fit of rage.
  • They cannot consider any other effective punishment.
  • They think this is the easiest and the quickest way to induce good behaviour in a child .
  • They think they were beaten in their childhood, and it might work for their kids too.
  • They think that children need to understand the harsh realities of life.
  • They are frustrated with their personal or professional lives and flush off the anger on children.

Why Cane Discipline is Not Considered Right?

While old school still believes that harsh punishment can bring even the most stubborn child on the right track, there are some adverse repercussions associated with it.

  • It can physically hurt a child.
  • It can affect their emotional and social development and interactions in the long run.
  • Children may feel that physical abuse is acceptable if a person is angry and may resort to the similar behaviour as they grow up.
  • Spanking or hitting makes children fearful of parents/teachers and they start hiding things in the fear of getting beaten.
  • The psychological effect of cane punishment might be graver than the physical damage at times.
  • Children fail to identify the difference between the good and bad.
  • Children might repeat the same bad behaviour just to seek attention.
  • Children may not learn problem-solving skills.

Child experts advise that parents may choose to resort to cane punishment only in extreme circumstances when the child stubbornly and continuously refuses to acknowledge his misbehavior. In such a scenario, the child should be warned beforehand and explained well why he is being punished so harshly.

However, no matter whatever the reason is, corporal punishment is not the right answer to inculcate discipline in children. What matters is to know the right degree of strictness or punishment to create a positive effect on the child. Not hitting or spanking does not necessarily make the child undisciplined, but using too much of it can make the child indifferent and arrogant. Hence, parents should understand the right trade off.

Experts have brought forth many other ways to discipline a child like – rewarding good behaviour, talking to the child calmly, explaining with examples or making him aware of the bad side of it or creating an emotional distance for some time as a punishment and many more.

The debate on whether punishment is required or is effective will never end. However, the best way is to model yourself the expected behaviour and control child’s undesirable actions but with effective disciplinary actions.

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