"Spoil the rod and you'll spoil the child"
Corporal punishment as a way of child discipline has been a subject of controversy among rights of the child advocates though it has been a widely used discipline method among us.
The congress has House Bill 682 in the making. This house bill is set to penalized any form of corporal punishment among children and a gathering on the Advocacy and Campaign for the promotion of Positive Discipline and Prohibition of Corporal Punishment is being held to discuss controversial issues on child discipline.
The United Nations Commitee on the Rights of the Child had spoken out against corporal punishment. According to the world reports on violence against children, 23 countries so far adopted laws that prohibits this kind of punishment as a way of child discipline. Here in the Philippines, there is no law that bans corporal punishment in the homes. Based on certain researches, 85% of Filipino children were punished in their homes. This includes slapping the child's face, hitting with a stick, a piece of wood, or a belt, pinching, punching, hair pulling, yelling, and cursing. Other than physical pain, children who are subjected to this kind of punishment also suffered emotional pain. Instead of teaching them discipline, children tend to feel humiliated and tend to loose self confidence thus instilling them fear, hatred with their parents, and teaching them that violence is just as acceptable. There are also certain cases that children were killed because of too much physical punishment.
I myself admit that I used the Filipino practice of spanking whenever my children did something that is really wrong and punishable. But I always make it sure to explain well to them as to why they are being spanked and tell them that I'm doing it because I love them so much that I want them to do just the right things. It is not true that a little corporal punishment will do more harm than good. I myself has been spanked by my parents when I was a child. But I can say is that they had taught me well and I grew up to be a fine person. I had never developed any negative feelings against my parents and I've been thankful of what person I had become.
There is really an issue on corporal punishment on children. How can they remove something that is rooted-deeply in the culture of Filipinos? I believe that this will ignite debates among people whether the infliction of physical pain on children can be as justifiable or as a means to educated our children of what is right and what is wrong. There are also parents who are not open to changes so there is really a need to encourage them on the best ways of disciplining children. Let's just wait and see.