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Contrasting Discipline With Child Physical Abuse

January 30, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 191

Discipline is the practice of teaching and enforcing acceptable behavior in a child. It encompasses deprivation of privileges, physical punishment, creation of structured environment rules and boundaries. Discipline must be complimented by love to create balance and regulate the child's behavior. Different cultures have their own methods of discipline with an overall goal of producing order in society. The end result of discipline is acquisition of self-discipline and self-control in a child; these values are indispensable to living a productive life.

Institutions like the military cherish discipline and place it at the core of all their activities. The British Royal Family aside from sending their children to very good schools like Oxford and Cambridge Universities ensured that the male children served in the military. I believe the discipline of military life blends with royalty and sound education to give them a well rounded life that will not bring reproach to the Royal Family.

Child abuse is deliberate infliction of injury to a child; it is not a corrective measure as opposed to discipline. It is often a recurrent habit that includes physical punishment, neglect and emotional abuse. Physical abuse conveys to the child that he/she is unwanted. Child physical abuse is a reportable offense in developed countries and perpetrators of the act can be prosecuted and have their child taken away in extreme situations.

Discipline in a child makes him/her respect boundaries and keep out of trouble. A disciplined child is law abiding. Child abuse on the other hand makes a child bitter, aggressive, rebellious and vengeful.

Discipline preserves life because it keeps a child out of danger while child abuse destroys the very essence of the child's person. Alcohol and substance abuse are consequences of lack of self control which abused children resort to in order to soothe their emotional pains. Self control protects disciplined children from all the social maladies of this age such as alcohol/substance abuse, teenage sex, teenage pregnancy, school drop, gangsterism and gambling.

Discipline is applied out of a sense of duty and love while child abuse is borne out of hate and frustration.

Discipline leads to a fruitful life because nothing worthwhile can be achieved without it. Child abuse unless its effects are mitigated can lead to school dropout and resort to a self-destructive lifestyle.

Self-discipline and self-control which are the end products of discipline enables the child have good self-esteem necessary for a balanced life. Physically abused children have low self-esteem which makes them low achievers in life.

Discipline never leaves a physical mark or emotional wounds on a child while physical abuse leaves physical scars and deep emotional wounds in a child for life.

The pains of discipline are short lasting and bring about a harvest of noble works later in the child's life. The pains of child abuse are long lasting and could extend to the next generation.

Dr Francis Edo Olotu is the Medical Director of Christ Hospital, Ondo. He is also a family counselor who regularly counsels married persons and administers pre-marriage counseling to couples about to marry in his home church of St John Bosco Catholic Church Ondo. He is a frequently featured speaker in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. He is married to Catherine and their marriage is blessed with four children in the age bracket of twelve to twenty two. Dr Olotu is the author of the following books: The Amazing Power in Fatherhood; Releasing the Power in Fatherhood as well as Your Guide to Cancer Prevention.

Source: EzineArticles
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Child Physical Abuse


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