Punishment is defined as imposing external controls by force on children to change their behavior. It includes:
- Inflicting pain, such as by spanking, slapping, or hitting
- Imposing suffering, for example by withholding food
- Enforcing penalties that are not related to the unacceptable behavior, such as a week of grounding for spilling a glass of milk
- Personal or emotional attacks like name-calling, ridicule, and insults
Many forms of punishment are against the law.
It's not hard to understand why parents sometimes want to use punishment. There are many reasons, including:
- The misbehavior often stops immediately
- Children often show remorse during punishment
- The parent gets to blow off steam
- The parent feels in control
- The parent hasn't let the children "get away with it"
- The parent was raised that way
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