I was listening to one of the Parent teacher connection meetings we have ordinarily at my son’s school when our normal chit chat and conversations about the weather were ended right away by a demand from Mrs. Stallworth.
“Is it right to discipline kids with spanking and other forms of physical punishment?” asked the ordinarily meek Mrs. Stallworth. The demand caused immediate silence in the room as the ordinarily loquacious parents and teachers seemed stunned by the frankness of the question. I’m sure no one wanted to imagine the notion of inspecting either or not it is right to spank their kids. It was surprising, no doubt about that. But after we recovered from our first shock, we realized that the demand was relevant.
It seems that Mrs. Stallworth’s son Billy was caught stealing some coins from his mother’s purse. Mr. Stallworth, a man who exuded moral integrity and discipline, apparently had taken out his belt and hit Billy on the hand. Mrs. Stallworth stressed that it wasn’t anything severely painful but it was nonetheless a jarring taste for Billy since it was the first time he had ever been spanked.
In an attempt to make sense of it all, Mrs. Stallworth had done some research on the topic. Now, she wanted to share what she had learned with the rest of us and in exchange, she wanted us to tell her how we felt.
It turns out that there are many countries that legally ban and condemn the custom of physical punishment for children such as Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Cyprus, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Germany, Israel, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine and Hungary.
The reverse is true in Asia where habitancy not only tolerate the custom of physical punishment but even endorse it. Many Asian countries carry the tradition and confidence that a fair amount of punishment will make their children good people.
For instance, in places like China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, it is legal to punish one’s own child using physical means. However, China and Taiwan prohibit their schools from using physical punishment against children.