CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Corporal punishment, possibly one of the oldest forms of discipline, is on the decline in the United States.
Richard Musser of Macomb, Il told 22News, “I have given a swat when they were around six, or so, when I thought it was a pretty severe thing, but I don’t know if it was necessarily the best choice. There were times when I felt kind of guilty and preferred just a time out.”
Still, it is legal for teachers to paddle their students in 19 different states, but Massachusetts is not one of them.
Emily Elizarde of Austin, TX said, “I think there are different ways in which we can convey our message to our children. You know, communicate with them, their expectations before resorting to something like actually hitting them. I think that it just drives a wedge between the relationship between the parent and child.”
Studies show that parent’s who were spanked as children are more likely to use physical punishment themselves. A parent can legally hit their child in every single state, including Massachusetts, but some health expert’s recommend against using physical force as a means of disciplining your children.
According to Dr. Stephen Boos of the Family Advocacy Center at the Baystate Medical Center, “There needs to be consequences, but using pain and power to control another person is no more effective than these other things, but it teaches the use of pain and power.”
In Massachusetts, a parent can be reported for child abuse even if they don’t injure a child, but there is no specific list that constitutes abuse.