A research paper on child discipline could begin:
There are many different views on the correct way to discipline children. Religious views, culture, and education can all effect a parent's decision on the best means to discipline their children. Discipline is meant to correct a child's behavior and give them a reason to avoid doing the behavior again. Most would say that another purpose for disciplining a child is to teach children expectations and guidelines to keep safe.
Parenting Styles Regarding Child Discipline
There have been four different parenting styles identified. These parenting styles are:
Authoritative parents provide their children with a warm, caring environment and use discipline to teach their children how to be responsible citizens. Authoritarian parents use discipline to control their children. They expect obedience without question because they know what is best. Indulgent parents are concerned with making their children happy. Many times these parents will forgo discipline because it might affect the "friendship" between them and their child. Finally, indifferent parents feel their children should be able to take care of themselves. They don't like to expel energy to discipline and want their children to be self-directing. Teachers are advocates of using discipline to make children responsible.
Two Categories of Child Discipline
There are two categories of discipline:
- Physical discipline
- Non-physical discipline
Physical discipline, also called corporal punishment, includes spanking, slapping, and smacking. Spanking has historically been a popular means of discipline. In more recent history, corporal punishment has become an issue of contention between differing views. Many countries and states have passed legislation that bans spanking in the home and school.
Non-physical discipline includes means of discipline that are meant to teach children without applying any physical force or pain. Some popular forms of non-physical discipline include time-outs, grounding, scolding, praise, rewards, and natural consequences.
Research has shown that methods of discipline lose their effect if they are used too often. According to the research, parents need to vary their discipline methods to be most effective.