The Effects Of Corporal Punishment On Children

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While reading Cleverley & Phillips ' Visions of Childhood I found that many views of the past relating to corporal punishment have changed significantly. During my readings I read things that instantly stood out to me. The first being how many issues and their solutions revolved around religion. John Wesley, was the founder of the Methodist Movement, and he believed that children were born with sin and that it was the parental duty to discipline the unruly child, starting at an early age. During this time period, corporal punishment was a common practice. Wesley used reference to the Bible verse in Proverbs to declare, “Spare the rod, spoil the child”, (Cleverly and Phillips, 1986) in turn parents believed they were doing God’s will with their harsh punishments. “Break their wills betimes, begin this work before they can run alone, before they can speak plain, perhaps before they can speak at all. Whatever pains it costs, break the will, if you would not damn the child. Let a child from a year old be taught to fear the rod and to cry softly; if you do not conquer, you ruin him. Break his will now, and his soul shall live, and he will probably bless you to eternity.” (Cleverly and Phillips, pg 29)
During these times corporal punishment was very prevalent it was simply the norm. It wasn’t until later that Western society started to change their views on the subject. As a consequence of our changing views on children and the change in society itself after the industrial
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