There is a thin line between punishment and child abuse. Whereas approximately 70% of the Americans have approved corporal punishment, the law has candidly described itself on defining what entails an abusive behavior. The indictment of Adrian Peterson, an NFL player, for negligently injuring a child has provided the country with valuable lessons regarding the entire issue of punishment and abuse.
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Child abuse continues to happen in many households with many disguising it as an acceptable punishment. Research has shown that African Americans have a particular unique history with the issue of corporal punishment. For many years, child beating has been a common tendency among the black families. In an attempt to explain this, psychologists have attempted to give various arguments including its association with slavery. As blacks got involved in slavery, the punishment was primarily used as a way of instilling discipline. As a result, it has been passed over many generations as a practice of promoting good behavior.
Other than the slavery roots, blacks have also utilized biblical connotations in an attempt to justify the punishment. One of the most quoted verse remains Proverbs 13:24 which state that anybody who loves their child should not spare the rod. However, an important question that people need to ask is whether there is a relationship between corporal punishment and discipline. The overriding aim of discipline is to ensure that essential values are transferred to the children. On the contrary, punishment has a coercive element that forces individuals to comply with certain standards, failure to which pain is inflicted as a form of revenge. Most fundamentally,
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