Expert warns vs corporal punishment
(The Freeman) - August 18, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - While Filipinos are “culturally” inclined to disciplining their children through spanking, an expert has warned that corporal punishment could have an adverse impact on kids that may last until they become grownups.

Lisa Tumulak, capacity coordinator at Lihok Pilipina Foundation Inc., said that instead of punishing the children when they commit mistakes, parents and schools should take steps at ending the cycle of violence by promoting positive discipline.

Lihok Pilipina started as a project of Pilipina-Cebu, aiming to alleviate poverty as its first cause. The organization also helps women who were victims of domestic violence, and implements activities that heighten the sensitivity of the youth to violence at home through the Bantay Banay Youth network.

According to Tumulak, positive discipline entails that parents not resort to spanking or verbal abuse but instead try to properly explain to their children the consequences of their actions.

She said corporal punishment may come in physical form such as  hitting, kicking, pinching, and even forcing the child to stay in an uncomfortable place or position.

Aside from physical corporal punishment, there are also forms of non-corporal punishment such as threatening, belittling, and humiliating the children. Tumulak warned that any of these may lead the child to have a negative picture about themselves.

Tumulak said positive discipline starts as early as the mother’s pregnancy. If the expectant mother is always having a positive outlook in life during the pregnancy stage, it will in turn have a good effect on her baby, she said.

At home, parents and elders should also be sensitive to the feelings of the younger family members.

Tumulak said that if a child shares something and the parents give him/her a negative feedback, the child may never share again to the parents.

“Modako ang bata nga maayo if gisugdan og maayo nga pagpasabot (They will grow to be more responsible in an environment that fosters understanding),” she said.

In schools, another issue confronting the children and officials is bullying.

Lyra Illaga, principal at Cebu City Central School, said bullying on the campus is also not easy to eliminate, but there should be continuous effort to help bullied children on the part of the teachers.

Illaga said their school conducts training twice a year to remind the teachers about positive discipline since schools are widely considered as the children’s second home.

She added that they are also encouraging the students to join different clubs and organizations to help them socialize with their classmates and schoolmates. (FREEMAN)

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