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1. The practice of hitting children teaches them to become hitters themselves. Extensive research data is now available to support the direct correlation between corporal punishment in childhood and violent behavior in the teenage and adult years. Virtually all of the most dangerous criminals were regularly threatened and punished in childhood.
2. Punishment gives the message that “might make right” that it is ok to hurt someone smaller and less powerful than you are. The child then feels it is appropriate to mistreat younger or smaller children, and when he becomes an adult, feels little compassion for those less fortunate or powerful than he is, and fears those who are more so. Thus it is difficult for him to find meaningful friendships.
3. Children learn best through parental modeling. Punishment gives the message that hitting is an appropriate way to express one’s feelings and to solve problems. If the child rarely sees the parent handle anger and solve problems in a creative and positive way, he can never learn how to do that himself. Thus inadequate parenting continues into the next generation.
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